Environmental Policy Collection - 13 Matching Results

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Adapting to Climate Change in Europe and Central Asia

Description: Contrary to popular perception, ECA faces significant threats from climate change, with a number of the most serious risks already in evidence. Vulnerability over the next ten to twenty years will be dominated by socio‐economic factors and legacy issues. Even countries and sectors that stand to benefit from climate change are poorly positioned to do so. The next decade offers a window of opportunity for ECA countries to make their development more resilient to climate change while reaping numerous co‐benefits.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Balancing Act: China’s Role in Climate Change

Description: Climate change has reached the apex of the global agenda at a time when China faces significant development and energy security challenges. The political leadership and leading intellectuals are debating the direction of a new development pathway that provides both growth to meet development objectives, and dramatically reduces energy intensity and pollution. While the official position has not changed significantly, there are four key aspects that illustrate how climate change is conceived by the Chinese leadership. This signals that China may come to play a much more important role in global mitigation of climate change than was thought only a couple of years ago.
Date: April 1, 2009
Creator: Hallding, Karl; Han, Guoyi & Olsson, Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes

Description: This Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product addresses current capabilities to integrate observations of the climate system into a consistent description of past and current conditions through the method of reanalysis. In addition, the Product assesses present capabilities to attribute causes for climate variations and trends over North America during the reanalysis period, which extends from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This Product reviews Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. Paleoclimate records play a key role in our understanding of Earth's past and present climate system and in our confidence in predicting future climate changes. Paleoclimate data help to elucidate past and present active mechanisms of climate change by placing the short instrumental record into a longer term context and by permitting models to be tested beyond the limited time that instrumental measurements have been available. Recent observations in the Arctic have identified large ongoing changes and important climate feedback mechanisms that multiply the effects of global-scale climate changes. As discussed in this report, paleoclimate data show that land and sea ice have grown with cooling temperatures and have shrunk with warming ones, amplifying temperature changes while causing and responding to ecosystem shifts and sea-level changes.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Decision Making

Description: This report discusses the current state of understanding about the characteristics and implications of uncertainty related to climate change and variability to an audience of policymakers, decision makers, and members of the media and general public with an interest in developing a fundamental understanding of the issue.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States: Highlights

Description: This booklet highlights key findings of Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, a state of knowledge report about the observed and projected consequences of climate change for our nation and people. It is an authoritative scientific report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels. The report draws from a large body of scientific information including the set of 21 synthesis and assessment products from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and much more. It also includes new information published since these assessments were released. While the primary focus of the report is on the impacts of climate change in the United States, it also discusses some of the actions society is already taking or can take to respond to the climate challenge. These include limiting climate change by, for example, reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases or increasing their removal from the atmosphere. The importance of our current choices about heat-trapping emissions is underscored by comparing impacts resulting from higher versus lower emissions scenarios. Choices about emissions made now will have far-reaching consequences for climate change impacts, with lower emissions reducing the magnitude of climate change impacts and the rate at which they appear. The report also identifies examples of options currently being pursued to cope with or adapt to the impacts of climate change and/or other environmental issues. One example of adaptation is included in this booklet. There is generally insufficient information at present to evaluate the effectiveness, costs, and benefits of potential adaptation actions. This booklet includes a brief overview of the 10 key findings of the report, using examples from the report to illustrate each finding. References for material in this booklet, including figures, can be ...
Date: June 2009
Creator: Karl, Thomas R.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Peterson, Thomas C. & Hassol, Susan Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. The U.S. Government's CCSP is responsible for providing the best science-based knowledge possible to inform management of the risks and opportunities associated with changes in the climate and related environmental systems. To support its mission, the CCSP has commissioned 21 "synthesis and assessment products" (SAPs) to advance decision making on climate change-related issues by providing current evaluations of climate change science and identifying priorities for research, observation, and decision support. This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP), developed as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, examines potential effects of sea-level rise from climate change during the twenty-first century, with a focus on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Using scientific literature and policy-related documents, the SAP describes the physical environments; potential changes to coastal environments, wetlands, and vulnerable species; societal impacts and implications of sea-level rise; decisions that may be sensitive to sea-level rise; opportunities for adaptation; and institutional barriers to adaptation.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems

