Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Wednesday 8 July - 17:30-19:00 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 103 - Block 24/34

4418 (a) - Information for decision-making - How to engage in future thinking or plan for the long term

Parallel Session

Chair(s): A. Coudrain (Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Montpellier, France)

Lead Convener(s): S. Serrao-Neumann (Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

Convener(s): M. Winter (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Leipzig, Germany), I. Glitho (Université de Lome - Faculté des sciences, Lome, Togo), A. T. Gaye (University Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar, Dakar, Senegal)

17:30

Decision-relevant science for water security: An iterative process for targeting and evaluating impacts of watershed investments

A. L. Vogl (The Natural Capital Project, Stanford, CA, United States of America), J. Goldstein (The Nature Conservancy, Fort Collins, CO, United States of America), R. Mcdonald (The Nature Conservancy, Washington, D.C., United States of America), P. Hamel (The Natural Capital Project, Stanford, CA, United States of America), M. Ruckelshaus (The Natural Capital Project, Stanford, United States of America)

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Decision-relevant science for water security: An iterative process for targeting and evaluating impacts of watershed investments

AL. Vogl (1) ; J. Goldstein (2) ; R. Mcdonald (3) ; P. Hamel (4) ; M. Ruckelshaus (5)
(1) The Natural Capital Project, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford, CA, United States of America; (2) The Nature Conservancy, Fort Collins, CO, United States of America; (3) The Nature Conservancy, Washington, D.C., United States of America; (4) The Natural Capital Project, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environement, Stanford, CA, United States of America; (5) The Natural Capital Project, Stanford woods institute for the environment, Stanford, United States of America

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Nature-based solutions are increasingly recognized as viable strategies to address major challenges for human development in areas such as water security, disaster risk mitigation, infrastructure development, and sustainable agriculture. Such strategies have the potential to provide adaptive solutions to changing climate conditions by encouraging ecosystem-based adaptive management and community participation.  In the realm of water security, protecting and restoring nature to regulate the quantity and quality of water flows is increasingly viewed as a cost-effective and complementary strategy to engineered approaches. Broadly termed Investments in Watershed Services (IWS), these projects typically invest in the conservation of source watersheds to secure clean water for downstream communities. Recent studies show the potential for IWS to provide a positive return-on-investment for water resource goals, to generate additional environmental and social co-benefits, and to be a strategy that can adapt, potentially more so than engineered solutions, as climate conditions change.  In 2013, there were an estimated 345 active IWS programs globally and an annual investment totaling $12.3 billion (www.forest-trends.org/dir/sowi_2014/). Yet, despite its exponential growth over the past two decades, IWS remains a relatively small-scale, often one-off strategy in particular locations, which contrasts with the widespread use of engineered solutions.  

We argue that a key barrier limiting the scope of IWS is that tools and guidance to bridge the science-to-practice gap are less well developed – tools to help practitioners understand if, where, and how well IWS will work.  A recent plethora of reports and decision support tools highlight for cities, regional authorities, and corporate actors the risks that they face due to dependence on water resources (e.g., Ecolab and Trucost’s Water Risk Monetizer and WWF’s Water Risk Filter). However these tools largely focus on the “risk” component of the water security equation.  To effectively mainstream IWS, decision makers need science that addresses the “opportunity” component of the equation – the degree to which improved watershed management activities can mitigate risk. Combining risk and opportunity information enables decision makers to quantify the scope for IWS and to identify actionable solutions that are specific to the decision context.  Such decision support would allow policymakers to target natural capital investments towards programs (at global/regional scales) or projects (at local scales) that promote IWS where it has the highest potential to be a cost-effective intervention.  We will showcase several tools and methods developed by The Natural Capital Project – in collaboration with various NGO, academic and policy partners – in support of IWS programs in 7 countries across Latin America, India and Kenya.  Our experiences illustrate the importance of co-producing ecosystem services information as part of an iterative research-application process, for 1) targeting investments based on ecosystem services outcomes, 2) addressing uncertainties around drivers of change (including climate change), and 3) monitoring and impact evaluation.  Delivering more resource-efficient and transferable science will allow decision-makers to evaluate where IWS is, and critically is not, likely to be an effective and robust institutional mechanism to achieve water security goals in the face of climate change.

17:45

Managing Risks? Early Warning Systems for Climate Related Hazards

Z. Zommers (United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya), A. Sitati (United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya), M. Habilov (United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya), A. Vanzanten (United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya), E. Vogel (United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya)

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Managing Risks? Early Warning Systems for Climate Related Hazards

Z. Zommers (1) ; A. Sitati (1) ; M. Habilov (1) ; A. Vanzanten (1) ; E. Vogel (1)
(1) United Nations Environment Programme, Division of early warning and assessment, Nairobi, Kenya

