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Climate change and sea-level rise:
seaports, security and stresses
Jean Palutikof
National Climate Change Adaptation Resea...
NCCARF: who we are, what we do
• Set up by the Federal Government in
2008 to provide decision makers with the
knowledge an...
What is the IPCC?
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change
• Set up by the UN to provide climate
information to underpi...
Seaports, security and stresses
Five messages:
First human-induced climate change
Second sea levels – what’s happening
Thi...
1. The climate is changing and
will continue to change
Climatic Research Unit, UEA
Atmospheric warming is almost everywhere
we have records, greatest over continents
Has warming stopped since 1998?
• World Ocean Heat Content 1955-2010 [Levitus, 2013]
The ocean accounts for ~90% of heat
absorbed by the Earth 1955-2012
(1022 J) Levitus, 2013
Climate change will continue into
the future
2. Global sea level is rising and
will continue to rise
The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been lar...
Future sea-level rise
Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century, and
at a faster rate than obser...
Regional sea-level change by end 21st century
Causes: Changes in wind and air pressure
Air-sea heat and freshwater fluxes
...
Other oceanic effects
• Ocean acidification
– Affects calcification amongst shell-forming species
• Ocean warming
• Wind-w...
3. Impacts in Australia will be mainly from
extreme events
A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency,
intensity...
Enhancing the resilience of seaports to
a changing climate project
RMIT University©2013 16
www.nccarf.edu.au
RMIT University©2013
Gladstone
• Bulk
- Coal
- Liquids
- Minerals
Sydney
• Containers
• Liquids
• Mixed trade
Port Kembla
...
Integrated climate risk assessment
hybrid vulnerability / risk management approach
Ports: key messages
• Ports need to work in partnership with other logistics providers and
local/state/national government...
4. The main impacts for Australia will
come from what happens overseas
• Australia is a rich, well-educated
democratic soc...
Trade: Global food trade and food
prices are impacted by climate
• Why does it matter for Australia?
– Three-quarters of A...
Global wheat prices [www.indexmundi.cpm]
Close relationship with El Niño events
Often a forecast of an El Niño is sufficie...
Security and migration
• Large-scale migration now
a permanent feature in
developing nations:
– rural to urban,
– to neigh...
5. At present, the greatest risks are from
climate change acting together with, or
exacerbating, other stresses
• War
• Po...
In conclusion – the five messages
1. The climate is changing and will continue to
change
2. Global sea level is rising and...
IONS Seminar 2014 - Session 3 - Climate Change and Risk for Sea Ports
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IONS Seminar 2014 - Session 3 - Climate Change and Risk for Sea Ports

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Speaker: Professor Jean Palutikof, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Griffith University

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Transcript of "IONS Seminar 2014 - Session 3 - Climate Change and Risk for Sea Ports"

