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Software Research and Climate Change Workshop

Software Research and Climate Change
Steve Easterbrook, University of Toronto

This workshop will explore the contributions that software research can make to the challenge of climate change. Climate change is likely to be the defining issue of the 21st Century. Recent studies indicate that climate change is accelerating, confirming the most pessimistic of scenarios identified by climate scientists. Our past use of fossil fuels commit the world to around 2°C average temperature rise since the pre-industrial era, and, unless urgent and drastic cuts are made, further heating is likely to trigger any of a number of climate change tipping points. The results will be a dramatic reduction of food production and water supplies, more extreme weather events, the spread of disease, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and mass extinctions. We are faced with the twin challenges of mitigation (avoiding the worst climate change effects by rapidly transitioning the world to a low-carbon economy) and adaptation (re-engineering the infrastructure of modern society so that we can survive and flourish on a hotter planet).

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