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Thursday, February 13, 2014

USAID Background Reports on Adaptation Options

USAID has released a series of background reports from the Africa and Latin American Resilience to Climate Change Project that cover a range of topics on the analysis of adaptation options: 

Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin

The USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Mekong ARCC) project has finalized the Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). The study details  anticipated changes to the climate regime of the LMB and how these will impact key livelihood sectors, including agriculture, capture fisheries and aquaculture, livestock, and natural systems. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Winter Olympics in a Warmer World

A new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo and MCI Management Center suggests that climate change could have an important influence on the selection of future host cities for the winter Olympics. By adding projected climate change to historical baselines for locations that have previously hosted the Olympics, the study evaluates whether those locations would have sufficiently reliable weather to host a future games. The report online is quite light on details of the analysis and its assumptions. Personally, there is a wealth of opportunities for managing the risk, simply by selecting appropriate locations and altering the timing of the games. Nevertheless, it's a very compelling way of thinking about the impacts of climate change.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

USDA Climate Hubs

In a remarkable display of government inefficiency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to launch a network of regional "climate hubs" to deliver information on climate variability and change to land managers. So we appear to be moving toward a future where every U.S. agency has its own network for sectoral climate services. The U.S. Department of the Interior launched its network of Climate Science Centers in 2010, and of course, NOAA's Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program has been doing this for years. Given the regions are largely consistent from one network to another, it's inconceivable that greater efficiencies couldn't be realized through more coordinated efforts. That said, at least there is some evidence that different centers share common hosts. North Carolina State University, for example, which already hosts a DOI center will also host one of the USDA hubs through a U.S. Forest Service research center on its Centennial Campus.

Impacts and Adaptation for Lake Superior

A new study sponsored by the U.S. EPA explores climate change impacts and adaptation for Lake Superior. In addition to the usual presentation of climate projections for the region and impacts to its natural ecosystems, the report also summarizes existing actions relevant to climate adaptation, although most are nascent and/or developed without specific consideration for future climate change.

Sum of All Fears

A new report from the CSIRO suggests Australians rank climate change fairly low on the list of environmental concerns, despite widespread agreement that anthropogenic climate change is real and problematic. However, when one looks at the problems that rank above climate change: water shortages, pollution, water quality, drought, deforestation, and household waste, most of them have a connection to climate change (either as a consequence or a contributing factor). So why design a survey that treats climate change as an independent problem when it is really a driving force for Australia's other environmental problems?