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Early warning systems are a tool with which to minimize risks posed by climate related hazards. Although great strides have been made in developing early warning systems most deal with one hazard, only provide short-term warnings and do not reach the most vulnerable. This presentation will review research results of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s CLIM-WARN project. The project has sought to identify how governments can better communicate risks by designing multi-hazard early warning systems that deliver actionable warnings across timescales. Household surveys and focus group discussions were conducted in 36 communities in Kenya, Ghana and Burkina Faso in order to identify relevant climate related hazards and early warning communication options. Preliminary results show significant variability in risks and needs within countries. Here there is critical need for advanced warning so that adaptive measures can be taken. Some regions have limited access to information through TV or SMS. Here traditional institutions, such as chiefs and meteorological extension officers, will be critical for warning delivery. In contrast, in urban areas mobile phones may be an effective way to deliver warnings and spread information about risks. Communities should be involved in early warning system design so appropriate communication channels, and trusted groups, are used to deliver warnings. There is a need for flexible early warning systems that address community specific needs and deliver broad information about risks. Information disseminated through early warning systems should not only include details of hazards, but also short -term response options and long-term adaptation options, thus increasing both capabilities and response options.

18:00

Personal adaptation: discussions, decisions and planning

L. Coulter (Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia)

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Personal adaptation: discussions, decisions and planning

L. Coulter (1)
(1) Griffith University, Urban Research Program, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

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Decisions that will be effective to manage the impacts of climate change that are now unavoidable will need to account for ongoing instability in social, economic and environmental systems. Commonly examined barriers in accounting for progressive climate impacts include: disbelief in aspects of climate change processes; lack of understanding of the impacts; poor access to relevant and credible information; and a felt need for greater certainty. Professionals who exchange climate change knowledge in research, policy, and practice will have overcome many, if not most, of these barriers through training and experience. Barriers that affect even these professionals are personal reactions to envisioning the future such as: emotive responses; lack of facility in future thinking; and subjective assessments of perceived risks and capacity. This paper draws on interviews that inquire into personal adaptation discussions and planning by Canadians and Australians. Participants have professional expertise and regular high-level communications regarding climate change with colleagues and the public. The interviews and this paper focus on a different sphere: discussions by these same professionals with family and friends. Key improvements in interpersonal discussions of climate change adaptation decisions and planning identified in the research include the need to: connect concern for mitigation of climate change to adaptation to climate impacts; think beyond unpleasant possibilities and envision future life affected by climate change; and foster skills for greater cooperation in education and planning. Even among this highly educated group there was difficulty in imagining changes in society in the climate of the future, especially among those who do not tend to engage in future thinking or plan for the long term. This has implications for our understanding of individual factors in climate adaptation decision processes that may affect the wider society over time. Further study with people from other nations, professions and culture groups would broaden understanding of personal factors in adaptation decision-making.

18:13

Synthesis centers: an essential tool in our complex, data-rich future

A. Specht (School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia), J. Baron (John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis, Fort Collins, CO, United States of America), M. Winter (DFG German Research Foundation, Leipzig, Germany), P. Bishop, (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America), J. Boyd, (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America), A. Campbell, (Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia), F. Davis, (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America), D. Hawthorne, (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America), C. Jonsson, (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America), J. Kramer, (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America), T. Meagher, (Environmental Omics Synthesis Centre, St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom), M. Palmer, (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America), C. Salomon, (Centre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity, Aix en Provence, France), D. Steinaker, (Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), T. Vision, (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States of America)

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Synthesis centers: an essential tool in our complex, data-rich future

A. Specht (1) ; J. Baron (2) ; M. Winter (3) ; P. Bishop, (4) ; J. Boyd, (5) ; A. Campbell, (6) ; F. Davis, (7) ; D. Hawthorne, (5) ; C. Jonsson, (4) ; J. Kramer, (5) ; T. Meagher, (8) ; M. Palmer, (5) ; C. Salomon, (9) ; D. Steinaker, (10) ; T. Vision, (11)
(1) School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia; (2) John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis, Fort Collins, CO, United States of America; (3) DFG German Research Foundation, German centre for integrative biodiversity research, Leipzig, Germany; (4) National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, University of tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America; (5) National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of maryland, Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America; (6) Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles darwin university, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; (7) National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of california, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America; (8) Environmental Omics Synthesis Centre, University of st andrews, St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom; (9) Centre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity, Fondation for research into biodiversity, Aix en Provence, France; (10) Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; (11) University of North Carolina, Biology, Chapel Hill, United States of America

Abstract content

Climate change presents a challenge to traditional scientific practices of disciplinary focus and the well-established research pathway. Understanding and responding to global climate change requires the integration of an abundance of information over many disciplinary fields and from many different organisations, with the added urgency of needing rapid answers and applications.  Synthesis centers provide a unique environment for harnessing knowledge and expertise to catalyse discovery through cross-disciplinary working collaborations. Supported scientific synthesis—the integration of disparate theories, methods, and data across disciplines, professional sectors, and scales—has been proved to provide general, robust scientific explanations and evidence-based solutions across the social, economic and scientific realms. We contend that providing a synthesis intervention is a necessary, even mandatory, requirement for humanity to properly address critical climate change challenges.

