Track 4a. Predictions and responses

Track Chairs:

Peter Schlosser. The Earth Institute and Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering; Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

João Joanaz de Melo. Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research (CENSE), School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal.

Goals and objectives of the track

Human activities have led to widespread changes in all domains of the Earth System and are pushing against planetary boundaries. Increased energy use is a major human activity that has caused problems in many tightly linked areas including climate change. Climate change can be felt on local, regional and global scales with impacts on the hydrological cycle, food security, ecosystem function and services, sea level, and the built environment, among others. So far, anthropogenic climate change has increased the global temperature by roughly one degree Celsius. Projection of future climate scenarios indicate that we already have committed the planet to another one degree Celsius warming no matter which emission scenario we are following. The total of nearly 2 degrees Celsius is the upper limit of warming allowed under the Paris Accord in order to avoid so-called dangerous interference with the climate system. Present levels of climate change and projected additional changes require rapid responses both in terms of mitigation and adaptation. For example, holding global warming at levels below 2 degrees Celsius requires reduction of Green House Gas emissions from burning of fossil fuels to net zero by the middle of the century. In order to achieve this ambitious goal the energy system has to be decarbonized and some of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in the past has to be re-extracted and safely stored and a new energy system relying largely on renewable energy has to be designed and implemented. This transition must be achieved without depleting other essential components of the Earth System such as water, biodiversity and food supply. It will also have to take place in the context of new paradigms for economic development, consumption, and, more generally, the commitment to a sustainable future along as laid out by the SDGs.
These immense tasks are a challenge for the scientific community in terms of understanding the present state of the systems, projections into the future, and providing options for responses to the changes. They have to be tackled immediately and jointly with a broad group of stakeholders. Time for contemplating possible action has run out and academia needs to integrate its knowledge generation capacity into the context of societal needs and implementation capacity for sustained, large-scale, and economically feasible solutions. Track 4a offers a platform for exchange of new insights into the expected evolution of the climate and energy systems, as well as options for solutions of the problems created by the impacts of their rapid changes.

We invite contributions to a broad set of topics including climate change projections, present and projected impacts of climate change, projections of GHG emission scenarios, carbon management, climate mitigation strategies, climate adaptation measures, designs of a modern energy system, smart grid designs, impact of energy production on the environment and economy, interaction between the energy and climate systems, as well as connectivity of these two systems with other vital domains of the Earth system such as food production and public health, and similar topics. Contributions may address local, regional, and global scales, as well as case studies. Contributions addressing socioeconomic and sociocultural aspects of the coupled energy and climate systems including communication of change and decision making under uncertainty are especially welcome.


You may submit your abstract by visiting the Ex Ordo abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first):
Deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2017 7 January 2018