Climate Change Impacts in the Americas: A Student-led Case Study Approach to Raise Awareness

Authors: M. Olivia Hubert*, University of Richmond, L. Nicole Maldonado Benites, University of Richmond, Evelyn H. Jeong, University of Richmond, Haley I. Neuenfeldt, University of Richmond, David S. Salisbury, University of Richmond
Topics: Global Change, Climatology and Meteorology, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: Climate Change, North America, South America, Latin America, Atlas
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Humans have caused an estimated 1˚C of global warming above pre-industrial levels with warming and associated impacts predicted to increase for centuries (IPCC 2018). The Americas, a region replete with biodiversity, large coastal cities, and extensive food production systems, has already experienced ecosystem disruption, sea level rise, and increased variability in extreme events among other impacts. The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) formed an Atlas of Climate Change in the Americas Working Group to strategize how best to raise awareness of climate change and climate change impacts in the Americas. The Atlas working group identified 11 climate change impact themes of particular importance to the region that can both capture the attention of Atlas readers while educating them about climate change risks, vulnerabilities, and adaptation. Eight students at the University of Richmond researched case studies of selected impacts in particular locations to provide templates for the proposed Atlas. The thematic case studies included changes in agriculture, biodiversity, climate-induced migration, food security, glacier retreat, hurricanes, indigenous livelihoods and sea level rise in locations in Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Perú, and the USA. Research results showed the potential of the Atlas project and the benefits of student participation but underscored the challenges of compiling and integrating analysis from disparate sources.

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