Manfred Stock

Potsdam Institute for Climate Research

"Predictions, projections, and perspectives of climate change"

Professor Stock gave a thought-provoking speech based on the accumulating knowledge of greenhouse effects, global warming and likely consequences for altered distribution patterns of pathogens, in particular those transmitted by vectors.

The main message of professor Stock was that climate change is already here, but also that it is impossible to predict the future consequences. In stead, modelling exercises and research at professor Stock's institute in Potsdam are concentrating on creating projections or scenarios for future developments. Although such scenarios will not alter the fact that decisions have to be made under severe uncertainties, the only certainty is that waiting for certainty is no option.
One of the options using the research available is to assess the vulnerability of a climate-sensitive system consisting of e.g. pathogens, host organisms, environment and civilization with respect to possible critical climate stimuli. Such vulnerability assessments could identify adverse or beneficial measures showing perspectives of management options.

So to quote professor Stock: "We cannot predict the future, but we are able to prevent the worst!".