Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From prediction to response

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a worthwhile page in their news section about climate change adaptation. They also discuss their work in promoting resilience: …As a part of the Climate Change Science Program and with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, [Oak Ridge National Lab Corporate Fellow Tom] Wilbanks led another team considering possible impacts of climate change on cities and smaller communities. As with the energy sector, the study addressed the future sustainability of human systems in terms of vulnerabilities and risks. Under this approach, the research attempts to grapple with the societal impacts of climate change. The categories included population size and distribution, as well as ways in which sustained climate change might affect economic and technological institutions.

As with ecosystems, the study suggests that vulnerabilities of cities and communities may vary widely according to a variety of characteristics, including location. Cities in coastal areas subject to severe storms and sea-level rise would experience challenges distinctly different from those in population centers in arid areas more vulnerable to water scarcity and fires. "While the potential for adaptation by American cities and developed nations to reduce their vulnerabilities is considerable, potentials for some densely populated cities of Asia and Africa are not as bright," Wilbanks says….

No comments: