Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Georgia Climate Project: What data sets are need to quantify the impacts of changing climate on our society?

We are winding down our look at the Georgia Climate Project’s Roadmap of 40 questions that need to be addressed in future research about how Georgia’s changing climate will affect agriculture, ecology, water, transportation, and other parts of society. This week’s question addresses the need for appropriate measurements and associated data sets that scientists can use to quantify how increases in extremes as well as average climate will affect our ability to produce power and food as well as provide water and healthy conditions for our citizens. Remember, you can see all of the questions at https://roadmap.georgiaclimateproject.org/. Just a few more to cover in the next few Sundays!

3. What are the appropriate physical parameters and corresponding observational data sets needed to properly characterize Georgia’s risk and vulnerability to weather hazards likely associated with climate change?

Why this question is important: Risk is often described as some function of exposure to weather-climate hazards (e.g., droughts, floods, storms, and temperature extremes), the vulnerability or sensitivity of people, infrastructure and ecosystems exposed to those hazards, and their resilience (KC et al. 2015; Kreft et al. 2014). To properly quantify the risk that Georgia faces at meaningful spatio-temporal scales, biophysical and social data, including robust and long-term meteorological, climatological, demographic, and economic datasets and projections, will be required. In some cases, new observational or modeling capabilities (Maurer et al. 2014) will also be needed to fill data gaps.