More than a dozen synthesis centers now exist across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. These centers bring discipline-specific experts together for blocks of time to stimulate cross-sectoral creative thinking and insight. The synthesis center approach is a vital tool to achieve collective action and transformative solutions.  It offers something rare: participation based on a collective interest to deliver outcomes, and distraction-free, supported time and space for groups to totally immerse themselves in a question. A common tool provided by all synthesis centers is the technological support to analyse and synthesise diverse and disparate datasets.

Each synthesis center reflects the imperatives uppermost in its own country, and has developed a unique approach and expertise relevant to its mandate. Some centers emphasise the earth sciences, some the application of mathematics to biology, some natural resource management, social science and science policy, some the dynamics of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, inter alia. Conservatively, the Centers together have been instrumental in bringing more than 25 singular disciplines together to work in unique trans-disciplinary combinations to address complex problems. The Centers have amassed large networks of people and provide the necessary infrastructure and skills to support them to collaborate. As a group, newly formed into the International Synthesis Consortium (www.synthesis-consortium.org), these centers provide a powerful tool across the whole range of disciplines and geographies needed for innovative solution-oriented thinking around the effects of climate change.

18:25

Poster presentations:

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Poster presentations:
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18:26

Outlook for Integration between some African Countries (Egypt, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan as Case Study)

E. H. M. Ahmed (Lead Author, WG III, IPCC, Cairo, Egypt)

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Outlook for Integration between some African Countries (Egypt, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan as Case Study)

EHM. Ahmed (1)
(1) Lead Author, WG III, IPCC, climate change and sustainable development, Cairo, Egypt

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Often considered by developed countries to developing countries as the countries lagging behind in everything, and deal with it as representing store of natural resources, which you can get from the developed countries to their raw materials cheaply and then send to the factories to return as producers full industrialization of the African market with densities high population to sell at very high prices, which has purchased raw materials.

In spite of the financial aid provided by the developed countries of the African countries are often consumed to feed those poor people and African countries remain waiting for food aid from rich countries, which give barely enough to eat.

In spite of the large number of economic programs and development provided by developed countries to developing countries and least developed countries, we did not find programs that seek to technology transfer, albeit a relative, so that they can African countries to adopt serious programs aimed at building an industrial base, economic and promising those countries, and did not seek the developed countries to Technology Settling in African countries, but all their quest to remain African countries representing the trunk filled with raw materials needed by developed countries as well as Africa remains the most hungry market for the purchase of products from European countries and the United States.

Therefore, the integration between African countries all or some of a director and the sanctuary of the problem, which is no way to solve it, but by African-African cooperation between the countries of the African continent, and here we are trying to shed some light on the possibility of integration between some African countries which are similar in many circumstances and can of through integration together to build an economic base is good, and I've dealt with here, the possibility of integration in the future, between Egypt and Libya, Sudan and South Sudan, as we talked about earlier attempt (1969/70-1971), to build this integration between the same countries before the secession of Sudan and the announcement of the south as an independent state, but that attempt has failed, and call on the African parties and leaders of those countries free to study the reasons for the failure of the previous attempt integration, and looking to the new leadership at these countries to try again and get rid of all the challenges and barriers to get success of the next attempt.

18:28

Integrating Research and Practice - What Climate Service can learn from other Fields

S. Schuck-Zöller (Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, Hamburg, Germany), M. Bergmann, (ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Frankfurt, Germany), C. Brinkmann, (working for: Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, Hamburg, Germany), J.-T. Huang-Lachmann, (working for: Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, Hamburg, Germany), S. Rödder, (University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)

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Integrating Research and Practice - What Climate Service can learn from other Fields

S. Schuck-Zöller (1) ; M. Bergmann, (2) ; C. Brinkmann, (3) ; JT. Huang-Lachmann, (3) ; S. Rödder, (4)
(1) Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, Climate service center 2.0, Hamburg, Germany; (2) ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Frankfurt, Germany; (3) working for: Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, Climate service center 2.0, Hamburg, Germany; (4) University of Hamburg, Centre for globalisation and governance & center for earth system research and sustainability, Hamburg, Germany

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Climate change and its widespread impacts are a challenge for both science and society. To find sustainable solutions and develop adaptation strategies, a transdisciplinary approach to this challenge is needed. Climate service is bridging the gap between climate research and practice. This integrated research relies on intense communication between various players in science, politics, economics and administration. So - by nature - climate service is transdisciplinary.

Some fields now have a tradition of integrating practice partners, but so far, there is hardly any integration of knowledge and experiences on the meta-level.  Rather, the terminology, concepts and references that are used are very divers. Neither theoretical insights nor empirical case studies on transdisciplinary communication in different fields have so far been systematically reviewed.

To evaluate in how far climate service can benefit from existing approaches to transdisciplinarity, a literature review has been carried out. Its aim was to better understand definitions, approaches, methods, and barriers over the different fields of context. Following Stauffacher et al. (2008), different levels of practitioners' involvement were identified. The presentation will both, sum up the results of the literature review and the outcomes of a recent conference, which collected experiences from scientists and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and practice fields. From this experiences and good-practice-examples the workshop, held in November 2014, aimed to deduce success factors and quality criteria in transdisciplinary dialogues.

