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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Climate Change Science Team Climate Change Impacts Relevant to National Security Overview of Materials Provided in Support of the Quadrennial Defense Review August 14 th 2009 Agenda Tasks and Products

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climate change impacts relevant to national security

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Climate Change Science Team

Climate Change Impacts Relevant to National Security

Overview of Materials Provided in Support of the Quadrennial Defense Review

August 14th 2009

agenda
Agenda
  • Tasks and Products
  • Current challenges in climate change science
  • Approach
  • Examples of results
  • Questions, Discussion, and Web Portal Demonstration
the requirement
The Requirement…

From the FY08 National Defense Authorization Act:

SEC. 951.“DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CONSIDERATION OF EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON DEPARTMENT FACILITIES, CAPABILITIES, AND MISSIONS”

''The first Quadrennial Defense Review prepared after the date of the enactment of this subsection shall also examine the capabilities of the armed forces to respond to the consequences of climate change, in particular, preparedness for natural disasters from extreme weather events and other missions the armed forces may be asked to support inside the United States and overseas. ''

our tasks
Our Tasks:

Create reports that assess potential impacts to security-relevant topics such as water scarcity, migration of people, food shortages, and increased natural disasters…

Create visualizations of projections based on IPCC scenarios…

Address potential natural disasters due to climate change and their potential impact on DoD operations…

Provide specifically-focused assessments on Russia, India, China, Korea, the Arctic Sea, NORTHCOM coastal environments, and Guam…

Identify low-likelihood ‘shocks’ to the global climate system…

A web-based framework to disseminate the results…

climate change science challenges
Climate change science challenges
  • Occurring but difficult to assign attribution to individual events
  • “Dangerous” temperature increase may occur by mid-century
  • Mitigation won’t happen fast enough to avoid significant change
  • Planning for adaptation is essential
  • Uncertainties are present
    • Model
    • Data
    • Theory
  • We are working on these problems with our partners
climate change projections have recognized uncertainties
Climate change projections have recognized uncertainties
  • Projections from various sources show ranges of possible futures, and
  • Impact assessment is limited both by multiple stresses and limited knowledge of thresholds
  • Accordingly, the assessments should be considered illustrations of likely conditions, not quantitative predictions of impacts
hazards increase with time and severity of scenario
Hazards increase with time and severity of scenario
  • Vulnerability is the exposure and sensitivity to adverse consequences
    • Specific to locality
    • Related to prior experience, resistance, resilience, adaptation
    • Correlated with poverty, population, governance
    • Areas vulnerable today will be vulnerable in (at least the near) future
      • New areas of vulnerability will occur where resiliency has not been addressed sufficiently for new hazards or increased frequency or intensity of existing ones
  • We mainly addressed the hazards in this study, not the vulnerability
parameters addressed in our study
Parameters addressed in our study
  • Temperature
  • Water Resources
    • Precipitation
    • Water Availability: Precipitation - Evaporation (P-E)
  • Extreme Events
    • Heat Waves: average intensity of nighttime highs
    • Floods: Intensity of recurrence rainfall events (PEVI)
    • Droughts: Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
    • Fire, tropical storms, and landslides
basis for analyses
Basis for Analyses
  • A1FI, A1B, and B1 scenarios
  • Simulation data from state-of-the-science US climate model (CCSM3)
  • AR4 and subsequent peer-reviewed literature
  • Spatial Representations
    • Grid-based analysis at CCSM resolution (150km)
    • Interpolation for visual analysis
    • Decadal annual averages (e.g., 2030 = 2025-2034)
    • Baseline for decadal changes is 2005 decade (2000-2009)
ccsm3 high quality model that was part of the ipcc ar4 21 member ensemble

1.0

0.9

Temperature

0.8

0.7

Relative agreement

0.6

Precipitation

0.5

0.4

0.3

Local

1.25

2.5

5

10

Hem.

