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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Vulnerability Sourcebook

Over the past week, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (GIZ), published a new guidance document for climate change vulnerability assessment. Building on the approach developed by Germany’s ‘Vulnerability Network’ for assessing domestic vulnerability across different sectors at the various administrative levels in Germany, the Vulnerability Sourcebook offers a methodological approach to vulnerability assessments and their application for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation. It is illustrated with examples and lessons learned from pilot applications in Bolivia, Pakistan, Burundi and Mozambique. Thus, it offers a compendium of practical and scientific knowledge on vulnerability assessments.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

U.S. Homeland Security Quadrennial Review

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released its 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, which highlights highlights ongoing areas of priority and renewed areas of emphasis to guide strategic planning for the agency. To this end, the report does acknowledge climate change as a "threat multiplier" and notes that "Natural hazards are becoming more costly to address, with increasingly variable consequences due in part to drivers such as climate change and interdependent and aging infrastructure."

Risky Business in the United States

The Risky Business Project, which was launched in the United States in October of 2013, has released its report Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change to the United States.Chaired by economic luminaries Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, Risky Business examines the economic costs of climate change for coastal damages, agricultural production, and labor productivity.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reducing the Administrative Burden of Federally Funded Research

A recent report from the U.S. National Science Foundation's National Science Board finds that U.S. researchers are spending a significant fraction of their working hours administering federal research grants rather than conducting research.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


The European Union's (EU) EUROCLIMA climate change cooperation programme with Latin America has published four publications that aim to provide guidance to Latin American governments as they design mitigation and adaptation strategies and policies. 

New State-based Adaptation Initiatives

The states of Hawaii and Rhode Island have passed new legislation to coordinate efforts on climate change adaptation. Both acts establish climate councils in the states. The Hawaii legislation also creates a mechanism for ongoing assessment of risks and adaptation options on a five-year cycle and mandates adaptation planning efforts that span both near-term and long-term priorities.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

UNFCCC Capacity Building Portal

The UNFCCC recently launched a new "Capacity-building Portal" - a tool devised  to help  monitor and review the capacity to better mitigate and adapt to climate change.Those interested in capacity-building activities can use the search results in various ways, such as:
  • Having a quick overview of the type of capacity-building support provided at the global, regional and country level
  • Tracking  specific project activities and programmes
  • Identifying and building on best practices
  • Identifying potential gaps in the delivery of capacity-building
  • Accessing information on stakeholders involved, funding sources and amounts allocated
  • Improving coordination of capacity-building support, including by identifying duplications of efforts
  • Identifying possible cooperation partners

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Bloodletting Down Under Continues

Federal and state budgets for the next fiscal year are going to take their toll on Australian research including, but by no means limited to, climate change. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, next year's budget will bring sizeable cuts to the CSIRO, the Australian Research Council, the Defense Science and Technology Organization, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, and the Cooperative Research Center Program. Meanwhile, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will cease to exist, although many of its current funding programs will continue.

For CSIRO, the budget cuts are anticipated to lead to the elimination of 420 staff positions over the next year, and an additional 80 in subsequent years. These cuts are in addition to the 300 positions already eliminated this fiscal year. The Australian Climate Change Science Program, which has been a key science policy initiative for year, will consolidated within a new National Environmental Science Program, with a funding cut of $21.7 million in the process. However, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility will officially continue to live on.

Meanwhile, the budget for Victoria, which was released last week, confimed that the Victorian Center for Climate Change Adaptation Research (where I had the pleasure of serving as a visiting fellow earlier this year) will not continue. That outcome is rather disappointing given the momentum around adaptation that VCCCAR has helped to create and the relationships it has helped to broker.


Monday, March 24, 2014

New U.S. Storm Surge Data

Our recently published article in Climate Risk Management presents the results of an effort to develop storm surge inundation layers for the eastern United States (Texas to Maine) for vulnerability and impacts assessment. The dataset, which is based on archived simulations with NOAA's SLOSH model, includes multiple inundation overlays reflecting both hurricanes of different intensities as well as various scenarios of sea-level rise. In addition to presenting this dataset, the article also presents two case study applications for coastal exposure assessment - one for U.S. energy infrastructure in the Southeast and one for future coastal housing.