Curious about the IPCC’s adaptation report? Here’s a free webinar discussing the report and its implications.
On 25-29 March, Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Yokohama, Japan, to approve the Summary for Policymakers of its report, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, and accept the underlying document – the second part of the IPCC’sFifth Assessment Report.
SEI and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) hosted a seminar to provide an overview of the IPCC report and discuss its implications for Sweden. The event was organized in partnership with the SMHI-hosted National Centre for Climate Change Adaptation and the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Although Sweden is not considered to be highly vulnerable to climate change, it is experiencing changes in rainfall, temperatures and winter conditions, among other impacts. Recent SEI work has highlighted flood risks, for example, as well as adaptation needs in Sweden’s forestry sector. Ongoing SEI work is also emphasizing the importance of indirect impacts – how climate change effects in other countries affect Sweden through global trade, supply chains, and other means.
The seminar was held from 10:00 to 12:30 in Stora Hörsalen at Garnisonen, Karlavägen 100, Stockholm. Except for Richard Klein’s presentation (starting at 05:35 in the video below), the entire event was in Swedish.
The programme was as follows:
10:00: Welcome and introduction
10:10: The IPCC report Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – background and main conclusions, with a focus on adaptation – Richard Klein, SEI and IPCC
10:50: Climate change impacts around the world: How will Sweden be affected? – Henrik Carlsen, SEI
11:10: Business adaptation to climate change – Maria Sunér Fleming, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise
11:30: How is Sweden adapting to the indirect impacts of global climate change? Panel discussion with Henrik Carlsen; Maria Sunér Fleming; Malin Mobjörk, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI); Pär Holmgren, social commentator and former meteorologist at SVT; Mette Lindahl Olsson, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB); Henrik Lampa, H&M; and Robert Paulsson, Swedish Board of Agriculture
While school budgets, teacher workloads and politics have complicated the spread of lessons on climate change, many nations are still adding or expanding such offerings.
From Mauritius to Manitoba, climate change is slowly moving from the headlines to the classroom. Schools around the world are beginning to tackle the difficult issue of global warming, teaching students how the planet is changing and encouraging them to think about what they can do to help slow that process.
Strapped school budgets, concerns about overburdening teachers and political opposition to what in some places is a contentious subject have complicated the spread of lessons on climate change. Nonetheless, many nations are adding or expanding such offerings, convinced that young people must learn about a phenomenon likely to have a big impact on their lives.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, America’s schools are last in climate science and environmental education.
This one-day seminar is designed for political and business reporters, with a focus on the political, economic, and security policy issues related to climate change. Speakers will discuss regional examples from the Chesapeake Bay as well as national and international news hooks.
This two-day seminar is open to all journalists who desire to improve their coverage of climate change. The program is designed to provide a foundational understanding of the ways that climate change will affect - and is already affecting - marine and coastal ecosystems and communities. As with the April 23rd seminar, speakers will discuss regional examples as well as national and international news hooks.
Journalists may choose to register for individual seminar sessions or for an entire seminar. Space is limited, and individuals are discouraged from registering for both seminars. Participants must register for the free seminars via the Metcalf Institute website by April 16, 2014. A limited number of registrants who must travel a significant distance to attend the seminar will be eligible to receive a reimbursement for travel or lodging by request on the registration form. Those requesting free lodging will be required to attend a full seminar.
Strategy includes using climate science to help predict and prevent fires.
"As climate change spurs extended droughts and longer fire seasons, this collaborative wildfire blueprint will help us restore forests and rangelands to make communities less vulnerable to catastrophic fire," said Acting Chair Boots. "With President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Administration is committed to promoting smart policies and partnerships like this strategy that support states, communities, businesses, farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders who are working to protect themselves from more frequent or intense fires, droughts and floods, and other impacts of climate change."
The Strategy includes both national strategic planning and regionally-specific assessment and risk analysis to address such factors as climate change, increasing community sprawl, and pests and disease affecting forest health across landscapes, regardless of ownership. Approaches include:
Adopting preventive measures, such as fuels thinning and controlled burns;
Promoting effective municipal, county and state building and zoning codes and ordinances;
Ensuring that watersheds, transportation and utility corridors are part of future management plans; and
Determining how organizations can best work together to reduce and manage human-caused ignitions.
The comprehensive principles and processes highlighted in the strategy have already been implemented successfully in some areas of the country, such as the Blue Mountains near Flagstaff, Arizona and the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners in Georgia. The Strategy will encourage knowledge sharing between communities and expand best practices to other projects and locations across the country.
“Brazil is the world’s most dangerous place for activists with 448 deaths between 2002 and 2013, followed by 109 in Honduras and Peru with 58. In Asia, the Philippines is the deadliest with 67, followed by Thailand at 16.”— Killing of Environmental Activists Rises Globally
As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.
A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero.
But the prosecution of Prajob’s murder is a rare exception. A survey released Tuesday — the first comprehensive one of its kind - says that only 10 killers of 908 environmental activists slain around the world over the past decade have been convicted.
The report by the London-based Global Witness, a group that seeks to shed light on the links between environmental exploitation and human rights abuses, says murders of those protecting land rights and the environment have soared dramatically. It noted that its toll of victims in 35 countries is probably far higher since field investigations in a number of African and Asian nations are difficult or impossible.
“Many of those facing threats are ordinary people opposing land grabs, mining operations and the industrial timber trade, often forced from their homes and severely threatened by environmental devastation,” the report said. Others have been killed over hydro-electric dams, pollution and wildlife conservation.
The rising deaths, along with non-lethal violence, are attributed to intensifying competition for shrinking resources in a global economy and abetted by authorities and security forces in some countries connected to powerful individuals, companies and others behind the killings.
Interesting that the investigators found that “authorities and security forces” (e.g., government) are complicit. I wonder how they found this information (or if they assumed it)?Anyone have this report? If so, can you kindly send it to me?
Thought provoking piece by Al Jazeera guest writer questions the limits of perpetual economic growth. What do you think?
“Aggressive growth is impossible ecologically and implausible economically. We need economic strategies at the local, state and national levels that prioritize community benefit over corporate gain, and which presume a need for local resiliency instead of depending on uncontrolled growth. We also need to develop new strategies to democratize wealth in the face of extreme inequality.
Like the programs developed in “the state and local laboratories of democracy” that led to the New Deal, numerous experiments percolating across the country in the “new economy” — building cooperative and community-owned businesses, developing locally focused supply chains at a municipal and regional level, building new forms for public ownership of essential services like banking and power generation — may just point the way.
The end of growth poses a long-term systemic challenge, and such explorations suggest that a new direction may be quietly being explored in the midst of economic and ecological degradation. It is a direction that is likely to accelerate as economic and social pain of the decaying economic system continues to force Americans to explore solutions that take us beyond the tired nostrums of the past.”
—Gar Alperovitz is a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and a founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of “What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.”
Spring has arrived earlier throughout the world (with the exception of North America).
Spring is arriving earlier – maybe not this year for North America, but the trend is clear. This is not welcome news for Arctic creatures or the roe deer of France. And it could be awkward for flower festival organizers as well.
This is the core document from my USAID contract. Took us three years to write this! We’ve implemented the framework in over 30 countries on dozens of projects. The USAID Global Climate Change office will hold a webinar today at 4pm. Space is limited, but I’ll post the stream this Friday.
USAID’s Climate-Resilient Development Framework (2014) offers a simple yet robust five-stage approach to help decision-makers and development practitioners at all levels systematically assess climate-related risks and prioritize actions that promote climate-resilient development.
Developed by USAID’s Global Climate Change Office, this “development-first” approach helps decision-makers and practitioners integrate climate considerations directly into development activities across multiple sectors, keeping the focus on achieving development goals despite a changing climate.
Working with USAID missions, governments, and other stakeholders, the framework has been used in Barbados, Jamaica, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and West Africa.
One of the roadblocks to climate change becoming a nonpartisan issue, and to opening up more ears to the science … is the evangelical community’s lack of strong hierarchical leadership. There are influential people like Cizik, but unlike with other faith traditions, there is no pope, archbishop or other central figure that everyone can look to.
"We have this leadership vacuum that I think has been filled with conservatives who aren’t necessarily Christian. People get their opinions from AM talk radio, or from Fox News," Hayhoe told HuffPost.
"This is also a generational issue. If you talk to the average 20- or 30-year-old, you might get a very different perspective," she added.
Anna Jane Joyner and her father, Rick Joyner, an evangelical megachurch preacher, exemplify that age gap.
Via HuffPo (Forgive me readers, this is a rare time I link to HuffPo!)
Federal climate models predict that the Northeast U.S. will lose most of its maples by next century. But Julie Grant of the Allegheny Front reports that many maple sugar producers aren’t worried; they say times are as sweet as their syrup.
GRANT: Jason Blocher’s livelihood each year largely depends on the weather in February and March. He’s the third generation in his family to run Milroy Maple Farms in Somerset County, on Pennsylvania’s southern border, just a few miles from Maryland.
BLOCHER: You can’t outguess Mother Nature, and she controls everything in this business.
GRANT: It takes warm days and cold nights to get sap flowing through a sugar maple.
GRANT: They start drilling tap holes in the trees when daytime temperatures get in the 40s, and nights are still below freezing. When Blocher was a kid, they would tap in late February and early March. But he says that’s changed in the past ten years. Now, they usually tap earlier as much as month earlier. And the timing is more erratic.
