Sussex Wetland Conference: Harriett Orr


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Wetlands and Climate Change

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Sussex Wetland Conference: Harriett Orr

  1. 1. Wetlands and Climate Change Harriet Orr Research Scientist, Climate Change, Evidence Directorate Mike Acreman Wetland Hydrologist, Centre For Ecology and Hydrology 6 th January 2012
  2. 2. Adapting Wetlands to Climate Change: a toolkit for wetland managers
  3. 3. Wetlands are likely to be vulnerable
  4. 4. Why a wetland tool? <ul><li>50 yr Wetland vision for England </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t include climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to build adaptation tool </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing sustainable wetland type </li></ul>
  5. 5. Risk-based tool-kit
  6. 6. A tool for wetland managers <ul><li>assess sensitivity of existing or new wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>Identify when to change management </li></ul><ul><li>Signpost adaptation options </li></ul>“My boss wants an estimate by this afternoon of whether our wetlands are at risk from climate change” “I am about to spend £200,000 on my wetland, I need to be certain that my plans are climate proof”
  7. 7. <ul><li>Assumption </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrology is the key characteristic of a wetland that will be impacted </li></ul>
  8. 8. location interest feature water mechanism N England river-fed Vegetation 50% 30% 20% Tier 1 tool wetland type Wet grassland
  9. 9. How do we score impact? <ul><li>Hydrology </li></ul><ul><li>Gross water balance </li></ul><ul><li>Birds </li></ul><ul><li>Flooding in winter and spring </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetation </li></ul><ul><li>Water table regime </li></ul><ul><li>Historical environment </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of water table </li></ul>
  10. 10. On-line, free to use now
  11. 11. Dealing with uncertainty <ul><li>Climate projections uncertain </li></ul><ul><li>UKCP09 10,000 realisations </li></ul>
  12. 14. Feedback <ul><li>Use the tool </li></ul><ul><li>contact us if need more help </li></ul><ul><li>Tell us if it helps your decision making </li></ul><ul><li>What could be improved? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we contact you? </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  13. 16. Plant community trajectories
  14. 17. Wetland soil properties