On the basis of both review and conference data, the integration of research and practice is looked at in a range of contexts, such as public health, environment protection, sustainability, and climate change. A special focus lies on aspects of social-ecological research and stakeholder engagement in climate change adaptation.

18:30

Observatories for Climate Change monitoring : Local vs Global approaches

M. Fargette (IRD, Montpellier cedex 5, France), M. Loireau (IRD, Montpellier, France), N. Ben Katra (Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, Tunis, Tunisia), T. Libourel (Université Montpellier, Montpellier, France)

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Observatories for Climate Change monitoring : Local vs Global approaches

M. Fargette (1) ; M. Loireau (2) ; N. Ben Katra (3) ; T. Libourel (4)
(1) IRD, UMR Espace-Dev, Montpellier cedex 5, France; (2) IRD, Umr espace-dev, Montpellier, France; (3) Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, Tunis, Tunisia; (4) Université Montpellier, Umr espace-dev, Montpellier, France

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Introduction: Eco-sociosystems are all impacted by Climate Change. The future of humanity depends upon the adequacy of analyses related to such systems. Several views prevail, some within a local approach and others which take a more global view. These views are used in ascending or descending approaches. The aim of the article is to show a) how "local" and "global" are inseparable to preserve both the stability of the system as a whole and global equity ; b) and how the two methods should be continuously confronted to each other. We capitalize here on the conceptual expertise built during programmes aimed at the implementation of specific devices (scientific observatories for the acquisition and monitoring of socio-environmental phenomena).

System: Facing Climate Change, we will first assume a) that we consider the system emerging from "Earth-human interactions" (further on named System Earth) as an integrated (eco-socio)system, even though we are quite aware that some kind of ecosystem would further exist, regardless of climate change, while this may not be the case for mankind ; b) that System Earth is a complex system, where natural and anthropogenic processes occur ; c) that humanity (all of mankind) should aim, for a sustainable future, at maintaining a relatively steady state (holocen like) for Earth System. As a system, System Earth has a structure with biophysical and human components and a functioning, the output of which may (partly or as a whole) be considered as adequate to social expectations. More generally, this may result in the concept of sustainable services. System Earth is a whole, consisting of elements, organized altogether in some more or less connected subsystems. Climate is one of these subsystems, which in turn consists of biophysical components. In addition, human interactions with this subsystem are key-points for studies and discussions : "How and to what extent do anthropogenic processes interfere with the climate subsystem ?". The impacts of these interactions (in either ways) and relevant management measures for control / regulation represent the core problem. Hence the importance of the choice of disaggregation (choice of categories and scales*) of System Earth into subsystems and the taking into account of existing connections between these subsystems. The spatial projection of the disaggregation of System Earth should help to better assess the proposed management measures with respect to their ratio efficiency / equity in populations involved in efforts for a better management of System Earth.

Observatory: For several years, we have built expertise on long-term environmental monitoring observatories for "Desertification" (ROSELT/OSS and REPSAHEL/OSS). This leads us to define the concept of "Scientific Observatory", which relies on a rigorous and scientific approach in order to observe the dynamics of systems. Because, even in science, work is often sectorial, the challenge in such observatories is to develop interdisciplinarity so that it becomes possible to share the best definition of theoretical models (of the observed system(s)) as well as methods for observation and analysis. If the observatory is to answer the question "How and to what extent do anthropogenic processes interfere with climate subsystem ?", it has to comply with two objectives in its local observation devices: a) gather information for power the global climate model, b) gain information on the local territorial system and measure its viability, especially when management measures related to Climate Change have been incorporated. Assuming that, as regards the climate system, the theoretical model is at the global level**, one of the challenges is to translate the question of society in a scientific issue and in local models consistent, with respect to the given holistic ontology, with the global model. Such a network of observatories should be the tool of decision support for governance at both global and local scales.

Conclusion: Let's stop trying to save the planet (it does not care) and save humanity instead. Our proposal makes a Plea for the implementation of a network of perennial observatories ; as a part of governance processes, this would provide a powerful support for decision making, both at a global and local scale.

* : Continental, national, climatic areas, economic areas

**More than 20 computer prediction models are currently operated

 

18:32

Transforming Science: The Process and Performance of Scientific Synthesis

E. J. Hackett, (Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America), J. Parker, (Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America), S. R. Hespanha, (University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States of America), E. Cardenas, (Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America), A. Dorr, (Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America), S. Hampton, (Washington State University, Pullman, United States of America), E. Leahey, (University of Arizona, Tucson, United States of America), C. Mcclain, (NESCENT, Durham, United States of America), I. Rafols, (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain), L. Sheble, (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States of America), T. Vision, (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States of America)

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Transforming Science: The Process and Performance of Scientific Synthesis

