Regional Climate Change and Variability
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Regional Climate Change and Variability

Impacts and Responses

Edited by Matthias Ruth, Kieran Donaghy and Paul Kirshen

In its development of methodologies and their applications to individual regions, this book presents a rich set of insights and a set of guides for investment and policymaking. Each of the six studies focuses on a finer geographic scale than is customary in integrated assessment research. They introduce innovations for impact analysis and contribute to the knowledge of localized experiences of climate change – how it affects a variety of sectors, how different stakeholders perceive its implications and adapt to it, and how decision support systems can promote dialogues between researchers, stakeholders and policymakers.
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Chapter 8: Conclusion: Assessing Impacts and Responses

P. Kirshen, K. Donaghy and M. Ruth


P. Kirshen, K. Donaghy and M. Ruth The foregoing chapters have presented integrated assessments of the impacts of climate change and adaptive and mitigating responses to it at urban and regional scales. These assessments have contributed to knowledge of localized experiences of climate change, how it affects different sectors, how different stakeholders perceive its implications and are adapting to it, and how decision support systems can serve to promote dialogue between researchers, stakeholders and policy makers. These studies have also drawn implications for urban and regional policies and suggested directions for further research. In this concluding chapter we review some of the most salient findings of these studies and their implications. LESSONS ON MODELING THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE There is considerable variability in scenarios of climate change that have been produced with Global Circulation Models (GCMs). Depending on which of the scenarios (or variants thereof) unfold, regions – such as the San Joaquin River Basin and the Mackinaw River Basin, discussed in Chapters 2 and 4 – could experience differences in precipitation and temperature that would have significant impacts on water supply, water quality and fish populations. A critical lesson of studies reported in this volume is that to convey a realistic sense of what range of impacts is possible, many scenarios need to be examined. A second critical lesson is that human reaction to climate change – evaluation of impacts as well as adaptive and mitigative behavior – needs to be modeled along with reaction of ecological systems in an integrated fashion....

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