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Climate Adaptation for Local Governments. S. Schelegle

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Overview of what local government staff and officials should know as they prepare their communities to adapt to climate change.

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Climate Adaptation for Local Governments. S. Schelegle

  1. 1. Climate Adaptation: Why? What?How?Sierra ScheleglePhD Candidate at UNC-CH
  2. 2. Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change:A handbook for local governments in NC• Intent: provide information to localgovernments interested in asking the climatequestion• Premise: local governments do a number ofthings that, with minor adjustment, canreduce vulnerability to climate change
  3. 3. Defining Adaptation• Adjustment in natural or human systems inresponse to actual or expected climatic stimulior their effects, which moderates harm orexploits beneficial opportunities. (IPCC; TAR)
  4. 4. Why Adaptation?http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html
  5. 5. Why local governments?• Effects of climate change will be felt at the locallevel first• Local governments have the responsibility toprotect their citizens• Local governments have the authority and avariety of tools to address many of these issues.In fact, through existing programs, localgovernments can take meaningful action toaddress climate change impacts.• Have the necessary information andunderstanding of local issues
  6. 6. Climate Exposure• Extreme Heat• Drought• Heavy Precipitation• Hurricanes• Sea-level rise
  7. 7. Climate Exposure• Extreme Heat• Drought• Heavy Precipitation• Hurricanes• Sea-level riseClimate change is not a new hazard, it will alterexisting hazards making them more frequentand intense
  8. 8. Impacts• Economic• Health• Environmental
  9. 9. For example, Heat…
  10. 10. For example, Heat…
  11. 11. For example, Heat…An estimated 200 millionmenhaden were killed due toanoxic conditions in the NeuseRiver in 40 days in 2009. Thisphoto was taken outside NewBern near the Neuse River Bridge,the map to the left indicateslocations and extent of fish kills inPamlico Sound region in 2009.
  12. 12. Adaptation Strategies• Infrastructure• Land Use• Natural Resources• Educational
  13. 13. For Example, Heat…• high-temperature resistant paving materialscould be used on highly travelled streets toprevent damage• Using differentmaterials may alsoreduce the risk ofheat itself.
  14. 14. For Example, Heat…
  15. 15. For Example, Heat…• Education about the risks ofextreme heat and methods toavoid heat stress• Early warning systems of heatwaves• response to air quality hazardsassociated with high temperaturedays
  16. 16. Implementation• Alternate approaches:o Ad hoco Hazard mitigation plano Sustainability or natural resources plano Stand alone plano Comprehensive plan
  17. 17. Hazard Mitigation, Climate AdaptationPlan: Lewes, Delaware• The plan identifieshow changing climateconditions –temperature increase,altered precipitationpatterns and sea levelrise – are projected toinfluence currentnatural hazards.Figure 3.1 Flooded roadway in Lewes,Delaware caused by nor’easter in 2008.
  18. 18. A Process1. Establish a Planning Process2. Assess Vulnerability3. Select Strategies to beconsistent with context4. Design a Plan Implementationand Maintenance Process
  19. 19. Vulnerability AssessmentStep 2.1• Identify Climate Change ExposureStep 2.2• Identify Community SensitivityStep 2.3• Assess Potential ImpactsStep 2.4• Consider Adaptive CapacitiesStep 2.5• Develop Scenarios and Simulate Future OutcomesStep 2.6• Summarize Vulnerability and Identify Focus Areas
  20. 20. Selection of StrategiesStep 3.1• Set GoalsStep 3.2• Identify ActionsStep 3.3• Evaluate, Select and Prioritize ActionsStep 3.4• Write Action Plan
  21. 21. Design a Plan Implementation andMaintenance ProcessStep 4.1• Adopt the PlanStep 4.2• Implement the PlanStep 4.3• Integrate Plan Findings into Other Plans and ProgramsStep 4.4• Track, Evaluate, and Communicate Plan ProgressStep 4.5• Update the Plan
  22. 22. Take-away• Comprehensive• Long-term• Most of this is not new!!!
  23. 23. Accessing the Handbookwww.coastalhazardscenter.org/adaptNot live yet, but will be accessible at thebeginning of July.

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