The São Paulo State Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP) has launched its own R$100 million, 10-year research program on climate change. The new Research Program on Global Climate Change (Programa FAPESP de Pesquisa sobre Mudanças Climáticas Globais - PFPMCG) will have three main components:
- an “observational component” - an attempt to improve the data set of regional climatic observations and paleo-climatic studies in order to reduce uncertainties about the causes of climate change in Brazil;
- a research component on the “science and climate policy interface”;
- a technological component for the development of appropriate technologies for both mitigation and adaptation in all sectors and activities.
Two calls for proposals with a total value of R$16 million have already been issued, with the funding split evenly between FAPESP and the National Council on Science and Technology Development’s (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq) Support Program for Centers of Excellence (Programa de Apoio a Núcleos de Excelência - Pronex). The first, worth R$13.4 million, will address six distinct themes:
- Consequences of global climate change in the functioning of ecosystems, with emphasis on biodiversity and the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles.
- Balance of radiation in the atmosphere, aerosols, trace gases [carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)] and changes in land uses.
- Global climate change and agriculture and livestock farming.
- Energy and greenhouse gas effects: emissions and mitigation.
- Climate change and effects on human health.
- Human dimensions of global climatic changes: impacts, vulnerabilities and social and economic responses, including adaptation to the climate changes.
Financing of future research in the program may be undertaken through cooperation agreements with FAPESP’s sister research foundations in the states of Amazonas, Pará and Rio de Janeiro.
In an article in FAPESP’s magazine “Research,” the new program’s coordinator, Carlos Nobre, explains why the program was created:
We notice the changes, but we have difficulty in defining whether they are the effect of global warming or deforestation. In Brazil there is a significant change of vegetation that occurs in parallel to weather phenomena and sometimes the signals are confusing … Since public policies need sound scientific knowledge, it is necessary to invest in studies in order to be able to assign the causes.
The program will particularly seek to map Brazil’s vulnerabilities to climate change in the areas of health, agriculture, water resources and renewable energy.