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ic climate change society considers acceptable, then research tells While increasing effi ciency of resource use is essential to achieving us that about half of that atmospheric capacity to absorb society’s sustainability, it should be noted that effi ciency can counteract re- greenhouse gas waste has already been used. The current climate silience, a most essential quality in times of change and impending action discussion among politicians can then be seen as relating to breaks. Research must, therefore, also address resilience of natural how the rights to use the last half of the resource should be distrib- as well as societal and economic systems and strive for a better uted among current and future generations. Distribution of rights understanding of what makes systems resilient against what distur- to the Earth’s limited resources will be an increasingly important bances, considering different time frames and system borders. political issue in coming years and it is not clear whether or how they can be successfully addressed. Will it, for example, be pos- NEEDS AND SOLUTIONS sible to reconcile the aims of increasing food production necessary The research needs required to deal with climate change and for a growing population with the aim of conserving (and restoring) other resource issues are varied and at different levels of complex- ecosystems, while simultaneously striving for equity? Obviously, ity and ambition. The total set of research needs can be thought trade-offs and compromises are required, but how should they be of as being assembled in a sort of “knowledge tower.” The base chosen? More research in all disciplines is needed to underpin such of the tower consists of data collection systems while, at the very societal discussions, and a broadening of the discussion is neces- top are placed the grand societal experiment testing solutions sary to include the interdependence of global population size and developed on the basis of research. The content of such a the demand for global resources. knowledge tower relating to the climate and resource chal- lenge could include ground level (which should include major In terms of society’s short-term economic development, however, it infrastructural initiatives established by Horizon 2020): seems clear that there will be an increasing demand for technolo- gies and processes that increase the effi ciency of society’s use of •Monitoring networks (biodiversity, climate change; natural resources (energy, water, food, rare metals, phosphorous Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) etc.); etc.) and the development of alternatives for resources where demand is approaching supply (i.e. renewable energies instead of •Large-scale marine and terrestrial infrastructure for fossil fuels). Thus, research aimed at improving resource effi ciency climate impact studies; is likely to lead to products for which there will be a growing market. Further research into the design of recycling systems for •Establishment of a European climate computing facility key fi nite resources (e.g. phosphorous) will also help increase the providing both computational capacity but also a Euro- recycling-based, material part of the economy, which is likely to be pean “meeting place” for climate scientists, encouraging economically benefi cial in the future. the development of a truly European climate research community (i.e. a “climate CERN”); and •Provision for sharing of data, for example, meteoro- logical networks and others. 1st level: •Basic disciplinary research to develop a better understanding of interactions within the Earth system as a whole, including the climate system; CLIMATE 65


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