Adapting to Climate Change in The Netherlands: an Inventory of Climate Aaptation Options and Ranking of Alternatives

In many countries around the world impacts of climate change are assessed and adaptation options identified. The article describes an approach for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of adaptation options to respond to climate change in the Netherlands. The study introduces an inventory and ranking of adaptation options based on stakeholder analysis and expert judgement, and presents some estimates of incremental costs and benefits. The qualitative assessment focuses on ranking and prioritisation of adaptation options. Options are selected and identified and discussed by stakeholders on the basis of a sectoral approach, and assessed with respect to their importance, urgency and other characteristics by experts. The preliminary quantitative assessment identifies incremental costs and benefits of adaptation options. Priority ranking based on a weighted sum of criteria reveals that in the  Netherlands integrated nature and water management and risk based policies rank high, followed by policies aiming at ‘climate proof’ housing and infrastructure.

Jemez Mountains Climate Change Adaptation Workshop: Process, Outcomes and Next Steps

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) convened a two-day workshop on climate change adaptation in the Jemez Mountains on April 21-22, 2009 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. More than 50 representatives of state and federal agencies, tribal governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated.

The Jemez Mountains Climate Change Adaptation Workshop was the first in a series of four to be organized by the Southwest Climate Change Initiative (SWCCI), a project of TNC and collaborators from the Wildlife Conservation Society, USDA Forest Service, University of Arizona and University of Washington. The goal of the SWCCI is to provide information and tools for climate change adaptation planning and implementation to conservation practitioners in the Four Corners states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

The workshop goal was to help resource managers develop strategies for helping species and ecosystems adapt to climate change, and to enhance cross-boundary collaboration using new tools and the best available climate change science. The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. Provide background information on climate change and its effects in the one million-acre Jemez Mountains landscape;
  2. Assess the effects of climate change on key species, ecosystems and ecological processes;
  3. Using a new adaptation planning framework, identify management actions to reduce climate change impacts;
  4. Identify opportunities for learning, collaboration and application of the adaptation planning process for natural resource management in the Jemez Mountains.

Over the course of two days, managers, scientists and conservation practitioners worked together to identify adaptation strategies under two climate change scenarios – one moderate, and one more extreme.

Following the workshop, representatives of the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Jemez Pueblo, NM Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute and TNC resolved to work together to develop an ecological restoration strategy for a 210,000-acre mixed-ownership landscape in the southwestern Jemez Mountains.

Finally, the work of the Southwest Climate Change Initiative continues. In December 2009, a second climate change adaptation workshop was held for Colorado’s Gunnison Basin (see for products) , and a third is scheduled for April 2010 for the forests of northern Arizona. A fourth workshop will be held in Utah in mid-2010.

Investigating Stakeholder Decision Priorities for Adapting to Climate Change in the Lake Balaton Recreational Area of Hungary

This report provides a summary of the outcomes of a series of capacity-building workshops conducted in Hungary's Lake Balaton region as part of the Balaton Adaptation Project. The main purpose of the workshops was to discuss local stakeholders' past and present decisions about adapting to climate change in the broader context of other forces of global and local change, and to outline adaptation alternatives that could be implemented in the future. The four workshops were conducted between October 26, 2007 and February 27, 2008 in three towns around Lake Balaton: Siófok, Keszthely and Balatonalmádi. Tourism is the main source of income for small businesses and municipalities in the towns around Lake Balaton. Recent changes in weather patterns during the main tourist season (and beyond) increased the interest of regional actors, including the Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency, in investigating local vulnerabilities, adaptation options and the capacities needed to successfully tackle the local impacts of climate change. Building on what we heard in the four workshops, we present recommendations for initiatives that promote sustainable development projects that are based on traditional local knowledge, support conservation initiatives, diversify tourist attractions and services, and adjust current development priorities and legislation to create opportunities for implementing such initiatives.

City of San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan

The City of San Rafael's Climate Change Action Plan describes the city's efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  Mayor Al Boro was one of the initial signers of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Projection Agreement in 2005, pledging the city to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. To meet these goals, the City Council appointed a 16-member Green Ribbon Committee to lead a community process to prepare a plan to guide both the city organization and the entire community in responding to climate change.  This Plan is the result of that community effort. 

Specific adaptation recommendations include: to monitor sea-level rise and plan for shoreline defense; to increase understanding and preparation for climate change; and to increase community education and the commitment towards sustainability efforts in San Rafael.  The chapter “Our Environment” includes recommendations for adapting to sea-level rise, increasing local crop production, participating in the Marin regional vulnerability assessment, and creating a local vulnerability assessment.

Planning for the Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change - Workshop Summary

Over 50 coastal zone managers and stakeholders from North Carolina were invited to participate in a workshop to discuss and identify potential modeling and mapping tools to plan for, and mitigate the regional impact of future sea level rise and extreme events. The participants were presented with information about the NOAA Sea Level Rise Project, sponsored by the Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR), and then identified four priority applications for scientifically informed decisions: 

1. Tools should incorporate information ascertained through scientific research and modeling that can be easily applied by state and local government and large land owners when planning future land use and deciding on policy and regulations that affect coastal resources. 

2. Tools should forecast expected habitat changes, especially potential loss of habitats important for ecological services. 

3. Tools easy to translate to decision makers. 

4. Tools to enable easy understanding of potential risks to people and development due to future flooding and related hazards. 

