Global Climate Change

Featured

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 Joint Base Langley-Eustis and the Hampton Roads area, Virginia, May 20, 2018, photo by SrA Anthony Nin Leclerec/U.S. Air Force

    Essay

    Civilians and Military Collaborate to Address Climate Change

    May 13, 2020

    The Hampton Roads area in Virginia is home to more than 1.7 million people, a major port, and more military installations than anywhere else in the United States. Its rising sea levels and floods brought together civilian and military officials on a project to mitigate damage and foster resiliency.

  • A C-130J Hercules from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, sprays fire retardant ahead of the leading edge of the Thomas Fire, Dec. 13, 2017, photo by Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Environment, Geography, and the Future of Warfare

    May 11, 2020

    Some of the most significant environmental and geographic trends that could affect U.S. national security and the future of warfare are rising global temperatures, the opening of the Arctic, sea level rise, extreme weather events, water scarcity, and increasing urbanization.

Explore Global Climate Change

  • City global warming concept art

    Project

    Climate Resilience Center

    The RAND Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

    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

  • Journal Article

    Identifying Key Drivers of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Production

    Many policies in the United States, at both the federal and state levels, encourage the adoption of renewable energy from biomass.

    Jun 20, 2013

  • mojave desert in california

    Report

    Using RDM Strategies for the California Water Plan Update

    This report describes a proof-of-concept analysis using Robust Decision Making to evaluate water resource management response packages for California's Central Valley under future uncertainty for the California Water Plan Update 2013.

    Jun 13, 2013

  • Vietnamese woman paddling a boat

    Journal Article

    Flood Risk Management in Ho Chi Minh City

    Ho Chi Minh City faces significant and growing flood risk. Recent risk reduction efforts may not work if climate and socio-economic conditions diverge from earlier projections. Robust decisionmaking can help Vietnam's capital develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

    May 1, 2013

  • houses destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

    Commentary

    Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.

    Apr 18, 2013

  • white empty room with open door

    Journal Article

    Exploring Scenarios that Illuminate Vulnerabilities and Robust Responses

    Scenarios can be hard to employ effectively, particularly in the context of contentious public policy debates with diverse stakeholders. Building on work in robust decision making and themes from the decision support literature, the authors propose a new concept that envisions scenarios as illuminating the vulnerabilities of proposed policies.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • coal and dollars

    Commentary

    A Gradually Escalating Carbon Tax Would Allow Businesses and Consumers Time to Prepare

    A conservative, cost-efficient response to climate change involves sending price signals to people and businesses now so that they take steps to reduce emissions, writes Keith Crane.

    Mar 29, 2013

  • President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2013

    Blog

    The State of the Union 2013

    The 2013 SOTU address will be remembered for its impassioned call for greater gun control just two months after Sandy Hook. But President Obama's second-term agenda can be characterized by its sheer breadth, reflecting the broad range of policy challenges facing the U.S. today.

    Feb 13, 2013

  • An ocean gas rig emits plumes of smoke

    Commentary

    Global Methane Initiative: Converting Harmful Emissions to Usable Energy

    Carbon dioxide has garnered the most attention in the climate change debate because it accounts for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. But there is good reason to worry about methane, say Nicholas Burger and Noreen Clancy.

    Feb 6, 2013