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.

  • The hydroelectric dam Cachi in Ujarras de Cartago, 60 miles of San Jose, Costa Rica, May 25, 2007, photo by Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

    Report

    The Benefits and Costs of Decarbonizing Costa Rica's Economy

    Nov 24, 2020

    Costa Rica set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. An evaluation of the benefits and costs of its National Decarbonization Plan finds that under most plausible assumptions about the future, the plan would achieve or nearly achieve its goals and do so at a net economic benefit.

  • A house burning along Cherry Glen Road during the LNU Lightning Complex Fire on the outskirts of Vacaville, California, August 19, 2020, photo by Stephen Lam/Reuters

    Research Brief

    How Wildfire Risks Affect California's Insurance Market

    Sep 14, 2020

    Wildfires in California destroy thousands of structures each year, devastating homeowners and bringing heavy costs for insurers. And without an aggressive GHG emissions control strategy, climate change will likely increase the risk of wildfires in some areas. How will insurance markets respond?

Explore Global Climate Change

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Robust Decision Making (RDM)

    Decisionmakers often seek predictions about the future to inform policy choices. But a reliance upon analytic methods that require them can prove counter-productive and sometimes dangerous in a fast-changing, complex world.

    Apr 10, 2019

  • An aerial view of the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona. Photo by Jupiterimages / Getty Imges

    Journal Article

    Robust Decision Making (RDM): Application to Water Planning and Climate Policy

    This chapter presents two case studies that demonstrate how DMDU methods, in particular Robust Decision Making (RDM) (see Chap. 2), can help develop robust long-term strategies.

    Apr 10, 2019

  • Tool

    Tool

    Chesapeake Bay Climate Impacts Summary and Outlook: Winter 2018-2019: Seasonal 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 precipitation data are displayed via interactive maps.

    Mar 25, 2019

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2019

    This issue explores resilience and adaptation strategies researchers can pursue to address the impacts of climate change; security challenges posed by artificial intelligence and the speed at which technology is transforming society; and more.

    Mar 4, 2019

  • Blog

    Trump-Kim Summit, Climate Change, Zarif: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Trump-Kim summit, how cities can prepare for climate change, Mohammad Javad Zarif's resignation, and more.

    Mar 1, 2019

  • Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

    Essay

    Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

    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.

    Feb 26, 2019

  • Journal Article

    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

  • Blog

    Korea, Climate, AI in the Classroom: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on four problems on the Korean Peninsula, triaging climate change, using artificial intelligence in the classroom, and more.

    Jan 25, 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

    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

    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

    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

  • Journal Article

    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

  • 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