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SAME Washington DC Post 30 July 2009. USACE Climate Change Activities. Kate White, PhD, PE US Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources Kathleen.D.White@usace.army.mil Campaign Plan Objective 2a Systems Approach: Temporal and Spatial Changes PDT. Outline.

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USACE Climate Change Activities


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    1. SAME Washington DC Post 30 July 2009 USACE Climate Change Activities Kate White, PhD, PE US Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources Kathleen.D.White@usace.army.mil Campaign Plan Objective 2a Systems Approach: Temporal and Spatial Changes PDT

    2. Outline • Perspectives on Climate Change • Military roots • OODA Loop • Wicked problems • Modification of OODA Loop • It’s all about decision-making • Climate adaptation and mitigation • Some USACE Activities

    3. First, a little history…… • Military Role in Early Climate History • Roots began with the “Agreement relating to the Defense of Greenland” signed June 1941 • Thule Air Base, 1951- present • Camp Century 1959-1966 • Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) • Field and logistics supported by: • US Army • US Air Force • US Navy • Air National Guard MG Riley with 6,000 year-old ice core, USACE ERDC-CRREL, October 2007

    4. USACE Involvement • Between 1950’s and 1980’s, USACE was involved in drilling polar ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica • 1952-1955: USACE exploration of Greenland for Air Force • Carl Benson’s work basis for using oxygen isotope ratio measurements in a continuous mode to reliably determine annual accumulation cycles • Henri Bader transformed Sorge’s 1930’s data into a mathematical expression • Ice cores led to other proxies for climate change: tree rings, sediment cores, glacier lengths, others Camp Century Greenland 1964 http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/library/technicalreports/ERDC-CRREL-TR-08-1.pdf

    5. Proxies: Window to the Past 2000-Year Temperature Reconstruction A Little History NRC 2006, Surface temperature reconstruction for the last 2000 years: Washington, DC: National Academy Press

    6. ACTION ACTION KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE INFORMATION INFORMATION ACT DATA DECIDE DATA ORIENT OBSERVE Application of Boyd’s OODA Loop • USACE must turn data into information for decision makers • Boyd’s OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act • We tend to filter data to make it understandable • We need to speed the tempo and make quality decisions with less than perfect information

    7. More detailed look at OODA Loop June 1995, “The Essence of Winning and Losing,”by John Boyd

    8. Consider “Wicked Problems” • “Wicked Problems” (Rittel and Webber 1973, concept also cited in TRADOC PAM 525-5-500) • Climate change and related stressors • Economic and social considerations • Complex system components understood to varying degrees • “Water policy problems are wicked … challenges of becoming more effective in our interdisciplinary collaboration, of integrating two very different types of knowledge, of working across several socio-political units of analysis simultaneously, and of better organizing water as a common resource.” (Freeman, JAWRA 2000)

    9. “Wicked Problems” • Wicked Problems “cannot be resolved merely by gathering additional data, defining issues more clearly, or breaking them down into small problems.” (Camillus, HBR May 2008) TRADOC PAM 525-5-500 Decision-Making

    10. OODA Loop Modification Needed for Wicked Problems • Wicked Problems perspective ID’d flaws in OODA application to very complex problems • People tend to get stuck in the oo-oo-oo • Limited by expectations • Weak signals are often missed (filters) • Data-driven system not able to solve wicked problems faster than they evolve • Borne out by military experiences in Iraq Sketchpad, April 30, 2004

    11. Solving Tough Problems solved using processes that are“piecemeal, backward looking, and authoritarian.” solved using processes that are “systemic, emergent and participatory.” From Kahane 2004

    12. Modification to OODA Loop • Decision-driven: Decide, Observe, Orient, Act • Multiple scenarios • Provide retrospective view • Allow different view of current situation • Explore potential futures • Explicitly deal with weak signals which often require strong responses

    13. Multiple Stressor Challenges: Making Decisions Under Uncertainty Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre http://www.dcdc-strategictrends.org.uk/home.aspx 2036 USACE Perspective Defence Concepts and Doctrine Centre

    14. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • The world is changing Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson, (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2009 http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/download-the-report

    15. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • Happening even faster than previously estimated • Global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions • Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted • Sea level rise has become more rapid • Feedbacks in the climate system might lead to much more rapid climate changes 11 June 11 2009, G8 countries, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa

    16. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • The world is changing • Changes can be abrupt ~8°C change in 10 yrs Climate changes in central Greenland over the last 17,000 years show a large and rapid shift out of the ice age about 15,000 years ago, an irregular cooling into the Younger Dryas event, and an abrupt shift out of the event (a warming of about 8° C in a decade) toward modern values. from NRC (2002) Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises

    17. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • Changes are global and confounding Brekke et al (2009) Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A Federal Perspective http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1331/

    18. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • Global changes pose “wicked problems” • Climate change and related stressors • Economic and social considerations • Complex system components that are understood to varying degrees Figure 5.2, changes in US farm output 1929-2000, from NRC (2002) Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises

    19. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • Water resources managers must use a dynamic paradigm rather than an equilibrium paradigm • We must evaluate the assumption of stationarity — “the idea that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability” • “Climate change undermines a basic assumption that historically has facilitated management of water supplies, demands, and risks”

    20. Global and Climate Change: What do we know? • Changes are seasonal • There is regional variation in the agreement between various general circulation models Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson, (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2009 http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/download-the-report

    21. DJF JJA Global and Climate Change:How are we dealing with it? • Recognizing the interaction of sectoral impacts • Improving understanding of regional differences • Identifying sources of uncertainty • Evaluating impacts to built and natural infrastructure • Increasing interagency collaboration (science and policy) Fractional change in precipitation from 1980–1999 to 2080–2099, averaged over 21 models (see fig. 11.12; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007 Summary for Policy Makers) superimposed over a map of navigation from DOT freight analysis (see red lines; Caldwell et al, 2002).

    22. Global and Climate Change: How are we dealing with it? • Impacts to building and construction: • Water • Food • Energy • Responses • Adaptation • Adjustments or changes in decision-making to enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability to observed or expected changes in climate • Mitigation • Implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks

    23. How are we dealing with it?Interagency Workgroup • The four major US water resources agencies: • Operating Agencies: USACE, Bureau of Reclamation • Science Agencies: USGS, NOAA • Mission: • To evaluate practices of federal agencies to incorporate climate change considerations into activities related to Nation's water resources • Provide foundation for future policies • Released February 2009 http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1331/

    24. Developing Research and Technology Strategies Defining Needs Water Supply, Hydropower, Ecosystem Needs, Recreation, Etc. Climate Change and Variability, Climate and Weather Predictability Flood Risk Mgmt, Navigation, Hydropower, Etc. Surface Water, Groundwater, Ecosystems, Etc. Future Participation from other Fed, State, Local agencies… Long-Term Needs report in internal review Short-Term needs report in draft Moving to Decision-Based Science Climate Change and Water Working Group (C-CAWWG)

    25. How are we dealing with it? Guidance on Sea-Level Change • Interagency team (USACE, NOAA, USGS) • Internal and external reviews using USGS process • Provide technical background • Use multiple scenario approach • Engineer Circular 1165-2-211, 1 July 09 IPCC 2007 AR4 WG2 Figure 6.1. Climate change and the coastal system showing the major climate change factors, including external marine and terrestrial influences.

    26. ARRA: Climate Change Downscaling Projections • Builds on interagency CMIP3 archive for US domain • Bias Correction/Spatial Downscaling (BCSD) • Uses fine-scale climate observations to • Adjust future climate projections based on errors in simulations of historical climate, and • Add spatial detail to the coarse-resolution results • Described by Wood et al. (2002 and 2004) • Bias-Corrected/Constructed Analogs (BCCA) • Obtains fine-scale information from observations • Uses empirical relationships between observed large-scale and fine-scale daily weather patterns to add detail to coarse simulations • Described by Hidalgo et al. (2008), Maurer and Hidalgo (2008) • Daily time steps to assess project operations

    27. Ongoing Activities • Continued international collaboration • International Polar Year activities • Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (PIANC) • Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility • Studies supporting Columbia River treaty • Research and development • Basic science → applied engineering • Improvements to numerical models for reservoir simulation • Interagency, competitive funding

    28. Ongoing Activities • Participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports • Integrated Water Resources Management approach • Incorporate new information throughout life cycle • Proactive adaptive management • Framework recommended by IPCC for climate change adaptation • Great Lakes studies for the International Joint Commission considering climate change in developing plans to improve the management of Great Lakes water levels and outflows • International Joint Commission Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River (LOSL) Study • International Joint Commission Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) • Risk analyses for new and unexpected climateimpacts • Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration

    29. Upcoming Activities • Planned carbon budget study • Identify carbon sources/sinks • Implement methods to measure and value carbon uptakes and emissions for USACE activities • Workshop on nonstationarity fall 2009 • Evaluation of coastal vulnerabilities

    30. Upcoming Activities • FY10-14 Climate Adaptations Program • We define adaptation as adjustments or changes in decision-making to enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability to observed or expected changes in climate • Conducting vulnerability stress-tests within the CW O&M portfolio of built and natural • Focus on highest priorities • Focus on existing portfolio • Support for regulators on dealing with climate change in permitting decisions • Methods, policies and demonstrations of: • Water control and reservoir systems operations • Hydrologic frequency analysis under changing conditions • Changing snow conditions and ice impacts, coastal erosion and unexpected flood events due to glacial dam outbursts • Impacts of climate change on ecosystems and their potential effects

    31. Questions?

    32. Sea Level Change Scenarios • High: modified (updated) NRC 1987 curve III • Intermediate: modified (updated) NRC 1987 curve I • Low: extrapolation of historic trend • Key is to ask When is this likely to occur (i.e., look across the curves) Note: IPCC 2007 does not provide intermediate data points, high and low SRES scenarios shown for reference to intermediate (modified) curve I

