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Global Challenges of the 21

18 November 2016
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The third  permanent multidisciplinary seminar “Global Challenges of the 21st century” will be held in 5 May 2016, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Library Building, 4th floor, White Hall (71 al-Farabi Ave., Almaty, Kazakhstan).

Global change has become a fundamental topic in geographical science in the last decades. National Global Change Research Committees (WCRP, IGBP, DIVERSITAS, IHDP) are becoming together in a new interdisciplinary Committee (Future Earth) in order to study global environmental and social changes in a more multidisciplinary way. In this sense, Future Earth initiative was announced in June 2012 at the United Nations Conference on sustainable Development (Rio +20).

Biometeorology is an interdisciplinary science which has studied the interaction between atmospheric processes and living organisms -plants, animals and humans for decades. International Society of Biometeorology was created in 1956 trying to find answers to the main question of how weather and climate impact the well-being of all living creatures. Some examples of  topics which are considered by the different members of the ISB Commissions (Phenology, Climate and Human Health, Animal Biometeorology, Climate and Tourism…) includes:

  • - The relation between agricultural yields production and weather
  • - Climate change and emerging diseases;  weather and climate impacts on human health
  • - Shift for Vegetation geography due to climate changes in recent years
  • - Prevention of animal extinction by better understanding of how animals adapt to climate change.
  • - Seasonal changes of phenophases (including pollen production) due to climate change
  • - The development of biophysical model to explain atmosphere-physiology interactions
  • - Use of new technology (biotechnology, genetic engineering and modeling) for improving animal and human adaptation
  • - Development of early warning systems based on biometeorological forecasting

Most of the referred topics have a clear geographical dimension where social and physical dimensions are integrated. Nowadays, the new Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) is focused on issues such as Agriculture and Food Security, Water Availability and Health. This framework has generated a great opportunity to study global problems at different scales in order to mitigate environmental impacts and define strategies for adaptation to weather variability and climate change.

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