Participants Responses to Question 3
variability should be viewed as an opportunity to prepare for climate
change. Climate variability and climate change are part of the same
continuum of issues and should not be treated as distinct and separate
issues in developing methods for adaptation. The short timeframe in
extreme climate events and ongoing variability provides ample opportunity
for developing informed, iterative processes that respond to lessons
learned and can be applied and adapted in new contexts. Science and
technology are constantly improving our ability to find solutions to
problems, but it will be important to incorporate ideas from other fields
and disciplines. Gradual behavioral changes now may have far greater
implications in the future, and it is important not to discount historical
and current lessons from climate variability in our pursuit to develop
adaptation strategies for climate change. --- All this to say that the
issues described in the information outlines for this workshop and for
the background papers are all important in establishing an ongoing process
and dialogue for adaptation to climate change.
How could strength and weakness of adaptations of historically observed extreme climate events on society could be applied to manage climate risks of various time scales.
Is there any rational to keep distinction between climate change and climate variability in so far adaptation issues are concerned.
Climate variability and resources management.
WALTER E. BAETHGEN
How can we use the lessons learned in past and on-going research on climate variability to develop the “next generation” research program on adaptation to climate change.
How can we establish
networks that operationally connect research projects and set up international,
cross-disciplinary teams, to convert the knowledge being gained in climatic
processes into improved and feasible socio-economic options.
MOHAMMED SADECK BOULAHYA
<<<PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT and SOCIO-ECONOMICAL STUDIES on the different possibilities of CLIMATE IMPACT on HUMAN ACTIVITIES and ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT >>>
<<<CONTRIBUTION OF EVERY COMMUNITY to the World Climate Watch>>
NATHANIEL AGUSTIN CRUZ
of highly localized forecasts (countries with limited resources cannot
cope with voluminous information from GCMs)
How can the wealth of experience gained from managing variability become a foundation for climate change adaptation and the institutions involved and their become a foundation upon which to build for promoting adaptation?
How can the different state level action best be coordinated with national research and planning efforts? How can the different states effectively provide input into the national research effort on climate change and variability? What is the most efficient and scientifically sound way to generate seasonal and decadal regional probabilistic climate projections at enough temporal and geographical disaggregation for the development of adaptation strategies?
What are some of the generalizations we have learned from small scale societies and those which have the technology, institutions and knowledge to mitigate climate variability.
It would be interesting to see other quantitative studies of dealing with the use of actual systems and actual forecast information
I’ll share a few thoughts on water management, water planning, and linkages to climate uncertainty.
Considerable attention has been given in the RISAs to integrated research designed to bridge the gaps between various disciplines, information at different spatial scales, and different levels of governance. I think there has also been an awareness that integration across time is important in the context of planning for climate change, i.e. that there are functional linkages between understanding and planning for climate variability and the same goals in the context of global warming. Unfortunately, there remains a great deal of work to be done to bring these ideas to bear on actual management and planning problems.
A key point for me with regard
to water management is that our current management institutions (“long-term”
planning not withstanding) typically have very limited capacity for
dealing with cyclical or cumulative changes in climate in the decision
process. It is essential that we learn to incorporate these kinds of
threats (and adaptive strategies for coping with them) in our thinking
if we are to successfully reduce institutional vulnerabilities to climate
change. Understanding and using climate variability more effectively
in water planning may provide an analogue for incorporating climate
uncertainty regarding climate change into water management and long
Another significant issue surrounds the design of adaptation strategies for climate change that do not require expensive, recursive policy interventions to fix problems associated with climate uncertainty. Flexible water management systems keyed to inter-annual climate forecasts or water markets (which can evolve over time), may increase adaptive capacity by reducing costs. These kinds of management systems are attractive because as the climate changes, the inputs to the management system (e.g. streamflow or demand forecasts, or the price of water in a market based allocation system) change, but the water management policy itself remains the same and does not need to be dealt with over and over again in the political or legal arenas.
How can we more effectively incorporate paleoclimatological and other pre-historical information into practical considerations of adapting to long-term climate variability and/or change?
How can we better frame issues related to climate variability and change, especially in terms of language and visualization, so that discussions about impacts and adaptation are more effective?
What infrastructure (both hardware and people) is needed to ensure effective monitoring, routine and exploratory analyses, and rapid research response to address the “surprises” likely to occur as a consequence of long-term climate variability and/or climate change?
What are the non-linear changes, threshold responses, and cascading effects that we can identify now as being relevant to adapting to long-term climate variability and/or climate change? What do we need to do to identify others not currently known?
What experiences related to shorter-term climate variability (both vulnerability and opportunities) can inform efforts to foster adaptation to longer-term climate variability and/or climate change?
