MU conference explores the science, politics, economics of climate change

Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 8:44 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A three day conference hosted at MU is taking a multidimensional look at how the global community can not only adapt to climate change but profit from the experience as well.

"Adapting to Climate Change: Gaining the Advantage" was organized by MU Extension, which dedicates itself to making university research relevant and accessible to the public.

Panelists from the fields of climate science, economics, agriculture, social science and public policy took seats to discuss how climate change might affect the health and vitality of the Missouri region, as well as the nation at large.

"It's one of those issues you have to get people engaged with," said Conne Burnham, public outreach panelist and evaluation development specialist with MU Extension. "If you can't mitigate it, you have to look at preparedness."

Other panels Thursday discussed potential policy changes the public can anticipate with climate change, as well as the economic opportunities brought about by mounting interest in climate and environmental issues.

Anthony Lupo, an MU atmospheric science professor and "Research Priorities" panelist, said a major component of the symposium is simply to encourage experts across multiple disciplines to coordinate their research efforts.

"Some of the problems that have been highlighted here is that people in the university are not talking to each other, just because there's an emphasis on independent success in research," Lupo said.

He called climate change response a “multifaceted issue that requires a multifaceted approach."

The symposium began Wednesday and ends with two keynote addresses Friday morning.

Supervising editor is Jake Kreinberg.

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