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Climate science: Why should we care about adaptation in Scotland? Pete Smith 1,2,3 & Iain Brown 2,3

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Presentation on theme: "Climate science: Why should we care about adaptation in Scotland? Pete Smith 1,2,3 & Iain Brown 2,3"— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate science: Why should we care about adaptation in Scotland? Pete Smith 1,2,3 & Iain Brown 2,3 E-mail: 1 2 3 CLIMATE JUSTICE CONFERENCE: DELIVERING SOCIALLY JUST ADAPTATION IN SCOTLAND, VICTORIA QUAY, 13 TH SEPTEMBER 2012

2 What is ClimateXChange? ClimateXChange is the Scottish Governments independent centre of expertise. We provide timely and objective research evidence and expert advice on issues relating to climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy.

3 Three Areas of Work Call Down Service A call down enquiry service providing policy makers with access to timely, robust and impartial evidence and professional opinion. Proactive support Providing focused intelligence and opinion on medium-term and over-the- horizon issues. Planned work Strategic research to support policy in 14 Workstrands, organised into three Workstreams – Mitigation; Adaptation; and Risk and Uncertainty. Image: think4photop / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage: Evgeni Dinev / Image: federico stevanin /

4 Areas of Expertise The main areas of expertise focus on the following: Adaptation Mitigation Risk and uncertainty We work in partnership to provide the Scottish Government with the very best scientific advice and to put this-based research evidence at the heart of policy development.

5 Climate Change Impacts


7 Climate change is likely to turn extremes into new normals.

8 2003 Heatwave

9 Drier summers, wetter winters have been observed since 1961 Blue bars are change in intense precipitation events in the winter (more). Orange bars are change in intense precipitation events in the summer (less). UKCIP02 (2002)

10 UKCIP02 (2002) Temperature Precipitation

11 …and we can expect much less snow UKCIP02 (2002)

12 UKCIP02 (2002) & Scottish Executive (2006); UKCP09 Annual temperatures averaged across Scotland will rise by up to 3.5˚C in the summer and 2.5˚C in the winter. Summers will become generally drier across Scotland. There may only be a slight reduction in rainfall in the north- west but as much as a 40% reduction in the south and east. Scotlands growing season will become longer, by between 30 and 80 days. Scotlands sea levels will rise, perhaps by up to 600 mm around the mainland. Average snowfall amounts will decrease, perhaps by up to 90% less depending on location, and snowless winters may become normal in some parts. Scotland will have more severe extreme rainfall events, with rainfall in 24 hours from storms expected to occur on average every two years up by 25%, especially in the east. Expected impacts in Scotland by the 2080s

13 Why should we adapt?

14 John Holdren, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science We basically have three choices –mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. Were going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required, and the less suffering there will be. Slide from Jean-Pascal van Ypersele

15 Climate change projections IPCC, AR4, WGI (2007)

16 MitigationAdaptation Mitigate or adapt? Both needed Warren et al. (2012) AVOID Report 39

17 Options: Do nothing (suffering) Adaptation Mitigation Adaptation: Even with mitigation, there is some climate change already in the pipeline so we need to adapt to that. This means reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, or increasing our resilience to these impacts The Scottish Government (2009) Adaptation Scotland:

18 Climate Change Risk Assessment

19 Adaptation Policy in Scotland The statutory Adaptation Programme is required to respond to the 1 st CCRA (published Jan 2012) A draft will available for public consultation at the turn of the year Final version will be published Summer 2013 Linked to Public Duties Act

20 The CCRA will enable Government to… Understand the risks posed by climate change Compare with other pressures on Government Prioritise adaptation policy geographically and by sector Includes an Economic Analysis that will: Estimate the cost of adaptation Identify where action is most beneficial 5 year cycle Objectives of the UK CCRA

21 National Risk Register – compares and assesses risks via fatalities, illness, injury; disruption; overall effects on economy How do climate change risks compare against other priorities ??

22 CCRA process – Tiered risk assessment

23 CCRA Sectors Sectors for data gatheringCross-cutting themes Health Energy Transport Built Environment Business/Industry/Services – Inc. Tourism Agriculture Forestry Water (supply/demand/quality) Flood and coastal erosion risk management Fisheries/marine Biodiversity and ecosystem services Security Critical Infrastructure Telecommunications Spatial Planning Vulnerable Groups Finance and Insurance Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Emergency Planning Other emerging issues Each sector has its own report Separate reports for Devolved Administrations – Scotland, Wales, N Ireland >> Different priorities ???

24 Key Issues from CCRA Flooding-related risks (fluvial, pluvial, coastal) Water availability Critical infrastructure (transport, energy, water) Loss of ecosystems and their vital services Indirect effects - Complex cross-sectoral interactions including with non-cc issues or with mitigation measures

25 Specific issues for Scotland Infrastructure issues – e.g. age of housing stock Importance of key socio-economic sectors – e.g. financial services, land-based sectors, whisky (international component too) Remote communities (e.g. uplands, islands) Complacency – Assumption that climate change will be a net good. Highly unlikely !!! Some opportunities but need to prepare for these in addition to the risks

26 CCRA Review A workshop in May 2012 reviewed the 1 st CCRA with regard to recommendations for CCRA2 (next 5–year cycle) Need to do more!

27 Need a better understanding of how people Adapt ! Barriers / enablers Multiple stressors E.g. use of coping ranges

28 CCRA follow-on work in ClimateXChange To better define current vulnerability as a reference for future change -Use of indicators, scenarios etc. Understand factors that build community resilience (partic. against extreme events) Better tools for evaluating adaptation strategies that include wider social issues and benefits [e.g. Total Economic Valuation] Use of Demonstration projects to show Adaptation in Practice

29 Environmental change links to justice issues Many of the adverse impacts of environmental degradation have fallen disproportionately on the poor – United Nations, 2011 As a black person in America, I am twice as likely as a white person to live in an area where air pollution poses the greatest risk to my health. I am five times more likely to live within walking distance of a power plant or chemical facility, which I do. - Majora Carter, 2006

30 I am here to: a) provide background on the science of climate change if needed, b) learn about the justice issues associated with climate change adaptation in Scotland

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