EJ. Hackett, (1) ; J. Parker, (2) ; SR. Hespanha, (3) ; E. Cardenas, (1) ; A. Dorr, (1) ; S. Hampton, (4) ; E. Leahey, (5) ; C. Mcclain, (6) ; I. Rafols, (7) ; L. Sheble, (8) ; T. Vision, (9)
(1) Arizona State University, Shesc, Tempe, United States of America; (2) Arizona State University, Barrett honors college, Tempe, United States of America; (3) University of California, Santa Barbara, Nceas, Santa Barbara, United States of America; (4) Washington State University, Pullman, United States of America; (5) University of Arizona, Sociology, Tucson, United States of America; (6) NESCENT, Nescent, Durham, United States of America; (7) Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; (8) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States of America; (9) University of North Carolina, Biology, Chapel Hill, United States of America

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Transforming science is a term meant to be understood in two senses.  In one sense it means changing the way science is organized and done; in another sense it means producing science that may  transform what we know and can do.   Achieving transformative solutions to sustainability challenges will require transforming science in both senses of the term:  we will need new forms of scientific knowledge and inquiry, and will need scientists to organize and collaborate in new ways to produce such knowledge.  Synthesis centers offer promising possibilities for transformations of both sorts, achieved through intense and focused collaboration across academic fields and across the sectors of science and public policy.  This talk describes the inner workings of two organizations that promote scientific synthesis, analyzing their structures and consequent patterns of interaction to understand why they work well and to draw lessons for the design and operation of other such centers.  To do so we measure collaborative process in new ways – using sociometric sensors – and analyze substantive output using a topic models of publications from synthesis centers and a reference corpus of articles from cognate fields.  We summarize our findings in a model of intellectual fusion that captures the principal dynamics of the process.

18:34

Towards more consistent assessments of country-level impacts of climate change

L. Horrocks (Ricardo-AEA, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom), G. Wilkins (Ricardo-AEA, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom), S. Winne (Ricardo-AEA, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom), J. Lowe (Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, United Kingdom), H. Mcgray (World Resources Institute, Washington DC, United States of America), J. Cook (UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, London, United Kingdom)

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Towards more consistent assessments of country-level impacts of climate change

L. Horrocks (1) ; G. Wilkins (1) ; S. Winne (1) ; J. Lowe (2) ; H. Mcgray (3) ; J. Cook (4)
(1) Ricardo-AEA, Adaptation and climate resilience, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; (2) Met Office Hadley Centre, Climate knowledge integration, Exeter, United Kingdom; (3) World Resources Institute, Vulnerability & adaptation initiative, Washington DC, United States of America; (4) UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Climate science and international, London, United Kingdom

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Vulnerability and impacts assessments contribute evidence to shape and support action to tackle climate change at various levels. However, there is currently no international process for presenting information about climate impacts consistently at the national level. The lack of consistency means it is hard to compare results from different assessments and different countries, and it can be challenging to attempt a synthesis at the country level, given absences of common approaches, preferred timescales, descriptions of sectors, etc. International cooperation on cross-border impacts can be especially challenging when assessments in different countries lack consistency or transparency in respect of assumptions and methods.

The level of ambition for national assessments is constrained by multiple factors within countries, including research budgets, technical capacity, data availability at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, political priorities, and uncertainty over best practice methods. Approaches to country-level climate impacts, vulnerability and risk assessments span a spectrum including top-down modelling of impacts in sectors, expert synthesis, and bottom-up stakeholder-led risk aggregation and prioritisation. Even within individual countries, preferred approaches for national assessments have evolved over time.

Previous studies have shown that greater consistency in the assessment and communication of climate impacts and vulnerabilities at a country level is both possible and desirable. The UNEP-UK Country level impacts of climate change (CLICC) project is now addressing this. It is facilitating the co-creation of a common process with a range of countries to enable them to present their own climate change impacts and risks in a more standardised way. The CLICC initiative aims to establish a long-term process supported and coordinated at the international level, rather than simply to deliver a one-off suite of information products.

Participating countries represent a range of economic development and geographies. Some of the benefits identified by countries during consultations include: (1) more effective information-sharing on climate impacts, leading to enhanced collaborative research and action, especially in relation to trans-boundary impacts; (2) expansion of common capabilities in scientific assessment and building capacity of national systems for climate assessment; (3) generation of good practice and collective learning, through improved transparency around methods, assumptions, data sources and limitations in assessing impacts; (4) consolidation of existing studies and findings within countries, also contributing to a more detailed picture of the global risks from climate change; (5) country-led contributions to the evidence base for provision of support to countries lacking in technical or financial capacity, or approaching their limits of adaptation.

This conference presentation will provide an overview of the achievements of the CLICC project so far, including the results of consultation with more than 30 countries. It will explain the principles that CLICC has established to engage successfully with the needs of multiple countries addressing multiple impacts in distinctive contexts. These include:

  • Maintaining country control over content and communication of their impacts information
  • Maximising inclusivity regardless of countries’ current capacities
  • Minimising the burden and avoiding parallel institutions or obligations
  • Promoting good practice, enabling quality control and signposting research needs

CLICC has considered both qualitative and quantitative formats to achieve greater consistency in the communication of results, and the importance of metadata has been underlined. We will present the CLICC options currently in development, showing how they fit with other common approaches and requirements on countries. We will explain how the outcomes from CLICC support better decision-making at national and international levels. Finally, we will foster discussion around CLICC’s longer-term aspirations, exploring how the sustainability of this initiative may be achieved through international support and coordination, leading up to COP21 negotiations and beyond.

