Adaptation Strategies for Global Environmental Change

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The global environmental challenges society faces today are unheralded due to the pace at which human activities are affecting the earth system. The rates of energy consumption, nitrogen use and production, and water use increases each year leading to greater global environmental changes affecting warming of the earth system and loss of ecosystem services. The challenge we face today as a society is the manner and speed at which we can adapt to these changes affecting the ecosystem services we depend upon. Innovative strategies are needed to develop the adaptive management tools to integrate the sectors and science necessary to deal with the complexity of effects. Developing strategies to better guide decision making related to climate change trends into changing weather patterns at meaningful temporal and spatial scales are needed, observations and prognostic analyses of climate related triggers of threshold events in ecosystem dynamics, and transfer of knowledge between science, technology, and decision makers. These strategies need to better integrate science (physical, biological, and social knowledge), engineering, policy, and economics interests to create a framework to develop strategies for adaptation and mitigation to global change and to create bridges with institutions and organizations that deal with these issues as a governmental agency or private sector enterprise.