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Report recommends adaptive adaptation strategy for global warming

RelSeaLevelCh.60.jpgBack in May the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research hosted a National Climate Adaptation Summit that brought together roughly 150 people representing the US science, business and policy communities for a three-day conversation about coping with the impacts of global warming. On Wednesday, summit representatives provided the White House with a summary document (available here) laying out a series of recommendations as the administration seeks to craft a national adaptation strategy.

The gist is that the United States needs to integrate federal climate programmes, collect and disseminate data and facilitate coordination with both regional governments and the private sector. The report recommends boosting funding for research into climate impacts and creating a federal “portal” for climate data as well as a clearinghouse for information about adaptation programmes underway at all levels of government and industry.

“We are all going to have to adapt adaptively, and therefore we are going to have to learn from each other,” said Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.

President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren, graciously accepted the report while making it crystal clear that embracing adaptation does not mean neglecting mitigation. “We only have three choices: adaptation, mitigation and suffering, and we are going to need a lot of the first two in order to avoid a lot of the third,” Holdren said. “Anybody who thinks there are alternatives is smoking dope.”

The adaptation report aligns with ongoing efforts by a separate climate adaptation task force appointed by the White House; that group expects to release its report in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is already shifting its efforts to coordinate data through its Climate Service; earlier this month, the agency appointed six new directors to coordinate regional efforts.

Map: Relative sea level changes on U.S. coastlines, 1958 to 2008. (Image courtesy Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, U.S. Global Change Research Program.)


  1. Report this comment

    Tim Colman said:

    Candor award for the week goes to President Obama’s Science Advisor Josh Holdren who says it like it is about stark choices.

    What IF this suffering is already happening and not a far off experience? What IF Pakistan’s rains and floods come from the same source as Oaxaca Mexico’s?

    Adapting to a warmer weekend is one thing, adapting to your city disappearing down the river…

  2. Report this comment

    Orkneygal said:

    According to IPCC AR4 Section 9.2.2 figure 9.1.f, the theory of AGW, caused by greenhouse gas release, has a particular signature in the atmospheric temperature profile.

    One important aspect of this temperature profile is commonly called the “Tropical Tropospheric Hotspot”.

    According to the IPCC, if the currently warming is caused by greenhouse gas release, there must be evidence of it through the “Tropical Tropospheric Hotspot”.

    The difficulty for the true believers is that the “Tropical Tropospheric Hotspot” cannot be found.

    Radiosonde data does not show it. Satellite data does not reveal it, even with when tortured by the Hockey Team.

    An attempt to “prove” that it is really there, but hidden using some hocus, pocus about wind shear has been recently debunked and falsified.

    Since the signature that the IPCC claims their theory says must be there, there are only a few alternatives-

    1. IPCC climate theory is fundamentally wrong.

    2. To the extent that IPCC climate theory is correct in predicting a hotspot due to extra carbon dioxide, we know that carbon emissions did not cause the recent global warming.

    More information-

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    ClimateTF said:

    I’m glad to hear that the administration is not content to manage the problem without trying to mitigate it. I just hope that as they move forward, they look at the alternatives to a complicated and convoluted cap and trade system.

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