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Climate Risk Management: From Decision-Making to Basic Research and Back



3:30pm - 4:30pm EST


Meeting ID: 992 4162 6740
Passcode: 311021

Climate change drives considerable risks. Designing strategies to manage these risks poses wicked problems that require mission-oriented basic research. One key challenge is that projections about the coupled natural-human systems are deeply uncertain. Furthermore, we may lack actionable early warning signs to inform adaptive decision-making. In addition, stakeholders and decision-makers often have conflicting objectives. This presentation discusses approaches to improve the design of risk management strategies using two example decisions. First, how to mitigate climate change by decarbonizing our energy systems? Second, how to adapt to climate change by managing flood risks? Using these examples, the presentation reviews approaches (i) to improve our quantitative understanding of the coupled natural-human systems dynamics and (ii) to use this information to improve the design of risk management strategies.

About the Speaker(s)

Klaus Keller
Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Klaus Keller is a professor of geosciences at Penn State where he also directs the Center for Climate Risk Management. Before joining Penn State, he worked as a research scientist and lecturer at Princeton University and as an engineer in Germany. Professor Keller graduated from Princeton with a PhD in civil and environmental engineering. He received master’s degrees from MIT and Princeton as well as an engineer’s degree from the Technische Universität Berlin. His research addresses two interrelated questions: First, how can we mechanistically understand past and potentially predict future changes in the Earth system? Second, how can we use this information to design sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible risk management strategies? He analyzes these questions by mission-oriented basic research covering a wide range of disciplines such as engineering, Earth sciences, economics, philosophy, decision science, and statistics. He contributed to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-edited an open-source textbook, and published more than 100 peer-reviewed studies.


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