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Hans von Storch Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht and KlimaCampus Hamburg Germany. Research on Climate Impacts in Hamburg and Schleswig Holstein.

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Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Hans von Storch

Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz ZentrumGeesthacht

and KlimaCampus Hamburg

Germany

Research on Climate Impacts in Hamburg and Schleswig Holstein

Many thanks to Jacobus Hofstede, Heinke Schlünzen, Benno Hain, Insa Meinke, Jörg Knieling, Grit Martinez and Olaf Müller for helpful comments.


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

  • Climate knowledge demand, supply and brokers in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein

  • Municipalities/regions

  • coastal defense

  • urban and regional planning

  • water management

  • Landscape oriented: - agri- & horticulture

  • - forestry

  • tourism

  • nature conservation

Technology oriented: offshore operations (marine/coastal) transport

National climate service: CSC, DWD

Regional climate service: [email protected]

Federal agencies:

BSH, DWD (SWA), BAW

Max-Planck Society: MPI of Meteorology

Helmholtz Association: HZ Geesthacht, Kiel; Bremerh.

Universities:

Hamburg (UHH, HCU, TUHH) CAU Kiel


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

  • 2oC goal

In the last decade, CO2 emissions are not only continuing to increase, but accelerating.

Also the growth of CO2 concentations in the atmosphere is acceleratimg.

A tendency towards limiting the rate of increase does not exist at this time.

Chances for reaching the 2o-goal are small; a goal below 2o is unrealistic.


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

2o goal and adaptation

A robust expectation

Global air temperature will increase in 2100 at least by 2oC.

The effects of man-made climate change will become more distinct and more consequential in the next decades.

The need for adapting to the non-avoidable change will grow – the more the less effective a global climate protection policy will become.

GISS estimate, 2011


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

  • Conceptual challenges


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Future anthropogenic climate change, or Global Warming, is described by scenarios.

Alternative scenarios about economic and social developments in the coming 100 years are made; from these assumptions emissions of greenhouse gases are estimated; the climatic effect of these are assessed by running climate models.

The resulting knowledge are not predictions, but projections conditional upon certain emission scenarios.

If, however, all scenarios point to the same development, then they collectively become predictions – namely that temperatures as well as sea level will rise.

IPCC SRES scenarios

  • tools: scenarios


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

  • Tools: temporal consistency

Are present changes indicators of future changes?

To do so, one may compare the change in the past, say, 30 years with the change envisaged by the scenario calculations.

This has not often been done systematically - one case being temperature and precipitation in the Baltic Sea catchment.

It is found that the ongoing temperature change is broadly consistent with the future expectation, but that the consistency is limited for precipitation.

Bhend, pers. comm, 2011


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Christmas flood 1717

For the low-lying Northern Germany, storm surges represent the greatest geophysical hazard

In the past, very strong storm surges have breached coastal defense, with many dead and much damage.

However, after the 1962 flood, the hazard seems mostly checked by an efficient coastal defense, even if a remaining (albeit small) risk prevails

Which effect will climate change have on this hazard?

Hamburg flood, 1962


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

The bathtub

Graphik: Michael Schrenk


Example storm surges

Example: Storm surges

Storm surges are a threat for the low-lying areas along the (not only) German coasts (both North Sea and Baltic Sea)

Climate Change as well as the improvement of waterways and of coastal defense are associated with changes of the storm surge hazard.

The North Sea is one of the best observed marginal seas. Here, an accelerated increase in sea level has not (yet?) been identified in the observed data; also storm activity remains mostly stationary, albeit undulated by decadal variation.

For the future, changes are to be expected. Chiefly for mean sea level (until 2100: 20-80 cm), to a lesser extent for storms (until 2100: up to 30 cm).

A need for further improving coastal defense will emerge after 2030; until then, planning and discussion about options as well as maintaining the present levels of protection is needed. Building structures, which allow additional fortification at a later time is prudently done already now.


Special estuaries

Special: estuaries

  • Possibly, the expected intensification due to climate change may (partly) by met by other local modifications (“Tideelbeprojekt”).

Differences of storm surge heights in Cuxhaven (mout of Elbe) and Hamburg (St. Pauli) since 1900

  • In the estuaries of Elbe, Weser and Ems the storm surge heights have grown - but since the 1960s more so upstream (e.g. Hamburg) than at the mouths (e.g., Cuxhaven).