  1. 1. Climate change and sea-level rise: seaports, security and stresses Jean Palutikof National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (with thanks to RMIT University – Jane Mullett and Darryn McEvoy for information on their Seaports project)
  2. 2. NCCARF: who we are, what we do • Set up by the Federal Government in 2008 to provide decision makers with the knowledge and capacity to effectively respond to climate change impacts • Based at Griffith University, Gold Coast • About to embark on a second phase, with an emphasis on working with local governments in the coastal zone
  3. 3. What is the IPCC? • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change • Set up by the UN to provide climate information to underpin negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions reduction • Assesses the science on a cycle of around 5-6 yrs – Fifth Assessment currently being completed • An elaborate process leads to government ‘accepting’ scientific assessments
  4. 4. Seaports, security and stresses Five messages: First human-induced climate change Second sea levels – what’s happening Third impacts in Australia: seaports Fourth impacts overseas: security Fifth: climate change and other stresses
  5. 5. 1. The climate is changing and will continue to change Climatic Research Unit, UEA
  6. 6. Atmospheric warming is almost everywhere we have records, greatest over continents
  7. 7. Has warming stopped since 1998? • World Ocean Heat Content 1955-2010 [Levitus, 2013]
  8. 8. The ocean accounts for ~90% of heat absorbed by the Earth 1955-2012 (1022 J) Levitus, 2013
  9. 9. Climate change will continue into the future
  10. 10. 2. Global sea level is rising and will continue to rise The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence). Over the period 1901 to 2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m (IPCC WGI AR5)
  11. 11. Future sea-level rise Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century, and at a faster rate than observed during 1971 to 2010 due to increased ocean warming and increased loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets. Figure takes into account thermal expansion, glacier and ice sheet melting (Greenland & Antarctica) IPCC WGI AR5
  12. 12. Regional sea-level change by end 21st century Causes: Changes in wind and air pressure Air-sea heat and freshwater fluxes Ocean currents Movements of the land and sea floor Changes in gravity
  13. 13. Other oceanic effects • Ocean acidification – Affects calcification amongst shell-forming species • Ocean warming • Wind-wave conditions in the open ocean • Storm surge and flood in the coastal zone – Rule of thumb: • 0.1m rise in sea level increases the frequency of flooding by approximately a factor of 3 • The effect is multiplicative • Increase of 0.5m will increase the frequency of flooding by a factor of approximately 300; 1:100 year event will occur several times a year ACE CRC (2012) Report Card: Sea-Level Rise 2012 p19 www.ipcc.ch Chapter 13 WGI
  14. 14. 3. Impacts in Australia will be mainly from extreme events A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events. IPCC SREX 2012 • Heatwaves –number, duration, intensity will increase - impacts on outdoor work conditions (high confidence) • Drought in southern Australia • Increased flood events • Possibility that cyclone tracks will move further south 2009 heatwave SE Australia Port of Melbourne tarmac melted 2010 - 2011 floods Queensland Gladstone Ports coal supply interrupted Port of Brisbane shut 2011 flash flooding NSW Port Botany operations interrupted Observed impacts on seaports:
  15. 15. Enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate project RMIT University©2013 16 www.nccarf.edu.au
  16. 16. RMIT University©2013 Gladstone • Bulk - Coal - Liquids - Minerals Sydney • Containers • Liquids • Mixed trade Port Kembla • Mixed -Agriculture - Liquids -Containers - Vehicles (RO/RO) 17 Port case studies
  17. 17. Integrated climate risk assessment hybrid vulnerability / risk management approach
  18. 18. Ports: key messages • Ports need to work in partnership with other logistics providers and local/state/national governments • Government regulation is necessary to support the process (public/private mix of actors) • Communication of the climate science is still an issue, apart from sea level rise which is well understood • Collection and analysis of data is important • There are many current opportunities to build in incremental adaptation, but transformational adaptation is still a bridge too far. • Low probability-high impact climate risks need to be investigated further • Just-in-time management leaves no room to move – pressure on productivity gains at a time when there is an increase in dangerous weather situations • Short term versus the long term (room to move) • Best practice builds adaptive capacity 19 Pasha Bulker cargo ship off Newcastle Source: The Age, 9/6/07
  19. 19. 4. The main impacts for Australia will come from what happens overseas • Australia is a rich, well-educated democratic society with high adaptive capacity • There are three areas where what happens elsewhere will have impacts – Trade – Security – Aid
  20. 20. Trade: Global food trade and food prices are impacted by climate • Why does it matter for Australia? – Three-quarters of Australia’s agricultural production is exported in non-drought years – Australia may benefit if other food producers experience adverse climate change – Conversely, it may be faced by rising global prices and diminishing national supply – Security implications – inflation in food prices triggered +60 riots worldwide 2007-9
  21. 21. Global wheat prices [www.indexmundi.cpm] Close relationship with El Niño events Often a forecast of an El Niño is sufficient to cause prices to rise Good news: nations have learned to maintain adequate stocks of grain, acting as a damper on prices – adaptation can and does occur 1996: Drought in US Mid-West, pessimistic forecasts, high global demand 2008: Widespread global drought, hike in oil prices 2010: Drought in Russia and ban on exports
  22. 22. Security and migration • Large-scale migration now a permanent feature in developing nations: – rural to urban, – to neighbouring countries, – into Europe, North America and Australasia • Climate change and SLR can exacerbate this trend – Small low-lying islands – Persistent extremes: drought, flood • Does climate change have the potential to cause conflict and war? Sub-Saharan Africa remittances
  23. 23. 5. At present, the greatest risks are from climate change acting together with, or exacerbating, other stresses • War • Poor and corrupt governments and institutions • Societies weakened by poverty, ill-health and out-migration Without these stresses, societies have the capacity and will to manage climate change An exception is small low-lying island states where sea-level rise exceeds capacity to adapt. More exceptions will emerge.
  24. 24. In conclusion – the five messages 1. The climate is changing and will continue to change 2. Global sea level is rising and will continue to rise 3. Seaports: Impacts in Australia will be mainly from extreme events 4. Security: The main impacts for Australia will come from what happens overseas 5. Stresses: At present, the greatest risks are from climate change acting together with, or exacerbating, other stresses
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