Research Proposal

The Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2) was established in 2013 with three primary objectives: 1.To deepen our understanding of Chile’s climate system, processes, and impacts and address the resulting socio-ecological complexities. 2. To strengthen the emerging community of natural and social scientists in Earth system science in Chile. 3. In collaboration with stakeholders, contribute to the definition of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures to build social resilience.

For its mid-term evaluation in 2018, CR2 committed to becoming an even more relevant actor in:

  1. The development of climate science and resilience in Chile.
  2. Strengthening its role in training new scientists.
  3. Contributing to the country’s objectives of achieving sustainable and low-carbon development in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

During the 2024-2025 period, CR2 aims to expand its research scope to South America, thereby laying the groundwork for future regional projection. The research proposal considers evaluating and characterizing extreme meteorological and climatic events, physical and biogeochemical coastal processes, and human activities that exacerbate the causes and consequences of climate change.

Concurrently, CR2 works to understand the risks and impacts of these events on populations and ecosystems, adaptive responses, and climate governance. Furthermore, the center seeks to establish new climate governance models, conceptualizing nature as an integrated and interdependent system that requires greater coordination among all actors to achieve transformative actions.

CR2 is organized around five complex research themes: climate variability, climate change, and social resilience. These themes are approached through disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies that explore various topics and seek to better understand the strategic development of research lines.

These issues are addressed using approaches ranging from disciplinary to interdisciplinary studies that explore diverse issues and seek to achieve improved understanding for strategic development of the research lines.  These problems are: water and extremes, coastal zone, land use change, resilient cities, and governance and science-policy interface.

Water and extremes

The research aims to understand the role of natural variability and anthropogenic factors (local or remote) as drivers of change in the distribution of extreme hydrometeorological events (frequency, extent, intensity) and their impact.

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Land use change

This line aims to design resilient landscapes that sustainably provide ecosystem goods and services to cope with climate variability and climate change.

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Resilient cities

The research team evaluates the resilience capacities of Chilean cities to climate perturbations in the present and under future conditions, assuming different emission scenarios and governance conditions.

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Governance and science-policy interface

The work stream assesses governance modes compatible with a low-carbon economy and consistent with the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Chile’s socio-economic conditions, emphasizing a robust and strengthened science-policy interface.

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Coastal zone

The research seeks to identify the mechanisms by which climate variability and climate change affect coastal processes relevant to the functioning of ecosystems and Chilean society.

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Simultaneously, to produce more knowledge that supports decision-making, CR2 generates integrative themes with an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, addressing integrative research questions with short- and medium-term objectives. These themes include:

Forest fires

The study of the 2016-2017 mega-fires in Chile in the context of the variability of fire regimes in recent decades is of global scientific relevance. The Chilean case study can be taken as a research model where key factors are found in its extremes (i.e., prolonged drought, high temperatures, and water deficit, a homogeneous and flammable landscape dominated by plantations). Understanding fire is also relevant for informing and interacting with policy and decision-makers in the public and private sectors responsible for fire prevention and suppression and for guiding forest management decisions to promote less homogeneous, more resistant, and resilient landscapes.

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Atmospheric pollution

Atmospheric pollution and climate change are inextricably linked and, therefore, must be addressed in a coordinated manner. By considering the linkages between these issues, comprehensive and sustainable policies can be developed that maximize the benefits of air pollution and climate change mitigation. In response to this context, our research will not only address the physical linkages between the two phenomena in Chile. Still, it will also seek to assess government structures and processes to jointly address air pollution and climate change and explore measures to increase resilience to these challenges. Particular attention will be paid to the links between mobility and air quality, the science-policy interface, and citizen participation to improve urban resilience.

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Water security

The study of water security can be approached from different aspects (e.g., water quantity, quality and accessibility, human welfare, socioeconomic development, ecosystem preservation, peace, and political stability) and from different territorial scales, all of which reveal different research gaps, impacts to be studied and interaction with global change. The general objective of the research in CR2 is to evaluate water security in Chile at the national, catchment, and local levels in recent decades, considering the climatic, ecological, and social factors that have influenced their trajectories, and to project water security levels in a context of adaptation to climate change.

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Harmful algal blooms (HABs)

The red tide occurred in summer and autumn of 2016 was the worst recorded in intensity, duration and extension terms in Chile. For this reason, (CR)² researchers was called to the Red Tide National Commission, by the Chilean government. (CR)² research aims to identify the climate attributes of the harmful algal bloom and improvement our short and medium terms capacities to predict, and then has a better understanding about the principal triggers of this events. The complexity of this events needs an interdisciplinary focus to improvement its understanding and also generate relevant science to elaborate public policies.

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