  • The upstream growths are best explained by water works, related to shipping and coastal defense (after 1962) .

  • The coastal defense, which has been fortified since 1962, have provided security against these intensified hazards.


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Options for adaptation

  • Technological optimization of flood protection infrastructures

  • Besides enforcing traditional measures of coastal defense, new adaptive options need to be developed. Candidates are

  • constructing coastal defense measures such they may at a later time further be fortified.

  • damping of tidal energy in estuaries („Tideelbeprojekt“)

  • improved design for constructing dykes (more effective clay cover layer; increased allowance for wave overtopping)

Graphik: Michael Schrenk


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

  • Strategy „living with water - paradigm shift in flood protection„

  • River basin management to develop strategies and measures for the whole river

  • Enlargement of catchment areas to hold water back

  • Building on warfts (e.g. HafenCity)

  • Floating homes and cascade systems of flood protection

  • Flood proof spatial planning; building codes, such as cascading zoning for the case of defense failure, but also retreat.

Pasche et al., 2008


Research questions

Research questions

  • Changes

  • urban thermal comfort & health

  • amount of rainwater to be managed

  • storm surge levels

  • level of groundwater

  • river discharge

  • wind conditions

  • coastal sea change

  • ecosystem services

  • Options

  • retention areas

  • damping of tidal energy

  • cascading zoning

  • live with change, social learning

  • business opportunities

  • controlled drainage

  • Social conditions

  • perceptions, mental models of climate change

  • media framing and coverage

  • acceptance of strategies and measures

  • cultural constraints

  • Governance

  • urban planning

  • cross-regional and cross-national decision making (national, supranational)

  • stakeholder involvement / public participation/civic self-organization

  • adecision-making under uncertanties

  • cost-benefit analysis/ evaluation of measures


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Overview

  • Introduction: Exchange between climate (impact) research and stakeholders in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein

  • Issues- the 2o goal and the need for adaptation- challenges- tools: scenarios and temporal consistency

  • Example: Storm surges in the Elbe estuary and along the German Bight coast

  • Regional climate servicing


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

How strongly do you employ the following sources of information, for deciding about issues related to climate adaptation?

Survey among regional administrators in German Baltic Sea coastal regions.

Bray, 2011, pers. comm.


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

The medial-cultural constructed mental model of climate change

„Klimakatastrophe“

Mankind is changing climate, mostly by excessive use of fossil energy, but also locally by deforestation.

The weather is less reliable than previously, the seasons are more erratic, storms more violent. Weather extremes have become catastrophic to an extent never seen before.

Almost all contemporary weather extremes are related to man-made global warming.

The cause of all this is „human greed“ and “stupidity“, the mechanism is „revenge of nature“. Damaging extremes are a warning for humankind.


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

Regional Climate Service

  • Analysis of cultural construct, including common exaggeration in the media.

  • Determination of response options on the local and regional scale: mainly adaptation but also regional and local mitigation.

  • Dialogue of stakeholders and climate knowledge brokers in „Klimabureaus“.

  • 2.Analysis of consensus on relevant issues (climate consensus reports).

  • 3. Description of recent and present changes.

  • -Projection of possible future changes, which are dynamically consistent and possible („scenarios“)


Research on climate impacts in hamburg and schleswig holstein

„Klimaatlas“

http://www.norddeutscher-klimaatlas.de

http://www.ujscieodry-atlasklimatu.pl/

  • Raw data from 12 regional climate projections

  • Analyzed for Northern Germany and the Odra estuary region

  • Interactive user interface


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Man-made climate change is real and emerging. Given our present knowledge, the present changes can only be explained consistently when employing elevated greenhouse gas concentrations as a major factor.

  • Stakeholders must understand that the knowledge about climate change (incl. hazards) is different from the knowledge about present climate (incl. hazards): in particular uncertainty and instationarity.

  • Climate science represents a key advisory capacity for decision processes, by - providing needed scientific knowledge, which allows embedding the complex issue of climate change into a social context,- explaining interdependences and efficiencies of measures used in the past and available for the future.

  • For designing suitable and socially acceptable adaptation measures, other factors than climate change must be taken into account, among them emerging other stressors and other options.

  • The major issue is knowledge, which is available in different, often competing types. Regional climate service is needed to align these different types.

  • Decisions about adaptation to climate change are political, not scientific.


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