Impact of Climate Change and Variability


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Presentation made at GWP-C's Disaster Mitigation Workshop held in Guyana in December 2009.

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Impact of Climate Change and Variability

  1. 1. Module 3: Impact of climate change and variability <ul><li>Training Course on </li></ul><ul><li>Factoring Hydro-Climatic Disasters in IWRM </li></ul>
  2. 2. Goals and Learning Outcomes <ul><li>This module explains the impacts of climate change on water resources and its implications to disasters. It explores the ways and means of adaptation to the climate change challenges on disaster management. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of this Module you should be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Understand climate change impacts, the underlying risks and resultant challenges to water related disasters; and </li></ul><ul><li>2. Apply the knowledge gained in building the resilience of the communities against hydro-climatic disasters. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introducing the term ‘Climate’ <ul><li>According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) climate is a natural resource vital to human well-being, health and prosperity. It can be defined as the average weather situation at a specific place measured during a long time period (30 years or more). </li></ul><ul><li>Decision-makers use climate information to plan and adapt activities and projects to likely conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>People’s lives and livelihoods everywhere are affected by climate. The raising of atmospheric temperature, (also commonly known as global warming), poses a threat to society in a number of ways. A higher number of and longer droughts threatenmillions of people directly. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Climate Variability (Variation/fluctuation) refers to a deviation of climate from the long-term meteorological average over a certain period of time, e.g. a specific month, season or year. </li></ul><ul><li>Variations are a natural component of the climate caused by changes in the System/s that influence the climate, such as the General Circulation system. </li></ul><ul><li>At times the system/s is/are so strong / weak to give rise to extreme climate events. </li></ul>What is climate variability?
  5. 5. <ul><li>One of the systems that is known to result in some of the major fluctuations of climate in many tropical parts of the world is the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. </li></ul><ul><li>Warm ENSO event is called “El-Niño” while the cold ENSO is called “La-Nina” </li></ul>Causes of climate variability
  6. 6. What is El-Niño <ul><li>The term El Niño, (Spanish word for &quot;the Christ-child&quot;), refers to periodic building up of a large pool of unusually warm waters in large parts of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. </li></ul><ul><li>Takes place at varying degrees of magnitudes and periods. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is La Niña <ul><li>La Niña is the opposite of El-Niño </li></ul><ul><li>Used to describe periodic building up of unusually cold waters in large parts of the same ocean basin. </li></ul><ul><li>The atmosphere and the neighbouring oceans respond to El Niño and La Niña events in various ways </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>A number of climate variations(fluctuations) take place without affecting the overall average. For example, in a place, we may have a wetter than normal year followed by a drier than normal year but the average stays nearly the same </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Climate Change : Refers to a p ermanent shift in the traditional space-time patterns of climate , e.g. change from one climate mode to another climate mode, which is outside the normal range of natural climate variability, regardless of the causes. </li></ul>What is climate change?
  10. 10. Why “Global Warming” is the Inappropriate Term <ul><li>Climate change refers to the general shifts in climate, including temperature, precipitation, winds, and other factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming (as well as global cooling) refers specifically to any change in the global average surface temperature. </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming is often misunderstood to imply that the world will warm uniformly. </li></ul><ul><li>An increase in the average global temperature will also cause the circulation of the atmosphere to change, resulting in some areas of the world warming more and other places less. Some areas can even be cooler. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Global warming' is still often used by media and others to describe climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>There are two drivers of climate change namely: </li></ul><ul><li>NATURAL DRIVERS </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the variation of the orbital distance of the Earth from the Sun. This leads to the cold -glacial and warm inter-glacial periods. </li></ul><ul><li>Each period lasts about 100,000 years. The change is so slow that we do not easily notice. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to sun's activity: Solar cycle of 22 years or volcanic eruptions. </li></ul><ul><li>2. MAN MADE DRIVERS (ANTHROPOGENIC) </li></ul><ul><li>Greenhouse gases </li></ul><ul><li>Some land use changes </li></ul><ul><li>Urbanization </li></ul><ul><li>Aerosols </li></ul><ul><li>The increase in the CO 2 is predominantly because of burning of fossil fuels </li></ul>Causes of climate change
  12. 12. Greenhouse effect
  13. 13. Drivers of climate <ul><li>Spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation </li></ul><ul><li>Sea surface Temperatures (SST) – El-Nino and la-Nina </li></ul><ul><li>Temperature distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Evaporation </li></ul><ul><li>Humidity </li></ul><ul><li>Soil moisture </li></ul>
  14. 14. Climate change impacts on water resources <ul><li>Hydrological water balance of catchment </li></ul><ul><li>Highly seasonal hydrology as a result of varying seasonal precipitation </li></ul><ul><li>High rates of sedimentation of reservoir storage </li></ul><ul><li>Topography and land-use patterns that promote soil erosion and flash flooding conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Damages the water hydraulic structures </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution of water resources </li></ul><ul><li>Water borne disease </li></ul>
  15. 15. Impacts on other sectors <ul><li>Hydropower generation </li></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural production </li></ul><ul><li>Social economic sector </li></ul><ul><li>Heath sector </li></ul>
  16. 16. What are the mitigation measures? <ul><li>Climate change mitigation – Less emission of GHG, </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon trading (Global level), </li></ul><ul><li>Catchment management (local level) </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of hydropower for energy needs </li></ul><ul><li>Use of renewable energy sources </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement in early warning systems on intensity </li></ul><ul><li>Polluter pays principle should be enforced </li></ul>
  17. 17. What are the adaptation measures? <ul><li>Start planning for change by building resilience of communities to deal effectively with increased uncertainty of climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening the management of water resources to respond to water stress, increased variability and future uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking to understand the water resources balance at catchment level </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting interventions that encourage aquifer to recharge (soils and land conservation) </li></ul><ul><li>Minimization of pollution of water resources and water sources </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of water information database for monitoring, evaluation and surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Creating alliances and partnerships to share experiences and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Holistic approach in water resources management – Promotion of IWRM implementation </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>Climate variability is a normal phenomenon of climate system </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change and variability influences the well being of the society through interactions with their life support systems </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh water resources are highly sensitive to weather and climate </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change is likely to alter the pattern of fresh water availability </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation to climate change should aim at building resilience of communities to effectively deal with future climate change uncertainties </li></ul>
  19. 19. Exercise <ul><li>Purpose: To evaluate the current and future climate change impacts at the country level (See page 42 in your Training Manual) </li></ul><ul><li>Activity: 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>In groups of 5, the participants will discuss the climate change sectoral impacts as guided in the table below. Each group will appoint a Rapporteur who will present their finding to others. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sector Current climate change impacts Future climate change impacts if unabated </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>  Energy </li></ul><ul><li>  Transport </li></ul><ul><li>  Health </li></ul><ul><li>  Tourism </li></ul><ul><li>  Water </li></ul><ul><li>  Land </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>