The Five Most Salient Issues

Important scientific, technological, socio-economic, and public policy issues must be addressed for implementing adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change in the Great Plains. Among the most salient of these issues are:

  1. What factors and on-ground processes drive fluxes of aerosols and green­house gases?
  2. What are society’s options for managing these processes while balancing risks, costs, and benefits?
  3. What are the likely impacts and adapta­tion strategies for climate change?
  4. How can long-term success of carbon sequestration and other mitigation efforts be measured?
  5. How does biofuel production impact climate change potential and water resources?

Answers to these questions are needed to win the confidence and support of American citizens and policymakers for implementing adaptation and mitigation opportunities. The scope and nature of these questions call for an interdisciplinary research program on the role of terrestrial systems at regional and local scales.