Like most producers, Blocher remembers the winter of 2012 there was a thick layer of snow in his maple forest. And then, right as syruping was starting, temperatures shot up into the 80s it was the warmest March on record.
BLOCHER: So we went from fighting our way through three or four feet of snow, and anticipation of a very good season, because of that heavy snow pack, to one of our poorest seasons we have on record because we had such a drastic change in the weather from cold, deep snow to too warm and in a matter of two weeks to three weeks, it ruined our season.
GRANT: Milroy Farms wasn’t alone. Syrup production around the northeast U.S. was down 40 percent in 2012. Erratic years like that aren’t a surprise to Dave Cleaves. He’s the climate change advisor at the U.S. Forest Service, which means he’s often the bearer of bad news.
CLEAVES: God, in this job I’m in, people hate to see me coming. They run like hell.
GRANT: About fifteen years ago, the Forest Service published what’s called the Climate Change Tree Atlas. And what it found didn’t look good for sugar maples in the Northeast.
CLEAVES: We will see it gradually disappear. Or become less prominent.
The White House has said it will require environmental impact studies to consider climate change, but new guidelines have been stalled for years.
This week, frustrated after years of inaction, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to force Obama’s CEQ to finalize the new rules. From the lawsuit:
With the effects of climate change becoming more and more evident, prompt action is necessary to ensure that climate change analysis is integrated into all levels of federal agencies’ planning. Full analysis and meaningful consideration of these impacts before federal government decisions are made will strongly affect the extent to which climate change and its consequential dangers are limited or avoided in the coming century.
“The Obama Administration has repeatedly promised to take action on climate, but talk is cheap. Its delay here is unlawful, as well as inexplicable and irresponsible,” said George Kimbrell, a senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety. “This unlawful delay is the opposite of the Obama Administration’s repeated promises to address climate change.”
Clever, but I don’t think the CEQ has authority to enforce a NEPA regulation. Any 2Ls out there?
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hereby directs each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government.
This includes any results published in peer-reviewed scholarly publications that are based on research that directly arises from Federal funds, as defined in relevant OMB circulars (e.g., A-21and A-11). It is preferred that agencies work together, where appropriate, to develop these plans.
Readers, we’re hiring. See the list below. Important: on this round of hiring, these are mid-career to senior-level jobs (7-10+ years international experience). So, no students, no internships, no recent grads (sorry!).
We implement projects for USAID, primarily on environmental contracts in developing countries around the world.
Contact me if you find a position that you think you qualify for. I can help. I can not reply if you fail to research the position first. You have to do the leg work before contacting me. So, read the job descriptions; if you think you qualify, only then contact me asap.
What is your personal opinion on The Nature Conservancy? Seems like an ideal environmental non-profit to work for.
TNC has a great reputation. They have high-turn over though, so they act more as a stepping stone for experienced and mid-level environmental careerists (any readers at TNC? Is this perspective accurate??). I’m also not clear on how successful they are at meeting their mission or campaign goals - though I’m sure this information is readily available on their website.
YOKOHAMA, Japan, 27 March 2014 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is holding a press conference at 08:00 p.m. EST tonight / 09.00 a.m. Yokohama time on Monday 31 March 2014 to present the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.
This press conference will be webcast in English, Japanese and Spanish and can be followed live.
The IPCC is considering the Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, in Yokohama, Japan, on 25-29 March 2014. The Summary for Policymakers and full report will be released on 31 March. The full report will be published online in August and in book form a few months later.
The Working Group I contribution, on the physical science basis of climate change, was released on 27 September 2013 and the full report published on 30 January 2014. The Working Group III contribution will be considered by the IPCC in Berlin on 7-11 April 2014. The Fifth Assessment Report will be completed with the Synthesis Report that will be considered by the IPCC in Copenhagen on 27-31 October 2014.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will this week to release a major report that is expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked.
Leaked versions of the report, published in Japan on Monday, warn that changing temperatures, droughts and heatwaves will threaten food supplies and human health, while hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding.
Climate change will cause economic losses, make poverty worse and increase migration and risks of violent conflict. It will also harm wildlife and habitats, the study by experts from around the world is expected to say.
In Europe, heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainstorms will increase and there will be a greater risk of coastal and river flooding, it is expected to say, while heat-related deaths will also increase.
The report, which collates work by thousands of scientists from across the world, is likely to state that climate change has already left its mark on all continents and oceans, and is expected to warn that even a small rise in temperatures could lead to irreversible changes.
Williams, who stepped down as leader of the Anglican church just over a year ago, said Monday’s report put “our local problems into a deeply disturbing global context”.
The Idaho Legislature today passed House Bill 470, a bill to create a new lethal “Wolf Depredation Control Board” to administer a fund for widespread killing of wolves in the state. The bill, expected to be signed into law by Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, sets aside $400,000 in state funds to kill roughly 500 wolves, leaving just 150 in the entire state.
