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CLIMATE CHANGE - AN UNPRECENDENTED CHALLENGE TO MANKIND AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR GLOBAL SCIENCE-SOCIETY RELATIONS

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Title: CLIMATE CHANGE - AN UNPRECENDENTED CHALLENGE TO MANKIND AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR GLOBAL SCIENCE-SOCIETY RELATIONS


1
CLIMATE CHANGE - AN UNPRECENDENTED CHALLENGE TO
MANKIND AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR GLOBAL
SCIENCE-SOCIETY RELATIONS
  • Mike Harrison
  • Oxford University Centre for the Environment
  • Kings College, University of London
  • mikeharrison26_at_btinternet.com
  • With acknowledgements to Lucka Kajfez Bogotaj and
    Richard Washington

2
Some IPCC AR4 Highlights - Working Group I -
Science
  • Very high confidence that the global effect
    of human activities is one of warming
  • Warming of the climate system is unequivocal
  • Numerous long-term changes in climate have been
    observed but some aspects not
  • Continued emissions will induce changes
    very likely larger than those during the 20th
    Century
  • Anthropogenic warming would continue for centuries

3
World primary energy consumption by fuel type
4
Carbon emissions (Gt/yr)
CO2 concentration (ppm)
5
Projections of future climate changes
CO2 equivalent 600 -gt1550
The future depends on human choices about
emissions. 600 ppmv CO2 equiv (B1) Best
estimate is 1.8C likely 1.1-2.9C by
2100 1550 ppmv (A1FI) Best 4C likely
2.4-6.4C
6
PROBABILISTIC PROJECTIONS OF GLOBAL WARMING
1.8
1.6
)
-1
1990-2030
C)
1.4
o
1.2
1
0.8
1990-2070
PROBABILITY DENSITY ((
0.6
1990-2100
0.4
0.2
0
TAR RANGE
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
GLOBAL-MEAN TEMPERATURE CHANGE FROM 1990
Wigley
7
Changes across the century for 3 month averages
of 10-20ºC and 50-200 mm/month
8
Some IPCC AR4 Highlights - Working Group II -
Impacts
  • Many natural systems are being affected by
    regional climate changes, particularly
    temperature increases
  • It is likely that anthropogenic warming has had a
    discernible influence on many physical and
    biological systems
  • Future impacts are expected in freshwater
    resources ecosystems food, fibre and forest
    products coastal systems industry, settlement
    and society health
  • Some adaptation is occurring now
  • Adaptation will be necessary
  • Vulnerability can be exacerbated by other
    stresses

9
Regions most affected
  • In EUROPE greatest impacts on
  • Arctic regions
  • Moisture-limited ecosystems
  • Mediterranean
  • The Arctic
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Small islands
  • Asian megadeltas

10
Vulnerable systems and sectors
  • Some ecosystems
  • Coral reefs sea-ice regions
  • Tundra, boreal forests, mountain and
    Mediterranean regions
  • Low-lying coasts, mangroves salt marshes
  • Water resources in mid-latitudes dry Tropics
  • Low-latitude agriculture
  • Human health where adaptive capacity is low
  • 20 - 30 of plants and animals at high risk of
    extinction if ?T 1.5C - 2.5C

11
Europe North ? South differences
12
The economic damage will be large
13
The costs of stabilising the climate are
manageable delay would be dangerous and much
more costly
Damages from climate change rise
disproportionately with temperature !!! (A 25
increase in storm wind speeds is associated with
an almost 7-fold increase in damages to
buildings).
  • Climate change could lead to floods, massive
    population shifts, and wars over natural
    resources.
  • Ecosystems are unlikely to be able to adapt at
    the rapid rates of change expected.

Stern Review (2006)
14
Some IPCC AR4 Highlights - Working Group III -
Mitigation
  • With current policies global GHG emissions
    will continue to grow over the next few decades
  • studies indicate that there is substantial
    economic potential for the mitigation of global
    GHG emissions
  • Changes in lifestyle and behaviour patterns can
    contribute to mitigation

15
AR4 Outcomes - Some Recent Developments
  • It has been agreed to produce an AR5 using the
    same IPCC WG structure
  • A growing recognition of the limited abilities of
    current models to simulate regional climates
    (including rainfall) and their changes
  • New initiatives to develop higher-resolution
    models and to improve ensemble approaches

16
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17
Scientific Support to the IPCC
  • From 4 International Programmes (ESSP - Earth
    Systems Science Programmes) under ICSU
    (International Council for Science)

18
International Policy Making based on IPCC Advice
19
Four Fundamentals of the UNFCCC - 1 Definition
  • Climate change means a change of climate which
    is attributed directly or indirectly to human
    activity that alters the composition of the
    global atmosphere and which is in addition to
    natural climate variability observed over
    comparable time periods.

20
Four Fundamentals of the UNFCCC - 2 Objective
  • The ultimate objective of this Convention is to
    achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas
    concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that
    would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
    interference with the climate system.
  • According to IPCC WGII AR4
  • With very high confidence, no temperature
    threshold associated with any subjective judgment
    of what might constitute dangerous climate
    change can be guaranteed to be avoided by
    anything but the most stringent of mitigation
    interventions.

21
Four Fundamentals of the UNFCCC - 3 Mitigation
  • Each of these Annex I Parties shall adopt
    national policies and take corresponding measures
    on the mitigation of climate change, by limiting
    its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases
    and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas
    sinks and reservoirs.
  • Kyoto Protocol (1997)
  • Bali Action Plan (2007)
  • Cap and Trade

22
Role of Global Environment Facility (GEF) in
Mitigation
  • Set up within World Bank to manage funding re the
    Rio Conventions (with UNFCCC are the related
    conventions on Desertification and Sustainable
    Development)
  • One founding principle is that GEF does not help
    fund normal national activities, only
    extensions to those activities in line with the
    Conventions
  • Within context of mitigation
  • CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)
  • JI (Joint Implementation)

23
Four Fundamentals of the UNFCCC - 4 Adaptation
  • Cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the
    impacts of climate change develop and elaborate
    appropriate and integrated plans for coastal zone
    management, water resources and agriculture, and
    for the protection and rehabilitation of areas,
    particularly in Africa, affected by drought and
    desertification, as well as floods
  • National Adaptation Plans of Action (NAPAs)
  • Nairobi Work Programme (2005)

24
Role of GEF in Adaptation
  • Strategic Priority for Adaptation
  • Concrete adaptation projects measures for
    reducing vulnerability increasing adaptive
    capacity e.g.s Kiribati Adaptation Programme,
    Lake Balaton integrated vulnerability assessment,
    Community based adaptation programme
  • Least Developed Countries Fund
  • NAPAs funding to adaptation programmes in
    Bangladesh, Bhutan, Eritrea, Niger,Malawi,
    Mauritania, Samoa
  • Special Climate Change Fund
  • Four financing avenues for developing countries
    adaptation technology transfer
    energy,transport, industry,agriculture,forestry
    and waste management economic diversification
  • Coping with Drought and Climate Change (Ethiopia,
    Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
  • Other projects in Tanzania, Guyana, Kenya,
    Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, China
  • Also UNFCCC Adaptation Fund

25
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26
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27
Differences between Mitigation and Adaptation
Mitigation Adaptation
Universal benefit Local benefit
Links to main economy Links to main and local economies
Generally major commercial interest All types of commercial and national/local interests
Perception of need to act in short time scale Initial perception that action might wait
Extensive research More restricted research and numerous contexts
Readily portable easy knowledge management Not necessarily readily portable complex knowledge management
28
What is Adaptation? - 1
  • Shocks
  • Globally about 70 of disasters/shocks come as
    hydro-meteorological events in terms of deaths
    and damage for numbers affected it is in excess
    of 95 (IFRC/CRED)
  • According to IPCC WGII AR4 confidence has
    increased that some weather events and extremes
    will become more frequent, more widespread and/or
    more intense during the 21st Century
  • In part we are building greater vulnerability
    while at the same time not always increasing
    resilience
  • Endogenous
  • Future
  • Current

