Purdue Climate Change Research Center

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Vulnerability Analysis and Adaptation Options

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities around the world.  While we continue working to unravel the complexities of the climate system and to find viable mitigation options, we are also focusing on building resilience to climate change; identifying vulnerabilities and adaptation options and building the capacity to manage the risks. 

Research Projects

Disaster Risk, Social Vulnerability and Economic Development This project, led by Gerald Shively, examines the extent to which economic development reduces both a country's disaster risk and its social vulnerability to climate-related disasters. The research team uses data from the EM-DAT database collected and maintained by the Center for the Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).  Read more…>>

Useful to Useable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers  Agricultural crops contribute about $150 billion annually to the U.S. economy, most of which comes from the intensely cultivated Midwest. The viability of this industry is affected by increasingly variable climate patterns. Led by Linda Prokopy, this project seeks to improve the resilience and profitability of farms amid variable climate changes by providing stakeholders with better decision support tools, such as predictive climate models, delivered more effectively. Read more…>>

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Climate Variability and the Poor in Southern and Eastern Africa The world’s poor are particularly sensitive to changes in the agricultural sector, both because the majority of the poor rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and because they spend a disproportionate share of their income on food. Work on this project, led by Tom Hertel, is helping to quantify the impacts of climate variability and change on the world’s poor on seasonal-to-decadal time-scales using a novel economic-climate analysis framework. Read more…>>

Natural Capital and Poverty Reduction Throughout the developing world, common-pool resources such as forests, pastures, and water resources contribute in important ways to the well-being of rural populations. Field studies show that income from resource extraction accounts for up to half of total livelihood for many rural households. The importance of resource extraction is amplified in the presence of risk, and such risk is expected to intensify as future climate change precipitates more extreme weather events, especially in marginal agricultural areas.    Read more…>>

Post-Disaster Recovery Far more individuals around the world suffer from disasters –slow developing ones such as famines, and rapid ones like tsunami, earthquakes, floods, and fires – than from commonly feared events such as terrorism. Scientists predict that the global cost of disasters, both in terms of lives and property damage, will increase in the future due to climate change. Despite the importance of the problem, we have yet to identify many of the factors that speed up post-disaster recovery. Daniel Aldrich and collaborators are working towards increasing our understanding of the interaction between the resilience of social and physical networks in improving post-disaster recovery.  Read more…>>

Conferences and Symposia

Building Resilience: Post Disaster Recovery in International Perspective: This conference focused on the advances and discoveries made in the social and physical sciences in the field of resilience, post-crisis rehabilitation, and rebuilding.  Visit the Building Resilience Conference Webpage for speakers’ ppt presentations and streaming archive video from this April, 2010 event.  A second conference was convened in 2011 to expand on these themes and explore the resilience of networks.  The primary goal of the Network Resilience Conference was to generate interdisciplinary approaches to networks within a variety of settings including energy, distribution, and transportation by examining both social science and engineering perspectives. 

Featured Paper

April 23, 2013
Climate change beliefs, concerns, and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation among farmers in the Midwestern United States pdf


News and Reports