Climate variability and change pose significant economic, food security, and environmental risks worldwide. Drought, storms with heavy rain, high winds, flooding, and freeze events cause billions of dollars in losses to the agricultural and natural resources sectors locally in Florida and globally. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that by the year 2100 global average temperature is likely to increase by 1.1 to 6.4°C (2 to 11.5°F), global mean sea level will rise from 0.18 to 0.59 m (7 to 23 inches), and increases in precipitation intensity and variability will increase the risk of both flooding and drought. The IPCC AR4 also states that many regions will experience considerable deviations from the global averages and there is tremendous uncertainty regarding the regional and local impacts of global changes. Some regions will warm more than the global average while others will warm less or even cool.
Much of the climate change information communicated to the public is based on IPCC projections that are both at the global level and relatively long-term (50 to 100 years). However, many climate stakeholders, including policy makers, farmers, and the public, also need information at local to regional levels and at shorter time scales. Climate stakeholders want reliable, scientifically-sound, region-specific climate information at multiple time scales to help evaluate various options for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Florida Climate Institute (FCI) fosters interdisciplinary research, education, and extension to:
To address the needs of climate stakeholders, the FCI will: