CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Posts tagged "education"
Asker Anonymous Asks:
What are the most cutting edge climate adaptation strategies people are trying to implement and where can I get more information on this?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey Anon,

Try CAKEX (Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange) and WeADAPT.

Cheers,

Michael

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • The federal government should fund state and local actions to prepare for climate change — rather than primarily reacting to extreme weather events that cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year.  (Sandy alone cost the federal government $60 billion.)  Currently, only a fraction of federal dollars are spent helping communities proactively prepare for escalating climate change impacts. Federal agencies should also ensure that communities recovering from extreme weather events with disaster relief funds are able to build back stronger to withstand future impacts.
  • Federal agencies should require that all major federal investments in new infrastructure account for and be built to withstand future impacts from climate change.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency should incorporate climate change projections on the floodplain maps that govern federal flood insurance rates.  These updates are needed to provide communities with accurate, risk-based information for making land-use decisions and to ensure the long-term solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program. (As of March 2014, the program was more than $24 billion in debt.)
  • The Army Corps and other federal agencies should align funding streams and support nature-based projects that both restore coastal wetlands and provide flood control benefits (like living shorelines).  Federal agencies and the White House Office of Management and Budget should also appropriately value the benefits of taking preventative action to respond to climate change and the value of natural ecosystems when calculating the costs and benefits of flood control projects.
The recommendations are based on extensive work in communities affected by sea-level rise, storms, and heat waves. These recommendations were further developed over the course of three workshops convened by the Georgetown Climate Center in late 2013 and early 2014. Participants included senior federal, state and local officials, along with experts from the non-governmental and academic communities. The workshops were held in coordination with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and relevant federal agencies.

Via Georgetown Climate Center

Meet Professor Austin Becker, Assistant Professor of Coastal Planning Policy and Design at University of Rhode Island. He focuses on coastal adaptation and resilient sea ports. He’s also a good friend of mine.

Abstract

Morphological and phylogenetic analyses suggest that the ability to precipitate carbonates evolved several times in marine invertebrates in the past 600 million years. Over the past decade, there has been a profusion of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses of calcifying representatives from three metazoan phyla: Cnidaria, Echinodermata, and Mollusca. Based on this information, we compared proteins intimately associated with precipitated calcium carbonate in these three phyla. Specifically, we used a cluster analysis and gene ontology approach to compare ~1500 proteins, from over 100 studies, extracted from calcium carbonates in stony corals, in bivalve and gastropod mollusks, and in adult and larval sea urchins to identify common motifs and differences. Our analysis suggests that there are few sequence similarities across all three phyla, supporting the independent evolution of biomineralization.

However, there are core sets of conserved motifs in all three phyla we examined. These motifs include acidic proteins that appear to be responsible for the nucleation reaction as well as inhibition; structural and adhesion proteins that determine spatial patterning; and signaling proteins that modify enzymatic activities. Based on this analysis and the fossil record, we propose that biomineralization is an extremely robust and highly controlled process in metazoans that can withstand extremes in pH predicted for the coming century, similar to their persistence through the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

- See more at: http://elementascience.org

Labor day reading…

Just ordered this book, “Why Aren’t More Women in Science?. Written in 2007, it’s a bit dated - but at only 7 years old, it’s still modern. I’m interested in the perspective of why, in 2007, some of the researchers concluded that one factor (of many) for the disparity was physiological. My partner, who has a PhD, thinks there’s a significant amount of harassment from both students and faculty that keeps women from excelling, and points to the male dominated culture at her university (University of Barcelona) and indifference from the school’s administration when women complain about harassment. She also mentioned that the Catalan Police are equally dismissive of complaints, so there’s no true enforcement mechanism in Spain that women can turn to when they are harassed at university. She is quite hopeful, however. She thinks that with more and more women entering the sciences, administrations and law enforcement will eventually shift, just not at the time scales noisy advocates expect. So, for the time being, she thinks, it’s sadly true only a small sliver of women are can handle the rough atmosphere and be brave and strong. She argued, rather brilliantly imo, that male dominated spheres take a very long time to transition from one type of culture (e.g., male dominated) to another (equal and just). Anyway, I’m curious what the researchers in this book thought just a few years ago, and whether or not things have progressed in a short time.

Guys, seriously. Come meet Jenny Frankel-Reed, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist with USAID’s Global Climate Change Office. 
She. Is. AWESOME!!!
I co-manage a climate adaptation contract with her office, and I can say she is one of the best people I’ve worked with in a long time. She manages a technical project called SERVIR with NASA, USAID, and several partners around the world.

SERVIR—the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System—helps government officials, managers, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public make decisions by providing Earth observations and predictive models based on data from orbiting satellites.
The SERVIR system helps nations in Mesoamerica, Africa, and the Himalayan regions cope with eight areas of societal benefit identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): disasters, ecosystems, biodiversity, weather, water, climate, health, and agriculture. Via


I think she’s a great inspiration for young women professionals in science!! You HAVE TO COME SEE HER!
Do you want to hear about what it’s like to work at USAID?
Are you interested in how the U.S. government promotes climate adaptation around the world??! Of course you do!
Interested in making connections in the climate change field?
Come meet Jenny for a chat and some drinks August 28th. I’ll be there, too!
Details: 

A Chat with USAID/GCC Jenny Frankel-Reed. 
BAR LOUIE (CHINATOWN METRO) Washington, DC AUG 28 7 P.M.
HOSTS ENVIRO-RUN:
August 28: 7 p.m. – Bar Louie, 701 7th St. NW, Washington DC. (IMPORTANT! Bar Louie is in the mall next to the Chinatown Metro. Go through the white doors on the northwest entrance off 7th Street, by the food carts.)
There will be a place to store bags while envirorunners are on the fun run. Meet inside the event room (Upon entering, turn left and then turn right when you see the back bar. We will be through the big, wooden door along the back wall.)  7 p.m.
Photo op: We welcome you to wear your best enviro shirt + swag and share #envirorun photos on Twitter (@envirorun) and Facebook (Envirorun). Prizes go to the top tweeters!
Speaker bio: Jenny Frankel-Reed is a Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator of the SERVIR Program with USAID’s Climate Change Office, where she has provided technical support to programs in 20 countries and regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and coordinated USAID’s flagship science and technology partnership with NASA (SERVIR). 
Ms. Frankel-Reed has worked on the vulnerability and adaptation dimensions of climate change for more than 10 years, including vulnerability assessment, remote sensing applications, climate services, monitoring and evaluation, international climate financing, and training. 
Prior to joining USAID in 2010, she served as Technical Advisor for a German International Cooperation (GIZ) project based in India, was an Adaptation Advisor with the Environment and Energy Group of the United Nations Development Program, and worked as a Climate Change Consultant to the Global Environment Facility. Ms. Frankel-Reed has forest and human ecology research experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University.

If you’re in DC August 28, please please come see her speak on USAID’s climate programs across dozens of countries.
She’s a young professional operating at a very high-level under Obama’s government. Come see her August 28th. It’s a small crowd, intimate setting, and the atmosphere is very casual! 

Guys, seriously. Come meet Jenny Frankel-Reed, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist with USAID’s Global Climate Change Office.

She. Is. AWESOME!!!

I co-manage a climate adaptation contract with her office, and I can say she is one of the best people I’ve worked with in a long time. She manages a technical project called SERVIR with NASA, USAID, and several partners around the world.

SERVIR—the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System—helps government officials, managers, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public make decisions by providing Earth observations and predictive models based on data from orbiting satellites.

The SERVIR system helps nations in Mesoamerica, Africa, and the Himalayan regions cope with eight areas of societal benefit identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): disasters, ecosystems, biodiversity, weather, water, climate, health, and agriculture. Via

I think she’s a great inspiration for young women professionals in science!! You HAVE TO COME SEE HER!

  • Do you want to hear about what it’s like to work at USAID?
  • Are you interested in how the U.S. government promotes climate adaptation around the world??! Of course you do!
  • Interested in making connections in the climate change field?
  • Come meet Jenny for a chat and some drinks August 28th. I’ll be there, too!

Details:

A Chat with USAID/GCC Jenny Frankel-Reed.

BAR LOUIE (CHINATOWN METRO) Washington, DC AUG 28 7 P.M.

HOSTS ENVIRO-RUN:

August 28: 7 p.m. – Bar Louie, 701 7th St. NW, Washington DC. (IMPORTANT! Bar Louie is in the mall next to the Chinatown Metro. Go through the white doors on the northwest entrance off 7th Street, by the food carts.)

There will be a place to store bags while envirorunners are on the fun run. Meet inside the event room (Upon entering, turn left and then turn right when you see the back bar. We will be through the big, wooden door along the back wall.)  7 p.m.

Photo op: We welcome you to wear your best enviro shirt + swag and share #envirorun photos on Twitter (@envirorun) and Facebook (Envirorun). Prizes go to the top tweeters!

Speaker bio: Jenny Frankel-Reed is a Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator of the SERVIR Program with USAID’s Climate Change Office, where she has provided technical support to programs in 20 countries and regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and coordinated USAID’s flagship science and technology partnership with NASA (SERVIR).

Ms. Frankel-Reed has worked on the vulnerability and adaptation dimensions of climate change for more than 10 years, including vulnerability assessment, remote sensing applications, climate services, monitoring and evaluation, international climate financing, and training.

Prior to joining USAID in 2010, she served as Technical Advisor for a German International Cooperation (GIZ) project based in India, was an Adaptation Advisor with the Environment and Energy Group of the United Nations Development Program, and worked as a Climate Change Consultant to the Global Environment Facility. Ms. Frankel-Reed has forest and human ecology research experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University.

If you’re in DC August 28, please please come see her speak on USAID’s climate programs across dozens of countries.

She’s a young professional operating at a very high-level under Obama’s government. Come see her August 28th. It’s a small crowd, intimate setting, and the atmosphere is very casual! 

As an undergraduate student in biology, I spent several weeks in Costa Rica one summer with an older graduate student on a research project deep in the cloud forest. It was just the two of us, and upon arriving at our site, I discovered that he had arranged a single room for us, one bed.

Mortified but afraid of being labeled prudish or difficult, I made no fuss. I took the lodge owner aside the next day and requested my own bed. The problem ended there, and my graduate student boss never made any physical advances.

Reflecting back, I’m struck by how ill equipped I was to deal with this kind of situation, especially at 19. My university undoubtedly had a harassment policy, but such resources were thousands of miles away. I was alone in a foreign country and had never received any training on my rights and resources in the field.

I’d forgotten about this experience from two decades ago until I read a report published July 16 in the journal PLOS One. Kathryn Clancy, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and three colleagues used email and social media to invite scientists to fill out an online questionnaire about their experiences with harassment and assault at field sites; they received 666 responses, three quarters of them from women, from 32 disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, biology and geology.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they had been sexually harassed in the field. More than 20 percent reported being sexually assaulted. Students or postdoctoral scholars, and women were most likely to report being victimized by superiors. Very few respondents said their field site had a code of conduct or sexual harassment policy, and of the 78 who had dared to report incidents, fewer than 20 percent were satisfied with the outcome.

The findings are depressingly similar to the data some colleagues and I collected this year from an online questionnaire sent to science writers. We received responses from 502 writers, mostly women, and presented our results at M.I.T. in June during Solutions Summit 2014: Women in Science Writing, a conference funded by the National Association of Science Writers.

More than half of the female respondents said they weren’t taken seriously because of their gender, one in three had experienced delayed career advancement, and nearly half said they had not received credit for their ideas. Almost half said they had encountered flirtatious or sexual remarks, and one in five had experienced uninvited physical contact.

Frightening study that quantifies sexual harassment and assault across the sciences. The journalist also notes there’s significant gender discrimination.

I haven’t personally witnessed or heard of harassment in any of the fields I’ve worked in (e.g, international development, city planning offices, or climate adaptation implementation or policy making). And over the years, I guesstimate working with at least 50% women, possibly more. There are some countries that I work in that will not accept women in a decision making role, but that is a cultural difference that takes time to collapse. We’re actually quite prepared for this type of systemic discrimination.

But, internally, on any team I’ve worked on, this is unheard of. I also work with one research institute (USC’s HURDL) that focuses on gender and vulnerable populations in climate impact contexts - but again, haven’t heard anything like this.

Are you a rising researcher? Have you been harassed while conducting your field work? Have you heard stories or rumors of harassment? Send me a note if you like, I’ll keep your replies private. Thanks, Michael

Asker Anonymous Asks:
I was just wondering if you had any advice on how to combat the "but in the 70s everybody was worried about global cooling, the world just goes through phases" argument when talking to someone about the current state of the environment? No matter what I say to certain people this seems to come up and I'm not sure my responses are sufficient.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hi anon,

Thanks for your question. I’d send you here, but I take issue with your approach. The burden of proof is always on the person making a claim. If I may, I advise applying the Socratic Method and have a nice discussion (Note: Always apply the Socratic Method with their consent, don’t trick them!).

It is not your responsibility to “convince” them of their err, instead it is *their* responsibility to convince you of their claims. If I say the sky is red, it is my responsibility to show that the sky is indeed red  - it is not your responsibility to disprove it. If you both agree to discuss the matter, proceed without getting emotionally panty-bunched. Hell, you could hold a long dialog that could take days, or even months.

