SNEAPA 2013 Thursday b1 10_30_tomorrows climate


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Planning for Tomorrow's Climate Today

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  • Source: IPCC, 2001: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Houghton, J.T., Y. Ding, D.J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P.J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C.A. Johnson (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 881pp.
    Available at:
  • In many projects, a complicated, expert-weighted GIS overlay can often drive much of the process. GIS has many strengths like being able to overlay and summarize many disparate data sources and identify spatial patterns and processes, but that can often mask more subtle nuances of the data sources that are important. The GIS component of this project primarily supported – not drove – the results. For example, the identification of geospatial data sets early on in the project occurred in collaboration with both project principals and stakeholders. This occurred in tandem with preliminary identification of a broad suite of ecosystem services that the site both depended on and provided. Subsequent analysis, mapping, and discussion helped to winnow down those services – and datasets – to those that were most important.
  • The data displayed in this map, for example, highlighted a key resource: prime agricultural soils – of which no more are being created and are at risk of being used to grow boring colonials rather than crops. It’s important for planners and resource managers to know this dataset exists; however, because of limitations of the data, the resolution of this data and the scale of the analysis, and the nature of the analytic process, maps depicting this dataset did not make the final cut into the report. That’s not to say that agricultural soils are not important – quite the contrary – but ultimately, the use of the map providing data in a spatial context did little above and beyond what identification of the resource in the text of the report accomplished.
  • In another one of the project’s landscape sites, participants opted for an overlay approach. In this area, they had the benefit of being able to rely on not just one, but several frameworks developed in neighboring areas to help identify data sources. These other frameworks relied on expert weighting schemes, which were ultimately discarded in favor of straightforward linear combination in our plan. In the Taunton River watershed plan, we instead opted for individual maps that highlight the appropriate resource – identified by that iterative process mentioned earlier – at the appropriate scale.
  • Data sources that proved particular useful came from:
    International sources like Statistics Canada, which provided cartographic boundary datasets good for large-scale locus mapping. At the national level, datasets like coastal boundaries for cartographic purposes came from the National Ocean Service. The U.S. Census Bureau provided both cartographic and statistical datasets, and the National Map provided additional cartographic boundary data. The National Land Cover Database was used. LandSat 5, and now the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, provided data we relied on. The National Highway Planning Network helped to provide good transportation network data which crossed state lines seamlessly for cartographic purposes. The results of the SLOSH model, provided in part by the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, were used for our coastal sites. NOAA’s Coastal Climate Adaptation program also provided useful data, as did the Environmental Protection Agency, relating to issues like sea level rise and storm surge. FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer and older Q3 data were useful as well. At the state level, geospatial repositories are constantly updating existing datasets and adding new ones, particularly LiDAR data but also environmental, infrastructure, hydrologic, and social datasets. Sometimes these repositories are very centralized like Massachusetts, while in other states – like Maine, and Connecticut, different agencies maintain their own datasets. In any case, it definitely pays to make contacts within various agencies as these can be helpful in procuring unique and valuable datasets. Many researchers at different universities are working on interesting ways to capture data and model various ecological and social processes that can prove useful. Local land trusts often keep data – as time and capital permit – at a local level which greatly supplements datasets at other scales. NGOs, like The Nature Conservancy, helped us and in general are often willing to share data, as are individuals within private sector like engineering firms and environmental consultancies.
