/ PAPERS

Robust adaptation to multi-scale variability

My paper with David Farnham, Scott Steinschneider, and Upmanu Lall has been published in the open access journal Earth’s Future.

It still hasn’t been typeset yet, but that should happen soon. For a quick summary of this paper (Doss-Gollin, Farnham, Steinschneider, & Lall, 2019), check out the Twitter thread I wrote (no account needed to read):

Here’s the abstract:

The assessment and implementation of structural or financial instruments for climate risk mitigation requires projections of future climate risk over the operational life of each proposed instrument. A point often neglected in the climate adaptation literature is that the physical sources of predictability differ between projects with long and short planning periods: while historical and paleo climate records emphasize modes of variability, anthropogenic climate change is expected to alter their occurrence at longer time scales. In this paper we present a set of stylized experiments to assess the uncertainties and biases involved in estimating future climate risk over a finite future period, given a limited observational record. These experiments consider both quasi‐periodic and secular change for the underlying risk, as well as statistical models for estimating this risk from an N‐year historical record. The uncertainty of IPCC‐like future scenarios is considered through an equivalent sample size N. The relative importance of estimating the short‐ or long‐term risk extremes depends on the investment life M. Shorter design lives are preferred for situations where inter‐annual to decadal variability can be successfully identified and predicted, suggesting the importance of sequential investment strategies for adaptation.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks for any thoughts!

References

  1. Doss-Gollin, J., Farnham, D. J., Steinschneider, S., & Lall, U. (2019). Robust Adaptation to Multi-Scale Climate Variability. Earth’s Future.Link