Community Observations on Climate Change Nushagak River Trip Report, September 22-25, 2014

This trip report documents climate change impacts as described by the community members and considers the effects as interpreted through the lens of public health.

In September 2014 the Bristol Bay Native Association, responding to local concerns about climate change impacts, organized an assessment of villages of the Nushagak River, including Koliganek, New Stuyahok and Ekwok. Previous community assessments in the Bristol Bay region were performed in Pilot Point, Levelock and Nondalton and this was an opportunity to investigate a new area and hear the observations and concerns of residents.

The assessment team was lead by Sue Flensburg of the Bristol Bay Native Association and included Gabe Dunham from Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and Mike Brubaker from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Center for Climate and Health. The assessments occurred from September 22nd to 25th, 2014. Each assessment included a community tour, public meetings, training, and installation of time lapse cameras for environmental monitoring. Video footage was taken of impact areas along the Nushagak River.

Swinomish Climate Change Initiative: Impact Assessment Technical Report

In recognition of a growing body of scientific evidence, and in response to certain specific local events, the Swinomish Indian Senate issued a proclamation in 2007 directing action to study the possible effects of climate change on the Swinomish Indian Reservation community, lands, and resources and determine appropriate responses.1 Following this proclamation, the Tribe initiated a two-year project in late 2008 to assess how climate change may affect the Swinomish Indian Reservation and to develop strategies to address potential impacts.

The outcome of this project is the production of three key reports: this Impact Assessment Technical Report, a preliminary Adaptation Strategy Report, and a Community Action Plan with recommendations for future adaptation options and strategies. This technical report comprises the first milestone of the project. It represents the work of a multidisciplinary team led by staff of the Swinomish Office of Planning & Community Development, in partnership with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (CIG), and with further scientific assistance from Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC). The report describes the scientific data and potential climate change scenarios, assesses possible local impacts, and identifies specific areas of potential risk and vulnerability to climate change effects.

Science Summary: Heat wave in Phalodi, India, 19 May 2016

On Thursday 19 May 2016, India experienced an all-time record high temperature for any calendar day. The high temperature reached 51°C in the city of Phalodi in the Jodhpur district of the state of Rajasthan. By some accounts it was the third-highest temperature ever documented globally. It was so hot that many residents of this city of about 50,000 simply remained indoors. Those who did venture outside in Gujarat’s Valsad found their sandals sticking to molten roads.

Temperatures were high across much of Rajasthan on that day, with a majority of stations recording maximum temperatures above 46°C. The state capital of Jaipur saw its hottest day in the past 11 years, with a maximum temperature of 46.5°C, while Delhi, India’s capital, reached 46.8°C.

The Raising Risk Awareness Project – delivered by CDKN with the World Weather Attribution initiative – undertook an analysis of whether human-induced climate change had contributed to the heat wave event – to inform decision-makers whether such  heat waves are more likely to happen in the future. The analysis found that:

  • Consistent with human-caused climate change, annual mean temperatures across India are increasing.
  • Heat waves in a relatively small area of India are becoming more frequent and more intense, but this is not true for most of the country.
  • On 19 May 2016, the city of Phalodi in Rajasthan set an all-time record for any calendar day, hitting 51°C.
  • This analysis used peer-reviewed methods to see if climate change is affecting the risk of record heat like that on 19 May 2016 in north-western India, and like that of a similar one-day heat event in Andhra Pradesh in May 2015.
  • The analysis did not find that human-induced climate change played a role in these individual heat waves. This runs counter to studies done on similar extreme heat events in other parts of the world.
  • The lack of a detectable climate change trend may be due to the masking effect of aerosols on warming, and on irrigation use.

Beaubassin East is a Canadian Rural Community in Westmorland County, New Brunswick

England & Wales: Policy options for shorelines to manage sea level rise risks

Location

United States
52° 50' 22.8876" N, 1° 34' 55.3116" E
US
Summary: 

In the United Kingdom, shoreline management plans (SMPs) provide the framework for coastal regulatory officials to assess long-term changes and risks associated with coastal processes, such as tidal patterns, wave height, and sea level rise. These plans provide strategies to help reduce risks associated with coastal flooding and erosion on built and natural environments. Like most marine management plans, SMPs are non-statutory. Instead, they are high-level policy documents that take into account existing legislative requirements and compatibility with adjacent coastal areas.

The Town of East Hampton is located in Suffolk County, New York, at the eastern end of the South Shore of Long Island.

Shinnecock Indian Nation Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Shinnecock Environmental Department and the Natural Resource Committee had begun researching climate change, and particularly the impacts on surface water and ocean acidification, because of tribal shellfish cultivation. The next large concern was the increasing shoreline erosion, which is contributing to the loss of trees. The staff began researching other climate change issues that were impacting the region as well. Climate change is included in the Shinnecock Nation’s strategic plan.

The Shinnecock Environmental Department will lead the effort to implement the plan. They will actively work with other tribal departments and committees, such as health, land management, education, governance, and emergency management, to review the plan and identify the key areas for which each department/committee is needed for implementation. The plan will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary. Each action item will be reviewed and delegated to the appropriate entity for implementation, including the seeking of outside consultants when deemed necessary. Reasonable timelines and target dates for these efforts are under development.

OIC is Britain’s smallest local authority - but we lead the way in Scotland in providing all the council services used by the people of the county. Set up in 1974, the Council became a model for the delivery of local government across the nation – a model used in the creation of 31 similar all-purpose authorities in 1996.

East Hampton, NY: Planning that includes a coastal erosion overlay district

Location

United States
40° 57' 56.8332" N, 72° 10' 58.5192" W
US
Summary: 

East Hampton, on Long Island, New York, is both a vacation destination and home to a strong year-round community with its early economic roots in agriculture, fishing, and shellfishing. Development pressure and population growth has caused some degradation of coastal resources, and in 1999 the Town enacted a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) to protect and promote waterfront resources.