18:36

The IRI Data Library: Decision-Making Tool for Climate and Health

P. Ceccato (The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America), M. Thomson (The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America), B. Blumenthal (The International research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America), T. Dinku (The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America), M. Bell (The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America), J. Del Corral (The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America)

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The IRI Data Library: Decision-Making Tool for Climate and Health

P. Ceccato (1) ; M. Thomson (1) ; B. Blumenthal (1) ; T. Dinku (1) ; M. Bell (1) ; J. Del Corral (1)
(1) The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States of America

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Public health professionals are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of climate variability and change on health outcomes. Protecting public health from climate requires new working relationships between the public health sector and the providers of climate data and information. The Climate Information for Public Health Action initiative at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is designed to increase the public health community's capacity to understand, use and demand appropriate climate data and climate information to mitigate the public health impacts of the climate. Significant challenges to building the capacity of health professionals to use climate information in research and decision-making include the difficulties experienced by many in accessing relevant and timely quality controlled data and information in formats that can be readily incorporated into specific analysis with other data sources. We present here the capacities of the IRI climate and health map room and show how we have used it to build an integrated knowledge system in the support of the use of climate and environmental information in climate-sensitive decision-making with respect to vector-borne diseases.

18:38

Foreseeing the evolution of the expertise on climate: some thoughts from the French Association on Disaster Risk Reduction

M. Deves (Sciences Po Paris & Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris - Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France), M. Lang (IRSTEA, Lyon, France), P.-H. Bourrelier (AFPCN, Paris, France)

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Foreseeing the evolution of the expertise on climate: some thoughts from the French Association on Disaster Risk Reduction

M. Deves (1) ; M. Lang (2) ; PH. Bourrelier (3)
(1) Sciences Po Paris & Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris - Sorbonne Paris Cité, Scientific committee of the french association on disaster risk reduction (afpcn), Paris, France; (2) IRSTEA, Scientific committee of the french association on disaster risk reduction (afpcn), Lyon, France; (3) AFPCN, Scientific committee of the french association on disaster risk reduction, Paris, France

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The French Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (AFPCN), formerly the French Committee for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (UN-IDNDR), is a multidisciplinary platform that aims to strengthen the coherency of public policies on disaster risk reduction. One of AFPCN working groups focuses on the risks associated with climate change. At the occasion of the release of the fifth IPCC report, the group re-examined the organisation of IPCC expertise and brainstormed on how it could evolve in the future. This thinking process was based on a review of the existing academic literature and on interviews undertaken with top climate scientists (with the support of the French Academy of Science, IPSL, LEGOS or CEA) and the IPCC focal point (former and actual) in France. A preliminary report was written, sent off to the public authorities and disseminated to the wider public at the occasion of a study day on July, 9th 2014. Since then, the team has continued to follow up on AR5 results and several study days are scheduled in 2015, aimed at further discussing, enlarging and strengthening its views.

In this contribution, we propose to communicate the results of this integrative thinking process with the willing of nourishing the science-policy dialogue on what could be a more efficient articulation between research, expertise and decision regarding to climatic issues. IPCC is a unique experience: first, because of its international dimension; second, because it occupies a specific position at the crossroad between science and policy. Evaluating the advantages and the limits of its organisation is key to foresee the evolution of the climatic expertise in the future.

Our analysis focuses on the difficulty to transfer the disparate knowledge of fundamental research, which is organised in specialised disciplines, to build a coherent expert narrative. Today, each of the three working groups of IPCC has a relatively wide field of knowledge to cover and build on a variety of research communities from atmospheric to solid earth sciences, from socio-economy to political science. Each discipline is confronted to different constraints in terms of observational, modelling or conceptual thinking - differences that are not anecdotic but are heritages of different cultural scientific background as well as of the complexity of the real world. The question is whether and how these differences can be accounted for while building a relevant expert narrative. We propose to explore three key steps: 1) the articulation of the working groups, 2) the treatment and communication of uncertainty, 3) the process of successive summarization done from the report to the technical summaries to the Summary for Policy Makers. On that basis we propose leads for amelioration and adaptation for compliance to the needs of the new agreement that is emerging from Copenhagen, Cancun, Lima and will be adopted in Paris.

