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Climate change: Extreme Weather - Adaptation & Mitigation

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Slides from the webinar featuring Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankaol and Dr. Kevin Trenberth addressing the intersection between science, politics and economics as they pertain to the impacts of climate change. Also, adaptations and mitigations of the impacts of a changing climate - with examples from the US and abroad. This panel brings together the expertise of a physical scientist and a social scientist to summarize findings from the recently released IPCC working group reports.

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Climate change: Extreme Weather - Adaptation & Mitigation

  1. 1. Climate Webinars for Educators: Extreme Weather Climate Change Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation April 16, 2014 Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao and Dr. Kevin Trenberth National Center for Atmospheric Research Moderation and Organization: Deb Morrison & Dr. Anne Gold University of Colorado Boulder & Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences Produced by Kit Seeborg for Learn More About Climate Recorded at ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado Boulder
  2. 2. edf.org
  3. 3. What is climate change? How do we know it is happening?
  4. 4. Data from Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Lab., NOAA. Data prior to 1974 from C. Keeling, Scripps Inst. Oceanogr. Changing atmospheric composition: CO2 Mauna Loa, Hawaii Rate increasing ppm 390 380 370 360 350 340 330 320 310 1960 1970 1980 1990 . 2000 2010
  5. 5. Global temperature and carbon dioxide: anomalies through 2013 Base period 1900-99; data from NOAA Trenberth and Fasullo 2013 updated
  6. 6. Global Warming is Unequivocal IPCC AR5 Since 1970, rise in: Decrease in:  Global surface temperatures - NH Snow extent  Tropospheric temperatures - Arctic sea ice  Global SSTs, ocean Ts -Glaciers  Global sea level - Cold temperatures  Water vapor  Rainfall intensity  Precipitation extratropics  Hurricane intensity  Drought  Extreme high temperatures  Heat waves  Ocean acidity
  7. 7. Website for Climate Science for Educators Webinars https://sites.google.com/site/climatescienc ewebinars/extreme-weather
  8. 8. What are weather extremes? How are they defined in terms of social impact? What kinds of data do social scientists use?
  9. 9. Source: Skeptical Science
  10. 10. Changes in extremes Matter most for society and human health With a warming climate:  More high temperatures, heat waves  Wild fires and other consequences  Fewer cold extremes.  More extremes in hydrological cycle:  More intense precipitation  Longer dry spells  Increased risk of flooding and drought  More intense storms, hurricanes, tornadoes Major challenges for a water manager
  11. 11. Risk is the possibility of negative outcomes resulting from the combination of  hazards and capacities of exposed populations and  the interaction of broader societal and environmental processes that shape their experience of risk Hazards are probable or looming stresses people are exposed to • One-off extremes • Slow-onset events • Subtle everyday threats In our Framework Patricia Romero-Lankao, Sara Hughes, JorgelinaHardoy, HuaQin, Angélica Rosas-Huerta, Roxana Bórquez, Andrea Lampis (2012) and (2013) Vulnerability/capacity • Individual features (age) • Household assets (education, income, housing, social networks) • Infrastructures/built environment • Governance (territorial planning, services, pollution controls, ..)
  12. 12. (1) Text color denotes categories of vulnerability dimensions. Green = Hazard; Yellow = Exposure; Red = Sensitivity; Blue = Adaptive capacity/adaptation (2) Symbols in parentheses = direction of relationship between vulnerability and outcome (medium or high level of agreement only) + positive relationship (increases vulnerability); - negative relationship (decreases vulnerability); ~ no relationship Determinants of urban populations vulnerability to temperature across 224 cities globally Source: Patricia Romero Lankao, Hua Qin and Katie Dickinson 2012
  13. 13. What types of impacts of climate change have been observed? How well do we understand the risk and how predictable are events?
