Spring 2018: Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies

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Class 13 (02/21/2018): Knowing the Hazards: Climate Hazards, Public Health, Food-Water-Energy Nexus

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Summary

Climate change is expected to increase extreme weather events including droughts, floods, heat waves, and in some regions cold spells. This will have severe impacts on both the natural and built environment. Sea level is expected to rise significantly with severe impacts on coastal ecosystems, resources, settlements, and the urban and working coast. Ocean warming and acidification will add hazards to the coastal zone. The disaster risk associated with extreme storms and storm surges is also expected to increase. Thus, land use planning has to consider a much larger range of possible environmental conditions than those experienced in the past.

Climate change, pollution, and global change present new and serious threats to human health. Food, water and energy needs are competing creating a complex nexus that is further complicated by population growth. Global and climate change have a significant impact on the distribution functions of many environmental variables including climate variables, ecosystem variables. We will talk about global systems connections and how anthropogenic changes in one part of the world have unexpected impact on biodiversity and human health in the other part. Particular aspects of hazards under climate change are related to changes in the hazard spectrum that are hard to predict with low uncertainty. Therefore, developing foresight is of increasing importance if the system is in rapid transition.

Reading List

Hansen et al., 2016.

IPCC, 2014.

Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts, 2013.

Lenton and Schellenhuber, 2007.

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