    Ultimately, an important lesson learned in this project was that even for sites separated by relatively short distances, the ecosystem services these sites both provide and depend upon were of different relative importance. Also, because of various characteristics of project – either social fabric of a site or simply funding levels – the identification and analysis of those services cannot be made into a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • SNEAPA 2013 Thursday b1 10_30_tomorrows climate

    1. 1. Planning for Tomorrow's Climate Today Eric Walberg, AICP Senior Program Leader Climate Change Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
    2. 2. Manomet Overview Manomet is a non-profit based in Massachusetts, and our work takes us all over the hemisphere  We are committed to building science-based, cooperative solutions to environmental problems.  Our focus areas include-     preparing America for climate change, creating a sustainable relationship between our economy and the natural world, restoring and maintaining shorebird populations in the western hemisphere, and
    3. 3. Presentation Overview  Climate Change, Ecosystem Services and Adaptation  Taunton River Watershed Adaptation Plan • Green Infrastructure • Environmental Justice • GIS  Comparison of Challenges Presented by Two Sites  Group Discussion
    4. 4. Global Climate Change  Two factors differentiate the current situation with global warming from previous cycles   The rate of change is significantly greater than in the past The changes are occurring against the backdrop of unprecedented stress on ecosystems and the services that they provide
    5. 5. Vostok (Antarctica) Ice Core Data in 2050 470 ppm Today 2,400 yrs ago Image Credit: Source: IPCC, 2001: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis 5
    6. 6. Climate Change in New England The climate in New England is warming rapidly  New England is getting wetter and extreme precipitation events are becoming more common and severe  Projections are for both of these trends to continue, setting the stage for increased incidence of extreme heat and flooding 
    7. 7. Image Credit: New England Integrated Sciences and Assessment,
    8. 8. Image Credit: New England Integrated Sciences and Assessment,
    9. 9. What will Massachusetts be like in 2100? A: either Maryland or South Carolina n of Concerned Scientists. 2007. Confronting Climate Change in the Northeas t. ://
    10. 10. Sea Level Rise in New England Image Credit: New England Integrated Sciences and Assessment,
    11. 11. Image Credit: Confronting Climate Change in the Northeast, Union of Concerned Scientists
    12. 12. Ecosystem Services Those services that intact, healthy ecosystems provide to man  Ecosystem services are adversely impacted by multiple stressors including urbanization, pollution, resource extraction, agriculture  Climate change is an increasingly important stresor 
    13. 13. Goal to identify ecosystem service impacts of climate change and adaptation measures that address Climate Change Adaptation Project Manomet those impacts  Vulnerability assessment followed by adaptation recommendations  Working at a set of sites in Massachusetts and Maine  Two geographic scales: landowner and landscape 
    14. 14. Landscape Scale Sites  Three landscape scale sites:    Taunton River Watershed in Massachusetts Sebago Lake Watershed in Maine Sagadahoc County in Maine
    15. 15. Landowner Scale Sites Landowner sites include forestry, agriculture, conservation lands and residential development sectors  Massachusetts sites: Century Bog, River Run residential development and Tidmarsh Farms  Maine sites: Allen Whitney Forest, a private woodlot, a cattle farm and an apple orchard 
    16. 16. Taunton River Watershed Overview      Located in southern Massachusetts One of three main tributary watersheds to Narragansett Bay 562 square miles 43 cities and towns National Wild and Scenic Designation
    17. 17. Taunton River Watershed Vulnerability      Sea Level Rise Fresh water flooding Rising water table Water balance issues Environmental justice concerns
    18. 18.  Behind the state in indicators of economic strength 2012: New Bedford and Fall River ranked as the Population ofhighest unemployment rates in the 3rd and 4th Southeastern Massachusetts state   Very diverse 2009: 25% of the population reported Portuguese as their primary ancestry; nearly 3% reported Cape Verdean heritage  Other fast growing racial Regional Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Southeastern and ethnic minority Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) groups include African Americans (+60%) and 
    19. 19. “All people have a right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts Environmental Justice (EJ)  Massachusetts EJ policy established 2002       Median annual household income % minority residents % foreign born residents English language proficiency 108 EJ communities within the state; 12 within the watershed (2000 Census data)
    20. 20.  Directs state resources to serve EJ communities across the state     Support for public participation/outreach Environmental Justice (EJ) Enforcement of environmental rules and regulations Investments in economic growth Technical assistance, grants, audits, etc.