If you are an environmentalist, you have to learn this humble, very effective, and quite easy to apply communication skill. It will serve you well through life.

Once they agree to discuss the issue, define the terms and stay hyper-focused on those things. Every once in a while paraphrase and recap the discussion  - this helps clarify definitions, and it ensures that the other person feels comfortable that you are listening. So, if I’m talking about the sky being red, I’m not able to start talking about my opinion of Obama. Stay on point.

In this case, you’re discussing cycles. So, have them define it. What is a cycle? Is there evidence for cycles? Why do they believe in the science of cycles, but reject that cycles can be changed by human forcings? In other words, can natural cycles be disturbed by heavy influxes of CO2? Why or why not? Where is their evidence? Remember, they are making the claim; you are trying to learn from them. Are they choosing some scientific evidence while rejecting other scientific evidence? How is this possible? By which methodologies are they able to accept the science of cycles, yet reject the science that shows how cycles are influenced? After all, they have to point to science as their evidence for cycles. Interesting, right?

Know that you will experience breakdowns and failures while having these dialogs. That’s OK! Take a breather. Shake hands. Come back to the discussion later. It’s part of the process of learning. Try not to allow emotions to enter the discussion. Don’t get heated. Passion is a good thing, but getting angry and walking away all frustrated is a problem. Face these dips head on!

So, apply the Socratic Method when someone makes a claim. Just have fun with it. No need to be rivals.

Good luck,

Michael

Journalists with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) ordered to reflect consensus/majority view of the scientific community. This means climate deniers and other non-qualified persons will not be given airtime.

Often, science content is presented as an issue having “two-sides.” This works when science is unclear (such as the benefits/risks of drinking coffee, or when journalists present the latest super-diet food craze). But, when the majority of scientists agree on a matter, such as climate change (97%), the BBC will no longer present “the other side” on equal grounds.

Really nice climate communications journal article on how journalists cover climate change. The author’s analyzed key words in coverage from four leading newspapers. They concluded that both U.S. and Spanish journalists increasingly favored using negative language and a tone of uncertainty in their writing - despite the increasing certainty of climate science over time.

[Scientists need] to determine why US climate news continued to employ mitigating language with such frequency, despite ever- strengthening scientific understanding of and consensus around climate change. One possibility is that news reports reflect a natural tendency to hedge scientific information. Consequently, the more scientific information contained in a single article, the higher the epistemic density.

In other words, over the years, climate science has become more certain, while the language of media has increasingly expressed doubt. For example:

Regardless of [journalist’s] intention, by presenting side-by-side comparisons of past IPCC conclusions and either new findings or contrasting observations, the US newspapers created an apparent sense of discrepancy. Readers lacking the background information necessary to understand these seeming discrepancies could have interpreted them as indications of uncertain science.

If I understand the article correctly, the authors conclude that climate deniers have been very effective in changing the perspectives of the journalists.

Another possibility is that politicized attacks on climate science throughout the 1990s and 2000s have resulted in a more cautious presentation of new scientific results by journalists. The influence of contrarians in shaping climate news appears evident in that the two Spanish newspapers referred more frequently to deniers, disagreement, and debate in 2007 than in 2001. Tracking the influence of contrarian arguments on climate reporting would be another important direction for future research and one that would provide valuable feedback to climate communication efforts.

I highly recommend reading this article - or at least give it a good skim. It’s also rare that Taylor & Francis publish big articles like this one for free, so take advantage and download it, here.

jtotheizzoe:

staff:

whitehouse:

President Obama is answering your questions on education and college affordability in his first-ever Tumblr Q&A today.

Tune in right here at 4 p.m. ET, and make sure to follow us @whitehouse.

It’s really happening! 

I can confirm that this is really about to happen because I am IN THE ROOM. The White House is really nice, btw. Nice curtains.

Obama talks to tumblr.

UN-CECAR invites applicants for postgraduate level courses on ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change’. The courses run from 14th October to 7th November 2014 and is held at the United Nations University headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.  The following two courses will be offered, each with duration of 2 weeks:

 
    •    Course-1: Science, Impacts and Vulnerability’
    •    Course-2: Approaches to Adaptation
 
Priority will be given to students who are currently enrolled in a postgraduate programme.  However, the courses are also open to young faculty members, researchers and practitioners who have completed master’s degree and are working in the relevant field.
 
 
Contact:

* Dr. Srikantha Herath, UNU-IAS, herath@unu.edu

* Applications procedure and acceptance policies: Ms. Wilma James, UNU-IAS, james@unu.edu