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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999


Impacts And Adaptation: General and Methods

Item #d98may11

"Portraying Climate Scenario Uncertainties in Relation to Tolerable Regional Climate Change," M. Hulme (Climatic Res. Unit, Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), O. Brown,Climate Research, 10(1), 1-14, Apr. 9, 1998. (Available on-line at no charge in 1998 at:

Impact analyses have dominated by a "top down" approach which starts with climate change scenarios defined by a global model. This paper follows the opposite approach: a range of acceptable rates or magnitudes of change are determined, and the climate scenario developer is asked the likelihood that the range will be exceeded. Demonstrates with an application to the U.K.

Item #d98may12

Special Issue: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Latin America, C. Ramos-Mane, Ed., Climate Research, 9(1-2), 155 pp., Dec. 29, 1997. Available from Inter-Research, Nordbunte 23, D-21385 Olendorf/Luhe, Ger.; tel: 49 0 4132 7127; fax: 49 0 4132 8883; e-mail:; WWW: Single copies cost DM 89 + DM 8 shipping.

The 21 papers represent a selection of contributions to a workshop (Montevideo, Uruguay, Apr. 1996). Topics include agro-economics; forest, coastal and water resources; climate change scenarios; and sociological concerns.

Item #d98may13

"Setting Priorities for Adapting to Climate Change," J.B. Smith (Hagler Bailly Services, PO Drawer O, Boulder CO 80306),Global Environ. Change, 7(3), 251-264, Oct. 1997.

Policymakers will eventually have to address adaptation to the effects of climate change, in some cases in anticipation of those changes. Anticipatory measures need to be flexible and economically efficient. The most urgent ones meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) address irreversible or costly impacts; (2) reverse trends that make adoption of the measure more difficult over time; (3) address long-term decisions, such as building infrastructure. Proposes a method by which natural resource policymakers can evaluate the urgency of anticipatory policies.

Item #d98may14

"Adapting to Climate Change in Africa," T.E. Downing (Environ. Change Unit., Oxford Univ., Mansfield Rd., Oxford OX1 3TB, UK), L. Ringius et al.,Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 2(1), 19-44, 1997.

Gives an overview of climate change in Africa and case studies of impacts for agriculture and water to draw general implications for other stakeholders. The most effective strategies are likely to involve reducing present vulnerability and enhancing broadly the capacity to respond to environmental, resource and economic perturbations.

Item #d98may15

"Climatic Change Feedback to the Energy Sector: Developing Integrated Assessments," D.J. Sailor (Dept. Mechanical Eng., Tulane Univ., New Orleans LA 70118),World Resource Review, 9(3), 301-316, Sep. 1997.

Discusses the mechanisms by which climatic variability and change impact the energy sector, and how models of these impacts can be used in utility planning, integrated assessments, and policy development.

Item #d98may16

"Assessing the State-Level Consequences of Global Warming: Socioeconomic and Energy Demand Impacts," B.M. Rubin (Sch. Public & Environ. Affairs, Rm. 328, Indiana Univ., Bloomington IN 47405), S. Gailmard et al.,World Resource Review, 9(3), 379 ff., Sep. 1997.

Adaptation and mitigation strategies must be developed at a level consistent with political and policy-making processes. This paper addresses the problem by identifying the potential socioeconomic and energy demand consequences of climate change for subnational regions, such as states in the U.S. Presents a process for obtaining state-specific assessments of socioeconomic impacts.

Item #d98may17

"Human Adaptation to Climatic Variability and Change," J. Smithers (Ecosystem Health Prog., Faculty of Environ. Sci., Univ. Guelph, Guelph ON N1G 2W1, Can.), B. Smit,Global Environ. Change, 7(2), 129-146, July 1997.

Reviews and synthesizes perspectives from an eclectic body of scholarship to develop a framework for characterizing and understanding human adaptation to climatic variability and change. The framework recognizes the characteristics of climatic events, the ecological properties of systems, and distinctions among different types of adaptation.

Item #d98may18

"Climate Change and Hydropower Generation," P.J. Robinson (Dept. Geog., CB#3220, Saunders Hall, Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC 27599),Intl. J. Climatol., 17(9), 983-996, July 1997.

Presents model-based estimates of the impact of a 2°C temperature increase and a 10% precipitation decrease on small hydropower generation facilities in the U.S. Finds that many utilities would face the prospect of reduced or less reliable hydroelectric generation under such changes, unless generation efficiency can be increased by 10% to compensate.

Item #d98may19

Special Issue: Climate Change Impacts and Response Options in Eastern and Central Europe, R.K. Dixon, Ed. (U.S. Country Studies Prog.), Clim. Change, 36(1-2), May-June 1997.

Contains 14 papers presented at an international workshop, Climate Variability and Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation (Prague, Sep. 1995), on climate change scenarios, impacts on water resources and on terrestrial ecosystems, sea level rise, and adaptation options. Four of the papers (including the following) are listed in various subsections of this issue of Global Climate Change Digest.

Item #d98may20

"Regional Climate Change Scenarios for Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments," J.B. Smith (Hagler Bailly Consulting, P.O. Drawer O, Boulder CO 80306), G.J. Pitts,Clim. Change, 36(1-2), 3-21, May-June 1997.

Describes the regional climate change scenarios that are recommended for use in the U.S. Country Studies Program, and evaluates how well four general circulation models simulate current the climate over Europe.

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