Solving the Puzzle: Researching the Impacts of Climate Change Around the World

nsf_climate…a new report from the National Science Foundation…

“This report addresses some of the major questions facing climate change researchers, and how those puzzles are being addressed by NSF-funded activities. Complex computer models are being developed and refi ned to predict Earth’s future climate. Observations of climate conditions from observatory networks distributed in Earth’s oceans, polar regions, land masses, and near-Earth orbit improve the accuracy of the climate models. Records of Earth’s past climate provide important insights into the mechanisms involved in climate cycles of the past, and can help to refine computational models by allowing researchers to simulate past climate. But understanding climate is only part of the story—as we improve our knowledge of how Earth’s climate is changing, we also improve our ability to cope with the impacts of global climate change and variability. Through social, economic, and behavioral science, researchers are learning how human behavior factors into climate change—and how human behavior can be modifi ed to ameliorate our impact on Earth’s climate. Physical scientists and engineers are developing alternative ways of creating, storing, and using energy to reduce the amount of carbon that human activities contribute to the atmosphere. Researchers are also building the scientific foundation for the tools that humanity may need in the future to counteract the eff ects of global climate change.”