    21. 21.  Additional considerations     Age Education Social Vulnerability Employment status “While social variables such as income and age do not determine who will be hit by a natural disaster, they do determine a population’s ability to prepare, respond, and recover when disaster does strike.” Oxfam America
    22. 22.       Per capita income % families below the poverty line % population not in the laborAnalysis Social Vulnerability force % population with less than a high school diploma % population that speaks a language other than English at home % population greater than or equal to age 65
    23. 23. Location Per Capita Incomea % Families % Not in % Less below Labor than High Poverty Forceb Schoolc U.S. $27,334 20.12 12.74 Massachusetts 13.54 Bristol County $33,966 7.45 32.30 21.05 Social Vulnerability11.31 Analysis $27,736 8.77 32.29 19.90 20.77 Fall River $20,337 15.30 10.08 17.78 a. Average income in 2010 dollars b. For population ≥ 16 years c. For population ≥ 25 years d. Spoken at home for population ≥ 5 years Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey 35.01 38.59 14.97 32.45 % Language other than Englishd % ≥ 65 years 33.47 13.85
    24. 24.  Results for Fall River 14 Census Block Groups met 5/6 criteria  4 Census Block Groups met 6/6 criteria Social Vulnerability Analysis  No overlap between EJ Census Block Groups (2000 Census data) Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey and 2010 Census Block Groups 
    25. 25.  Results for Fall River   6 Census Block Groups prone to flooding 4 Census Block Groups at risk to storm surge Social Vulnerability Analysis Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey and 2010 Census Block Groups
    26. 26. Incorporation and analysis of geospatial information GIS played primarily a support role  Data selection, map creation, and ecosystem service ID an iterative, feedback-driven process 
    27. 27. Incorporation and analysis of Example of a geospatial information map and data that did not make the final cut.
    28. 28. Incorporation and analysis of Summary geospatial information overlay Highlights “hot spots” of co-occurrence Tradeoff between simplicity and transparency of process compared to… Individual maps Allow focus to be drawn to appropriate area, resource, and scale Allow local experts to use data as necessary and appropriate to enact change
    29. 29. Incorporation and analysis of geospatial information  Data sources:  International • Academic  National • Local  State • NGOs  Private sector Different services are of different relative importance at different sites.  The identification and analysis of ecosystem services is not a one-size
    30. 30. TO ADAPT OR NOT – A TALE OF TWO SITES Hector Galbraith, PhD EcoSolutions October 2013
    31. 31. WHY ADAPT?  Track record on mitigation is not great!  Conserve threatened and sensitive resources  Need to deal with changes that are already occurring  Locked into another couple of decades of change
    32. 32. WHERE SHOULD WE ADAPT - A TALE OF TWO SITES Allen-Whitney Forest, ME •700 acre parcel •Mainly northern hardwood forest •Managed for forest products by NEFF •Supports diverse wildlife community
    33. 33. A TALE OF TWO SITES •Invasive species •Pests •Motorized recreation
    34. 34. A TALE OF TWO SITES Japanese barberry
    35. 35. ADAPTATION AT ALLENWHITNEY       Already managed landscape Already control other stressors Foundational species not vulnerable To do: modify age structure of forest Big $$$/time investment not required Yes we can!
    40. 40. Coastal Plain Pond
    41. 41. CENTURY BOG  Major restoration – how?  We are attempting to safeguard extremely sensitive species and thermal habitat  Can it be done?  Is it worth it?
    45. 45. COMPLICATIONS AT CENTURY BOG  Sticker shock - $3m over 7-8 years  Non-climate stressors - Dieldrin
    46. 46. SHOULD WE ADAPT: COSTBENEFIT ANALYSIS  “value” of targets versus:   $$$ costs and competing uses for funding Likelihood of success • Sensitivity of targets and magnitude of projected change • Technical feasibility • Guarantee of long-term funding? • Complication of other stressors?  Alternative success measures  Vulnerability analysis
    47. 47. SHOULD WE ADAPT?  Yes, adaptation is essential, but:      Depends on site and feasibility of proposed actions Depends on future climate scenarios Depends on resource sensitivities Depends on investments required Depends on other uses for $$$ and time