AGCI makes publicly accessible thousands of video presentations, research publications, and other resources from our workshops and projects. Use the search and filter options below to explore the resource library.

The Climate Impacts of Land Surface Change and Carbon Management, and the Implications for Climate-Change Mitigation Policy

While carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere may play a necessary role in mitigating anthropogenic climate change, current climate mitigation policies do not generally take into account the effects of the resulting changes in land surface albedo, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, and the distribution of energy within the climate system. As a result, proposed mitigation strategies may not achieve their desired result. This paper summarizes the interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere and explains why these complex interactions ought to be incorporated into proposed national and international carbon-credit trading regimes.

By Richard Betts Gregg Marland Roger A. Pielke, Sr.
Workshop Publication
January 1, 2003

Industrial Carbon Management: Crosscutting Scientific, Technical & Policy Implications

Industrial Carbon Management (ICM) refers to the array of technologies that enable the combustion of fossil fuels while substantially reducing or eliminating carbon emissions. Although there is a great deal of technical understanding on this subject, knowledge is isolated within a small group of technologists and little is understood about the effects of these technologies on public policy. As part of AGCI's ongoing Elements of Change series, this report summarizes discussions that took place on this topic at an AGCI meeting in 2000. Within the report is a brief review of ICM technologies, an analysis of their role in mitigating CO2 emissions, and a discussion of the challenges ICM poses to public policy.

By John Katzenberger
Workshop Publication
July 22, 2002

The Influence of Land-Use Change and Landscape Dynamics on the Climate System: Relevance to Climate-Change Policy Beyond the Radiative Effect of Greenhouse Gases

Although there is much focus from a policy standpoint on the climate impact of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, less attention is given to the effects of human-caused land-use change, even though a growing body of research suggests that the latter may have a greater warming potential than the former. For example, one major warming impact that is not yet readily quantifiable is the surface heat fluxes that come as a result of changes in vegetation cover. As this article explains, impacts resulting from land-use change must be better quantified in order that they can be successfully incorporated into policies and international treaties.

By Steven W Running Dev dutta S. Niyogi John O. Niles Richard Betts Gregg Marland Roger A. Pielke, Sr.
Workshop Publication
June 25, 2002

Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota

Climate plays a key role in biotic systems, and while it is easy to predict how living systems react to gradual changes in climate, less certainty exists about the effects of extreme weather events. This article presents research showing specific examples of how extreme weather events have brought about manifest changes to species populations, behavior, morphology, as well as ecosystem-level effects. The authors argue that understanding the impact of these events is key to understanding the overall effect of climate change on the biosphere.

By Terry Root Camille Parmesan
Workshop Publication
March 3, 2000

Observed Variability and Trends in Extreme Climate Events: A Brief Review

Recently, much attention has focused on trends in extreme climate events. An increase in annual financial damages, as well an uptick in deaths, resulting from such events has given rise to speculation that these extreme events are increasing in frequency. Although data in some regions may have the potential robustness to reveal long-term trends, there is still an overall lack of long-term, worldwide data suitable for analysis of extreme climate variability. Where data does exist, there appear to be increases in temperature and precipitation extremes, as well as droughts and tropical storms. However, more high-quality, long-term climate data around the globe is needed to improve understanding.

By Kenneth E. Kunkel Thomas R. Karl Pavel Groisman Jenni-Louise Evans David R. Easterling
Workshop Publication
October 25, 1999

Introduction to Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Observations, Socioeconomic Impacts, Terrestrial Ecological Impacts, and Model Projections

By Richard T. Sylves Terry Root Roger S. Pulwarty Camille Parmesan Linda O. Mearns Kenneth E. Kunkel Thomas R. Knutson Pavel Groisman Jenni-Louise Evans David Changnon Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Stanley Changnon David R. Easterling Thomas R. Karl Gerald Meehl
Workshop Publication
October 9, 1999

Climate Extremes: Changes, Impacts and Projections

Although the relationship between climate change and extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and floods, is still uncertain, many scientists believe the two to be linked. This report focuses on the methods and evidence surrounding such a link. It presents existing data that suggests an upward trend in extreme weather and discusses how existing climate models can be reinterpreted or improved to forecast more accurately future climatic conditions. This report also discusses the impact expected increases in natural disasters and weather extremes may have on the natural world and human society.

By Susan Joy Hassol John Katzenberger
Workshop Publication
October 7, 1999

Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Issues Related to Modeling Extremes in Projections of Future Climate Change

Climate models used in the writing of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Second Assessment Report indicate that future weather extremes as a result of climate change are likely to include a greater frequency of extreme warm days, lower frequency of cold days, higher nighttime temperatures, increased precipitation intensity, as well as a range of other climate variations. Subsequent models have reconfirmed these predictions, but there remains disagreement in current models as to the impact of synoptic time and space scale processes, such as tropical cyclones, El Nino effects, and extratropical storms. This article summarizes the state of scientific knowledge of possible future changes in the statistical aspects of weather and climate extremes.

By Penny Whetton Linda O. Mearns Thomas R. Knutson Jenni-Louise Evans Francis Zwiers Gerald Meehl
Workshop Publication
October 6, 1999

Human Factors Explain the Increased Losses from Weather and Climate Extremes

The financial damage due to extreme weather events has been increasing since the 1940s, and evidence suggests that societal shifts are the predominate cause of this upward trend. For instance, increasing populations around hurricane-prone regions account for enormous increases in damages over the last several decades, and the continuation of these and other similar demographic trends is likely to bring about ever rising financial losses regardless of the added impact of climate change. As this article points out, identifying and understanding this societal vulnerability has great importance for understanding the nation's economy, in guiding governmental policies, and for planning for future mitigative activities including ways for society to adapt to the added impacts of a changing climate.

By Roger S. Pulwarty Richard T. Sylves David Changnon Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Stanley Changnon
Workshop Publication
July 22, 1999

Innovative Energy Strategies for CO2 Stabilization

In recognition of imperiling consequences of human-generated greenhouse gasses, this report lays out strategies will enable the world to achieve CO2 stabilization. As a summary of an AGCI meeting on the same topic, this report lays out a range of innovative solutions, such as drawing upon renewable energy sources, eliminating carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and geoengineering the climate. With each idea presented, there is a technical evaluation of the idea's feasibility, a risk assessment, and an analysis of the benefits and costs.

By Susan Joy Hassol John Katzenberger
Workshop Publication
July 14, 1999