As we are particularly interested in public policies on adaptation and mitigation, we tend to suggest bigger changes than the ones adopted by IPCC last February. The idea of transferring the expertise on impacts from WGII to WGI seems particularly relevant to us. Additionally, we would suggest developing more works combining adaptation and mitigation. The trend that has led IPCC to produce ever-bigger reports corresponds to a somewhat inductive view of science. In addition to a large expertise on climate change, it would be important to allow for more focussed works to be undertaken at a variety of scales, involving a greater variety of scientific disciplines and with the contributions from a greater variety of stakeholders (notably the civil society). Workshops and seminars could be organised at the level of the United Nation that could help identifying the research questions to be covered up in order to answer to the future expertise needs. The scale at which climatic risks, adaptation and mitigation solutions can be thought together in an applicable manner is the scale at which decisions can be taken and applied. Working at a well-thought scale on well-designed questions, and with relevant groups of stakeholders, could allow approaching the challenges associated by climate change in a more readable manner. On the side of public policies, it also seems important to explicit more clearly the interplay between science and policy while going from the large expert reports to the short SPMs.

18:40

Climate change and Information for Decision-Making. Case of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

S. Lukovi (Tshwane Universityf Technology, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa)

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Climate change and Information for Decision-Making. Case of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

S. Lukovi (1)
(1) Tshwane Universityf Technology, P. Management, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

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Developing countries have reached a stage where to transform their environment there is a necessity to move from the old school of resource-based economies justified by natural endowments to the one where knowledge secures sustainable development. 

 

Within the African Union context, the Southern African region in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forms a major regional economic community (REC)  which goes through serious challenges requesting concrete interventons. Only water scarcity, taken in isolation, can be a serious source of conflict with consequences that may affect other countries in the region. Immigration, crime and ethinic wars  are some of hem directly affecting national security. To start addressing most of the challenges, it is important to avoid limiting the  interventions at the national  level. The most realistic way of being cautious on a threat such as climate change is to start bridging the gap on data and improving the availability of useful information. It is time to care about the environment for  sustainable development. With a better coordination of regional policies and  a will to harmonise data, the SADC  community can overcome its own problems by preventing most of the difficulties other regional economic communities experiences.

 

Climate change is currently observed  through its immediate  effects on agriculture, water, and shelter.

 

The wickness in the SADC region is to use indicators and information which are produced  in order to formulate fact-based policies. The first African Union (AU) framework exploring knowledge to transform the continent  was well known as Africa’s Science and technology consolidated plan of action (NEPAD, 2005) in which the necessity of securing a  conducive environment implies science, technology and innovation (STI) to improve people wellness. With its review, STI is needed to achieve the AU 2063 Agenda for a common future.

 

Thus, there is  a need to harmonise policies in the SADC region in order to monitor the effect of climate change on the environement and to be well equiped during various important discussions  on multilateral environmental agreements.

 

The SADC regional programme on climate change needs to address the magnitude of the negative impacts of  the environment and people. The COMESA-EAC-SADC programme not well popularised and not yet taken to beneficiaries needs to be well understood to better promote activities on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The same applies to economic and social resilience towards a common position on climate change. The 2014-2024 Science,  Technology  and Innovation Strategy adopted by Heads of State and government need also to be explored.

 

finally, the use of satellite applications and technologies and infrastructure is key in order to put in place a dataset to facilitate the use of facts and evidence for policy formulation and review for a better future. The paper which will  explore the usefulness of data to improve decision making in the SADC region.

18:42

Climate services for adaptation to climate change in a developing country: case studies from South Africa and Burkina Faso

M. Lugen (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium)

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Climate services for adaptation to climate change in a developing country: case studies from South Africa and Burkina Faso

M. Lugen (1)
(1) Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centre d'études du développement durable (cedd), Brussels, Belgium

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Background and objectives: Adaptation to climate change (CC) is an issue growing rapidly, one reason being the observation and projection of negative impacts highly challenging human societies and ecosystems. Amongst barriers to adaptation, the lack of useful and understandable climate information is regularly emphasized. Many initiatives to implement climate services have emerged in recent years to respond to this need, especially in developing countries. According to the World Meteorological Organization, climate services aim to « provide climate information in a way that assists decision making by individuals and organizations ». My PhD project has a multidisciplinary nature and aims to understand whether, and if so in what ways, climate services may represent a first step towards the development of adaptation strategies at the local level. This research is based on a bottom-up approach, and has for main hypothesis that using climate services for the development of adaptation strategies requires to meet certain criteria (as relevance, access, legitimacy, equity, integration) associated with a participatory approach for the construction of information, taking into account contextual aspects of vulnerability to CC. More specifically, the focus is on the interactions between climate services providers, users and final beneficiaries for one part; and the communication tools used to broadcast the information for the other part. I pursue this way the goal to analyze the degree of consistency between the “supply” and “demand” in terms of climate information, both for content and communication structures, and therefore understand whether CS can be a first step towards adaptation to CC. This may serve to formulate recommendations or alternatives in order to improve the reconciliation between the bottom and the top on that matter.

