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Advancing the Science of Climate Change
Evaluate trade-offs and synergies in managing agricultural lands. Improved integrated assessment approaches and other tools are needed to evaluate agricultural lands and their responses to climate change in the context of other land uses and ecosystem services. Planning approaches need to be developed for avoiding adaptation responses that place other systems (or other generations) at risk—for example, by converting important conservation lands to agriculture, allocating water resources away from environmental or urban needs, or overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. Integrated assessments would help to evaluate both trade-offs (e.g., conservation versus agriculture) and co-benefits (e.g., increasing soil carbon storage while also enhancing soil productivity and reducing erosion) of different actions that might be taken in the agricultural sector to limit the magnitude of climate change or adapt to its impacts.
Evaluate trade-offs and synergies in managing the sea. The oceans provide a wide range of services to humans, but conflicts over use of the oceans are often magnified because of the absence of marine spatial planning and relatively weak international marine regulatory systems. Efforts to limit the magnitude of climate change are causing society to consider the sea for new sources of energy (e.g., waves, tides, thermal gradients), while the opening of ice-free areas in the Arctic is encouraging exploration of offshore reserves of minerals and fossil fuels. Without analyses of the looming tradeoffs between these emerging uses and existing services, such as fisheries and recreation, conflicts will inevitably grow. New approaches for analyses of such trade-offs are needed as an integral component of marine spatial planning.
Develop and improve technologies, management strategies, and institutions toreduce GHG emissions from agriculture and fisheries and to enhance adaptationto climate change. Research on options for reducing emissions from the agricultural sector is needed, including new technologies, evaluation of effectiveness, costs and benefits, perceptions of farmers and others, and policies to promote implementation. Technologies such as crop breeding and new cropping systems could dramatically increase the sector’s adaptive capacity. Research on the role of entitlements and institutional barriers in influencing mitigation or adaptation responses; the effectiveness of governance structures; interactions of national and local policies; and national security implications of climate-agriculture interactions are also needed.