Climate Change in the Midwest: Impacts, Risks, Vulnerability, and Adaptation

By S. C. Pryor | Go to book overview

Preface

Informing effective responses to climate change is predicated on (1) advancement of fundamental understanding of climate science, including development of projections at scales suitable for impact assessments; (2) mitigation activities designed to limit the magnitude of climate change; and (3) efforts to understand the risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities posed by climate change and thus to develop optimal adaptation strategies. Research presented in this volume is focused on identifying and quantifying the major vulnerabilities to climate change as manifest in the Midwestern United States and thus lays the foundation for addressing the “adaptation gap” (i.e., the difference between the scale of efforts to mitigate anthropogenic forcing of climate and the likely scale and magnitude of climate change). We provide state-of-the-art, spatially disaggregated information regarding the historical, current, and possible future climate states within the region with a particular focus on extremes, and we undertake assessments of the risks and vulnerabilities of critical socioeconomic and environmental systems in the region to climate change and variability. Key sectors discussed herein are agriculture, human health, water resources, energy, and infrastructure, each of which exhibits current vulnerability to climate variability that may be amplified under current climate change trajectories. Challenges and opportunities in developing local and regional strategies for addressing the risks posed by climate change are discussed in the context of developing an integrative policy for the region.

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