29
What is Adaptation? - 2
  • Shocks
  • Endogenous
  • This is the manner of natural societal adaptation
    over many millennia
  • Undoubtedly this will be an significant approach
    during the future
  • Future
  • Current

30
What is Adaptation? - 3
  • Shocks
  • Endogenous
  • Future
  • To a major extent this is the prime area
    considered by the IPCC, including
  • Future sea level rise
  • Changes in ecological/agricultural zones
  • New or modified threats to health/food
    production/water supplies
  • Changes and new stresses to social structures -
    migration and conflict
  • Current

31
What is Adaptation? - 4
  • Shocks
  • Endogenous
  • Future
  • Current
  • Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the
    world. Its population of some 33 million is
    growing at about 2.8 per year. Annual per
    capita income is approximately 250. The
    economy, and most of its population, is heavily
    dependent on agriculture, which accounts for some
    50 of GDP and provides 85 of exports. As such,
    Tanzanias economy is vulnerable to climatic
    conditions, notably floods and drought, with some
    regions being particularly drought-prone.

32
UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme
  • Objectives
  • To assist all Parties, in particular developing
    countries, including the least developed
    countries and small island developing States, to
    improve their understanding and assessment of
    impacts, vulnerability and adaptation and
  • To assist all Parties to make informed decisions
    on practical adaptation actions and measures to
    respond to climate change on a sound scientific,
    technical and socio-economic basis, taking into
    account current and future climate change and
    variability.

33
UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme
  • Nine action areas
  • Methods and tools
  • Data and observations
  • Climate modelling, scenarios and downscaling
  • Climate related risks and extreme events
  • Socio-economic information
  • Adaptation planning and practices
  • Research
  • Technologies for adaptation
  • Economic diversification

34
Nairobi Work Programme
  • Organisations involved

35
UN Adaptation Activities
  • Numerous across many organisations - but often
    not coordinated
  • Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate
    Change (AIACC) ? START
  • Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDevAfrica)
    ? G8/AfDB/AUC

36
Current Adaptation
  • Not much long-term planning in very poor African
    countries LDCs
  • Lack of expertise (brain drain) for planning
  • Lack of finance to implement plans
  • Current contribution of climate services to
    development in most LDCs is not easily
    distinguishable from zero .. compared with what
    is needed.

37
Current Adaptation
  • A fourth reason why some Goals are not being met
    is simply that policymakers are unaware of the
    challenges, unaware of what to do, or neglectful
    of core public issues. Environmental policy is
    often grossly neglected because of politically
    weak environment ministries, even weaker law
    enforcement, and considerable deficiencies in
    information and in the capacity to act on that
    information. Few governments currently have the
    capacity to assess the deep links between
    ecosystem services (hydrology, biodiversity,
    natural hazard reduction) and poverty reduction.
    The environment is much too often taken as given,
    or regarded as a resource to be exploited.

38
Current Adaptation
  • Multiple sectors involved, limited research base
  • Necessary data are often either missing, of
    doubtful quality, or difficult to access
  • Has tended to be a focus on climate predictions,
    especially seasonal forecasts
  • Often seen/managed as a one-off activity
    independent of other major issues, such as the
    Millennium Development Goals, other Rio
    Conventions, etc.

39
Decision Making and Policy
  • In all instances adaptation requires some form of
    decision process, yet these decision processes
    are often poorly defined ? Espoo Conference
  • Further adaptation needs appropriate policy
    frameworks in which to function effectively ?
    INCLUDE
  • Ideally adaptation should be planned within the
    contexts of other related challenges ? Millennium
    Development Goals, other Rio and environmental
    Conventions, etc.

40
Summarising Issues
  • Key outcomes for adaptation activities
  • Focus
  • Legacy
  • Integration with other activities
  • Appropriate adjustment to or creation of policies
  • Ideally, portability
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