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Atmospheric Research Using Risk Assessment to Inform Adaptation Roger N. Jones In-session Workshop on Impacts Of, and Vulnerability and Adaptation To,

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Presentation on theme: "Atmospheric Research Using Risk Assessment to Inform Adaptation Roger N. Jones In-session Workshop on Impacts Of, and Vulnerability and Adaptation To,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Atmospheric Research Using Risk Assessment to Inform Adaptation Roger N. Jones In-session Workshop on Impacts Of, and Vulnerability and Adaptation To, Climate Change Hotel Maritim, Bonn, Germany 18 June 2004

2 Atmospheric Research Risk Can be broadly defined as the likelihood of an adverse event or outcome How does this relate to Article 2 of the UNFCCC?

3 Atmospheric Research Article 2 UNFCCC Aims to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change by stabilising greenhouse gas emissions, thus allowing Ecosystems to adapt naturally Food security to be maintained Sustainable development to proceed Hazard Consequence Management criteria Through adaptation and mitigation Management options

4 Atmospheric Research Scales of “dangerous” climate change Global thresholds of criticality –Grounded ice sheet melts, –N. Hemisphere flips to cold conditions, –Amazon wilts and burns due to heat and drought Global in scale but very unlikely to occur (  with  T) Local thresholds of criticality Any activity where: –the harm caused exceeds given levels of tolerance –impacts become non-viable with no reasonable substitute Local in scale, number and severity increasing with  T, benefits fewer with  T

5 Atmospheric Research Linking climate to adaptation over time Climate system Impacted activity Socio- economic system Current climate Future climate Future adaptations Current adaptations

6 Atmospheric Research Measuring the ability to cope

7 Atmospheric Research Coping under climate change

8 Atmospheric Research Adapting through the coping range Assess risk Manage risk No adaptation Autonomous adaptation Critical risk Coping range → Adaptive capacity Mitigation Adaptation Mitigative capacity ← Danger

9 Atmospheric Research Adapting (generic) Improve technology access Institutional reform Improved equity Access to information Build social capital Access to wealth creation Adapting (specific) Mainstreaming adaptation Natural resource management New technology Disaster planning Retrofit existing structures Build resilience/resistance Autonomous adaptation Assess risk Manage risk No adaptation Autonomous adaptation Critical risk Coping range → Adaptive capacity Mitigation Adaptation Mitigative capacity ← Danger Adapting (transformative) Replace activity Abandon activity Transform activity

10 Atmospheric Research Different activities have different adaptive capacities Coral Reefs Developed Country Agriculture Developing Country Agriculture Protected Coastal Infrastructure

11 Atmospheric Research Adaptation and mitigation Adaptation increases the coping range through biological and social means Mitigation reduces the magnitude and frequency of greenhouse-related climate hazards Therefore, they are complementary, not interchangeable. They also reduce different areas of climate uncertainty

12 Atmospheric Research Some major methods 1.Natural hazards method Risk = Hazard ×Vulnerability (what are the likely damages?) 2.Vulnerability-based method Risk = Probability × Consequence (what is the likelihood of exceeding a given state of vulnerability?) 3.Policy assessment Does a given policy increase or decrease risk under climate change?

13 Atmospheric Research Selecting a method Natural Hazard Probabilities of hazard constrained Main drivers known Chain of consequences understood P(Hazard) × Consequences Exploratory Vulnerability Probabilities not constrained Many drivers Multiple pathways and feedbacks P(Vulnerability) e.g. critical threshold exceedance Normative

14 Atmospheric Research Likelihood of threshold exceedance

15 Almost certain Highly likely Least likely Low probability, extreme outcomes Damage to the most sensitive, many benefits Increased damage to many systems, fewer benefits Considerable damage to most systems Moderately likely ProbabilityConsequence Core benefits of adaptation and mitigation Probability – the likelihood of reaching or exceeding a given level of global warming Consequence – the effect of reaching or exceeding a given level of global warming Risk = Probability × Consequence Vulnerable to current climate Happening now

16 Atmospheric Research Activities most at risk Those where critical thresholds are exceeded at low levels of global warming, adaptive capacity is low and/or adaptation is prohibitively expensive, difficult or unknown and the consequences of exceeding those thresholds are judged to be serious

17 Atmospheric Research Resources UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework UKCIP Willow and Connell (2003)


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