  14. 14. Climate Change Impacts 1) Climate change is not necessarily bad. There are always winners and losers. In some regions, a longer growing season is a big benefit. 2) But rapid climate change is always bad because it is disruptive. 3) We are adapted to our current climate, almost by definition. So in that sense change is bad. 4) But increases in extremes are hard to manage, and so certain changes can be costly and have big impacts: heat waves, wild fires, heavy rains, floods, storms, drought.
  15. 15. Observed impacts of climate change Widespread & consequential:  Increases in heat waves  Increases in heavy precipitation  Decreases in frost days  Earlier peak of snowmelt run-off  Declines in snowpack Source: Romero-Lankao et al.,2014 Wilton Conn. Heatwave July 2013 Alex von Kleydorff US Today Northern Rocky Mountains Scientific American.com
  16. 16. Impacts from recent climate-related extremes in North America reveal significant vulnerability of places & people Figure: a map (bottom) population density at 1km resolution = exposure; a map (top) significant weather events during 1993- 2012 illustrating vulnerability; four panels (right) trends in vulnerability indicators. Source: Romero-Lankao et al., 2014
  17. 17. Projected Changes in Extremes
  18. 18. What is the risk of extreme events to occur? How well do we understand the risk? How confident are scientists?
  19. 19. Likelihood vs Confidence Likelihood Level of Confidence≠ The chance of a defined outcome occurring in the physical world. Is estimated using expert judgment. The degree of understanding and / or consensus among experts. Is a statement about expert judgment. Distinct concepts IPCC Manning
  20. 20. Why should we worry? Dislocation electricity, water,.. (extreme weather) (Land animals) people depending on them Urban elderly & poor (heat- waves) Fisheries (Loss of marine animals) Key Risks: Criteria • Impact – Large magnitude – High probability – Irreversibility • Vulnerability or exposure • Limited mitigation or adaptation potential
  21. 21. Why should we worry? Deaths, destruction (Coastal Flooding) Food security (drought, floods) Rural poor even poorer (water shortages) Cities (inland flooding) Sources: www.hcn.org and http://photos.denverpost.com http://www.poweringthewest.org/2013/06/14/ historic-boulder-canyon
  22. 22. Can you discuss a couple examples of impacts of extreme weather in the US?
  23. 23. Super Storm Sandy: Oct 29-31, 2012. It was more intense with stronger winds because of climate change Sea level is higher => Much greater damage Hybrid storm: Over $70B damages >110 lives lost
  24. 24. U.S. Temperatures: 2012 Hottest year on record 362 all time record Highs 3,527 monthly weather records 0 record lows
  25. 25. U.S. Drought and wildfires June 2013 Dust storm Lamar, CO (June 15, Denver Post) Black Forest wildfire CO: >511 homes burned
  26. 26. You have shared some examples from the US – what is the effect of climate change on other parts of the world?
  27. 27. Locations of tree mortality induced by substantial drought and heat (1970-2011) Source IPCC 2014 Technical Summary
  28. 28. 2010-2029 2030-2049 2050-2069 2070-2089 20 40 60 80 100 PERCENTAGEOF YIELDPROJECTIONS 0 2090-2109 0 – -5% -5 – -10% -10 – -25% -25 – -50% -50 – -100% 50 – 100% 25 – 50% 10 – 25% 5 – 10% 0 – 5% Range of Yield Change Increase in Yield Decrease in Yield
  29. 29. Calgary, Alberta Canada Flooding 21-22 June 2013
  30. 30. What are strategies for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change?
  31. 31. Approaches for managing the risks of climate change
  32. 32. Climate Information System Trenberth 2008
  33. 33. Climate-change adaptation as an iterative risk management process with multiple feedbacks Source: IPCC 2014 Summary for Policy Makers
  34. 34. What are challenges with respect to adaptation to and mitigation of climate change?
  35. 35. IPCC reports are scientific in nature but often result in politically charged discussion – Can you speak to the tension?
  36. 36. Where do we go from here?
  37. 37. Website for Climate Science for Educators Webinars https://sites.google.com/site/climatescienc ewebinars/extreme-weather
  38. 38. Climate Webinars for Educators: Extreme Weather Climate Change Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation April 16, 2014 Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao and Dr. Kevin Trenberth National Center for Atmospheric Research Moderation and Organization: Deb Morrison & Dr. Anne Gold University of Colorado Boulder & Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences Produced by Kit Seeborg for Learn More About Climate Recorded at ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado Boulder

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