PCC Summer Institute

An annual 3-day event where faculty, scientists, graduate students, and invited speakers focus on how climate and our physical and human world interact. Each year a new topic, showcasing emerging knowledge and ways in which disciplines intersect, is examined. Always an opportunity for team building and for full discussion of the alternative ways that research can be brought to focus on the pressing questions of today.


Climate Change Impacts on 21st Century Food and Water Security

 A 2019 Program on Climate Change Summer Institute

11-13 September 2019

Organized by David Battisti, UW Atmospheric Sciences, with sponsorship from Seattle-based Vulcan Inc.

Hosted by University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratory on San Juan Island.

Climate change affects food and water security. The number of undernourished people has reached over 800 million, with the highest occurrence in regions where food availability is most threatened by expected future warming. A related problem is the influence of climate change on fresh water through direct effects on precipitation and evaporation and through altering storage in ice/snow and groundwater. The World Food Programme finds that climate change exacerbates undernourishment through effects on food availability, access, utilization, and stability. Population growth and increased demand for food is altering fresh water use and has created new demands for managing water supply and quality.

The role of climate change on food and water is much more complex than predicting global or continental trends. The choices we make about food production and water supply in turn can influence climate change.

Important topics for discussion include:

  • What is the role of changes in extreme weather versus climate long-term trends?
  • What methods of downscaling are best for predicting and preparing for the future?
  • How will the monsoons and land aridity change in ways that are important for food and water?
  • How does the diet we eat influence our greenhouse gas footprint?
  • How does agriculture influence climate change through changes in greenhouse gases, albedo and evapotranspiration?
  • How is freshwater storage in groundwater and ice/snow influenced by climate change?

Presentations will be given by about 12 speakers, with up to 5 speakers from outside UW and the rest from within UW and our local community.

Registration will be available 15 May 2019.

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