This assignment has two goals.
1. To contribute directly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere. Ben is attending the scoping meeting for this report, which will be held 5-9 December in Monaco. He is one of the few social scientists there. He will work to have discussions of risk management included in the report.
The IPCC sent this information to people who will participate in the scoping meeting:
Expected outcomes of this scoping meeting are to provide title and chapter structure for this special report, together with an indication of the relative size of the various chapters, and an indicative list of topics to be addressed by authors of each chapter. Recommendations are also expected for the development of tools such as Frequently Asked Questions and Boxes and the Summary for Policymakers. These elements will be reflected in the report of the scoping meeting to be considered by the 45th Session of the IPCC scheduled to be held in April 2017.
2. To develop your understanding of risk management
3. To help you use the overview by Cash et al. 2003 as a tool to evaluate climate risk management
As we have seen in class, scientific experts and risk managers/stakeholders must both be present for climate risk management, but it can be difficult to bring these two groups together. They differ in risk assessment and risk perception. They operate with different sorts of knowledge, and they often participate in separate organizations.
“Knowledge systems for sustainable development” (Cash et al. 2003) reviews a number of cases of successful use of scientific information for sustainable development; these cases include several instances of management of resources in climate-sensitive contexts. I have drawn seven principles of knowledge systems from their article.
In this paper, you will apply these principles to analyze one case of climate risk management.
Select one case from the list of six cases below. These are cases that could be proposed as examples to justify topics in the Special Report, or that could even serve as Boxes. They could also be mentioned in the Summary for Policymakers. We are providing folders with resources for each of these cases in CourseWorks. Please recognize that the resources vary from case to case, depending on the sector and the country. They may include research articles, reports and project documents. If you wish to locate one or two more sources on the case, please feel free to do so, but it is not required.
1. Addressing reduced water flow in an agricultural valley in Chile as the glaciers recede
2. Addressing the risk of glacier lake outburst floods in a sensitive area in Nepal
3. Addressing the risk of glacier lake outburst floods in a sensitive area in Bhutan
4. Addressing the risk to hydropower of reduced glacier meltwater contribution in the Swiss Alps
5. Managing pasture resources in the Bolivian Andes as glacier meltwater decreases
6. Managing hazard risks to tourists in glacier areas in New Zealand
1. Cash, D.W., Clark, W.C., Alcock, F., Dickson, N.M., Eckley, N., Guston, D.H., Jäger, J. and R.B. Mitchell. 2003. Knowledge systems for sustainable development. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences 100(14):8086-8091.
2. The Climate Risk Management Principles and Tool
3. Case study readings provided via a Google Drive folder
Address the following topics. The weight of each component is indicated as follows.
1. Write two or three paragraphs (400-600 words total) that describe (1) the particular sector (e.g., water, hazards, tourism, agriculture) and (2) the particular organization, project, or risk management plan. Indicate the climate risk or sensitivity to the actors within the sector, the scientific information that is available, and the risk managers/stakeholders who address the climate risks in the sector and project/organization. (20%)
2. Complete all sections of the Climate Risk Management Tool for the project/organization/plan. Use two or three full sentences to explain the value for each principle. Calculate the total score for the product. (30%)
3. Write two or three paragraphs (400-600 words total) that discuss the project/organization/plan and the Climate Risk Management Tool. Indicate whether you find the final score on the tool reflects your more intuitive sense of the project/organization (30%)
4. Good use of language (clear statement of positions, effective use of evidence to support positions, good organization of paragraphs and sentences, correct grammar and spelling). Please note that we are looking for full sentences and paragraphs that analyze the issues in depth. (20%)
Appendix: Special Report contents
We do not yet know the outline of the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere, since the main task of the scoping committee is to come up with that outline. Nonetheless, we can have some idea what might occur, from the statement that described the specializations that the IPCC was seeking from prospective participants. They indicated that the participants collectively should be able to address the following areas:
• Oceans and cryosphere in the climate system: interactions, drivers, mass and energy exchange, carbon storage and fluxes (including submarine and terrestrial permafrost), climate feedbacks (e.g., albedo), timescales of responses, abrupt change, irreversibility
• Global to regional ocean physical and biogeochemical variability and change (circulation, extreme events, heat content, salinity, sea ice, carbon cycle, acidification, oxygen, nutrients, upwelling, etc.): paleoclimate, observations, processes, modelling and projections, model evaluation, detection and attribution to human influence
• Global to regional variability and change in the cryosphere (including mountain glaciers, ice shelves, ice sheets, permafrost): paleoclimate, observations, processes, modelling and projections, model evaluation, detection and attribution to human influence
• Global to regional sea level variability and change: drivers, paleoclimate, observations, processes, modelling and projections, model evaluation, detection and attribution to human influence
• Methods for the detection of climate change impacts on ecosystems and human systems associated with oceans and cryosphere, attribution of impacts to anthropogenic climate change and other human influences: paleo- and present observations, processes, modelling and projections, model evaluation
• Cryosphere-bound ecosystems and human systems, their observed and projected changes, cryosphere changes and water availability
• Marine ecosystems, biodiversity, productivity, ecosystem services across latitudes, upwelling areas, their observed and projected changes
• Socioeconomic consequences of ocean and cryosphere changes and their implications for sustainable development across regions (natural resources, food webs, food security, health, habitat security, tourism, transportation, etc.)
• Vulnerability and scope for adaptation of natural, managed, and human systems related to oceans, coasts and the cryosphere (including human infrastructures, cities, indigenous communities, human behaviours, economies, adaptation costs, trade-offs and co-benefits)
• Risk assessments, risk perception, reasons for concern (extreme events, coastal erosion, ocean circulation, sea level rise, cryosphere retreat, ecosystem degradation, e.g., coral reefs; harmful algal blooms, adverse impacts of human response measures; climate interactions with overfishing, eutrophication and pollution, regional differentiation)
• Marine mitigation including nature-based mitigation (conservation, i.e., marine protected areas; blue carbon including changes in carbon stocks and fluxes under emission pathways, their relevance for greenhouse gas inventories and accounting) and technologies (renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and other geoengineering techniques, their feasibility and risks, ethical aspects)
• Climate change policies, instruments, international law and cooperation related to oceans and the cryosphere, regional aspects of sustainable development, equity, poverty eradication