Climate Change in Planning and Design

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Course Description

"But regardless of how much supporting scientific information is available, making choices about how to act in the face of uncertainty can prove contentious if people disagree about the nature of the risks they face or about which elements of these risks are most important." America's Climate Choices, 2011

This seminar-reading-discussion course focuses on special topics on the use of climate-change data and knowledge in planning, design, engineering and management. Topics include, for example, uncertainty in the context of decision making, non-stationarity in design and engineering, and vulnerability and risk assessment.

This course was designed for the Climate and Space (CLaSP) MEng in Applied Climate. The course is also designed to be accessible as an elective to those in other departments in the College of Engineering and across the University as a whole. The target is the professional who needs to incorporate climate knowledge in planning and design. Examples of subject areas include:

1) Description of uncertainty in climate data and projections and how to manage that uncertainty in planning and design,

2) Exploration of incorporating non-stationarity of weather into planning and design,

3) Discovery of vulnerability to changing weather and incorporation of knowledge into risk assessment and management.

These subject areas are at the leading edge, multi-disciplinary, complex and rapidly evolving. The course will include seminars by experts in the field, readings and responses. The course will consider application of the knowledge developed in the course to real-world applications.

"... in the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them …” Aristotle, Rhetoric, 350 BC

Required Readings / Resources (2015) assigned

Author Title Link Purpose
Hawkins and Sutton The potential to narrow uncertainty in regional climate predictions View Class Link Classifying uncertainty
Barnett et al. Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions View Class Link Basic research, assessment, and usability
National Climate Assessment Southwest region assessment View Class Link Basic research, assessment, and usability
Hurrell et al. Climate predictions and projections over the coming decades (recorded lecture (MP4), skip first 9:30) View Class Link Classifying and describing uncertainty
Moss Reducing doubt about uncertainty: Guidance for IPCC’s third assessment View Class Link Communicating uncertainty
National Public Radio Risk and reason(Recordings of radio series) View Class Link Communicating and using uncertainty
Pidgeon and Fischhoff The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks View Class Link Communicating uncertainty

Required Readings / Resources (2015) to be assigned

Author Title Link Purpose
Climate Change Study Program Best practice approaches for characterizing, communicating, and incorporating scientific uncertainty in climate decision making View Class Link Communicating and using uncertainty
Lemos and Rood Climate projections and their impact on policy and practice View Class Link Uncertainty and usability
Knaggard What do policy-makers do with scientific uncertainty? The incremental character of Swedish climate change policy-making View Class Link Case study of uncertainty use



Resources Suggested (2015)

Lectures Powerpoint, Recordings, PDFs

Climate Introduction in One Lecture

Introduction to Uncertainty in the Scientific Investigation of Earth's Climate

AOSS 480 / NRE 480 Climate Change: An Inter-Disciplinary Approach to Problem Solving



Resources Additional (2015)

Overviews: Communicating, describing, organizing, using

Author Title Link Purpose
Moss and Schneider Uncertainties in the IPCC TAR: Recommendations To Lead Authors For More Consistent Assessment and Reporting View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty
Mastrandrea and Mach Treatment of uncertainties in IPCC Assessment Reports: past approaches and considerations for the Fifth Assessment Report View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty
Mastrandrea et al. The IPCC AR5 guidance note on consistent treatment of uncertainties: a common approach across the working groups View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty
Moss and Yohe Resources for Assessing Confidence and Uncertainty National Climate Assessment View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty
National Research Council Characterizing, Quantifying, and Communicating Uncertainty (Chapter 6) View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty
Washington Post How Not To Communicate Uncertainty about Climate Change View Class Link Communicating, describing, organizing, and using uncertainty

Ensembles:

Author Title Link Purpose
Climateprediction.net World's largest climate modeling experiment (Web site: Information in several tabs on the site) View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Collins et al. Climate model errors, feedbacks and forcings: a comparison of perturbed physics and multi-model ensembles View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Murphy Climate model errors, feedbacks and forcings: a comparison of perturbed physics and multi-model ensembles View [http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Murphy_Probabilistic_Uncertainty_Regional_Climate_PhilTransRoySoc_2007.pdf
Class Link]
Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Murphy Climate model errors, feedbacks and forcings: a comparison of perturbed physics and multi-model ensembles View [http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Murphy_Quantification_Model_Uncertainty_Ensemble_Nature_2004.pdf
Class Link]
Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Tebaldi and Knutti The use of the multi-model ensemble in probabalistic climate projections View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty


Philosophy

Author Title Link Purpose
Lloyd Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models View Class Link Robustness
Hargreaves and Annan Can we trust climate models? View Class Link Trust and Communication
Parker Ensemble modeling, uncertainty and robust predictions View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Parker Ensemble modeling, uncertainty and robust predictions View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty
Parker Values and uncertainties in climate prediction, revisited View Class Link Ensembles and describing uncertainty


Model, Scenario, Internal Variability

Author Title Link Purpose
Lynn et al. Quantifying the sensitivity of simulated climate change to model configuration View Class Link Model, Scenario, Internal Variability
Harding et al. The implications of climate change scenario selection for future stream-flow projection in the Upper Colorado River Basin View Class Link Model, Scenario, Internal Variability


http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/CCSP_Transportation_Gulf_Coast_sap4_7_final_2008.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Curry_Uncertainty_Monster_BAMS_2011.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Northrup_Framework_Uncertainty_Models_JClim_2013.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Tang_Dessai_Usable_Science_WeaClimSoc_2012.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Tomassini_Knutti_Uncertainty_Mitigation_21st_Century_Temp_ClimaticChan_2010.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Yip_Framework_Uncertainty_Models_JClim_2011.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/Yohe_Oppenheimer_Uncertainty_Essay_AR5_ClimaticChan_2011.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/SYR_AR5_SPM_Synthesis_2014.pdf

http://climateknowledge.org/CLIMATE_530_Uncertainty_Stationarity_Readings/SYR_AR5_Synthesis_Full_Report_2014.pdf