Georgia Tech Researchers Among Co-Authors of “Georgia Climate Research Roadmap”

Three Georgia Tech researchers are members of a transdisciplinary team of experts from across Georgia who have released the "Georgia Climate Research Roadmap." They are Brook Byers Professor Marilyn Brown (Regents Professor, School of Public Policy), Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) Fellow Daniel Matisoff (Associate Professor, School of Public Policy), and former BBISS Fellow Kim Cobb (Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences).  Also on the team is Jean-Ann James, a Georgia Tech Alum and former BBISS Post-Doctoral Fellow, now with the Turner Foundation.

The Roadmap is designed to help policymakers, researchers, and citizens to better understand how climate change is likely to unfold in Georgia, and what can be done to address these issues.  It consists of a list of 40 key research questions grouped across themes such as water, coastal Georgia, agriculture, health, and energy.  “We have taken an important first step towards ensuring the continued prosperity and well-being of all Georgians in the face of climate change,” said Kim Cobb.  Several of the questions also consider issues related to equity and at-risk communities.  The Roadmap, published in the journal Environmental Management, is an initiative of the Georgia Climate Project.

The Roadmap was developed by a team of 41 co-authors from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and industry.  The team sorted through a list of 180 questions that were submitted by experts across the state through an online solicitation process. "To our knowledge, we are the first to use this novel research prioritization methodology on such a complex cross-cutting issue at the state level," said Marilyn Brown.

The Georgia Climate Research Roadmap does not end with the publication of the 40 questions.  The initiative and website will serve as the basis for a climate information portal that will provide easy access to information on climate impacts and solutions in Georgia as more research and work is performed.  “Getting researchers and practitioners to converge on a set of policy and research priorities is a huge accomplishment and is great for our state. I hope that the Roadmap seeds a variety of collaborative research and policy efforts that can build on our momentum,” said Daniel Matisoff.

The Georgia Climate Project is a multi-year effort to improve understanding of climate impacts and solutions in Georgia, and lay the groundwork for the state and its residents to take effective, science-based climate action.  The state-wide consortium was founded by Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Georgia.  The Georgia Climate Research Roadmap is a non-partisan initiative which aims to foster discussion about how climate change affects Georgia and what can be done about it.

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Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS