Climate change: Extreme Weather - Adaptation & Mitigation


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Slides from the webinar featuring Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankaol and Dr. Kevin Trenberth addressing the intersection between science, politics and economics as they pertain to the impacts of climate change. Also, adaptations and mitigations of the impacts of a changing climate - with examples from the US and abroad. This panel brings together the expertise of a physical scientist and a social scientist to summarize findings from the recently released IPCC working group reports.

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  • Moderator introduction
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  • KEVIN: What is climate change and how do we know it is happening?
  • PATY?
  • IPCC reports – briefly mention the released reports
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  • PATY
  • PATY
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  • PATYThis figure offers a graphic illustration of location of extreme events and relevant vulnerability trends. The observed extreme events have not been attributed to anthropogenic climate change, yet they are climate-sensitive sources of impact illustrating vulnerability of exposed systems, particularly if projected future increases in the frequency and/or intensity of such events should materialize. The figure includes: A map (bottom) with population density at 1km resolution highlighting exposure and represented using 2011 Landscan data (Bright et al., 2012). A map (top) with significant weather events taking place during 1993-2013. The map only includes disasters with overall losses of more than $1 billion US dollars in US, or more than $500 million US dollars in Mexico and Canada, adjusted to 2012 values (Source: NatCatSERVICE, 2013). Hence, it underestimates the occurrence of disasters of small and medium impact, and it does not capture the impacts of disasters on populations’ livelihoods and wellbeing. Disasters represented by points that are located at the approximate geographic center of affected regions, frequently span more than one subnational jurisdiction (e.g., the 2012 drought affected 12 Mexican states, Annex Table).Four panels (right) with trends in socio-demographic indicators used in the literature to measure vulnerability to hazards (Chapter 13, Romero-Lankao et al., 2012): poverty rates, percentage of elderly, GDP per capita and total population (Sources: CEPAL 2013, Statistics Canada 2013, US Census Bureau, 2013).
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  • PATYAssessment Box SPM.1 Figure 1: A global perspective on climate-related risks. Risks associated with reasons for concern are shown at right for increasing levels of climate change. The color shading indicates the additional risk due to climate change when a temperature level is reached and then sustained or exceeded. Undetectable risk (white) indicates no associated impacts are detectable and attributable to climate change. Moderate risk (yellow) indicates that associated impacts are both detectable and attributable to climate change with at least medium confidence, also accounting for the other specific criteria for key risks. High risk (red) indicates severe and widespread impacts, also accounting for the other specific criteria for key risks. Purple, introduced in this assessment, shows that very high risk is indicated by all specific criteria for key risks. [Figure 19-4] For reference, past and projected global annual average surface temperature is shown at left, as in Figure SPM.4. [Figure RC-1, Box CC-RC; WGI AR5 Figures SPM.1 and SPM.7] Based on the longest global surface temperature dataset available, the observed change between the average of the period 1850–1900 and of the AR5 reference period (1986-2005) is 0.61°C (5-95% confidence interval: 0.55 to 0.67°C) [WGI AR5 SPM, 2.4], which is used here as an approximation of the change in global mean surface temperature since preindustrial times, referred to as the period before 1750. [WGI and WGII AR5 glossaries]
  • PATYNote that the ones in dark blue are of relevance for Boulder
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  • Locations of substantial drought- and heat-induced tree mortality around the globe over 1970-2011.
  • Table SPM.1: Approaches for managing the risks of climate change. These approaches should be considered overlapping rather than discrete, and they are often pursued simultaneously.Mitigation is considered essential for managing the risks of climate change. It is not addressed in this table as mitigation is the focus of WGIII AR5. Examples are presented in no specific orderand can be relevant to more than one category. (IPCC SPM 2014)
  • Responding to climate-related risks involves decision-making in a changing world, with continuing uncertainty about the severity and timing of climate-change impacts and withlimits to the effectiveness of adaptation (high confidence). Iterative risk management is a useful framework for decision-making in complex situations characterized by large potentialconsequences, persistent uncertainties, long timeframes, potential for learning, and multiple
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  • Climate change: Extreme Weather - Adaptation & Mitigation

    1. 1. Climate Webinars for Educators: Extreme Weather Climate Change Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation April 16, 2014 Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao and Dr. Kevin Trenberth National Center for Atmospheric Research Moderation and Organization: Deb Morrison & Dr. Anne Gold University of Colorado Boulder & Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences Produced by Kit Seeborg for Learn More About Climate Recorded at ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado Boulder
    2. 2.
    3. 3. What is climate change? How do we know it is happening?
    4. 4. Data from Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Lab., NOAA. Data prior to 1974 from C. Keeling, Scripps Inst. Oceanogr. Changing atmospheric composition: CO2 Mauna Loa, Hawaii Rate increasing ppm 390 380 370 360 350 340 330 320 310 1960 1970 1980 1990 . 2000 2010
    5. 5. Global temperature and carbon dioxide: anomalies through 2013 Base period 1900-99; data from NOAA Trenberth and Fasullo 2013 updated
    6. 6. Global Warming is Unequivocal IPCC AR5 Since 1970, rise in: Decrease in:  Global surface temperatures - NH Snow extent  Tropospheric temperatures - Arctic sea ice  Global SSTs, ocean Ts -Glaciers  Global sea level - Cold temperatures  Water vapor  Rainfall intensity  Precipitation extratropics  Hurricane intensity  Drought  Extreme high temperatures  Heat waves  Ocean acidity
    7. 7. Website for Climate Science for Educators Webinars ewebinars/extreme-weather
    8. 8. What are weather extremes? How are they defined in terms of social impact? What kinds of data do social scientists use?
    9. 9. Source: Skeptical Science
    10. 10. Changes in extremes Matter most for society and human health With a warming climate:  More high temperatures, heat waves  Wild fires and other consequences  Fewer cold extremes.  More extremes in hydrological cycle:  More intense precipitation  Longer dry spells  Increased risk of flooding and drought  More intense storms, hurricanes, tornadoes Major challenges for a water manager
    11. 11. Risk is the possibility of negative outcomes resulting from the combination of  hazards and capacities of exposed populations and  the interaction of broader societal and environmental processes that shape their experience of risk Hazards are probable or looming stresses people are exposed to • One-off extremes • Slow-onset events • Subtle everyday threats In our Framework Patricia Romero-Lankao, Sara Hughes, JorgelinaHardoy, HuaQin, Angélica Rosas-Huerta, Roxana Bórquez, Andrea Lampis (2012) and (2013) Vulnerability/capacity • Individual features (age) • Household assets (education, income, housing, social networks) • Infrastructures/built environment • Governance (territorial planning, services, pollution controls, ..)
    12. 12. (1) Text color denotes categories of vulnerability dimensions. Green = Hazard; Yellow = Exposure; Red = Sensitivity; Blue = Adaptive capacity/adaptation (2) Symbols in parentheses = direction of relationship between vulnerability and outcome (medium or high level of agreement only) + positive relationship (increases vulnerability); - negative relationship (decreases vulnerability); ~ no relationship Determinants of urban populations vulnerability to temperature across 224 cities globally Source: Patricia Romero Lankao, Hua Qin and Katie Dickinson 2012
    13. 13. What types of impacts of climate change have been observed? How well do we understand the risk and how predictable are events?
    14. 14. Climate Change Impacts 1) Climate change is not necessarily bad. There are always winners and losers. In some regions, a longer growing season is a big benefit. 2) But rapid climate change is always bad because it is disruptive. 3) We are adapted to our current climate, almost by definition. So in that sense change is bad. 4) But increases in extremes are hard to manage, and so certain changes can be costly and have big impacts: heat waves, wild fires, heavy rains, floods, storms, drought.
    15. 15. Observed impacts of climate change Widespread & consequential:  Increases in heat waves  Increases in heavy precipitation  Decreases in frost days  Earlier peak of snowmelt run-off  Declines in snowpack Source: Romero-Lankao et al.,2014 Wilton Conn. Heatwave July 2013 Alex von Kleydorff US Today Northern Rocky Mountains Scientific
    16. 16. Impacts from recent climate-related extremes in North America reveal significant vulnerability of places & people Figure: a map (bottom) population density at 1km resolution = exposure; a map (top) significant weather events during 1993- 2012 illustrating vulnerability; four panels (right) trends in vulnerability indicators. Source: Romero-Lankao et al., 2014
    17. 17. Projected Changes in Extremes
    18. 18. What is the risk of extreme events to occur? How well do we understand the risk? How confident are scientists?
    19. 19. Likelihood vs Confidence Likelihood Level of Confidence≠ The chance of a defined outcome occurring in the physical world. Is estimated using expert judgment. The degree of understanding and / or consensus among experts. Is a statement about expert judgment. Distinct concepts IPCC Manning
    20. 20. Why should we worry? Dislocation electricity, water,.. (extreme weather) (Land animals) people depending on them Urban elderly & poor (heat- waves) Fisheries (Loss of marine animals) Key Risks: Criteria • Impact – Large magnitude – High probability – Irreversibility • Vulnerability or exposure • Limited mitigation or adaptation potential
    21. 21. Why should we worry? Deaths, destruction (Coastal Flooding) Food security (drought, floods) Rural poor even poorer (water shortages) Cities (inland flooding) Sources: and historic-boulder-canyon
    22. 22. Can you discuss a couple examples of impacts of extreme weather in the US?
    23. 23. Super Storm Sandy: Oct 29-31, 2012. It was more intense with stronger winds because of climate change Sea level is higher => Much greater damage Hybrid storm: Over $70B damages >110 lives lost
    24. 24. U.S. Temperatures: 2012 Hottest year on record 362 all time record Highs 3,527 monthly weather records 0 record lows
    25. 25. U.S. Drought and wildfires June 2013 Dust storm Lamar, CO (June 15, Denver Post) Black Forest wildfire CO: >511 homes burned
    26. 26. You have shared some examples from the US – what is the effect of climate change on other parts of the world?
    27. 27. Locations of tree mortality induced by substantial drought and heat (1970-2011) Source IPCC 2014 Technical Summary
    28. 28. 2010-2029 2030-2049 2050-2069 2070-2089 20 40 60 80 100 PERCENTAGEOF YIELDPROJECTIONS 0 2090-2109 0 – -5% -5 – -10% -10 – -25% -25 – -50% -50 – -100% 50 – 100% 25 – 50% 10 – 25% 5 – 10% 0 – 5% Range of Yield Change Increase in Yield Decrease in Yield
    29. 29. Calgary, Alberta Canada Flooding 21-22 June 2013
    30. 30. What are strategies for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change?
    31. 31. Approaches for managing the risks of climate change
    32. 32. Climate Information System Trenberth 2008
    33. 33. Climate-change adaptation as an iterative risk management process with multiple feedbacks Source: IPCC 2014 Summary for Policy Makers
    34. 34. What are challenges with respect to adaptation to and mitigation of climate change?
    35. 35. IPCC reports are scientific in nature but often result in politically charged discussion – Can you speak to the tension?
    36. 36. Where do we go from here?
    37. 37. Website for Climate Science for Educators Webinars ewebinars/extreme-weather
    38. 38. Climate Webinars for Educators: Extreme Weather Climate Change Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation April 16, 2014 Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao and Dr. Kevin Trenberth National Center for Atmospheric Research Moderation and Organization: Deb Morrison & Dr. Anne Gold University of Colorado Boulder & Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences Produced by Kit Seeborg for Learn More About Climate Recorded at ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado Boulder