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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Workshop Publication
July 14, 1999

Planning for the U.S. National Assessment of the Consequences of Climate Change

The U.S. Global Change Research Program Act of 1990 requires the U.S. government to do periodic climate impact assessments of the United States. This Elements of Change report serves as a guide to help outline the content and approach taken for this important assessment. The content of this report reflects the discussions that took place at a 1997 AGCI meeting among federal agency representatives, university academics, and others. During the meeting, participants explored the critical scientific issues relating to the assessment and drafted a plan for its completion.

Workshop Publication
July 29, 1998

Scaling from Site-Specific Observations to Global Model Grids

Much attention in climate modeling has focused on how to downscale from large scale model output to smaller scales in order to resolve critical features such as mountain ranges. This Elements of Change report looks at the other side of the scale problem. It addresses the problem of known as upcaling, which is scaling from areas measured in square meters to larger aggregates. In this report are discussions of the practical and theoretical problems that arise with upscaling in a variety of regions. Since upscaling is widely required in models that forecast climate and other forms of global change, a better apprehension of this topic will serve to improve our models and understanding of key change.

Workshop Publication
July 7, 1998

Characterizing and Communicating Scientific Uncertainty

Characterizing uncertainty is a major issue in all scientific discourse, but it is of particular importance in climate change research. Widely publicized climate change findings, such as the periodic reports authored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), must find precision in their language so that the published findings are neither understated nor exaggerated and can be taken seriously by policymakers, the media, and the public. This Elements of Change report tackles this problem by summarizing the proceedings of a 1996 AGCI meeting that was convened to discuss how uncertainty is communicated in reports such as the one put out by the IPCC. In attendance were climate change researchers, policy analysts, and media experts, and this report addresses scientific, media, and policy related issues pertaining to uncertainty.

Workshop Publication
July 31, 1997

Natural Hazards and Global Change

Societal ability to understand, build resiliency, and respond to natural hazards will be put to the test as global environmental changes, such as climate change, are likely to make natural disasters and hazard more common. This Elements of Change report discusses the main components of natural disaster reduction and illustrates why better disaster management and response is necessary in face of looming environmental change. Included in this report is a description of expected environmental changes that pose a threat to society, suggested procedures for natural disaster reduction, and the role of various private, government, civilian sectors in reducing the impacts of natural hazards.

Workshop Publication
July 10, 1997

Improving the Effectiveness of the Climate Change Convention

Following the 1992 framework of the Convention on Climate Change, there was much discussion about how to create effective policy strategies for climate change. This Elements of Change report explores a variety of binding and non-binding approaches, focusing on the different strategies for developed and developing countries. In addition, the report compares and contrasts climate change policy development to other international environmental agreements such as those for protecting the ozone hole and regulating acid rain.

Workshop Publication
August 6, 1996

Changes in Global Vegetative Patterns and Their Relationship to Human Activity

Since the onset of satellites, particularly Landsat in 1972, the ability to map vegetative cover type and changes in its aerial extent has led to a fundamentally new way of understanding the Earth and rates of change to its surface. This Elements of Change report explores the technical aspects of remote sensing and analysis of data along with a variety of ground truthing techniques. Furthermore, it uncovers the types of change in vegetative cover brought about by human activity. This report provides case studies from several continents and presents related issues such as the edge effect as a disturbance factor beyond the actual cover change area which is particularly evident in cover change in the Amazon.

Workshop Publication
July 9, 1996