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Toward Greater Hazard Resilience in a Changing World


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presentation by Susanne C. Moser, PhD. at Sea Grant Week, 2010. Used by permission.

presentation by Susanne C. Moser, PhD. at Sea Grant Week, 2010. Used by permission.

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  • 1. Toward Greater Hazard Resilience in a Rapidly Changing World Susanne C. Moser, Ph.D. Sea Grant Week • New Orleans • October 19, 2010 Susanne Moser Research & Consulting University of California-Santa Cruz and Stanford University Healthy Eco- systems Safe & Sustainable Seafood Sustainable Develop- ment Hazard Resilience Photo:wikimedia
  • 2. Overview What I was asked to address What you’ll get…  The challenges ahead  Hazard resilience – what does that actually mean?  Is that really what you‘re willing to work for?  If so, what would that mean for your work?  Toward ―business-unusual‖  Trends and prospects  Visionary  Provocative  Challenging  Call for bold and innovative thinking
  • 3. Trends & Prospects: The Challenges Ahead
  • 4. Sea-Level Rise – Past and Future Historical observations (1900-2007)  IPCC (2007) +1.7~1.8 mm/year in 20th century (+3.1 mm/year, 1993-2007)  Chao et al. (2008) +2.46 mm/yr (corrected for water impoundment in dams) IPCC Projections (by 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)  TAR (2001): B1 – A1Fi 0.09 – 0.88 m (1->4x historical rate)  AR4 (2007): B1 – A1Fi 0.18 – 0.59 m (<1-3x historical rate)* --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Examples of more recent studies:  Rahmstorf (2007) 0.50 – 1.40 m  Dutch Delta Comm. (‗08) 0.55 – 1.10 m  Pfeffer et al. (2008) 0.80 – 2.00 m * Does not include potential but insufficiently understood contributions from Greenland orWAIS over 21st century.
  • 5. Sea-Level Rise: Growing Concern Unclear how near we are to the temperature threshold that could lead to irreversible meltdown of the major ice sheets Greenland ice sheet ~ 7 m global SLR WAIS ice sheet ~ 5 m global SLR Miami Greenland Antarctica Source:Nature
  • 6. Changes in Storm Regimes  Northward shift of extratropical storms  Some areas may experience fewer ET storms  Some areas may experience more ET storms  Intensification, but uncertain changes in frequency of tropical storms  Intensification increases the storm surge height, even without additional SLR Case study: Corpus Christi,TX (Mousavi et al. 2010) • Sea surface temperature ~ hurricane intensity • Surge increase by10-15% per 10 mb of central pressure drop (could be more or less depending on the hurricane, track, location etc.) • SLR alone affects surge height disproportionally, and more so in shallow waters than in deep • Flood elevation changes by 2030 up to 1 ft higher than present regardless of climate scenario; by 2080, 2->3 ft higher
  • 7. Growing Coastal Population & Development County growth rates of 10-15% from 2003-2008 (darker blues) Map: Crosset et al. (2005) Photos (l-r): Wikimedia, South Florida Water Mgmt District
  • 8. Coastal Population Density Photos (clockwise from top): FEMA, NOAA,,, Crosset et al. ,AAAS, CA Coastal Records Project, WA state iguide, Crosset et al.
