WWF Climate Crowd

Location

Washington , DC
United States
38° 54' 25.8912" N, 77° 2' 12.7356" W
District Of Columbia US
Tool Overview: 

What: WWF Climate Crowd is a new initiative to crowdsource information on how rural communities are responding to changes in weather and climate, and how their responses are impacting biodiversity. We are partnering with organizations like the Peace Corps to collect this data, fill critical knowledge gaps, find and implement ways to better help communities and wildlife adapt, alter our conservation strategies in light of the information we gather, and raise awareness through stories from the front lines of climate change.

Climate Change Adaptations for Land Use Planners

Most scientists now agree that climate change, i.e., global warming, is occurring at a rate much faster than the normal climatic cycles, due to anthropogenic causes of greenhouse gases. Because global warming is changing the ocean currents and wind patterns, climate is changing world-wide. Some of these changes are beneficial, such as a longer growing season for farmers; however, most are harmful. The negative impacts include more frequent and severe weather extremes, such as more intense storms and droughts, more variability in weather, and sea level is rising, putting coastal communities at greater risk. Such climate changes are expected to increase in the foreseeable future; and Land Use Planners need to be prepared for the impacts on their communities. While there are many ways to help mitigate climate change, mainly through reduction in greenhouse gas production, our study is concerned with adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change.

 

This project is intended to provide an understanding of climate change impacts on land uses, and the tools that can be used to assess these impacts and adapt to them. While Land Use Planners deal with municipal land use issues, they receive engineering input from municipal engineers and outside consultants. Thus, the more technical tools in this project are intended for use by engineers and scientists assisting Land Use Planners.

This document is a simplified summary of the main report, which contains an explanation of the tools methodology, as well as additional details on the topics in each chapter.

Beyond Seasons’ End: A Path Forward for Fish and Wildlife in the Era of Climate Change

Since publishing Seasons’ End: Global Warming’s Threat to Hunting and Fishing, the urgency to address the effects of climate change on fish and wildlife has become increasingly evident. Already waterfowl exhibit changes in seasonal distribution. Higher water temperatures and diminished stream habitat are threatening coldwater fish such as trout and salmon. Big game are shifting to more northerly latitudes and to higher elevations to escape summer heat and find suitable forage. With each passing season, the need to develop strategies and invest in management practices to assist fish and wildlife adapting to a warmer world becomes more imperative. The economic, ecological and recreational values of fish, wildlife and their habitats make a persuasive case for conservation, but the legal, moral and ethical responsibilities that humans have to the environment compel the American sporting community to take up this conservation challenge in the 21st century. Historically, our nation has made numerous commitments to the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the form of legal protections, financial investments and formal recognition of the public benefits, including recreational opportunities, that they provide. To secure these benefits for the American people, Congress has invested in more than 683 million acres of public lands. The return on this national investment will be realized only if those lands and their wild inhabitants are protected and appropriately managed in perpetuity. Beyond our legal and financial obligations, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats. How we respond to the repercussions of climate change will determine the condition of the environment that we pass on to our children; it is our duty to our country and our descendants to protect and preserve the wildlife and wild places that prior generations have bequeathed to us. The spiritual values that we associate with our natural inheritance oblige us to stewardship. A Crucial Role for Sportsmen The consequences of climate change will resonate across this country in an unprecedented fashion. As a result, sportsmen will need to encourage and support state and federal agencies as they respond to this threat with major expansions in projects that attack the problem at the landscape level. They must insist that these agencies use adaptive management techniques and established best practices. Funding will need to go beyond conventional sources and include those without a history of supporting fish and wildlife. Private philanthropic, foundation and corporate investment must be combined with federal, state, and local government dollars. Programs conducted through these efforts will likely be directed toward:

  • reducing present threats to wildlife populations to increase their ability to withstand the immediate consequences of climate change
  • restoring and managing habitat to address the effects of changes in temperature, weather and precipitation patterns on species’ ranges
  • establishing and conserving fish and wildlife movement corridors
  • allocating sufficient water for fish and aquatic habitats
  • adjusting harvest management and population restoration policies
  • preparing regional and national fish and wildlife management plans

Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change

Fisheries and aquaculture are of great importance to the people of the tropical Pacific. Nowhere else do so many countries and territories depend as heavily on fish and shellfish for economic development, government revenue, food security and livelihoods. This book examines how climate change could affect the region’s plans to maximize sustainable economic and social benefits from fisheries and aquaculture – already a challenge in the face of predicted population growth. Scientists and managers from 36 institutions have collaborated to carry out this vulnerability assessment. Their analyses span the projected effects of global warming on surface climate, the ocean, fish habitats, fish stocks and aquaculture production across the vast domain of the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories. The likely effects of ocean acidification have also been evaluated. The implications are mixed – there are likely to be winners and losers. Tuna catches are eventually expected to be higher around islands in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean but lower in the west. Harvests from coastal fisheries and aquaculture are projected to decrease across the region but greater yields are likely from freshwater fisheries and pond aquaculture. This book recommends adaptations, policies and investments that should enable governments and communities to reduce the threats of climate change to fisheries and aquaculture and capitalize on opportunities. These recommendations are relevant to the concerns of all stakeholders in the region and their development partners.

