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  • Author or Editor: Kathy A. Hibbard x
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Carlos Nobre
,
Guy P. Brasseur
,
Melvyn A. Shapiro
,
Myanna Lahsen
,
Gilbert Brunet
,
Antonio J. Busalacchi
,
Kathy Hibbard
,
Sybil Seitzinger
,
Kevin Noone
, and
Jean P. Ometto

This paper discusses the development of a prediction system that integrates physical, biogeochemical, and societal processes in a unified Earth system framework. Such development requires collaborations among physical and social scientists, and should include i) the development of global Earth system analysis and prediction models that account for physical, chemical, and biological processes in a coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–ice system; ii) the development of a systematic framework that links the global climate and regionally constrained weather systems and the interactions and associated feedbacks with biogeochemistry, biology, and socioeconomic drivers (e.g., demography, global policy constraints, technological innovations) across scales and disciplines; and iii) the exploration and development of methodologies and models that account for societal drivers (e.g., governance, institutional dynamics) and their impacts and feedbacks on environmental and climate systems.

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Sarah J. Doherty
,
Stephan Bojinski
,
Ann Henderson-Sellers
,
Kevin Noone
,
David Goodrich
,
Nathaniel L. Bindoff
,
John A. Church
,
Kathy A. Hibbard
,
Thomas R. Karl
,
Lucka Kajfez-Bogataj
,
Amanda H. Lynch
,
David E. Parker
,
I. Colin Prentice
,
Venkatachalam Ramaswamy
,
Roger W. Saunders
,
Mark Stafford Smith
,
Konrad Steffen
,
Thomas F. Stocker
,
Peter W. Thorne
,
Kevin E. Trenberth
,
Michel M. Verstraete
, and
Francis W. Zwiers

The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global warming is “unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, with discernible human influences on ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes, wind patterns, and other physical and biological indicators, impacting both socioeconomic and ecological systems. It is now clear that we are committed to some level of global climate change, and it is imperative that this be considered when planning future climate research and observational strategies. The Global Climate Observing System program (GCOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) therefore initiated a process to summarize the lessons learned through AR4 Working Groups I and II and to identify a set of high-priority modeling and observational needs. Two classes of recommendations emerged. First is the need to improve climate models, observational and climate monitoring systems, and our understanding of key processes. Second, the framework for climate research and observations must be extended to document impacts and to guide adaptation and mitigation efforts. Research and observational strategies specifically aimed at improving our ability to predict and understand impacts, adaptive capacity, and societal and ecosystem vulnerabilities will serve both purposes and are the subject of the specific recommendations made in this paper.

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