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Missed it? Couldn’t make notes fast enough? We have video!


The CAC’s much-anticipated 2021 Florida Climate Forecast Conference is now in the books! The first in what will be an annual series, the 2021 conference was held in the Selby Auditorium of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in front of a capacity crowd, with many more livestreaming the event online. The conference featured 17 speakers and panelists, covering topics ranging from global climate warming to local sustainability programs.

The 2021 Florida Climate Forecast Conference was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Cumberland Advisors, the Global Interdependence Center, Sarasota Magazine, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Triangle Ranch, Tommy’s Express Car Wash, Best Weather Inc., Climate First Bank, Afina International and Atlas Insurance.


The following video introduces the conference, with an introduction by Rick Newman (Senior Columnist, Yahoo Finance), and welcome statements by Dr. Karen Holbrook, Chancellor, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus; David Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Cumberland Advisors; William Kennedy, Vice-Chair of Programs, Global Interdependence Center; Susan Burns, Editor, Sarasota Magazine; and Elizabeth Moore, Environmentalist and a founding member of the CAC Board of Directors. (Video of the entire conference is available on our YouTube channel – see the directions at the end of this article.)



As the title suggests, the keystone of the conference was forecasting the future climate of Florida’s west coast, based on current climate science and projected trends in climate warming going forward. In a pair of hard-hitting presentationsin the morning session, Climate Adaptation Center CEO, Bob Bunting, looked at climate warming’s wide-ranging impact on Florida to date, including sea level rise, red tide, human health, biodiversity and extreme events, including hurricanes. Considering the rate of climate warming to date, and the  commitments of the international community to address climate change, as of the 2021 U.N. COP26 conference, Bunting presented Florida climate forecasts for 2030, 2040 and 2050.

Rounding out the morning session were exceptional presentations by:

  • Dr. Matt Burgess, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder — Feedbacks Between Economic Impacts of Climate Warming
  • Dr. Robert Corell, University of Miami, Global Environment and Technology Foundation, and CAC Director — Attribution Science and Climate Forecasting
  • Keynote Address by Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Senior Resident Fellow, Third Way; formerly chief global economist, Ford Motor Company, and chief economist, U.S. Department of Commerce — Clean Electrification, Getting to Net-Zero and Pitfalls: Why we are not trading one problem for another.

The afternoon session was devoted to panel discussions:

  • Government/Sustainability Sector, moderated by Chris Castro, Sustainability Manager, City of Orlando
  • Academic Sector, moderated by Bob Bunting, CEO, Climate Adaptation Center
  • Private Sector/Finance Sector, moderated by Bill Kennedy, CIO, Riskbridge Advisors

Dr. Corell capped the days’ presentations with a brief wrap-up — Bringing it all together: Causality, Attribution, Scaling and Action. Bob Bunting closed the conference with a compelling call to action:

In this country, we’re great at reacting to disasters and terrible at preparing for one…We have to be better. We have to put that in the past and begin to prepare.

Bob Bunting, CEO, Climate Adaptation Center, interviewed by Josh Fiallo, Tampa Bay Times

How To View the Conference

The entire conference can be viewed on our YouTube channel. Follow the link to the YouTube page for The Climate Adaptation Center, click on Playlists. On the Playlist page, select the 2021 Florida Climate Forecast. The playlist breaks down the conference video into 14 stand-alone segments — identified as Part 1, Part 2, etc. You can view them in any order you wish, but if you want to re-create the flow of the conference, view them in order of their “Part” numbers.

Want to Get Involved?

We are committed to providing the kind of up to date, actionable information exemplified by this conference, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our donors, members, partners and sponsors. If you would like to help the Climate Adaptation Center to grow and to continue to provide a source for Florida-focused, actionable climate-related information, please consider donating or becoming a member of the CAC.

Our corporate and institutional partners also play a key role, involving the business and academic sectors in the CAC goal of fostering the Climate Economy. If your company would like to learn more about how the CAC can work with you, consider joining our Corporate Partners Group.


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