The University of Arizona

Category | CLIMAS

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Bhuwan Thapa - CLIMAS Climate & Society Fellow

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How farmers are responding to Gorkha Earthquake, climatic and socioeconomic changes in Nepal

Following the Gorkha earthquake in April 2015, many able farmers in the hard-hit Nuwakot district came together and repaired the damaged irrigational canals. They contributed labor and financial resources and where necessary procured additional funding from government institutions. Though some systems could not be repaired immediately due to lack of human and financial resources, the farmers demonstrated the power of collective action in responding to national disasters.

One of the uniqueness of Nepalese irrigation system is the farmer-managed irrigation system where farmers take the responsibility of the overall irrigation management including operation and maintenance. Indeed during the field trip of summer 2015, I learned that these institutions were pivotal in responding to multiple stresses resulting from natural disasters, climatic and socioeconomic changes. (read more)

Christina Greene - CLIMAS Climate & Society Fellow

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Almonds, Fish, and a Modern Dust Bowl: Narratives of Drought Vulnerability and Adaptation in California's San Joaquin Valley

The plums were a deep red, their oozing juices staining the human-sized cardboard box in wine colored hues. Instead of being stacked in neat pyramids or ensconced in plastic, they were piled in by the hundreds, pressing against each other, their bursting flesh perfuming the air. We stood in two single file lines. At the front of the line, volunteers grabbed plums by the handful and thrust them into our outstretched white plastic bags, counting them out “dos, cuatro, ocho, doce, veinte!” I asked the gentleman in front of me in the line “What are plums called in Spanish?” He smiles at me from beneath his cowboy hat, “Ciruela.”

After all the plums have been bagged, we begin the process again with pallets of tomatoes, frozen chickens, rice, beans, and cucumbers. When all the food is packed and sorted into piles, we distribute them to the residents of this small rural city in California’s San Joaquin Valley where everyone’s job depends on agriculture.  Throughout the day I ask people about California’s drought – la sequía. They nod gravely, yes – la sequía.  (read more)

Preparing for High Consequence, Low Probability Events: Heat Water & Energy in the Southwest

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Residents of the Intermountain Southwest are accustomed to hot temperatures. More than 90 percent of households in Arizona use air conditioning, which accounts for a quarter of the energy consumed in homes: more than four times the national average (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

Now imagine a scenario: It’s June, temperatures are normally over 100 degrees F, but a persistent heat wave causes temperatures to soar over 120 degrees F for several days in a row, with nighttime low temperatures at or near 100°F. Everyone is using their A/C, which overloads the system and results in an extended power outage. Now, not only is it scorching, but without power residents have no way to cool off in their homes. What’s more, the lack of power knocks out the wastewater treatment plant, and now residents lack potable water as well.

You may be thinking that this scenario is highly unlikely, and you’re right. But what if? What if over three million people in the Phoenix metro area lost power during a desiccating pre-monsoon heat wave? Or, what if this situation occurred in Las Vegas, where, in addition to a million residents, there are tourists who are unaccustomed to the heat? How do we plan for something like this? How do we manage the cascade of impacts?

These are the types of questions and scenarios discussed at a workshop, entitled “Preparing for High Consequence, Low Probability Events: Heat, Water & Energy in the Southwest,” held in September in the University of Arizona’s new ENR2 building, in Tucson. (read more)

CLIMAS Colloquium: Connie Woodhouse - Collaborative Research in the Upper Colorado River Basin: User-Driven Research Results and Challenges

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This presentation will focus on ongoing work to better understand the effects of temperature on water supplies in the upper Colorado River basin. Overall, spring and early summer temperatures explain only a small portion of the variance in water year streamflow in the basin. However, in a subset of years (both warm and cool), temperatures appear to have a stronger influence on streamflow than might be anticipated, given the precipitation. The presentation will also touch on the challenges associated with incorporating the input of water resource management partners, a central component of the project design. (read more)

2015 CLIMAS Climate & Society Graduate Fellows

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program supports University of Arizona graduate students whose work connects climate research and decision making. Fellows receive $5,000 and guidance from members of the CLIMAS research team (Climate Assessment for the Southwest) for one year. The program’s main objective is to train a group of students to cross the traditional boundaries of academic research into use-inspired science and applied research. While CLIMAS research generally occurs in the Southwest U.S., the Fellows program allows students to work anywhere in the world.

Fellows’ projects may follow two tracks. Students who want to conduct collaborative research may use their funding for use-inspired projects. Students who have conducted climate research and want to communicate their findings to audiences outside of academia may use their funding for outreach. Fellows may also use their funding for a combination of the two tracks.

The Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program helps students address the world’s climate-related problems by funding projects that engage people outside of the university.

