The IPCC 6th Assessment Report no longer discusses the “if”, but “how” of carbon dioxide removal to achieve ambitious mitigation strategies such as climate neutrality (IPCC, 2022; Pongratz, 2023). To limit warming to 2°C or lower, nature-based solutions will become a critical component of land and marine resource management by regulating greenhouse gas fluxes, improving soil health, water filtration, flood buffering, biodiversity habitat, and enhancing climate resilience through conservation, restoration, and improved ecosystem management of our landscapes and seascapes. However, the risks of maladaptation through unknown interactions and feedbacks between climate, ecosystems, and society may undermine the effectiveness of these solutions. This AIMES workshop seeks to identify key gaps in nature-based solutions research with an emphasis on process-based modeling and will build interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral efforts to bridge these gaps and advance our knowledge of interactions in human and natural systems.


Workshop Description:

The motivation for this workshop is to take a coupled Earth system and ecosystem services perspective to explore the benefits and trade-offs of nature-based solutions for land- and ocean- based climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. This coupled framing will assess the net effectiveness of ecosystem-based interventions and the response of the land and ocean carbon sinks to nature-based solutions for carbon dioxide removal. We will therefore bring together experts that bridge the IPBES and IPCC research communities to explore the interactions, limits, and thresholds of nature-based solutions at the interface of biodiversity, climate, and society. This workshop will further focus on understanding interactions among complex socio-ecological processes spanning multiple disciplines, systems, and scales with an emphasis on considerations of ethics, power relationships, and climate justice in addition to biophysical processes. Technology-based measures such as solar radiation management and direct air carbon dioxide capture and storage will not be a focus of this workshop.

The broad goals of this workshop include:

  • Assess how to mitigate climate change through nature-based solutions (e.g. improved management, nature conservation, and ecological restoration), accounting for biodiversity science and interactions with society;
  • Explore the expanding opportunity space for nature-based climate options to reduce adaptation gaps;
  • Highlight ways in which an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach may be used to constrain and quantify potential maladaptation and risks associated with nature-based solutions;
  • Identify entry points in process-based modeling and ways to integrate evolving observational datasets and knowledge products into modeling frameworks.

The structure of the workshop will be highly interactive with talks, facilitated dialogues and breakout groups. Workshop participants will share knowledge frameworks and together identify interactions or linkages and overarching framework principles for modeling nature-based solutions. This includes assessing limitations and opportunities in current modeling structures that affect our ability to make robust predictions and projections of an actively managed Earth System. In addition to bridging new scientific dialogues and interdisciplinary discussions, a main expected outcome of this workshop will be a perspective paper with participants from the workshop on the needs and demands for nature-based solutions research and modeling.

Organized by:

Members of the AIMES Scientific Steering Committee: Mark Rounsevell, Julia Pongratz, Yunne Shin, Pedro Monteiro, David Lapola, Patricia Pinho, Yuhan Rao, and Natalie Mahowald.