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Beyond Copenhagen: Scientific Perspectives on Adaptation and Sustainability
03 December 2009 - 03 December 2009
Washington, DC

Sponsors/Organizers
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Embassy of Sweden, and Delegation of the European Commission


The political climate on sustainability and global climate change issues in the United States has undergone a sea change this year as the world's governments look toward a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change mitigation. The U.S. Congress and Administration are focusing on policy solutions to curb carbon emissions and touting green jobs as an essential component for long-term economic growth. Most discussions center on the near term-preparing for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December and in operationalizing economic recovery plans.

This seminar series will provide scientific perspectives to key sustainability and climate change policy issues that are still on the horizon and that lay beyond Copenhagen, particularly focusing on how the U.S. and Europe might adapt to changes in planetary water cycles. Each event will begin with an introduction that sets the discussion within a geopolitical context. Short presentations by both a European and an American scientist will be followed by a moderated discussion and Q&A session.



Mark your calendar for the final event in the series:

Water & Marine Services

Thursday, 3 December
5:30pm - 6:45pm
Registration opens at 4:45pm with light hors d'oeuvres served
Hosted by AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Sustainability
1200 New York Avenue, NW (entrance at 12th and H Streets NW)

Context & Moderator: Dr. James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University, and Chairman of the Board, AAAS
Panel: Dr. Keith Brander, Senior Research Scientist, DTU Aqua – Danish Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark
Dr. Steven Murawski, Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA

Oceans provide a number of services that are vital to human life, giving sustenance to over a billion people as well as regulating global carbon and water cycles. Scientific findings increasingly signal the potentially adverse affects that climate change may have on these services. Oceans work to regulate climate by absorbing excess carbon dioxide, which, in the process, make seawater more acidic. Marine ecosystems, many of which are already vulnerable due to over-fishing and polluted coastal run-off, are under increased pressure by these changes. This panel will explore how humans and marine organisms can adapt to accommodate changing oceans, specifically:

- What evidence is there of adaptability of marine ecosystems?
- Are there management strategies to help key species adapt?
- What additional services might be provided by the species that thrive in a more acidic ocean?

- What evidence is there of adaptability of marine ecosystems?
- Are there management strategies to help key species adapt?
- What additional services might be provided by the species that thrive in a more acidic ocean?

Space is limited. To attend, RSVP to international@aaas.org


Previous events in the series:

Water, Agriculture & Terrestrial Resources

Thursday, 1 October
4:45pm - 6:00pm

Hosted by the Delegation of the European Commission
2300 M Street, NW

Context: Roland Schenkel, Director General, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
Panel: Ad de Roo, Senior Scientist, JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability, European Commission (presentation available)
James W. Hansen, Research Scientist, Agricultural Systems, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (presentation available)

Terrestrial water resources are crucial for ecosystems, drinking water supply, agriculture, hydropower and river navigation. Both extreme excess - river flooding - and shortage - droughts and water scarcity - are major threats. Current science is increasingly showing that climate change will have serious effects on water resources and its extremes. This panel will explore how society could adapt to prepare for these changes, presenting several examples:

- What evidence is there of changing water resources and their extremes?
- What are the likely effects of these extreme events on agriculture?
- What are the current management strategies to help to adapt to these changes?
- What are the remaining challenges?


Water & Urban Infrastructure

Thursday, November 5, 2009
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Hosted by the Embassy of Sweden
House of Sweden, Alfred Nobel Hall, 2900 K Street, NW, Washington DC 20007

Welcome: Ambassador Jonas Hafström, Embassy of Sweden
Context: Christian Borg, Swedish Innovation Correspondent based in the US
Panel: Dr. Allen P. Davis, Professor, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland
Dr. David Major, Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University Earth Institute, Center for Climate Systems Research

Science shows that climate change will impact water resources and put a strain on urban and land-based systems. Cases like extreme rainfall, runoffs, floods, and limited water supplies are major threats to urban infrastructure. Moreover, urban planners need to consider a predicted sea level rise for coastal developments and existing infrastructure. Much research involves predicting outcomes, build scenarios, and developing adaptation models. This event will explore how urban centers can adapt to prepare for these changes, presenting several examples:

- What evidence is there of changing water resources, a sea level rise and their extremes?
- What are the likely effects of these extreme events on urban infrastructure and planning?
- What are the current strategies to help to adapt to these changes?
- What are the remaining challenges?




 
   
 
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