Climate Change in South Florida

In 2010, climate change research was designated as one of three FAU-wide Research Priorities. The Florida Center for Environmental Studies was chosen to lead this effort and created the Integrative Collaborative on Climate and Energy (ICCE).

The ICCE focuses on issues of adaptation in Florida's very vulnerable urban and natural systems. University partnerships with the Florida Climate Initiative and the University of South Florida provide a Florida-wide and Caribbean perspective. Cooperative work with USGS, SFWMD, USACE, Florida SeaGrant, the Four County Compact Group, and others provide a practical outreach for research findings. Education at K-12, University, and Community levels is an important component.

CES' Climate Change Projects include:

  • Integrative Collaborative on Climate and Energy - Launched in the summer of 2009, The Integrative Collaborative on Climate and Energy (ICCE) is a cross-university program creating relevant linkages across disciplines in order to advance basic and applied research in the area of climate change and adaptation. More than 100 faculty members in a number of climate change-related disciplines have been involved The initiative has so far included members of seven colleges (Science, Engineering and Computer Honors, Business, Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs) as well as HBOI, and there is potential for work with other colleges.
  • The Florida Climate Institute -Florida Atlantic University is a branch member of The Florida Climate Institute (FCI), along with the University of Florida (UF) and Florida State University (FSU), as well as three other Florida universities, forming strong coalition tasked with better understanding climate variability and change.
  • Research Priority Area, FAU, “Research, Engineering, and Adaptation to a Changing Climate” - The Climate Change proposal was selected as one of three research priority areas by the University. This award will foster academic research critical to meeting the needs of South Florida and other regions and environments susceptible to rapid rates of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Research universities, such as FAU with strengths in hydrology, engineering, and ocean sciences, will play a major role in human adaptation to a rapidly changing climate. The FAU climate change program is organized into three themes: (1) Human System Problem Assessment and Sustainability through Re-engineering and Adaptation, (2) Natural System Assessment, and (3) Education and Outreach.
  • Florida Department of Transportation Project: Methodology for the assessment and mitigation of sea level rise impacts on Florida’s transportation modes and infrastructure - A team of Climate Initiative faculty is just completing work on a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project. This is a comprehensive study of sea level rise regarding impacts assessment, mitigation and adaptation for Florida’s transportation infrastructures. The study includes analyses of the location of critical transportation infrastructure, the impact of storm water systems on that infrastructure and the potential for sea level rise to impact the structural integrity of the infrastructure.
  • SUS Climate Change Taskforce - In the Fall of 2010, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University and the University of Florida were awarded a one year Clustering Grant from Florida State’s University Systems Board of Governors for a project titled “A State University System Climate Change Task Force: Science Addressing the Needs of Florida Agencies, Industry and Citizenry".  The first SUS Climate Change Taskforce workshop was held on March 18, 2011. This workshop, summarized in this report, identified specific working groups who were tasked with writing several white papers. The white papers were completed in early 2012 and can be found at:

  • Climate Science Investigations: South Florida - NASA Climate Science Curriculum - CES Education and Training Coordinator, Alana Edwards, is working with Dr. Julie Lambert, College of Education, to support her recently received NASA award to improve climate science literacy of young adults. Having recently coordinated the new Ocean Energy Technology curriculum for FAU/SNMREC, CES is strategically placed to assist Dr. Lambert with the development of the NASA Climate Change curriculum. During this first year of the three-year project, CES is developing outreach materials, assisting in writing five curriculum modules, researching climate education websites, creating a literature review on scientific argumentation and creating an annotated bibliography of climate change educational books.
  • Climate Change Publications - CES' has developed a variety of publications including reports, white papers, etc. focused on climate change.

For more information about CES' Climate Change Projects, please contact:
Mary Beth Hartman 
(954) 236-1203

 Last Modified 4/3/23