The challenge of impacts and adaptation

Working Group II (WGII) assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, the consequences of climate change, and the possible options for adapting to it.  

Drawing on science and social science, this session will explore how we might prepare to live in a changing environment.

This session will take place between 13.30 - 15.30 on Thursday 15 May.


Professor Neil Adger (session chair)

Professor in Geography, University of Exeter

I have contributed as an author to the past three IPCC Working Group II assessments, and for the Fifth Assessment I convened the chapter on Human Security. That chapter focuses on dynamics of migration, conflict and geo-political rivalry as well as the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples and the cultural dimensions of climate change.

My present research focuses on social and economic dimensions of climate risks as well as ecosystem services, resilience and well-being. I am a Member of the Resilience Alliance.

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Professor Chris Field (keynote speaker)

Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC, and Director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, Stanford University

I am the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. My research emphasizes impacts of climate change.

I am deeply involved with national and international scale efforts to advance science and assessment related to global ecology and climate change, especially the IPCC, where I co-chair the working group responsible for assessments of climate-change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.  My recognitions include the Max Plank Research Award and election to the US National Academy of Sciences.

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Professor Frans Berkhout

Professor of Environment, Society and Climate, King’s College London and Interim Director of Future Earth

I have worked on innovation, environment and policy issues for over 20 years, with a focus on processes of socio-technical change and on climate change adaptation. I now combine my academic role at King’s College in London with the interim directorship of the new Future Earth programme, based at the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris. Future Earth aims to enable more integrated global change and sustainability science, working more closely with societal stakeholders in the co-production of solutions-oriented knowledge.

I have contributed as a Lead Author in the IPCC Working Group II reports of AR4 and AR5, assessing adaptation opportunities, constraints and limits in the 2014 report.

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Professor Richard Betts

Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter and Head of Climate Impacts in the Met Office Hadley Centre

I have worked in Earth System modelling for over 20 years, developing and applying integrated approaches to assessing the impacts of global change.  I have a particular interest in the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems, hydrology and climate at global scales. 

I was a Lead Author on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the IPCC AR4 in Working Group I (The Physical Science Basis), assessing the role of land cover change as a climate forcing.  For the IPCC AR5 I was a lead author in Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) assessing the impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. 

Currently I am coordinator of a major European Union-funded project, HELIX (High-End Climate Impacts and Extremes), in which researchers from across Europe, Africa and South Asia are assessing potential climate change impacts and adaptation under scenarios of global warming above 2°C.

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Dr Sari Kovats

Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

I have contributed to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th IPCC Working Group II assessment chapters on human health, and I have co-convened the regional chapter on Europe for the Fifth Assessment.

My research focuses on assessing the impacts of weather events on public health, as well as the development of methods for the health impact assessment of anthropogenic climate change.

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