Austin and Killeen, Texas have experienced many temperature and precipitation extremes in the last decade. As climate change accelerates, residents can expect more days of extreme heat, fewer overnight freezes, and more frequent periods of drought than there have been historically.
The President’s Taskforce on Climate Preparedness and Resilience was set up to develop guidance on how the federal government can best support local communities in the face of climate change. The Taskforce was composed of 26 governors, mayors, county officials, and tribal leaders from around the nation. The Taskforce met from Nov. 2013-July 2014 and released their final report in Nov. 2014.
In 2012-2013, Fort Collins Colorado experienced a series of extreme events – extreme drought, fire, heat, and flooding that broke historic record after record. The city was ready for some of these events, but not all of them, and not in such quick succession. Luckily, city leaders are taking climate change seriously. They are looking at the model projections and coming up with win-win solutions that not only reduce the risk, but also improve peoples’ daily lives. These strategies build resilience across all parts of the community as conditions continue to become more extreme and less predictable.
Tonya Graham, Executive Director
As one of the regions experiencing severe impacts in terms of coastal flooding, permafrost melt, and shifts in species needed for subsistence lifestyles, Alaska is on the front lines of climate change. It is because of these intense impacts that Alaska is a high priority region for our ClimateWise team. Dr. Marni Koopman and I attended the Alaska Forum on the Environment and moderated a panel titled: “Climate Change Adaptation: Linking Alaskan Communities with Resources to Help Meet Challenges.”
A changing climate could deeply impact Missoula County in a multitude of ways and it’s time to plan ahead. That’s the consensus of over 90 local experts and community members who gathered to identify risks and devise adaptation strategies. Missoula County Supervisor Michele Landquist attended and later acknowledged, The science behind climate change is very real and we are beginning to incorporate that element into our decision making. The Geos Institute and Headwaters Economics worked with the Clark Fork Coalition, the local convening organization, to bring the ClimateWise process to Missoula County. (photo: Clark Fork Coalition)
Keith Henty, ClimateWise Project Developer
More than 500 people attended the National Adaptation Forum in Denver, and I wish I could have talked to them all. I did get to chat with dozens of fascinating, super-smart people and mention a few here. Those brief conversations plus excellent workshops sparked my imagination for dream jobs and potential partnerships. The Geos Institute participated as a sponsor, presenter, and exhibitor (see our poster Creating ClimateWise Communities).
Oregon Climate Action Day was entirely volunteer-created, and every donation made it possible for a greater number and diversity of people to participate.
This event has now spawned a state-wide citizens network that welcomes participants to engage in the following mission:
“Oregon Climate Action Network (OCAN) exists to connect climate-concerned Oregonians, organize creative advocacy, educate on market-based climate solutions, and to empower citizens to lobby their elected officials.”
We welcome your continued involvement. Let’s stay in touch!
Guest Opinion by Marni Koopman in the Ashland Daily Tidings
I recently attended the first nationwide meeting on climate change adaptation, called the National Adaptation Forum, in Denver, Colo. This was a meeting of people from diverse backgrounds, all working on the same global issue — how to plan for and respond to the accelerating and inevitable impacts of climate change. There were sessions on biodiversity, water resources, tribal lands, coastal areas, social equity issues, infrastructure, coastal property rights and many other topics.
Lauren Morello | Climate Central
Six scientific societies are asking the White House to hold a national summit on climate change.
In a letter delivered to President Barack Obama on Friday, days before his annual State of the Union address, the groups lay out a plan for a summit “to identify policies and actions that can be taken by each Federal agency and by state and local governments to address the causes and effects of climate change.”
“We would like to offer the support and assistance of the thousands of scientists and other professionals who are members of our organizations,” said the groups, including the American Fisheries Society, the American Meteorological Society, the Ecological Society of America, the Society for Conservation Biology, the Society for Ecological Restoration and the Wildlife Society. “We respectfully request that you convene a national summit on this urgent and important challenge.”
Geos Institute staff
Climate change is well underway. Global temperatures have increased 1.5° F. Sea level has risen 8 inches. Forest and rangeland res have increased. Fish, wildlife, and plants are on the move. Climate change is expected to progress more quickly throughout the next century. Many changes will occur regardless of how well we curtail future greenhouse gas emissions, so we need to prepare for those impacts in order to protect people, our water and lands, and wildlife. Preparing for and responding to a changing climate is called climate change “adaptation.” Unfortunately, we can no longer simply use past conditions to plan for the future.
At the Geos Institute, we developed a process that walks a community, watershed, county, federal planning unit, or region through a process that helps them begin to plan for climate change. An important component of the process is that it works across both socioeconomic and natural systems. The ClimateWise process begins by compiling information about local impacts of climate change, based on output from climate models and studies of ecological effects.
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