Methods: The methodology (that will be described in more details in the poster) will be applied to two case studies. The first one is South Africa (1), in the province of Western Cap, where a multidisciplinary research center at the University of Cap Town acts as climate service and collaborates with public local stakeholders. The second one is Burkina Faso (2), where two climate services projects are currently being implemented targetting adaptation in rural communities. Both countries present a high degree of vulnerability to climate change, although different internal contexts influence the distribution of adaptive capacities and social vulnerability. I first want to highlight internal logics coming from the building of climate services at the level of suppliers (scientists) and users (administration and technical agents involved) of climate services; then identify demands from final beneficiaries (local public stakeholders and rural farmers in our case studies) through qualitative investigations carried out locally. Data will be collected by means of semi-structured interviews (for all actors) and participatory workshop (for beneficiaries). The selection of those key stakeholders will be a crucial point of the research, and particular attention will be given to what some authors have called « weak » or « absent » stakeholders, traditionnaly excluded from participating in consultation/decision making processes. The understanding of contextual factors forging social vulnerability to CC, as well as interactions between all actors involved in building climate services, will be two major points of attention in this project.

Results : I will present early results from the analysis of a field research planned for April 2015 in South Africa (case study 1) as well as highlights about adaptation to climate change in Burkina Faso (case study 2) on the basis of a previous field research conducted in this country in 2012. I also intend to present a simplified typology of climate adaptation services in Africa. This PhD project is in its first year, research is then on-going and new points may be included later on. 

18:44

Low-carbon transition scenarios for the French transportation sector: exploring the role of uncertainty on technology costs with robust optimization

S. Tchung-Ming (IFPEN, Rueil, France), C. Nicolas (IFPEN, Rueil, France)

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Low-carbon transition scenarios for the French transportation sector: exploring the role of uncertainty on technology costs with robust optimization

S. Tchung-Ming (1) ; C. Nicolas (1)
(1) IFPEN, Economics, Rueil, France

Abstract content

Reaching very ambitious GHG reductions objectives will likely require abatement efforts from the transportation sector. On the supply-side, technological options for reducing transportation emissions consist in reducing the carbon intensity or increasing the energy efficiency. On the demand-side, reducing the amounts of travels and increasing modal shifts towards less carbon-intensive means are the major levers.

The identification of cost-effective mitigation strategies critically depends on the relative costs of transportation technological options which determine the competitiveness of substitution options. In long-term energy system models, cost assumptions need to be defined over distant horizons. The forecasted costs and prices take part in the uncertainty that carries weight on the model hypotheses and which is at the root of many criticisms (IPCC 2014).

Motivation The literature on energy modelling with uncertainty is very large: stochastic programming which mainly deals with large socio-economic or political uncertainties, scenario analysis (Babaee et al, 2014) or Monte-Carlo analysis can be used to obtain distributions of model outcomes (Rosakis and Sourie, 2005).

In this paper, we introduce an alternative way to tackle uncertainty in optimization energy system models. We rely on robust optimization (Ben-Tal et al, 2009) to make many model parameters simultaneously uncertain. So far, this technique has been scarcely used in energy modeling (Babonneau et al, 2012). The contributions of the paper are twofold. From a methodological perspective, we argue that robust optimization techniques are appropriate for introducing cost uncertainty from many sources in long-term optimization models. We use recent results from operations research to economically interpret model outcomes, and assess the robustness of the model to economic parameters through optimization. From a policy perspective, we aim to evaluate the hedging potential of alternative technologies, making a step towards the identification of robust technology portfolios and policy designs.

Methodology In order to assess how deeply our model solutions are affected by uncertainty and to help the decision maker to define policy, we used a recent methodology developed in the field of operations research: robust optimization (RO). The general principle of RO consists in immunizing a solution against adverse realizations of uncertain parameters within given uncertainty sets. The basic requirement for a robust solution is that constraints of the problem are not violated whatever the realization of the parameters in the set.

While stochastic or Monte-Carlo frameworks require the definition of probability density functions, the principle of RO consists in set-based descriptions of uncertainties. As such, only the extent to which parameters are likely to vary needs to be known. The robust counterpart of the initial problem thus includes variables that traduce the deviations of the worst-case parameters with respect to their nominal values. The number of potentially deviating coefficients can be controlled through an exogenous parameter – the uncertainty budget, which gives control on the degree of pessimism of the optimal solution. Our experimental setting consists in using a TIMES-based long-term planning model of the French energy-transport system. We derive a dynamic implementation of the RO method. We perform a set of parametric runs by setting increasingly stringent (i) abatement objectives on CO2 from transport by 2050 and (ii) uncertainty budgets. We make primary energy prices and transportation investment costs  uncertain.

Results and discussion We identify robust technological mitigation portfolios (compliant with the modeled policy objectives for any random realization of the uncertain parameters), which vary with both the required level of abatement and the degree of pessimism on the certainty of the exogenous price/costs projections. Key messages are that (i) the diesel-gasoline balance is affected by uncertainty, partly in response to system effects (ii) there is a general tendency to incorporate more biofuels (iii) natural gas (including biogas) and electricity pathways are relevant hedging option for low carbon caps; for stringent objectives, they are pushed out of the market. We then discuss policy insights, showing that if the uncertainty budget is reasonably low (good confidence in prices/costs projections) it makes sense to incorporate a diversification logic in policy designs. However, if confidence is poor (high uncertainty budgets), then diversification may not be relevant.

18:45

Discussion

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Discussion
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