Training module on climate analysis (I)Presentation Transcript
Climate Analysis: using data to
inform adaptation strategies.
Climate Adaptation training in the Philippines – SEI Oxford and SEI Asia
November 12-13, 2013
• By the end of this session participants will be able to:
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of several
different types of climate data.
- Develop clear messages on future changes in climate
which account for uncertainty.
- Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of
different adaptation options in regard to different possible
• Climate Variability:
Variations in the
mean state of the
climate – natural
exists (e.g. wetter
years, drier years).
• Climate Change:
change is a significant
and persistent change
in the average
conditions or extremes
of a region.
• Two ways we can deal with a changing climate:
• Attempt to minimise how much change will occur, by reducing
• Attempt to minimise the negative effects of climate change
• Sometimes we can do both at once:
- e.g. Conservation agriculture can increase farm water availability at
the same time as reducing emissions.
For more on adaptation-mitigation synergies
• The data needed depends on the question (so frame the
question well first).
• Using multiple sources of information will provide a
better understanding of the issue.
• Always understand the past and the present before
looking to the future.
• Uncertainty can’t be avoided; there is a range of
• Climate change is the not the only issue (deforestation,
population growth, intensive agriculture. . .)
Frame the Question
• Who? Different groups will be vulnerable in different
• Where? The location and spatial scale are key. Are we
interested in changes at a national scale, to inform
policy? Or are we trying to implement adaptation in a
small rural community?
• What? Are there specific areas we are interested in, for
example how climate change might affect the growing
season for different crops?
• The more specific we can make the question, the easier
it will be to identify the specific changes in climate which
we need to understand (e.g. onset of the rainy season,
or maximum temperatures).
Understand the Context
• What is the current climate like – variability, seasonality.
• Are there cyclical patterns which affect the climate – e.g.
El Niño causing droughts.
• Is there evidence that the climate has been changing?
• Are there other factors which are important in these
changes? e.g. a decrease in water availability may also
be due to land-use change.
• A model is a representation of the
real world, it is not an exact copy
• Projections vs Predictions.
• We do not know which model is
‘best’; fit to historical climate is not
necessarily an indicator of quality
• Climate is a complex system –
there are a range of plausible
Data and Uncertainty
300km GCM resolution
50km RCM resolution
Downscaled data around Dumaguete
• Different types of data (recorded, observed, global
models, downscaled models).
• Good for different things; understand pros and cons.
• No single model is ‘best’ – look at projections from a
range of regionally appropriate models.
Data and Uncertainty
• Downscaling –
can be dynamic
• Important in an
Data and Uncertainty
Rainfall changes Mataram Station from 10 models
Cascade of uncertainty (Wilby and Dessai 2010)
• Many different sources of uncertainty, which get amplified!
• There will always be uncertainty – we can’t predict the
• For some locations and some changes we can be more
confident than others.
• Uncertainty doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to adapt.
• For the Philippines we have a mixed picture:
- Temperatures are clear; there will be increases
- Sea-Level rise is clear; we will have increases
- Certain impacts can be clear – e.g. there will be
problems from coastal erosion and storm surges, there is
likely to be coral bleaching and die-off.
- Rainfall changes are less certain: generally we may see
increases in Luzon and Visayas, and decreases in
Visayas, but different models vary. . .
- Greater intensity though.
• No evidence for changes in intensity or frequency of
typhoons in Pacific (historical record poor!)
• No change in frequency of typhoons in Philippines –
however, damage increasing (PAGASA)
• Projections: Uncertainty, but wind speed and rainfall
intensity likely to increase, frequency same or decrease.
• Unclear how tracks will change.
• Key is to choose adaptation options which are no/lowregret, and start by addressing current vulnerability:
- Create a plausible list of adaptation options (which are
- Based on data create a plausible list of future climate
scenarios (e.g. earlier start to rains, warmer, more
- Are the adaptation options negatively affected by
possible future changes?
- Which choices are least affected by differences between
Useful Data Sources
• CSAG Climate Information
• World Bank Climate Portal:
• weADAPT: http://weadapt.org/placemarks/maps/weatherstation/37891
• UK Met Office Indonesia profile:
• GTZ Adaptation to climate change on Lombok:
Exercise 1: Assessing data
• For Lombok identify 1 source of information on historical climate,
and 2 different sources of information about future climate. Assess
• What has been the historical change in rainfall and temperature?
• For 2050, what do the projections say about:
The timing of the rainy season
What do the different data sources agree on?
What do they disagree on?
Are there differences between historical trends and future
Write down 2 key messages about the future climate you would be
confident in using in your work.
Exercise 2: Robust adaptation
• Choose 1 stakeholder group from your case study
• Based on results from the vulnerability assessment, write
down a list of possible adaptation options.
• Using different data sources develop 3 possible
scenarios of how the climate might change.
• For each adaptation option identified score them 1-5 for
each scenario, based on how sensitive they are to the
changes (where 1 is not affected and 5 is very affected).
• How do the adaptation options compare? Are there
options which perform well under all 3 scenarios?
• What other non-climatic changes might influence how
well the adaptation options perform?