Change & Risk

Climate risk is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet today, with potential impacts ranging from rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events to food and water scarcity and loss of biodiversity.

To mitigate these risks, a range of solutions are needed, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy adoption, improving energy efficiency, and investing in climate-resilient infrastructure. Additionally, sustainable land use practices and social and economic measures to build resilience can also play a critical role in addressing climate risk.

Breakout Session: Change & Risk: Compound Hazards, Integrated Impacts

Evaluating the full range of consequences from proposed climate change solutions requires a sophisticated understanding of the underlying processes and their interactions. This starts with the basic science of the Earth system, the characterization of extreme events, the translation of these events into hazards, and the interaction of these hazards with exposure and vulnerability that creates risk for people, infrastructure, and natural systems. At each stage in this chain, there are substantial uncertainties and feedbacks that must be considered. There are also opportunities for compounding of hazards in space or time, potentially leading to new or more severe impacts.

Penn State has a long and rich tradition of excellence in research focused on observations and modeling of the Earth system, reflected in the fact that Penn State researchers have been among the top contributors to the IPCC's *Working Group 1: The Physical Science Basis* assessment reports. Increasingly, the scope of this research has expanded to include high-impact research on the characterization of uncertainties and extremes, coupled interactions with human systems, and analysis of potential risk management strategies. In this session, we focus on both of these research domains, emphasizing interactions across sectors and scales, and exploring how stakeholder input and the structure of proposed solutions can feed back into the basic science. The session will begin with brief research vignettes and reflections from our panelists, followed by a group discussion on opportunities and challenges for synergistic advancement of fundamental science and climate change solutions.

Room: 207

Session Time: Monday, May 22, 2:30 pm

Session Lead: Robert Nicholas