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Technical Tools and Resources for Preparing for Climate Change. Lara Whitely Binder Climate Impacts Group University of Washington Laura Wharton Supervisor of Comprehensive Planning King County, Washington March 18, 2009 Coastal Training Program, “Planning for Climate Change”.

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Technical Tools and Resources for Preparing for Climate Change

Lara Whitely Binder

Climate Impacts Group

University of Washington

Laura Wharton

Supervisor of Comprehensive Planning

King County, Washington

March 18, 2009

Coastal Training Program, “Planning for Climate Change”

Climate Science in the Public Interest

assessment and planning tools caveats
Assessment and Planning Tools Caveats
  • Additional tools and resources not included in this presentation exist.
  • This presentation has been modified from packet; please refer to handout
coastal climate adaptation site
Coastal Climate Adaptation Site
  • Provides information on climate change and adaptation strategies for communities.
    • background climate science information
    • adaptation plans and guidebooks
    • a particular emphasis on case studies and examples.

usepa climate ready estuaries
USEPA Climate Ready Estuaries

Includes links for:

  • Monitoring Climate Change
  • Where to Find Data
  • Coastal Vulnerability and Adaptation Tools
  • Adaptation Planning Smart Growth in the Context of Climate Change
  • Sustainable Financing Options

cig website
CIG Website
  • Summary information on PNW climate and climate impacts
  • Climate change scenarios
  • CIG publications
  • Quarterly electronic newsletter
  • “climateupdate” list serve

CIG/King County Adaptation Planning Guidebook
  • Written by the CIG and King County, WA in association with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Written to compliment ICLEI’s “Climate Resilient Communities” Program
  • Focused on the process (not a sector), and written for a national audience

Latest assessment of sea level rise projections for Washington State
  • Provides low, medium, and high scenarios for sea level rise in Washington State based on global and local scale factors for:
    • NW Olympic Peninsula
    • Central/southern WA coast
    • Puget Sound
  • Sets the stage for a more analytical approach;

waccia papers
  • Final draft released February 11, 2009
  • Updated climate impacts information for Washington in 8 key sectors
  • Web content, fact sheets, and other summary material will be made available

WACCIA Data Archives
  • More than 4 terabytes of meteorological and hydrologic data produced for the WACCIA assessment
  • Simulated data for the region broken down into 1/16th degree scale (~12.5 squares) …a first for the region
  • Will be made available to the public free of charge (summer 2009?)
Climate Data

Temperature and precipitation data for

  • 20th century, 2020s, 2040s, 2080s

For each time period, data are available for:

  • Average annual, seasonal, monthly, daily time steps
  • Individual emissions scenarios (B1, A1B)
  • Individual global climate models for each scenario (e.g., ECHAM5 B1 scenario)

All but monthly and daily data currently available at:

40+ realizations of future streamflow variability at each location



271 Sites

Upper Columbia River Basin

Yakima River Basin

Kootenai River Basin

Salmon River Basin

Mainstem Columbia River Basin

Willamette River Basin

Snake River Basin

hydrologic data products
Hydrologic Data Products

Output includes…

Variables include…

summer streamflow temp data
Another sector-specific example…Summer Streamflow Temp Data

Weekly average summer (Jun-Sept) streamflow temperature data available for 133 stations (see dots) around the state

cases database in development
CASES Database (in development)
  • Searchable adaptation case study database
  • Search criteria include:
    • Country, state, city
    • Population size
    • Impact areas of concern
    • Types of adaptation activities
  • User-driven content
  • Spring 2009 (antic.)
asset vulnerability tool
Asset Vulnerability Tool
  • Goal: to share methodology with others through a GIS based tool.
  • Built generic as possible to provide transferability outside King County
    • Simple for those with limited access to quality climate data
    • Extensive enough for those with complex asset and data situations
(a) Information gathering – how will climate change affect my community/region? (an ongoing part of the process)

The Basic Planning Process

(b) Make the commitment to prepare for climate change

(c) Assemble your planning “team” and bring them up to speed

(d) Determine priorities for planning (vulnerability assessment)

(e) Develop and implement your adaptation “plan”

(f) Periodically revisit your adaptation plan for needed adjustments – how has the science, your community changed?

Key Points: Vulnerability Assessment
  • Fundamental objective of this step is to help prioritize adaptive planning efforts
  • Do you have to call it a vulnerability assessment? -- NO, find a term that conveys the message you want. Get creative!
  • General steps:
    • Look at sensitivity of key concerns/areas/functions to current and projected climate change
    • Look at how easily these concerns/areas/functions can be adjusted to address the impacts (adaptability)
    • combined these determine vulnerability
Key Points: Vulnerability Assessment cont’d
  • Can be done by your planning team (e.g., King County), via public meetings (e.g., Kimberly), or through a combination of both (ideally).
  • The guidebook tables are helpful if you:
    • have a lot of information to organize,
    • have a lot of issues to prioritize, and/or
    • are concerned about documenting your reasons in greater detail for certain choices.
  • Do you have to follow the guidebook process to the letter?
    • No!(i.e., you do not have to make tables), but make sure you are ultimately hitting on these major milestones in some way
building capacity and delivering action
What Does Adaptive Planning Involve?Building Capacity and Delivering Action

Building Adaptive Capacity

  • Addressing institutional, legal, cultural, technical, fiscal and other barriers
  • Activities can be taken independent of specific climate projections

Delivering Adaptive Actions

  • Implementing actions to address specific climate vulnerabilities
  • Choice and timing of some actions may depend on specifics of the climate projections
Examples of Building Adaptive Capacity
  • Develop (and update) a strategy to guide adaptation activities in your organization/community
  • Increase outreach and education to stakeholders
  • Increase training opportunities and access to technologies that support adaptation needs
  • Increase partnerships with organizations that can support adaptation needs
  • Identify and address regulatory, institutional, and other barriers to adaptation planning
Examples of Delivering Adaptation Actions
  • Increase water conservation measures
  • Strengthen dikes and levees where appropriate
  • Restore critical habitat for climate-sensitive species
  • Plant tree species known to have a broad range of tolerances
  • Improve the use of early warning systems for extreme heat events
  • Increase use of setbacks or rolling easements for coastal land uses