KNOWING: What we need to know

KNOWING: What we need to know

The latest IPCC synthesis report makes it even clearer: It can not be mitigation alone anymore. We need to adapt to an already changing climate. The research project KNOWING aims to find the most appropriate measures under the general condition of mitigation.

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We know the earth is heating up due to the emissions of greenhouse gases, we know the reason for the mess we’re in and we actually also know what to do: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically in the next years. So what is still left unknown? Why do we need KNOWING?

Millonig: Although many things are known already, there is a lot we do not know. What is still unknown yet is how to reach climate neutrality and at the same time how to adapt as best as possible to the changes that are going to come and which we cannot avoid anymore.

The main issue that we have to deal with, is that all adaptation measures are more or less also contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. So if, for example, we build new infrastructure to protect a region from flooding, or if we install new buildings for vertical farming, or if we install air conditioning because it is going to get hotter in the cities, the production and the installment and the energy needed is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

What we need to find out in KNOWING is how to reach climate neutrality, meaning to stop emitting greenhouse gases, and at the same time, how to make sure that the measures that we are taking to adapt to the different situations in the future do not contribute to more greenhouse gas emissions and will not jeopardize our efforts for climate neutrality.