The 2015 Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) Climate & Society Graduate Fellows are:

Notes From the Field: Preparing for Climate Change Along the US-Mexico Border

Monday, October 27, 2014

On September 10-11, 25 scientists and natural resource managers met at the offices of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), in El Paso, Texas.  Their goal was to use strategic scenario planning techniques to gain insight into environmental and natural resource planning under highly uncertain conditions. Participants included climatologists, meteorologists, geologists, hydrologists, ecologists, biologists, and environmental economists, representing a range of U.S. and Mexican federal agencies, state agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations. (read more)

Farm and Ranch Weather and Climate Workshop

Thursday, June 5, 2014

University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the National Weather Service – Tucson Forecast office are sponsoring a morning long training workshop on weather and climate information focused on supporting agricultural and resource management decision- making.  (read more)

Video: UA experts discuss Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CLIMAS and the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) co-sponsored a panel of UA experts to discuss the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) entitled "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." This report, from the IPCC's Working Group II (WGII), provides an assessment of the scientific, technical, environmental, economic and social aspects of climate change vulnerability for and impact on ecological systems, socio-economic sectors and human health, with an emphasis on regional, sectoral and cross-sectoral issues. (embedded video)

UA experts discuss the IPCC WGII Report: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Monday, March 31, 2014

CLIMAS and the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions are co-sponsoring a panel of UA experts to discuss the forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) entitled "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." This report, from the IPCC's Working Group II (WGII), provides an assessment of the scientific, technical, environmental, economic and social aspects of climate change vulnerability for and impact on ecological systems, socio-economic sectors and human health, with an emphasis on regional, sectoral and cross-sectoral issues. (read more)

A video recording of this IPCC panel discussion is now available on the CLIMAS media page.

Climate & Health Workshop

Friday, February 14, 2014

This workshop is open to UA researchers engaged in research around climate and health. The workshop will aim to stimulate research on the climate and health nexus, to learn about research in this area occurring on our campus, and especially, to see if substantial interest exists in pursuing collaborative grants. (read more)

Roundtable Discussion with Professor Hari Osofsky

Friday, February 7, 2014

Professor Hari Osofsky, visiting from the University of Minnesota Law School, will give a brief presentation about her work on the dynamics of local networks in climate change policy. Her talk will be followed by a moderated discussion about climate change governance at the regional level.  (read more)

CLIMAS Colloquium: Megadrought Risk - From the Globe Down to the Southwest

Friday, January 24, 2014

CLIMAS Colloquium Series - Speaker: Jonathan OverpeckIncreased drought risk is (and will be) arguably one of the most certain and troubling aspects of anthropogenic climate change for many parts of the world. At the same time, it is emerging in the scientific literature that state-of-the-art climate and Earth system models are not able to simulate the full range of drought, whether decade-scale droughts like seen recently in both the SW US, and Australia, or multidecadal “megadroughts” that eclipse droughts of the instrumental era in both duration and severity. Evidence for this assertion will be examined, particularly as it comes from the paleoclimatic record of several continents, in both semi-arid and wetter regions. The implications for decision-making will also be discussed, including the on-going operational use, in the United States, of no-regrets drought planning strategies that incorporate paleoclimatic data. Fortunately, because droughts will still occur for natural reasons as well as anthropogenic, increased drought preparedness is a clear “no-regrets” climate change adaptation strategy. (read more)

Regional Climate Summit for Municipal Leaders: Economic, Health, Water & Transportation Impacts

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Decision makers in southern Arizona face new challenges as climate variability and weather extremes increasingly affect the region. Our municipalities undertake planning activities and public investments that shape our economic prosperity, public health, and environment. Extreme events, warmer temperatures, and changes in precipitation will dramatically impact these efforts.   This half-day summit will explore the risks, potential costs, and proactive solutions necessary to combat and cope with climate change challenges affecting southern Arizona. Participants will learn from other municipal leaders and technical experts. The summit begins a dynamic regional dialogue to leverage ongoing and future efforts in cross-jurisdictional climate-related challenges. (read more)

Advancing Climate Adaptation and Resliency Planning in Flagstaff

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Flagstaff City Manager’s office in collaboration with CLIMAS at the University of Arizona and the Decision Center for a Desert City at Arizona State University will lead a workshop with the Police Department and the Streets section of the Public Works Department to develop performance measure for climate adaptation that these departments can use in future budget preparations and strategic planning.  The workshop will build on Flagstaff’s Resiliency and Preparedness Study (RPS) and the policies adopted by the Flagstaff City Council. (read more)

Key Findings from the Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gregg Garfin, lead-coordinating author of this report, will present these and other key findings on Friday, Jan. 25th at 10:30 am in Marshall 531. The report drew on contributions from 121 authors and will be published in early 2013. You can currently access the first chapter of the report, known as the Summary for Decision Makers. The full report will be available here.

The Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States is one of eight regional technical contributions to the National Climate Assessment, which will summarize key findings from each region and will help inform informs the nation about observed changes and anticipated climate trends.  The National Climate Assessment report will be published later this year. (read more)

National Climate Assessment Regional Town Hall

Friday, January 18, 2013

This day-long town hall meeting will bring together approximately 90 people, including climate experts and users of climate information from academia, local, state, tribal, and federal governments, non-profit organizations, businesses, and industry. This event is by invitation only. (read more)