The second volume of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which addresses impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, was produced by IPCC Working Group II in 2007. It summarizes the likely impacts of climate change already under way and the potential for adaptation to reduce vulnerability to, and the risks of, climate change. The IPCC assessment reports are produced through a uniquely rigorous, international, and consensus-based process that includes both government representatives and scientific experts. As such, it provides a powerful impetus for the identification of clear social needs and associated research priorities.
In March 2008 a panel under the auspices of the NRC’s Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change convened lead U.S. authors of the IPCC Working Group II report, federal agency representatives, and other interested individuals to discuss next steps in the development of a needs-driven research agenda on climate change vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation. Formal workshop presentations were augmented by extended discussions, all of which are summarized in this report. Although this report identifies themes that were expressed by several of the workshop participants, it cannot be construed as a consensus statement.
The next section of this report summarizes the introductory remarks and six presentations that began the workshop. The following three sections present the discussions, organized by topic. The last section covers the final workshop session. The Appendix lists the workshop participants.