Description: This Report (SAP 4.2) focuses on the thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems. As defined in this Synthesis and Assessment Report, 'an ecological threshold is the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem quality, property, or phenomenon, or where small changes in one or more external conditions produce large and persistent responses in an ecosystem'.Ecological thresholds occur when external factors, positive feedbacks, or nonlinear instabilities in a system cause changes to propagate in a domino-like fashion that is potentially irreversible. This report reviews threshold changes in North American ecosystems that are potentially induced by climatic change and addresses the significant challenges these threshold crossings impose on resource and land managers. Sudden changes to ecosystems and the goods and services they provide are not well understood, but they are extremely important if natural resource managers are to succeed in developing adaptation strategies in a changing world. The report provides an overview of what is known about ecological thresholds and where they are likely to occur. It also identifies those areas where research is most needed to improve knowledge and understand the uncertainties regarding them. The report suggests a suite of potential actions that land and resource managers could use to improve the likelihood of success for the resources they manage, even under conditions of incomplete understanding of what drives thresholds of change and when changes will occur.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts

Description: This report critically reviews current knowledge about global distributions and properties of atmospheric aerosols as they relate to aerosol impacts on climate. It assesses possible steps to substantially reduce uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing estimates.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations using Seasonal-to-Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data: A Focus on Water Resources

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product focuses on the connection between the scientific ability to predict climate on seasonal scales and the opportunity to incorporate such understanding into water resource management decisions. It directly addresses decision support experiments and evaluations that have used seasonal-to-interannual forecasts and observational data, and is expected to inform (1) decision makers about the relative success of experiences of others who have experimented with these forecasts and data in resource management; (2) climatologists, hydrologists, and social scientists on how to advance the delivery of decision-support resources that use the most recent forecast products, methodologies, and tools; and (3) science and resource managers as they plan for future investments in research related to forecasts and their role in decision support. It is important to note, however, that while the focus of this Product is on the water resources management sector, the findings within this Synthesis and Assessment Product may be directly transferred to other sectors.
Date: January 2009
Creator: Beller-Simms, Nancy; Ingram, Helen; Feldman, David; Mantua, Nathan; Jacobs, Katharine L. & Waple, Anne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science

Description: This guide aims to help individuals and communities know and understand Earth’s climate, the impacts of climate change, and approaches to adaptation or mitigation. The guide aims to promote greater climate science literacy by providing an educational framework of principles and concepts. The guide can serve educators who teach climate science as a way to meet content standards in their science curricula.
Date: March 2009
Creator: U.S Climate Change Science Program
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States: A State of Knowledge Report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: This book is the most comprehensive report to date on the wide range of impacts of climate change in the United States. It is written in plain language to better inform members of the public and policymakers. The report finds that global warming is unequivocal, primarily human-induced, and its impacts are already apparent in transportation, agriculture, health, and water and energy supplies. These impacts are expected to grow with continued climate change - the higher the levels of greenhouse gas emissions, the greater the impacts. The report illustrates how these impacts can be kept to a minimum if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. The choices we make now will determine the severity of climate change impacts in the future. This book will help citizens, business leaders, and policymakers at all levels to make informed decisions about responding to climate change and its impacts. Likely to set the policy agenda across the US for the next few years Features examples of actions currently being pursued in various regions to address climate change. Summarizes in one place the current and projected affects of climate change in the United States
Date: 2009
Creator: Karl, Thomas R.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Peterson, Thomas C. & Hassol, Susan Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2010

Description: The report describes the activities and plans of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program established under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative that was established by the President in 2001. CCSP coordinates and integrates scientific research on climate and global change supported by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. The document highlights recent advances and progress supported by CCSP-participating agencies in each of the program's research and observational elements, as called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program released in July 2003, and later modified in the 2008 CCSP Revised Research Plan. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decisionmaking at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Date: September 2009
Creator: U.S. Global Change Research Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

IPCC Expert Meeting on the Science of Alternative Metrics: Meeting Report

Description: This extended report of the IPCC Expert Meeting on the Science of Alternative Metrics that was held in Oslo 18-20 March 2009 is provided in response to an invitation from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC AWG-KP) to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to undertake further technical assessment of alternative common metrics which are used to calculate the CO2 equivalence of anthropogenic emissions by sources, and removals by sinks, of greenhouse gases listed in Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol. The outcome of the expert meeting was an agreed set of key conclusions and recommendations to UNFCCC in response to the request of the AWG-KP as well as more specific recommendations to the scientific community regarding research needs and ones relevant to the scoping of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). These were presented to the IPCC Plenary in a short report at its 30th session in Antalya, 21-23 April 2009. The current full report of the expert meeting amplifies those conclusions and recommendations and includes the extended abstracts of the meeting presentations as well as a general bibliography.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Partner: UNT Libraries