New UA Center to Offer Solutions for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Firefighters on their way to fight the Las Conchas Fire, which burned more than 150,000 acres in New Mexico in 2011. The blaze became the largest wildfire in the state's history at the time. Wildfires are among the list of risks the new center will help manage. (Photo: Kari Greer)
Firefighters on their way to fight the Las Conchas Fire, which burned more than 150,000 acres in New Mexico in 2011. The blaze became the largest wildfire in the state's history at the time. Wildfires are among the list of risks the new center will help manage. (Photo: Kari Greer)

The University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment is launching a new center that will connect and build on climate change adaptation projects, resources and expertise across campus. The center will work to provide solutions for some of the toughest challenges related to planning for and acting on climate change and weather extremes, such as drought, heat waves, floods, fires and severe storms.  
 
The new Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions will be inaugurated Friday with a panel discussion and public lecture on campus.
 
"CCASS will focus on generating new, use-inspired adaptation information and on ensuring that the latest scientific information is accessible and useful to a range of decision makers," said Katharine Jacobs, director of the new center and a professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "There is a lot of scientific and technical capacity at the University of Arizona; this center will help connect that capacity to maximize economic and environmental opportunities and manage risk across the Southwest, the United States and internationally."
 
The center will address local, regional, national and global adaptation issues, leveraging the UA’s decades of research and outreach related to living within the constraints of arid and drought-prone environments and understanding how human societies have adapted to climate stresses in different regions of the world.  
 
It will bring together faculty from different fields to connect research to real-world issues faced by land-use planners; forest, wildfire, and water managers; public agencies; businesses; utilities; farmers, non-government bodies; and private citizens.
 
"Although the traditional view of adaptation is of gradual and well-managed responses to trends over time, the reality is that extreme events and step changes – sudden changes in the climate and environmental conditions – are the real challenges for society," Jacobs said. "This area has been insufficiently addressed throughout the world, even in the face of extreme weather and sea-level rise that has already caused whole communities to uproot and move. One focus for the center will be preparedness for extreme events and rapid changes in environmental conditions."

Read more from this January 14 UANews article at the link below.

Date released: 
Jan 26 2014
Contact: 
Katharine Jacobs