Global Climate Change

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Global climate models developed by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict glacial retreat, rises in sea level, and other impacts on human and natural activity, from agriculture to migratory patterns. RAND researchers have studied and are continuing to examine the effects of climate change, particularly how governments and businesses respond to both observed changes and projected scenarios.

  • A map of Los Angeles County with the words '88 Cities + the County". Graphic by Glory Film Co. Philanthropy

    Report

    California's Edible Food Recovery Mandate: One Solution for Two Problems

    Organic waste in landfills emits 20 percent of California's methane, and about 1.1 million tons of potentially donatable food were discarded in 2018. California's food recovery mandate, Senate Bill 1383, could make an important contribution toward mitigating the climate crisis and food insecurity.

    Jun 21, 2022

  • A still frame from a short film created by artist-in-residence V+J. The video summarizes RAND’s 2021 paper on geoengineering as a tool to address global warming.

    Project

    The Risks of Geoengineering

    Geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the climate—could help curb global warming, but it could also have world-altering consequences. In a new animated video, RAND artists-in-residence Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre take a lighthearted look at this serious issue.

    Apr 27, 2022

Explore Global Climate Change

  • Glowing globe

    Project

    The RAND Strategic Rethink Project

    The RAND Strategic Rethink project explores important strategic questions facing the United States, producing a guide for policymakers, citizens, educators, and the media on the most critical global choices and challenges facing the country.

    Jul 23, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    With Upcoming 2016 Election, Global Power Shifts Will Face the Next U.S. President

    Chaos in the Middle East, Russian intervention, Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, climate change, and a decline in U.S. military readiness have raised questions about how America envisions its role in a turbulent geopolitical environment. Nevertheless, the world is not falling apart and these difficulties are not beyond the United States' ability to manage.

    Jul 23, 2015

  • World puzzle

    Report

    Choices for America in a Turbulent World

    Today, the United States faces no existential threat. Rather, it confronts an unusually wide and diverse array of challenges. What strategic choices does it have in dealing with these challenges—and tomorrow's?

    Jul 23, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the gardens of Hyderabad House in New Delhi, January 25, 2015

    Commentary

    The Afterparade: No Breakthroughs — and That's Just Fine

    President Obama's visit to India last week was hailed in many quarters as a landmark event, perhaps signaling a new era of cooperation. In reality, the concrete takeaways were quite modest: there was no breakthrough on climate change, trade, or civil nuclear liability. But the trip should nonetheless be judged a success.

    Feb 2, 2015

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    Report

    Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks: A Water Utility Framework

    RAND researchers and collaborators present a comprehensive approach for water utilities to assess climate risks to their systems and evaluate adaptation strategies.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Blog

    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Aerial view of the Miami Beach seashore

    Announcement

    RAND Announces New Water and Climate Change Resilience Center

    RAND has established a new Water and Climate Resilience Center to address one of the most significant policy challenges of our time: How do we plan, build, and organize our societal systems to become more resilient to the unavoidable impacts of climate change?

    Jan 6, 2015

  • A man and young child leaning against a fence looking out into a field containing wind turbines. Photo by SolStock / Getty Images

    Project

    Climate Resilience Center

    The RAND Climate Resilience Center brings together trans-disciplinary research teams to build equitable, use-inspired climate resilience solutions.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a news conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 12, 2014

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Global Warming Deal Could Signal Shift on Climate Change

    The U.S.-China agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions represents a significant and welcome shift in the international approach to addressing climate change. For the first time, a large developing country has agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions—a crucial step since these countries have become the world’s largest sources.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • Environmental pollution

    Journal Article

    A Wedge-Based Approach to Estimating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Activities in the United States

    This study presents a new framework for estimating the change in health outcomes resulting from implementation of specific carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction activities, allowing comparison of different sectors and options for climate mitigation activities.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from power plants during a news conference on June 2, 2014

    Commentary

    New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the U.S. and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • The Colorado River flows through Black Canyon, south of Hoover Dam

    Periodical

    RAND Review Examines Water Management, Military Caregivers, Joint Aircraft, Income Inequality

    Stories in RAND's flagship magazine discuss the implications of climate change for the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada, the burdens borne by military caregivers, the drawbacks of joint aircraft programs, and growing inequalities across the European Union.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Navajo Bridge over Colorado River

    Research Brief

    Interactive Examination of How to Adapt to a Changing Colorado River

    The Colorado River Basin Study evaluated the river system's resiliency and compared resource management options using the Robust Decision Making methodology.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Hoover Dam, Nevada, Desert, Water, Lake Mead, Hydroelectric Power Station, Dam, Turbine, Power, Built Structure, Arizona, Reservoir, Construction Frame, Concrete, Electricity, Canyon, Colorado River, Intake, Tower, Fuel and Power Generation, Generator, Lake, Boulder Dam, sunset, mountain, USA, Power Station

    Report

    Robust Decision Making Enables Colorado River Planners to Ensure Water Reliability

    The Colorado River Basin Study evaluated the river system's resiliency and compared resource management options. The Robust Decision Making methodology helped to identify vulnerabilities and compare portfolios of options.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • microirrigation sprinkler

    Report

    Simplified Planning Under Uncertainty Approaches Can Help Local Water Agencies Plan for Climate Change

    Research demonstrates how Robust Decision Making can help local water agencies include climate change and other uncertain factors in their long-term planning. Application to the El Dorado Irrigation District in California shows key trade-offs among future long-term water management strategies.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • A mother on Staten Island straps a protective mask onto her baby after Hurricane Sandy

    Commentary

    Removing Road Blocks to Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.

    Oct 3, 2013

  • Electric power plant

    Report

    Modeling Industry Transformation and the Political Sustainability of Emission Control Policies

    Limiting climate change will require transformation of energy and other systems. A new model that uses Robust Decision Making tools enables decisionmakers to compare the long-term sustainability of alternative carbon emission reduction policies.

    Sep 6, 2013

  • President Obama delivers a speech on climate change on June 25, 2013

    Blog

    RAND Experts on Obama's Climate Speech

    While President Obama was delivering his speech on climate change at Georgetown University on June 25, some of RAND's energy policy experts were live-tweeting their thoughts on the president's proposals.

    Jun 26, 2013