  • 9. How Many Live in the Floodplain?  8,651,000 people, >3.0% of the total U.S. population, live in 1% annual chance coastal flood hazard areas (8,427,000, or <3.0% along non-Great Lakes coasts)  24,662,000 people, or 8.6% of the total U.S. population, live in census block groups that border the open ocean coast or that contain 1% annual chance coastal flood hazard areas  Less-frequent coastal flood events (e.g., 0.2% annual chance [500 y] flood) affect larger swaths of land and associated populations Source: Crowell et al. (2010),based on 2000 Census data and FEMA flood maps
  • 10. Loss of Our Natural Defenses  Loss of wetlands as buffers and floodwater absorbers  Erosion of barrier islands  Hardening of shorelines Wetland loss from 1780-1980 (Source: NCSU) Photo:FEMA
  • 11. Implications  The taboo is lifted  Climate change is real, happening, and human-caused  There is no quick fix, climate change will stay with us for a long time  Sea-level rise as one of the most direct and inevitable consequences of a warming climate  Climate change requires comprehensive response: mitigation and adaptation  SLR is one of the quantitatively most uncertain (and therefore scariest) impacts, yet acceleration is already evident and certain  Physical hazards will increase (on average); rare hazards will become (more) common  Population growth and development pressures ensure that cost of coastal disasters will increase, even before accounting for SLR Photo:MilaZinkova,Wikimedia
  • 12. You know… but does the public know?  11-14% say they are ―very well informed‖, 51-52% ―fairly well informed‖ about how the climate system works, its causes, effects, and potential solutions to global warming  If graded on factual knowledge, 8% would get an A or B, 15% a C, 25% a D, and 52% an F  Large majorities understand that land ice from Antarctica (76%), mountain glaciers (73%) and warmer ocean temperatures (60%) raise sea level. 76% also believe that melting sea ice contributes, and in fact contributes most to SLR.  57% do not know how much SL has risen from 1900-2000 or how much it may rise in the next 100 years  75% have not heard about coral bleaching; 77% not about ocean acidification Source: Leiserowitz et al (2010)
  • 13. Sea Grant Strategic Plan  Focus Area: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities Healthy Eco- systems Safe & Sustainable Seafood Sustainable Develop- ment Hazard Resilience GOAL 1 Widespread understanding of the risks associated with living, working and doing business along the coast. • Assessments of risk and information availability • Assess risk to marine enterprises • Develop compre- hensive education/ literacy programs on climate change GOAL 2 Community capacity to prepare for and respond to hazardous events. • Help decision-makers create, adopt policies, plans, etc. • Create, disseminate demographic and hazard information • Assess natural features and new technology to mitigate hazards GOAL 3 Effective response to coastal catastrophes. • Make hazard information available and relevant to crisis decision-making • Contribute to rapid response capability • Make SG local knowledge and contacts available Sound science Public literacy Participatory decisions Cross-cutting themes
  • 14. Hazard resilience – What does that actually mean?
  • 15. Origins and Contributions  Mathematics  Physics & Engineering  Ecology  Psychology  Military strategy  Hazards and disaster studies  Economics  Organizational studies  Livelihood & poverty field Photos(t-b),,,
  • 16. Different Notions of Resilience  Engineering resilience is the time to recovery—how long an ecosystem takes to recover following a disturbance.  Essence: Stability  End point: Back to normal, state prior to disturbance  Common in risk/disaster management field (―the capacity of a city to rebound from destruction”)  Ecological resilience is the amount of disturbance a system can take before it shifts into alternative configuration.  Essence: Variability  End point: Evolution into a changed system, sometimes degraded, sometimes more desirable.  Common in modern ecology, climate change context.
  • 17. Other Useful Definitions  The ability of groups or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social, political, and environmental change. (Adger 2000)  The ability to persist (i.e., to absorb shocks and stresses and still maintain the functioning of society and the integrity of ecological systems) and the ability to adapt to change, unforeseen circumstances, and risks. (Adger 2003)  Resilience consists of (1) the amount of change a system can undergo and still retain essentially the same structure, function, identity, and feedbacks on function and structure, (2) the degree to which a system is capable of self-organization (and reorganize after disturbance), and (3) the degree to which a system expresses capacity for learning and adaptation. (Quinlan 2003, Adger et al. 2005)
  • 18. Community & Regional Resilience  A resilient community:  anticipates: problems, opportunities, and potentials for surprises.  reduces vulnerabilities: related to development paths, socioeconomic conditions & sensitivities to possible threats.  responds: effectively, fairly, and legitimately.  recovers: rapidly, better, safer, and fairer. (Source:CARRI 2007, 2009) A valuable resource: Sources: DHS (2001);Blair Ross, ORNL; CARRI (2008 )
  • 19. That Raises Some Critical Questions  Anticipating: Are we providing forward-looking, integrated, multi- hazard information? Are we scanning the horizon for surprises?  Environmental, climatic, demographic and socio-economic trends on a crash course; neither alone has to be dramatic to cause big impacts  Return to pre-disaster normal = under-preparing for future  Reducing vulnerability: Are we focusing on those who have everything to lose or those who have the most to lose?  Responding: If a community depends for its resilience on internal and outside resources, and more and more communities will draw on them, what are the long-term prospects?  E.g., mitigation grants, recovery assistance, economic networks  Recovering: If adaptability and the ability to learn are at the core of resilience in the face of change, what hinders or helps learning and change? Are we supporting learning and change?