5. Continued engagement of NOAA and their research partners with Workshop attendees via email and websites. 

Preparing for Climate Change in the Upper Willamette River Basin of Western Oregon

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reached a consensus in 2007 that the evidence is now “unequivocal” that the earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming and concluded that these changes primarily are due to human activities (IPCC, 2007a). While reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions is vital to stabilize the climate in the long term, excess emissions already concentrated in the atmosphere will produce significant changes in the global climate now and throughout the next century. These changes are expected to transform natural systems and pose new stresses on native species in the Upper Willamette River Basin. Changes in the climate and in the Basin’s natural systems will, in turn, modify the way the local economy functions and produce new stresses on infrastructure and buildings, human health, and the quality of life of the people who live in and enjoy the Upper Willamette River Basin.

Numerous initiatives already underway will help prepare the Basin’s communities, economy, and landscapes for these effects. However, few initiatives focus on the actions needed to prepare explicitly for climate change. Expanding existing activities, launching the additional climate preparation efforts described in this report, and continuing to develop new strategies in an integrated and co-beneficial manner can help build resistance and resilience to climate change across multiple sectors in the Upper Willamette River Basin and enable the region to thrive over the coming century. 

In the fall of 2008, the University of Oregon’s Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) and the National Center for Conservation Science & Policy (NCCSP), in partnership with the Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil-System (MAPSS) Team at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, initiated a project to assess the likely consequences of climate change for the Upper Willamette River Basin. The Basin is defined as the region from the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers south and east to the headwaters of the South Fork Willamette, Middle Fork Willamette, and McKenzie rivers. This report outlines a framework for climate preparation activities in the Basin, but specific details, locations and issues will need to be addressed by community leaders, resource managers, business leaders, scientists, and other groups. 

Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security in the Canadian Arctic

The objective of this study is to provide a preliminary assessment of the impacts of climate change on food security in the Canadian Arctic, examining the scope of the issue in this region, comparing it with experiences in other vulnerable regions, and providing a baseline for action. The information gathered in the study will provide the background for a workshop on Arctic food security, tentatively proposed for FY 2009–2010, which will bring together different interests in the field of food security to examine the issue in greater detail with the aim of identifying actions to help communities and governments respond to the effects of climate change on food security.

Preparing for Coastal Change: A Guide for Local Government in New Zealand

Much of New Zealand’s urban development and infrastructure is located in coastal areas, some of which are vulnerable to coastal hazards such as coastal erosion and inundation. In recent years, coastal development and associated infrastructure have intensified, and property values have increased. As development increases, the potential impacts and consequences of coastal hazards also increase. Managing this growing risk now presents a significant challenge for planning authorities in New Zealand.

Preparing for coastal change provides information to help local government and others across New Zealand strengthen the integration of coastal hazards and climate change considerations into policy, planning, asset management and decision-making.

Climate change effects are gradual, but have implications for many land-use planning decisions. They have long-term implications because of the long lifetime of structures (eg, buildings, roads, network utilities, residential developments). Considering climate change is not only a requirement of the Resource Management Act 1991, it is also wise and good business practice.

The guide comprises three parts:

Part One – The changing climate:

• discusses how climate change affects sea level

• provides guidance on planning for future sea-level rise in New Zealand

• explains the impacts of climate change on other physical drivers that influence coastal hazards such as high tides, storms, storm surge and storm tides, wave climate and sediment supply to the coast.

Part Two – Implications for New Zealand’s coastal margins:

• outlines some implications of climate change for the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion

• recommends how to assess these effects

•outlines the implications for salinization of surface freshwaters and groundwater covers, coastal defences and inundation by tsunami

Part Three – Responding to climate change:

• covers the legislative context

• suggests mechanisms for managing, avoiding and reducing coastal hazard risks

• deals with managing residual risk and monitoring change

• discusses some challenges in reducing coastal hazard risk 

A New Era for Conservation: Review of Climate Change Adaptation Literature

Natural resource managers and conservationists are coming to grips with the fact that rapid global warming and associated climate changes are already having a considerable impact on the world’s ecological systems. More and larger shifts are expected, even in the best-case scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and future warming. These climate changes are ushering in a fundamental shift in natural resource management and conservation, to help natural systems withstand and adapt to new climate conditions. This literature review summarizes recent science on climate change adaptation in the context of natural resource management and fish and wildlife conservation. The review was prepared as a background contribution to the Adaptation 2009 conference being held February 2009 in Washington, DC, under the auspices of the National Council on Science and the Environment (NCSE) and National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The review starts with an overview of the concept of climate change adaptation, including overarching principles and barriers experienced to date in adaptation planning and implementation. We then provide specific examples of adaptation strategies for four broad habitat types: (1) forests; (2) grasslands and shrublands; (3) freshwater systems; and (4) coasts and estuaries.

California Coastal Erosion Response to Sea Level Rise - Analysis and Mapping

This report documents future coastal erosion hazards and the methodology used to estimate potential erosion, as part of the Coastal Infrastructure and Vulnerability Assessment Project. The study provides estimates of coastal erosion hazards for the California coast from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border. In addition, PWA compiled a statewide base flood elevation layer to support a flood analysis by the Pacific Institute (Pacific Institute 2009). This erosion methodology is applicable to other areas along the west coast of the United States, and was developed to be modular so that updated estimates could be more rapidly accomplished with improved data and refined methods.