Selected Fields 2019

FUTURE - Combatting Climate Change

Future 2019.web

Climate change is upon us.  In response to the long-term increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), features of our global weather, oceans and ecosystems are shifting in important ways.  Combatting climate change requires avoiding future atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) if our goal is to stay on a pathway that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial values.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important GHG because it is produced by fossil fuel use which drives our global economy.  Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide are the next most important GHGs.  Avoiding emissions requires a portfolio of tasks including developing technologies and infrastructure to create and distribute carbon-neutral energy; developing governance and business frameworks that promote and support avoiding GHG emissions as local and national goals; and enhancing public awareness of roles and responsibilities in avoiding future emissions.  Combatting climate change may also involve conducting climate intervention to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to reduce warming by reflecting sunlight back to space. Climate intervention requires efforts to identify methods that are feasible at scales large enough to offset current warming while minimizing unintended consequences.

The 2018 Dan David Prize in the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to a visionary and innovator who has made outstanding achievements in research or technology to combat climate change by avoiding or reducing GHG abundances or their climate impact.