  • 20. My Provocation: Are you willing to work for resilience?
  • 21. Implicit Trade-offs of Different Approaches Approach Criteria Adaptation Vulnerability Resilience Stressors Single stressor Multiple stressors Multiple variables Spatial scale of implementation Sector focus Focus on places, communities, groups Large-scale coupled social-natural systems Temporal emphasis of implementation Short- & medium term future Past and present Long-term future Actors Public-priv. partner- ships, technology focus Public sectors, civic groups; human agency Civil society, public sector; agency weak Policy goal Address known and evolving risks Protect group most likely to exp. harm Enhance overall capacity for recovery, renewal Desired outcome Max. risk and loss reduction at lowest cost Minimize social inequity, maximize opportunities Minimize chance of rapid, large-scale, irreversible collapse Experience/ implementation Emerging, some responses well established Well established Emerging Sources: Adapted from Eakin et al. (2009),Miller et al. (2010)
  • 22. This Raises More Critical Questions  Resilience:  Are you willing to face the political pressure to live with ―smaller‖ hazardous events in order to safe-guard long-term resilience and sustainability of social-ecological systems?  Vulnerability:  What is an acceptable level of vulnerability?  Are you willing to work (or: fight) for the poorest, most disadvantaged communities against the most powerful forces?  Adaptation:  Are you willing to face the consequences of educating people about the trends, challenges and growing risks they are facing? Photos(t-b):flickr,ens
  • 23. The practical challenge: What does resilience mean for your work?
  • 24. Some Smaller Changes to Make  Understanding changing disaster risks  Strengthening collaboration and integration (disciplines, institutions, agencies)  Regular, periodic reassessments of changing influences on risk (climate change, societal trends)  Develop and provide user-friendly tools to assess which decisions are robust under various uncertain future scenarios  Providing effective decision support  Improving science-extension-practice dialogues, collaborations  Improving decision-relevant information and tools  Improving access to information, fostering need for information  Building capacity to learn and change  Assess what limits people‘s ability to experiment, take risks, innovate; remove these barriers, and provide incentives to change  Provide forums and promote regular learning and reflection  Provide input on all policies and management decisions that affect flexibility and robustness Source: Adapted from Mitchell & Ibrahim (2010) Photos(t-b):clipart,
  • 25. The More Ambitious Agenda  ReducingVulnerability  Engage communities in assessing their own vulnerability  Illustrate through research how injustice is bad economic strategy  Speak out against injustice  Build partnerships that focus on providing access to resources, services, assets, information for the disadvantaged  Educate and empower particularly those commonly cut-off from local and national decision-making  Working toward Resilience  Educate the public, decision-makers about resilience and sustainability  Explore how adaptation, vulnerability and resilience approaches can complement each other  Educate yourselves and model internally how to do integrative science, systems thinking Photos(t-b):DetroitNews,
  • 26. Toward “business-unusual”
  • 27. Starting in-house: Toward “business-unusual” Healthy Eco- systems Safe & Sustainable Seafood Sustainable Develop- ment Hazard Resilience Healthy Eco- systems Safe & Sustainable Seafood Sustainable Develop- ment Hazard Resilience
  • 28. Personal Leadership Source:Wikimedia Do you feel satisfied with what you have tried and done for coastal hazard resilience? What can you do differently? What will you do when you get back home?
