One MIT Climate Grand Challenges Project Forecasts Impacts to Improve Resilience

One MIT Climate Grand Challenges Project Forecasts Impacts to Improve Resilience

Last week, MIT announced the commencement of five flagship projects selected from its Climate Grand Challenges competition. The criteria: demonstrating the most promising concepts to tackle climate change problems. These multi-year projects will work as quickly as possible to find and implement solutions to unsolved challenges in climate change, such as reducing emissions, adaptation and resilience, risk forecasting, carbon removal, and understanding the human impacts of the crisis.

Among the selected projects is the Climate Resilience Early Warning System (CREWSnet), created by MIT and BRAC, a Bangladesh-based global development organization. The goal of CREWSnet is to predict the local impacts of climate change on communities and their livelihoods and use it to create climate resilience strategies to help people prepare for extreme weather conditions.

MIT: Reinventing Climate Change Adaptation | The Climate Resilience Early Warning System (CREWSnet), April 21, 2022.

Why This Matters

Many communities that are the most vulnerable to climate change do not have the money or resources to invest in climate adaptation programs. CREWSnet will work to improve the accessibility of predictive technology and the dissemination of climate resilience strategies. One of the project’s leaders, Elfatih Eltahir, hopes that by combining climate science and the socioeconomic impacts of climate change consequences, officials can make informed decisions about infrastructure, agriculture, disaster mitigation, and more.

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CREWSnet For Climate Migration

The forecasting capabilities of CREWSnet will not only help bolster climate adaptation initiatives; it will also identify areas that are better suited for climate migration. In places like Bangladesh, communities can build resilient housing, filter rainwater, and switch to crops that can survive seawater inundation in order to endure climate change conditions. However, adaptation may not be possible for the country’s coastal cities that risk being submerged in the next couple of decades. In this case, CREWSnet would identify the best areas for climate resilience and where people should migrate to. And in collaboration with BRAC’s Climate Bridge Fund, it can also help these places build infrastructure and economies in preparation for massive climate migrations.

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