Towards a Thriving Planet: Charting the Course Across Scales

Motivation for theme: 

Society today is facing pressing global environmental change that is manifesting across spatial and temporal scales in complex ways in the coupled Earth System. Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, and wildfires are likely to exacerbate impacts on regional and local spatial scales. On longer timescales, communities are increasingly facing chronic stressors such as drought, ecosystem transformation, and sea level rise.  Climate change is also taking a toll on human health and well-being. The annual cost of weather and climate disasters is on the rise; such events reduce property values, raise the costs of insurance, and pose national and global economic risks from supply chain disruptions to forced human migration. 

The AMS community has tremendous expertise and capability to provide actionable science for society-at-large to chart a future course for a more hopeful and thriving planet. This sustainable future requires enhanced resilience through robust adaptation and mitigation techniques rooted in evidence-based science, applications, and services. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work as the nature of stakeholder interactions, priorities, and needs vary substantially at local, regional, and global scales and across distinct timescales. For example, storm surge associated with extreme precipitation events may be exacerbated by sea level rise and result in unevenly distributed impacts to local communities and infrastructure. Regionally, shifts in the intensity, frequency, and extent of drought events coupled with long-term aridification,  may exacerbate water stress in places already experiencing water scarcity, affecting agriculture, industry, and human settlements and potentially leading to conflicts over resources. Globally, climate change will have significant economic consequences, including damage to infrastructure, increased healthcare costs, reduced agricultural productivity, and increased vulnerability for those already facing hardships.  

These challenges are interconnected and addressing them requires collaborative efforts at and across scales. Place-based lessons learned and best practices, such as an improved understanding of communication of forecasts to local communities, can inform directions and pathways in other geographies. The Earth System has no national and international boundaries, and processes, phenomena, impacts, and consequences need to be considered in a global context. Scientists and practitioners must work together to address both acute (e.g., weather extremes) and chronic (e.g., sea level rise, prolonged drought) environmental stressors to lead us towards a thriving planet. 

The AMS community plays a vital role ranging from research to applications to services to policy-relevant science. The goals of the 2025 AMS Annual Meeting are: 

  1. To assess how the state-of-science, -practice, and -art can be brought to bear in addressing the afore-mentioned challenges; and

  2. To identify remaining challenges that need to be resolved in the journey to achieve resilient communities and a thriving planet. 

The scope of the 2025 AMS annual meeting will include, but not be limited, to the following topics:

  • At local scales, actionable science informed by stakeholder interactions and co-production of knowledge.

  • At regional scales, sharing of knowledge, tools, and techniques across the footprint of a critical process and/or phenomena.

  • At global scales, policy-relevant science that informs decision-making at national and      international levels and across geopolitical boundaries. 

  • Across time scales, improved usability of short-term deterministic forecasts as well as insights of the Earth System on longer time scales that enable decision-making within a risk assessment framework.

The annual meeting will be an opportunity for researchers, governments and private industry to share knowledge and address challenges of integrating research and societal decision-making through collaboration.  The training and development of the next-generation workforce for the enterprise will be a crosscutting theme across sectors.