From my perspective, the greatest challenge in connecting climate research to on-the-ground applications is to better understand the "decision space" within which climate information can potentially be used. Much of the climate research currently produced is not readily usable to potential decision makers, a problem that will persist until researchers better understand the decision space associated with different resources and issues.
Is it possible to generalize about coping/adaptive responses or are they too situation-specific?
How do you foster the individual creativity that seems to be a characteristic of the dynamic coping response and is fundamental to humanity's inherent adaptability?
Are there situations where improving coping capacity might be inconsistent with facilitating adaptive response? For example, by concretizing responses so initiative and evolution is hampered.
PATRICK NKONO LUGANDA
Research on how climate information can help to improve livelihoods with particular emphasis to the rural livelihoods in developing countries.
How can quality-forecasting services (cyclones, ENSO) be made available to PICs?. What technological tools are available and can be made available to PICs to better deal with CV and CC. In terms of research, PICs need more fundamental research initiatives on the impacts and the associated vulnerabilities of CV on Agriculture, Health, Water and the Coastal zone. Such research initiatives can also provide data for the development of PICs appropriate models to predict CV and CC impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation options.
We need to build
on lessons learnt from coping with CV. A systematic evaluation of management
options that take existing CV into account can be easily adapted to
evaluate systems performance for future CC scenarios. If we can handle
CV, we can also cope with CC.
The agenda as constructed is adequate for the time available. Perhaps most emphasis should be placed on decision-making under uncertainty. If time is available, it would be useful to have discussions on two additional items: a). adaptation vs. the rate of change vis-à-vis integrated impacts; and b). how different regions are dealing with the problem of downscaling.
I would like to have a discussion of possible ways to assure a “safety net” of equity across vulnerable sectors and populations addressed. Discussion of the many issues associated with scale (spatial, temporal, societal) in carrying out stakeholder-inspired climate research would also be useful.
1. International collaboration for capacity building
in the developing world in this field.
Vulnerability/impacts assessments; to improve/enhance capacity in the development of local/regional climate models relevant to regional climate change and development scenarios, down scaling of climate products for specific sector applications, capacity building, education, training and awareness; policy enhancement, especially disaster management and other relevant issues.
I think that we – the academic and policy community – make an artificial distinction between adaptation and sustainable development, and an artificial connection between adaptation and mitigation. I think that we do this mainly because of international funding mechanisms: there is a pot of money available for mitigation and adaptation, and so we think in terms of the optimal portfolio of these two, whereas in fact the portfolio we need top be thinking in terms of is sustainable development and adaptation. As a result of this, we tend to think about adaptation decision-making as taking place at something of the same scale as mitigation decision-making, whereas in fact it needs to take place at the same scale as sustainable development, which I believe is most often the micro-scale. I would thus like to see two questions addressed: (1) a better understanding and appreciation of the scale at which adaptation takes place, and (2) suggestions for changing the funding mechanisms that tend to push adaptation decision-making to different scales.
JENNIFER G. PHILLIPS
(see above) I would like to see the question of impacts of climate change
on the skill of our seasonal prediction methods addressed, and a twist
on same idea – what is the latest on whether or not we should
expect stronger or more frequent El Ninos with global warming.
Linking research results to operational users in an effective way
WILLIAM K. REISEN
I feel that forecasting provides the most important tool in intervention because it allows planners to respond. The degree of precision and accuracy required from these forecasts depends on the health or other risks considered. For example, in California it may be sufficient to know in October that there is an 80% chance of well above average snow pack to plan for mosquito control operations the following summer.
What follows is a selected list of some of the key issues associated with designing andimplementing a climate adaptation program focused on the development of the kind of climate-society partnerships described in the answer to Question 2:
The planned agenda is very thorough. I think the issue of decision-making under uncertainty is particularly important.
In the context of adaptation to climate change research, discussion of research strategies/methods to better simulate (1) the physical modeling uncertainty and (2) socio-economic-political forecasting uncertainty.
More projects on how climate information can be utilized within development projects to help improve rural livelihoods, especially in developing countries.
Improved seasonal climate forecasts
Dissemination and use of the forecasts.
Rainfall variability and plausible projections rainfall trends in the Caribbean.Educating populations as to the potential of future environmental change which essentially influences access to food – greater access will be as a result of preparation for adapting to the change.
The theme of strengthening institutions to respond to change
Related are issues of local scale and local capacity to respond to change
Local knowledge and scientific knowledge in improving capabilities
Conduct scientific research on farmer’s methods of forecasting rainfall seasons. Integrate farmer’s climate knowledge with scientific one, to enable farmers easily adapt to climate variability.
a) Practical aspects
of implementation and adoption by the user community.