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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Cities as First Responders: Case Studies From the First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3)


Cities are emerging as the 'first responders' to climate change. Climate change exerts added stress on urban areas through increased numbers of heatwaves threatening the health of the elderly, the infirm, and the very young; more frequent and intense droughts and inland floods compromising water supplies; and for coastal cities, enhanced sea level rise and storm surges affecting essential infrastructure, property, ecosystems, and inhabitants. At the same time, cities are responsible for no less than 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Given current demographic trends, this level will likely only increase over time. The First Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3) provides city case studies from developed and developing countries that are leading the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing adaptation strategies. 
Bio:  Cynthia Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She recently co-chaired the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the Mayor to advise the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. She co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report, and served on the IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.