As natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes happen more frequently due to climate change, more and more scientists, scholars, researchers, and activists are stepping up to find new and innovative ways to address this pressing global issue.
One of those people is Timon McPhearson, professor of Urban Ecology in the Schools of Public Engagement and Director of the Urban Systems Lab. McPhearson was recently nominated by Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (where he’s a Research Fellow), to be an author for the sixth edition of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Report. He will contribute to a chapter focusing on the impacts of climate change on cities. The report will be published in 2021.
“The hope for this work is to provide cities with the best available scientific knowledge on how climate change will impact them, which cities are most vulnerable, and the opportunities for adaptation in the context of sea level rise, changing heat, and precipitation patterns,” says McPhearson. “Ultimately the goal of our chapter is to assess the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.”
McPhearson plans to integrate learnings from the chapter into a class at The New School.
“Climate change adaptation and resilience in cities is a major focus of the work we are doing in the Urban Systems Lab,” says McPhearson. “One of my goals is to open up opportunities for students and faculty from across the university to join the work we are doing in the USL. Transforming our cities to be resilient to climate change requires an interdisciplinary linking of biophysical science, social science, design and systems thinking to help us make complex cities like New York more livable, more just, and resilient to climate change.”