Climate change and risks

Fires, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, extreme precipitation, coastal erosion, avalanches, and melting glaciers—climate change will intensify all these phenomena. Because it affects the entire world, climate change will exacerbate current threats to the environment, biodiversity, and society; it will also create entirely new risks. INRAE is focused on understanding how the climate is shifting, including towards more frequent and intense extreme weather events (e.g., heat waves, cold snaps), and how these shifts will affect agriculture, food production, forestry systems, water resources, waste management, and the health of plants, animals, and humans. The objective is to limit the impacts of climate change as well as to develop food systems that are adapted to new conditions. In tandem, it will be important to simultaneously reduce ecosystem vulnerability and increase ecosystem resilience. INRAE will accomplish these tasks by generating scientific knowledge and informing public policies. The institute will also help prevent and manage climate risks.

Facing climate change and managing risks

Climate change is leading to the greater frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves, droughts, and extreme precipitation events. Climate seasonality has been disrupted.

As a result, natural risks (e.g., droughts, floods, fires), health risks (e.g., biological invasions, pandemics), and socio-economic risks (e.g., market instability) have increased. There are significant threats to food systems, water resources, soil resources, means of subsistence within populations, infrastructures, human health, and ecosystem health.

INRAE is carrying out interdisciplinary research on the causes and consequences of climate change using experiments, modelling, and long-term observational data. Working with its partners and a diversity of stakeholders, the institute is helping design and implement sustainable solutions to the transitions that the world must undertake. These solutions must limit the effects of climate change, fuel adaptations to new conditions, and both prevent and manage climate risks.

Key results

Our fields of research

Our research focuses on the causes of climate change and its impacts, as well as conceptualising and implementing means for mitigation and adaptation, including carbon sequestration and biomass storage, agrifood system and ecosystem adaptation, and water and resource management. We work on understanding, preventing and managing natural, health and socio-economic risks and how they are interrelated to promote multi-hazard risk management. 

> Read reports and emblematic cases from our research in these areas. New issues will regularly be posted for this topic.

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Sylvain Delzon, tackling drought, root and branch
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Lisa Wingate : Research , full speed ahead!
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Maria-Helena Ramos, how to keep your head above water ?