Global

Scale (1000 km)

CCSM3: High-quality model that was part of the IPCC AR4 21-member ensemble
  • Statistics of annual mean responses to the SRES A1B scenario, for 2080 to 2099 relative to 1980 to 1999
  • Y axis shows the level of relative agreement as a function of scale (logarithmic on the X-axis) among the models for temperature and precipitation
  • Models agree across all scales of the projected temperature changes, but the agreement for precipitation decreases significantly at local to regional scales

(Adapted from Fig 10-27 of the IPCC AR4)

assessments by cocom aor
Assessments by COCOM AOR
  • For each AOR:
    • Projected Climate Change
      • Overall
      • ‘Hotspots’ – Geographical areas of significant climate change that merit special attention or concern
    • Climate Consequences
    • Implications
    • Assessment
  • Focus Regions within the AOR
    • Will include Arctic Ocean, Pacific Islands (e.g., Guam), CONUS Coastal Regions
northcom intensification of droughts
NORTHCOM: Intensification of droughts
  • General shift in Atlantic hurricane intensity might be expected by 2100 for A1FI
  • The desertification in western U.S. can be contrasted with wetter conditions in the southeast U.S.
  • Warming largest in winter
  • Water scarcity and wildfires

2100 A1FI

Water Availability Index

eucom heat waves in western and floods in northern and eastern europe
EUCOM: Heat waves in western and floods in northern and eastern Europe

2030 A1B Precipitation

  • Even the moderate A1B scenario projects water issues in Spain and Portugal as early as 2030
  • Geographic shifts in agricultural productivity

2030 A1B Drought Index

pacom sea level rise is 1 concern
PACOM: Sea level rise is #1 concern

2100 A1FI Water Availability

  • Australia: Hotter and drier
    • Increased fire risk
  • Mainland Asia: More precipitation and higher intensity
    • Increased flood risk
  • Southeast Asia: Increased rainfall
    • Landslides increase with population-driven deforestation
  • Largest population at risk
    • Island nations
    • Migration of people

2100 A1FI Temperature Change

africom geographical shifts of wet dry conditions
AFRICOM: Geographical shifts of wet/dry conditions

2100 A1FI Temperature Change

  • Shifts in seasonality of wet/dry ecology
    • Agricultural benefits
    • Serengeti ecosystems at risk
  • Potential for changes in distribution of vector-borne diseases
  • Lowest ability for adaptation

2100 A1FI Precipitation

centcom decrease in growing season precipitation central asia
CENTCOM: Decrease in growing-season precipitation central Asia
  • Arabian peninsula gets wetter
    • But greater level of uncertainty due to systematic model error
  • Coherent evidence of increased flooding hazard in northern Pakistan

2050 A1FI Drought Index

2030 A1B Drought Index

southcom geographical shifts of wet dry conditions
SOUTHCOM: Geographical shifts of wet/dry conditions
  • Drying in southern regions during growing season
    • Reduced agricultural productivity
  • Extreme storms impact Central America and Caribbean more than elsewhere
  • Shifts in seasonality of wet/dry conditions
    • Ecosystems at risk

2050 A1FI Drought Index

2030 A1B Drought Index

guam relatively low risk to infrastructure

Present Sea Level

Sea Level Rise 2100 (estimated maximum) ~.9 m

Sea Level Rise 2100 Plus High Tide

Guam: Relatively low risk to infrastructure

PACOM_07/16/08_Christensen

arctic severe loss of sea ice
Arctic: Severe loss of sea ice

2050 A1FI

Temperature

Difference

  • Retreat of sea ice from Russian coastal areas
    • Increase in coastal erosion
  • Permafrost degradation
    • May impact oil production
to summarize
To Summarize
  • Climate change impacts vary considerably from region to region, but no region is without risks and vulnerabilities
  • Shifts in geographical and seasonal patterns of wet/dry conditions are consistent concerns across UCC’s
  • The main topical interests over the next several decades are probably the Arctic, coastal vulnerabilities, and water scarcity/drought in some areas
  • Looking out toward 2050 and beyond, there are particular concerns about Africa, coastal and interior parts of Asia, and island nations
  • If climate change is severe rather than modest, many areas will be very seriously affected later in this century

20

questions discussion and demo of web portal
Questions,

Discussion, and

Demo of Web Portal

the qdr web portal
The QDR Web Portal

http://www.ornl.gov/knowledgediscovery/QDR/

slide24
2008 emissions increased less than the 2000-2006 average: 2009 expected to be real decrease from 2008 (Le Quéré et al., submitted)