    33. Downscaling Pros/Cons • Dynamical – Spatially Distributed • variable rich • supports watershed or large-region view • not limited by “stationarity” of a transfer function • computationally expensive, so scenario-poor, also complex • bias-correction difficult to address (before RCM simulation? after?) • Statistical – Single Location • variable rich as long as local data available to support such an application • does not easily support watershed or large-region view • limited by “stationarity” of the transfer function • computationally cheap so scenario-rich application more affordable and less complex • bias-correction can be addressed • Empirical – Spatially Distributed • variable poor relative to other approaches • supports watershed or large-region view • limited by “stationarity” of the Transfer Function • computationally cheap making scenario-rich application affordable; less complex • bias-correction can be addressed

    34. Potential Applications • Dynamical – Spatially Distributed • (*) Physical evaluation - extreme event potential? local scale? • (*) Caveat – presuming credibility of the RCM to reproduce historical phenomena • Assess significance of “stationarity” assumptions (i.e. compare Dynamical and Empirical) • Air quality investigations • Statistical – Location-specific • Local view… • Risk-based planning requiring a scenario-rich dataset (priority on projection uncertainty) • Adaptation planning requiring flexible consideration of future periods (priority on scheduling when adaptation measures might be needed) • Empirical – Spatially Distributed • Watershed or large-region view… • Risk-based planning requiring a scenario-rich dataset (priority on projection uncertainty) • Adaptation planning requiring flexible consideration of future periods (priority on scheduling when adaptation measures might be needed)

    35. Highlights • Key Point 1: The best available scientific evidence based on observations from long-term monitoring networks indicates that climate change is occurring, although the effects differ regionally. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson, (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2009 http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/download-the-report Interagency Report

    36. Highlights • Key Point 2: Climate change could affect all sectors of water resources management, since it may require changed design and operational assumptions about resource supplies, system demands or performance requirements, and operational constraints. The assumption of temporal stationarity in hydroclimate variables should be evaluated along with all other assumptions. Interagency Report

    37. Highlights • Key Point 3: Climate change is but one of many challenges facing water resource managers. A holistic approach to water resources management includes all significant drivers of change. • Ground water depletion • Legal requirements for environmental flows • Aging infrastructure • Demographic shifts (e.g., increased population near the coastline and along rivers) • Land use change • Climate change Interagency Report

    38. Highlights • Key Point 4: Long-term monitoring networksare critical for detecting and quantifying climate change and its impacts. Continued improvement in the understanding of climate change, its impacts, and the effectiveness of adaptation or mitigation actions requires continued operation of existing long-term monitoring networks and improved sensors deployed in space, in the atmosphere, in the oceans, and on the Earth’s surface. • Key Point 5: Monitoring needs to focus on locations that describe the climate signal (for example, upstream and downstream of major water-management infrastructure or in vulnerable ecological reaches). Interagency Report

    39. Highlights • Key Point 6: Paleoclimate information and stochastic modeling can be useful for developing climate scenarios that include a wide range of potential hydroclimatic conditions. The expanded variability may allow a more robust evaluation of planning alternatives, particularly when there is concern that study outcomes and decisions be sensitive to climate assumptions. • Key Point 7: Evidence of past climate change and current expectations about future climate might lead to less reliance on historical climate information. Rather, planning assumptions might instead be related to projections of future temperature and precipitation. This can be accomplished using a multitude of approaches; a best approach has yet to be determined. Interagency Report

    40. Highlights • Key Point 8: A System Projection paradigm for adaptation planning, as opposed to a Stationary System paradigm, may offer a more appropriate context for characterizing planning assumptions, albeit at the potential cost of adding planning complexity. • Key Point 9: Adopting alternatives that perform well over a wide range of future scenarios could improve system flexibility. Water resources planning and management requires an appreciation of existing and potential future uses of water resources, particularly when public health and safety are involved. Interagency Report

    41. Highlights • Key Point 10: Adaptive management is an approach where decisions are made sequentially over time and allows adjustments to be made as more information is known. This approach may be useful in dealing with the additional uncertainty introduced by potential climate change. • Key Point 11: Adaptation options include operational, demand management, and infrastructure changes. Interagency Report

    42. Note on Adaptive Management • Adaptive management is NOT trial and error but rather a rigorous business process that: • “promotes flexible decisionmaking that can be adjusted in the face of uncertainties as outcomes from management actions and other events become better understood” (National Research Council, 2004) • Offers a framework where robust decision criteria may be considered • Is an iterative process of six steps: (1) assess the problem, (2) design, (3) implement, (4) monitor, (5) evaluate, and (6) adjust (Williams et al 2007 DOI Tech Guide) DJF JJA

    43. Highlights • Key Point 12: Research and monitoring are both needed to fill knowledge gaps and set up advances in planning capabilities. Although neither will eliminate all uncertainties, they will provide significant improvements in understanding the effects of climate change on water resources, including quantity and quality, and in evaluating associated uncertainties and risks required for better informed decision making. Interagency Report