Risk Perception of Political Leadership Toward Climate Change

The current project Putting people into climate models: A multi-model approach to integrating human behavior and climate change, led by Drs Brian Beckage and Katherine Lacasse, aims to develop an expanded integrated climate-social model. This model will include a range of human behavior theories and economic feedback, and will be integrated into a system dynamics implementation of an Earth systems model to examine multiple state variables and processes beyond greenhouse gas emissions.

Coastal Communities and the Marine Environment

There has been a sustained increase in the development and number of marine spatial plans over the past two decades. Managers and governments have embraced the approach as a way to maintain ecological integrity of marine environments while ensuring continued provisioning of economic, social and cultural benefits. However, there is limited empirical evidence that plans and associated management measures have effectively achieved stated goals.

Climate Variability and Risk

The Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem (NSRE) is experiencing some of the highest rates of ocean temperature change in the world. High-resolution climate models have predicted future temperatures may be higher than originally estimated from lower resolution models. These changes in temperature will manifest as increases in mean temperature (i.e., long-term decadal temperature change) and temperature variability (i.e., temperature fluctuations on shorter time scales).

Modeling Drought Impacts

Providing adequate water supply to the growing number of urban residents will be a challenge faced by many utility managers throughout the remainder of this century. This challenge will be exacerbated by intensifying climate change that is likely to bring more frequent and intense droughts to some regions in the United States and around the world.

Multi-Scalar Rangelands

Social science research in rangelands has increasingly shown how the expertise and webs of relations of pastoralists enables them to benefit from highly variable environments. This work has also shown how pastoralists are modifying their practices in complex ways in response to new social, political, economic, and biophysical uncertainties. However, numerous disciplinary and conceptual divides prevent incorporation of these understandings of social complexity into analyses of landscape change.


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