BurnerAcc202010 karma2021-09-07 16:40:30 UTC
Thank you for doing this!
There's a lot I could ask, but I'll limit it to the following: What do you consider the greatest information deficits in the climate adaptation field?
In fact, there are probably two ways to ask this question.
1) What would you say are the most important things climate adaptation researchers do not know yet, or do not know with sufficient degree of certainty? How can we improve and accelerate the existing research to address those?
2) What would you say are the most important things which the scientists know quite well already, but the general public does not? What communication strategies should be used to bridge that knowledge gap?
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BurnerAcc20204 karma2021-09-07 18:07:49 UTC
Personally, I assumed you would mention heatwaves in response to (1), after the recent heat dome in Canada led to another round of "models never predicted this!" articles (see here and here for some representative examples). Should I infer that we understand heatwaves better than those articles suggest, or that we simply understand storms even worse?
To put it another way: on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our level of knowledge in regards to storms, and then in regards to heatwaves? I feel that this would be a useful reference.
And some more follow-up questions, if I may.
1) What do you think of the recent calls for accelerated investment into supercomputers in order to create superior "local-scale" climate models? The BBC article in my second link lists several such calls from prominent scientists: this article shows the perspective of supercomputing experts, where they also call for greater synthesis of research, and potentially even a "Manhattan Project for climate modeling". Would you say that this is something that should be on the political agenda in the countries which can afford to do so? For instance, the European Union started the Human Brain Project nearly a decade ago, at great expense and with almost no measurable results so far. Could it redirect its efforts into more advanced climate research instead, and is it something average citizens should be demanding on a political level alongside the general mitigation/adaptation measures?
2) When you say "the interaction between ocean and air", what are the main mechanisms and regions to watch out for? I know that much of the focus this past decade has been on the potential link between Arctic sea ice cover (or, more broadly, the temperatures in the Arctic in general) and extreme weather events in midlatitudes, to the point some online commentators now refer to the onset of ice-free conditions in near-religious terms (one example of many from reddit). From what I understand, the subject remains hotly debated in the scientific community, with multiple recent papers being both for (here(https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abi9167) + here) and against (here + here the hypothesis. Another notable system is obviously the AMOC, although most research there so far appears focused on averages as opposed to extremes. Are there any other geographic areas you have in mind?
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