Eighth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

April 21 & 22, 2016 - Hanoi, Vietnam

It is now widely agreed that one of the principal obstacles to addressing climate change are structures of governance. A consensus is emerging in the form of a scientific analysis. And we have a growing sense of the kinds of technological transition and transformations in social practices that are needed. However, the largest problem is one of political will, particularly in an international regime where governance structures, despite globalization, are very weak. Within the broad range of themes addressed by this knowledge community, our area of special focus in 2015 will be structures of governance to address climate change, from local communities, to the nation state, to the national arena. What ways forward do we have given structural weaknesses in our systems of governance at every level?

Theme 1: Scientific Evidence

What is evidence is there of climate change?

  • Paleoclimatology: the earth’s climate in a long view
  • Climate change today: examining the data
  • Ice cap reduction and glacial melt
  • Sea level change
  • Floods, drought, forest fires, hurricanes, and other sporadic events
  • Albedo or measuring the earth’s reflectiveness
  • Meteorology and climate informatics
  • Equilibria and disequilbria: change processes and countervailing tendencies
  • Climate measurement processes, methodologies, and technologies
  • Reading complex, dynamic, and unstable systems
  • Developing local and global climate models
  • Change scenarios: slow, rapid, abrupt, or episodic

Theme 2: Assessing Impacts in Divergent Ecosystems

What are the impacts of climate change on natural environments?

  • Ocean currents and el Niño
  • Riverine ecosystem impacts
  • Mountain ecosystem impacts
  • Coastal ecosystem impacts
  • Marine ecosystem impacts
  • Forest and grassland ecosystem impacts
  • Impacts on wilderness and protected areas
  • Impacts on specific biomes
  • Impacts on biodiversity, potential extinctions
  • Hardiness zone migration
  • Regional variations: temperature and rainfall

Theme 3: Human Impacts and Impacts on Humans

What evidence is there that human activity has contributed to climate change, and what are the impacts of climate change on human life?

  • Anthropogenic factors in climate change: determining the relative contribution of natural and human causes
  • Impacts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
  • Land use patterns, agriculture, and livestock husbandry and deforestation as factors in climate change
  • Impacts on humans: agriculture, fish stocks, food supply, health
  • Human settlements and sea level rise
  • Impacts on humans: water supply, desertification
  • Impacts on humans of intense weather events, natural disasters, and ecological surprises
  • Impacts of climate change in the developing world

Theme 4: Technical, Political, and Social Responses

How do scientists, technologies, policy makers, and community members respond to climate change?

  • Environmental policies in response to climate change
  • Controversy and denial: politics, the media, and scientists with dissenting views
  • The international politics of climate change
  • The past, present, and future of international agreements
  • Education and awareness for management of global climate change
  • Protected areas and preservation of biodiversity: “corridoring” and other strategies
  • Strategies for sustainability
  • Human adaptive strategies
  • Technologies of mitigation: carbon dioxide sequestration, solar shades, and other processes
  • Alternative and renewable energy sources: technologies, policies, and strategies
  • Carbon taxes, offsets, and trading
  • Emission standards
  • Climate ethics and the precautionary principle
  • Eco-development, eco-efficiency