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.

  • An aerial view of Central Texas homes under water at Graveyard Point neighborhood community in the flood plain of Lake Travis, photo by RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

    Content

    Climate Research at RAND

    May 17, 2019

    RAND researchers have a long history of shedding light on the social and economic implications of a changing climate, its impacts on the natural environment, and the challenges it poses to communities, regions, and our national security.

  • Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

    Essay

    Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

    Feb 26, 2019

    With climate change already generating storms, heat waves, and droughts beyond historical norms, local governments need to do more to prepare. A decisionmaking framework developed by RAND allows communities to stress-test ideas, weigh the trade-offs, and plan for a range of possible futures.

Explore Global Climate Change

  • Journal Article

    Resilience of the Eastern African Electricity Sector to Climate Driven Changes in Hydropower Generation

    This study developed a framework consisting of long-term models for electricity supply and water systems management, to assess the vulnerability of potential electricity infrastructure expansion plans to the effects of climate change in Africa.

    Jan 29, 2019

  • A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 2018

    Commentary

    Triaging Climate Change

    There are many opportunities to manage climate risk around the world, but not everything can be saved. Delaying triage of climate damages could leave societies making ad hoc decisions instead of focusing on protecting the things they value most.

    Jan 23, 2019

  • Wind turbines and cows on a field in Scotland, UK

    Journal Article

    Addressing Uncertainty in Developing Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies

    Long-term strategies (LTSs). and the body of research on which they are based, offer strategies of how each nation can achieve a prosperous future with no or low greenhouse gas emissions. But current LTSs rest on methods insufficient to meet the challenges of the Paris Agreement.

    Jan 11, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Dynamic Adaptive Pathways in Downscaled Climate Change Scenarios

    Dynamic adaptive pathways are introduced as useful tools to draw out which elements of a potentially infinite scenario space connect with decision-relevant aspects of particular climate-related and non-climate-related risks and response options.

    Jan 8, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Identifying Climate Service Production Constraints to Adaptation Decision-Making in Sweden

    This paper draws on semi-structured interviews across climate service production environments in Sweden and finds that climate service producers experience multiple constraints related to the production and dissemination of actionable information.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Sensitivity of Probable Maximum Flood in a Changing Environment

    This study uses integrated hydrometeorological simulations over the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Basin in the southeastern United States to understand the impact of climate change on probable maximum precipitation.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • Journal Article

    The Tradeoff Between Water and Carbon Footprints of Barnett Shale Gas

    This study takes an in-depth look at the energy water nexus in the context of hydraulic fracturing in a drought prone and natural gas rich region of Texas.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • A crew works to repair a road destroyed by flooding on May 31, 2018 in Ellicott City, Maryland. On May 27 Ellicott City experienced a devastating flood for the second time in two years.

    Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook for 2018: Extreme Precipitation Analysis

    This web-based tool aims to inform Chesapeake Bay Watershed policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders on historical and projected future climate trends. Analysis of seasonal and extreme precipitation data are displayed via interactive maps.

    Nov 27, 2018

  • Aerial view of the horizon and sea ice at the ice floe edge at midnight, Baffin Island, Canada

    Testimony

    Climate, Geopolitics, and Change in the Arctic

    Climate change is increasing worldwide interest in the Arctic, where the physical impacts of the change are being felt sooner and more intensely than in other regions. But climate is just one of many key factors that will influence the Arctic's geopolitical future.

    Nov 26, 2018

  • Melting icebergs by the coast of Greenland

    Report

    Deep Decarbonization as a Risk Management Challenge

    Deep decarbonization is the idea of reducing net human greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the 21st century. There are three concepts that help explain the full scope of deep decarbonization as a risk management challenge.

    Oct 22, 2018

  • Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015

    Commentary

    Mitigating India's Climate-Change Misery

    Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures, and it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.

    Oct 11, 2018

  • A house burns as firefighters battle a fast-moving wildfire that destroyed homes driven by strong wind and high temperatures forcing thousands of residents to evacuate in Goleta, California, July 7, 2018

    Journal Article

    How Wildfire Risks Impact California's Homeowners Insurance Market

    Wildfire poses considerable risk to Californians, and the associated increases in home insurance prices can cause financial hardship for families. It's critical to understand how the insurance market is performing with regard to wildfire risk and how climate change may affect this performance.

    Sep 5, 2018

  • Ducklings and a swan gather on a sandbank in the Jamaica Bay neighborhood of New York City

    Report

    Building Resilience in an Urban Coastal Environment

    What are the potential effects of climate change and sea level rise on flood risk, ecosystems, and water quality in New York City's Jamaica Bay? How can flood risk be reduced while also improving water quality, restoring habitat, and improving resilience to extreme weather events?

    Jul 31, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2018

    This issue spotlights RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative and RAND's evaluation of Housing for Health, a Los Angeles County program that has moved some of its most chronically homeless and vulnerable residents into permanent housing.

    Jul 2, 2018

  • Aerial view of Miami, Florida

    Report

    Adapting to a Changing Climate in Southeast Florida

    Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties are vulnerable to flooding and intrusion of saltwater into drinking water. These risks are driven by sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and urban development. How can the region adapt?

    Jun 6, 2018

  • "Global connections" 3D rendering

    Report

    Discontinuities and Distractions: Rethinking Security for the Year 2040

    As part of its Security 2040 initiative, RAND convened a workshop of experts to discuss trends that could shape the world through the year 2040.

    Apr 27, 2018

  • A man selling air coolers rests at a market on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India May 4, 2017

    Commentary

    Staying Cool as the Globe Warms

    Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed humans' capacity to cope. But taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods of cooling that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.

    Apr 23, 2018

  • The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement Is Done" to celebrate the Paris U.N. COP21 Climate Change agreement in Paris, France, November 4, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Policy in Asia Under the Trump Administration

    A conference on U.S. policy in Asia explored the arenas of U.S.-Asia engagement, developed an understanding of the outcomes of past interaction, and made the case for the terms of future engagement. Topics included climate change, trade and investment, national security, human rights, and macroeconomic issues.

    Apr 18, 2018

  • A view of Earth from outer space

    Report

    Is Climate Restoration an Appropriate Policy Goal?

    Climate restoration seeks to return atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to preindustrial levels within one to two generations. Is this a suitable goal for humanity's response to climate change?

    Apr 6, 2018

  • New Orleans Lush Swamp Greenery

    Journal Article

    Building a Values-Informed Mental Model for New Orleans Climate Risk Management

    ViMM helps identify gaps between the values used by the public and experts to understand risk factors and strategies. This study suggests a framework to construct a more explicit model of the public's and CRM experts' and climate scientists' values.

    Mar 7, 2018