Understanding Climate Risk

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Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

The scientific origins of the gradualist adaptation narrative and how to move beyond it

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The following statements are typical of the gradualist adaptation narrative:

  1. Within limits, the impacts of gradual climate change should be manageable.
  2. Therefore, climate change adaptation can be understood as: (a) adapting to gradual changes in average temperature, sea level and precipitation.
  3. Gradual climate change allows for a gradual shift in the mix of crops and to alternative farming systems.

So why are Gauss and Newton in the bath and Ed Lorenz in the hot tub?

Bath&Jacuzzi

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NCCARF Climate Adaptation Conference 2013

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The NCCARF (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility) Climate Adaptation Conference climate adaptation knowledge + partnerships is on from June 25-27 in Sydney. I’m attending to present the results of our recently completed project Valuing Adaptation under Rapid Change. There are many researchers and practitioners of climate adaptation from Australia and overseas here, but there is also a sense of things winding down, because NCCARF finishes up at the end of June with no obvious Commonwealth footprint in climate adaptation beyond that date.

Throw in the recent efforts by some state governments to open up for business and cut green tape, there is a genuine uncertainty about the future of research that aims to improve the three pillars of sustainable development: economy, environment and society, over long time scales. Ahh yes, but I hear you say, research is like policy, it doesn’t only need to be enacted (i.e., published in the peer reviewed literature), it needs to be enabled and implemented. And that’s something that research has not always been able to do. NCCARF has managed to do some of this, but with mixed success.

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Meeting Report: Adaptation Conversations

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The following article was written for an online publication but never made it out the door. It describes the recent Victorian Centre of Climate Change Adaptation Research Annual Forum. It seems a pity to waste, so here it is. Co-written with a colleague, Celeste Young.

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started researching adaptation in the early 1990s, the relationship between science and policy was viewed differently to how it is today. The IPCC’s brief was to offer policy-relevant, not policy-prescriptive advice. Policymakers would take scientist’s findings on climate change and impacts and develop adaptation policy to manage those impacts. These findings were contained in a report handed over from the science to the policy community every five years or so.

Times have changed. Adaptation scholars looked at this methodology (automatic download of pdf) and said “IPCC, You’re doin’ it wrong!” Adaptation is a social process. The focus has therefore shifted from getting better predictions out of science to getting a better understanding of decision-making under climate change. Sure, adaptation needs information on how the climate may change but adaptation decisions are made using information from many other sources; such as “what changes are we seeing in markets, policy, society and the environment?” And, most importantly, “what are the goals of people doing adaptation?”

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Written by Roger Jones

August 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

Posted in Adaptation, Australia, Conference, Scenarios

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Prize poster: communicating adaptation

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Last week at the Climate Adaptation in Action 2012 Conference my colleague Celeste Young won the poster prize with her poster Communicating Adaptation Effectively. It’s good to see a poster on communication that, well — communicates.

Winning poster Communicating Adaptation Effectively (C Young)  Climate Adaptation in Action 2012 – NCCARF Conference, June 2012.

This is a seriously good poster. It’s clear, full of useful points and provides a framework for communication. Certainly worth having as a prompt when project planning or engaging in communication activities. The poster itself and handout can be downloaded below. It can also be applied to pretty much any environmental or planning issue.

Creative Commons Licence
Communicating Adaptation Effectively by Celeste Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

CYoung comms poster handout CYoung comms poster

Young, C. (2012) Communicating Adaptation Effectively. Proceedings Climate Adaptation in Action 2012 – NCCARF Conference, Melbourne June 26-29, 2012.