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In late 2000, the European Union adopted the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and funded a series of research and innovation projects to support its implementation. One of these was the MULINO project (MULti-sectoral, INtegrated and Operational Decision Support System for Sustainable Use of Water Resources at the Catchment Scale). Its main product was a decision support system (mDSS) tool designed to help water managers make choices related to WFD implementation in a participatory manner. After the end of MULINO, a long sequence of research projects allowed for the maintenance and continuous development of its tool, which has been applied for more than 20 years in various contexts related to environmental and integrated management. This experience and an analysis of the literature allow us to draw some general conclusions regarding DSS tools for water management and their role in our societies. Lessons learned are proposed, from the need to frame tools within sound methodological frameworks for the management of decision processes, supporting instead of substituting decision-makers in their roles, to the trade-offs that appear between ease of use and specificity on one side and flexibility and reusability on the other. The specific strengths attributed to mDSS include the provision of an interface based on a simplified and understandable conceptual framework that facilitates communication with interested parties, the flexibility and ability to approach a wide variety of decisional issues, the relatively simple and understandable decision rules provided by the tool, and the simplified connections with other software environments. This paper presents the current version of the software and reports on the experience of its development and use over more than two decades; it also identifies the way forward.
We summarize what we assess as the past year's most important findings within climate change research: limits to adaptation, vulnerability hotspots, new threats coming from the climate–health nexus, climate (im)mobility and security, sustainable practices for land use and finance, losses and damages, inclusive societal climate decisions and ways to overcome structural barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.
We synthesize 10 topics within climate research where there have been significant advances or emerging scientific consensus since January 2021. The selection of these insights was based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings concern: (1) new aspects of soft and hard limits to adaptation; (2) the emergence of regional vulnerability hotspots from climate impacts and human vulnerability; (3) new threats on the climate–health horizon – some involving plants and animals; (4) climate (im)mobility and the need for anticipatory action; (5) security and climate; (6) sustainable land management as a prerequisite to land-based solutions; (7) sustainable finance practices in the private sector and the need for political guidance; (8) the urgent planetary imperative for addressing losses and damages; (9) inclusive societal choices for climate-resilient development and (10) how to overcome barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.
Social media summary
Science has evidence on barriers to mitigation and how to overcome them to avoid limits to adaptation across multiple fields.
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