Climate Findings Update
Even if global greenhouse gas emissions were to stop increasing today, the climate would continue to warm.
That was the stark reality underlined in February 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).1
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The world is changing today in a way that has never happened before in the history of architecture.
And while prevention of the continually worsening scenarios that will accompany continuing increases in greenhouse gases remains supremely important — as witnessed by the attendance of 80 world leaders at a United Nations climate summit held September 24 in New York City — it is also becoming clear that architects and engineers can and should begin to design buildings for a changing climate.
But what, specifically, are the changes we should be designing for?
A series of climate research findings published recently add to the IPCC's more comprehensive assessment published earlier in the year. These combined data start to inform the forward-looking practitioner about what adaptive green building needs to take into account to be truly sustainable in the long run.
On such topics as sea-level rise, rainfall patterns, and droughts, the latest reports provide new details, based on the most recent data, to complement the broad findings covered by the IPCC report, which reflects an impressive but slow consensus process among hundreds of scientists.
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