World Resources Report 2010-2011: Decision Making in a Changing Climate

Adaptations to accommodate climate change will frame the future for countries and communities across the globe. Responding to climate impacts as diverse as altered rainfall patterns, more frequent extreme weather events,and rising sea levels will challenge decision makers at every level of government and in every sector of the economy. World Resources 2010–2011 addresses the difficulty of—and pressing need for—adaptation decision making. It examines current decision-making practices, acknowledging the inherent challenge in anticipating and responding to both short-term and long-term climate change risks in national policies and plans. This report then focuses on how national governments, particularly those in developing countries, can adapt to climate change by integrating climate risks into their current practices so as to increase the resilience of their communities and ecosystems.

An Integrated Regional Climate Strategy: An Impossible Dream?

One of the most publicized impacts of global warming is a predicted acceleration of sea level rise. Water levels in San Francisco Bay could rise by 1.4 meters by the end of this century and flood over 330 square miles of low-lying shoreline property and $60 billion of property. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has formulated a broad outline of a comprehensive strategy for addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to sea level rise in the Bay Area region.

Landscape-scale Indicators of Biodiversity's Vulnerability to Climate Change

Climate change will increase the vulnerability of species across the globe to population loss and extinction. In order to develop conservation strategies to facilitate adaptation to this change, managers must understand the vulnerability of the habitats and species they are trying to manage. For most biodiversity managers, conducting vulnerability assessments for all of the species they manage would be prohibitively costly, time consuming, and potentially misleading since some data required does not yet exist. We present a rapid and cost-effective method to estimate the vulnerability of biodiversity to climate change impacts across broad areas using landscape-scale indicators. While this method does not replace species-specific vulnerability assessments, it allows biodiversity managers to focus analysis on the species likely to be most vulnerable and identify the categories of conservation strategies for implementation to reduce biodiversity's vulnerability to climate change. We applied this method to California, USA to map the portions of the state where biodiversity managers should focus on minimizing current threats to biodiversity (9%), reducing constraints to adaptation (28%), reducing exposure to climatic changes (24%), and implementing all three (9%). In 18% of the state, estimated vulnerability is low so continuing current strategies and monitoring for changes is likely sufficient, while in 12% of the state, vulnerability is so high that biodiversity managers may have to reassess current conservation goals. In combination with species-specific vulnerability assessments or alone, mapping vulnerability based on landscape-scale indicators will allow managers to take an essential step toward implementing conservation strategies to help imperiled species adapt to climate change.

The City of Lewes Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Action Plan

From the Executive Summary:

Lewes, Delaware, with its strong history of hazard mitigation planning and preparedness is perfectly poised to take advantage of an increasing understanding of climate change impacts. It is already known that temperatures are rising, glaciers are retreating, snowpack is disappearing, spring is arriving earlier, and seas are rising. These changes will exacerbate hazards that are known to threaten Lewes today. While these changes cannot be prevented, the effects of these events are dependent upon the choices and actions that Lewes makes today.

Given the increasing future threats that Lewes faces, the overall goal of the Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation pilot project has been to further the City’s hazard mitigation work by incorporating climate adaptation. The project has developed this unified plan that aims to improve community sustainability and resilience. Local officials and residents have been engaged through four workshops to determine the City’s greatest existing and future vulnerabilities and to chart a course of action to reduce these vulnerabilities.

The subsequent sections provide further details on the project, the methods used and the outcomes of the effort. Section 1 focuses on providing a context for this effort and details the methods used. Section 2 provides a case for engaging in both hazard mitigation and climate adaptation. Section 3 details the natural hazards assessed. Section 4 is focused on the climate change knowledge and impacts to natural hazards that were presented to workshop participants. Section 5 outlines the vulnerability self‐assessments that were conducted during the workshops. These assessments resulted in the identification of two key vulnerabilities. The first is Lewes’ water system and the combined threats of saltwater intrusion into the aquifer and destruction of water conveyance systems that it faces from sea level rise. The second vulnerability is the destructive impacts on homes and City infrastructure from increased flooding.

Based upon these two key vulnerabilities, Section 6 describes the action selection process. Through this process, the following six actions were identified as recommendations that the City begin implementing. Finally, Section 7 provides implementation guidance for these identified actions.

  • Incorporate climate change concerns into the comprehensive plan and into future reviews of the building and zoning codes. Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 53.
  • Improve outreach and education particularly focused on successful behavior changes related to home building and retrofits. Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 59.
  • Ensure that aquifer information is integrated into all planning efforts. Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 63.
  • Use elevation data to determine road levels and evacuation risk. Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 65.
  • Evaluate the City and the Board of Public Works (BPW) infrastructure's flood vulnerability from direct flood impacts as well as from indirect flood impacts to access routes. Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 67.
  • Improve the City’s level of participation in the community rating system (CRS). Recommended actions and implementation guidance are included on page 69.

Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Europe: A Review of Risk Governance

From the Preface:

This study aims to analyse climate related disasters risk reduction governance in the European context. There will be a particular focus on the flow of information from researchers to policy makers and the way in which the decision-making process in climate adaptation and risk reduction is commonly managed. The study will confine itself to Europe and will look into practical cases of European regional and national adaptation strategies. It will also investigate specific projects and initiatives addressing Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The paper is divided into three sections:

  1. An overview of the climate-risks and disaster risk reduction field(s).

  2. An analysis of the current governance structure (studying the flow of information and decisionmaking processes).

  3. Recommendations for the enhancement of these practices in regional and international organisations.