  • 29. Thank you! Contact: Susanne Moser Research & Consulting Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Email: Web: Tel: (831) 427-2081 Photo:DanieldiPalma,Wikimedia
  • 30. References  Adger,W.N.: 2000, 'Social and ecological resilience: are they related?', Progress in Human Geography 24, 347-364.  Adger,W.N.: 2003, 'Governing natural resources: institutional adaptation and resilience', in Berkhout, F., Leach, M. and Scoones, I. (eds.), Negotiating Environmental Change: New Perspectives from Social Science, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 193-208.  Adger,W.N., Hughes,T.P., Folke, C., Carpenter, S.R. and Rockstro?m, J.: 2005, 'Social-ecological resilience to coastal disasters', Science 309, 1036.  CARRI (all), available at:  Chao, B.F.,Wu,Y.H. and Li,Y.S.: 2008, 'Impact of artificial reservoir water impoundment on global sea level', Science 320, 212.  Crossett, K.M., Culliton,T.J.,Wiley, P.C. and Goodspeed,T.R.: 2005, Population Trends Along the Coastal United States: 1980-2008 U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Silver Spring, MD.  Crowell, M., Coulton, K., Johnson, C.,Westcott, J., Bellomo, D., Edelman, S. and Hirsch, E.: 2010, 'An Estimate of the U.S. Population Living in 100-Year Coastal Flood Hazard Areas', Journal of Coastal Research 26, 201-211.  Eakin, H.,Tompkins, E.L., Nelson, D.R. and Anderies, J.M.: 2009, 'Hidden costs and disparate uncertainties: trade-offs in approaches to climate policy', in Adger,W.N., Lorenzoni, I. and O'Brien, K.L. (eds.),Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds,Values, Governance, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 212-226.  PCC: 2007, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.  Leiserowitz,A., Smith, N. and Marlon, J.R.: 2010, 'Americans‘ Knowledge of Climate Change',Yale University,Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, New Haven, CT.
  • 31. References (continued)  McBean, G. and Rodgers, C.: 2010, 'Climate hazards and disasters: the need for capacity building',WIREs Climate Change 1, 12pp.  Miller, F., Osbahr, H., Boyd, E.,Thomalla, F., Bharwani, S., Ziervogel, G.,Walker, B., Birkmann, J., van der leeuw, S., Rockstroem, J., Hinkel, J., Downing,T., Folke, C. and Nelson, D.R.: 2010, 'Resilience andVulnerability: Complementary or Conflicting Concepts', Ecology and Society 15, 11 [online] URL:  Mitchell & Ibrahim (2010). Mitchell,T., Ibrahim, M., Harris, K., Hedger, M., Polack, E.,Ahmed,A., Hall, N., Hawrylyshyn, K., Nightingale, K., Onyango, M.,Adow, M. and Sajjad Mohammed, S.: 2010, 'Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management: Strengthening Climate Resilience', IDS, Brighton: UK.. 8A7HMC/$file/IDS_Oct2010.pdf?openelement  Moser, Susanne C., G. Franco, S. Pattiglio,W. Chou, and D. Cayan (2008).The Future is Now.An Update on Climate Change Science, Impacts and Response Options for California. PIER Energy-Related Environmental Research, Sacramento, CA, CEC-500-2008-07 (with accompanying summary outreach brochure). and  Mousavi, M.E., Irish, J.L., Frey,A.E., Olivera, F. and Edge, B.L.: 2010, 'Global warming and hurricanes: the potential impact of hurricane intensification and sea level rise on coastal flooding', Climatic Change in press, published online 12 January 2010.  National Research Council: 2009, Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate, National Academies Press,Washington, DC.  Pfeffer,W.T., Harper, J.T. and O‘Neel, S.: 2008, 'Kinematic Constraints on Glacier Contributions to 21st-Century Sea- Level Rise', Science 321, 1340-1343.  Quinlan,A.: 2003, 'Resilience and Adaptive Capacity: Key components of sustainable social-ecological systems', IHDP Update: Newsletter of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change.  Rahmstorf, S.: 2007, 'A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise', Science 315, 368-370.  Vermeer, M. and Rahmstorf, S.: 2009, 'Global sea level linked to global temperature', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, www.pnas.orgcgidoi10.1073pnas.0907765106.