The new board will consist of members appointed and overseen by Otter, who said in 2007 that he wanted to be the first to kill an Idaho wolf after federal protections were taken away. The board will be made up of representatives of the agricultural, livestock and hunting communities. The bill does not require any members of the board to represent the wolf conservation community.
Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom has proposed to develop Crimea’s oil and gas sector, an official of the Ukrainian region which has applied to join Russia was quoted by RIA news agency as saying on Tuesday.
"Of course, Gazprom was the first to approach us (with a proposal)," said Rustam Temirgaliev, Crimea’s first deputy prime minister.
A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common.”
The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."
By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline
Over the past several years, a number of states have worked with organizations including the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to develop new standards for teaching science in public schools. The result, termed the Next Generation Science Standards, provides states with a chance to update their science education goals to focus more on the scientific process. So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.
But the process hasn’t always been smooth. In Kentucky, the Governor adopted them over the objections of state legislators. In Kansas, the adoption resulted in a lawsuit that sought to block their adoption. Now, in the latest wrinkle, the Wyoming legislature has preemptively blocked their use in that state.
The problem isn’t with the educational approach taken by the standards; rather, it’s with their content. The Next-Gen Standards include the modern understanding of evolution and climate science. The lawsuit mentioned above claims that the standards violate religious freedom by compelling students to study evolution.
Wyoming doesn’t appear to have issues with evolution. Instead, climate science appears to be the problem. That’s not because any of the legislators have actually studied the science involved and found it lacking. The issue appears to be solely with the implications of the science.
Fascinating turn in Wyoming. There are lawsuits of the content of science curricula?! Come on Wyomingites!! I work in all sorts of terribly governed countries, none of them - NOT ONE - has any issues with science. In fact, they embrace science with intense curiosity, hope, and energy.
“Tonight’s full Moon has a special name—the Worm Moon. It signals the coming of northern spring, a thawing of the soil, and the first stirrings of earthworms in long-dormant gardens. Step outside tonight and behold the wakening landscape.” Realtime moon image gallery. (Source)
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene is one of my favorite science journals. All articles are open-source - meaning they’re free - no registration or fees. They focus on environmental scientific research in an “era of accelerated human impact.” Humans have disturbed virtually every natural system on earth.
So, how do we share knowledge about scientific research? Currently, there’s a maturing debate about whether scientific research should be free or paid. I’m quite interested in this debate. Especially since my tax dollars pay for much of this research, but I don’t have access to it. In fact, most science is publicly funded by taxpayer dollars typically through universities and direct government grants. The balance of journals get their funds from subscriptions, which average about $5,000 per year. Yes, you can subscribe to Scientific American for $25, yet the annual ‘script for the Journal of Coordination Chemistry is $11,000!
When a researcher publishes their findings, scientific journals charge the public very high fees for access, which prevents the majority of the world from learning more.
The debate is so powerful that The Guardian newspaper created a special section called Open Source Scientific Publishing. It focuses on the changing landscape of scientific publishing, and the debates make for fun, if not serious, reading.
For my part, I favor peer-reviewed, open-source science publication generally, and the journal Elementa specifically. Elementa is a non-profit publisher of science with overlap in my field of climate change and climate adaptation. The partners are BioOne, Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.
Take a minute to read what the editors of Elementa have to say about why open source science matters and why it should be free to everyone.
Earth and Environmental Science: John Geissman “I have never been a fan of huge for-profit publishers of science. Most have taxed the system in a very painful way. The more opportunities scientists have to publish their contributions in nonprofit journals, the better. Elementa provides a very important venue for scholars addressing a range of topics that are important to society, right now.”
With a massive dam under construction in Laos and other dams on the way, the Mekong River is facing a wave of hydroelectric projects that could profoundly alter the river’s ecology and disrupt the food supplies of millions of people in Southeast Asia.
Seven damsbuilt upstream in China and the blasting of rapids to improve navigation have already altered flows, reduced fish populations, and affected communities along portions of the Lower Mekong, which flows through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. But the impacts may soon get much worse as a new era of hydroelectric dam-building begins in the Lower Mekong Basin.
I am currently on the job market and became interested in some of the different climate change divisions oil companies have adopted. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many job openings that employ people with previous climate specialized work. Are we seeing a downward trend of these hires (if there were any..) or is the work just being outsourced to other groups. Wondering where I should look for these kind of jobs in the oil and gas sector.
Hey Anon, There are a lot of jobs. Networking (like this) certainly helps. I’d check out environmental compliance, EHS, and maybe geology and soil testing jobs in the O&G sector. Also, check out RigZone.com. They have a good directory of O&G cos that you can research. Good luck! Michael