This workshop will explore the contributions
that software research can make to the challenge of climate change.
Climate change is likely to be the defining issue of the 21st Century.
Recent studies indicate that climate change is accelerating, confirming
the most pessimistic of scenarios identified by climate scientists.
Our past use of fossil fuels commit the world to around 2°C average temperature rise since the pre-industrial era, and, unless
urgent and drastic cuts are made, further heating is likely to trigger
any of a number of climate change tipping points. The results will
be a dramatic reduction of food production and water supplies, more
extreme weather events, the spread of disease, sea level rise, ocean
acidification, and mass extinctions. We are faced with the twin
challenges of mitigation (avoiding the worst climate change effects
by rapidly transitioning the world to a low-carbon economy) and
adaptation (re-engineering the infrastructure of modern society
so that we can survive and flourish on a hotter planet). [See Links for more info]
These challenges are global in nature, and pervade all aspects of society.
To address them, we will need researchers, engineers, policymakers, and educators
from many different disciplines to come the the table and ask what they can contribute.
There are both short term challenges (such as how to deploy, as rapidly as possible,
existing technology to produce renewable energy; how to design government policies and
international treaties to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control) and long term
challenges (such as how to complete the transition to a global carbon-neutral society
by the latter half of this century). In nearly all these challenges, software has a
major role to play as a critical enabling technology.