finding 19.5 : existing-adaptation-plans-inadequate

The magnitude of expected changes will exceed those experienced in the last century. Existing adaptation and planning efforts are inadequate to respond to these projected impacts.

This finding is from chapter 19 of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment.

Process for developing key messages: A central component of the assessment process was the Great Plains Regional Climate assessment workshop that was held in August 2011 in Denver, CO, with approximately 40 attendees. The workshop began the process leading to a foundational Technical Input Report (TIR), the Great Plains Regional Climate Assessment Technical Report.5552509e-9af3-46dd-8920-78083bee05bc The TIR consists of 18 chapters assembled by 37 authors representing a wide range of inputs including governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, and other entities. The chapter author team engaged in multiple technical discussions via regular teleconferences. These included careful review of the foundational TIRd873710b-8d1f-43fa-bb4f-2ffe216c089c and of approximately 50 additional technical inputs provided by the public, as well as the other published literature, and professional judgment. These discussions were followed by expert deliberation of draft key messages by the authors during an in-person meeting in Kansas City in April 2012, wherein each message was defended before the entire author team prior to the key message being selected for inclusion in the report. These discussions were supported by targeted consultation with additional experts by the lead author of each message, and they were based on criteria that help define “key vulnerabilities”.

Description of evidence base: The key message and supporting text summarize extensive evidence documented in the Great Plains Technical Input Report.5552509e-9af3-46dd-8920-78083bee05bc Technical inputs (47) on a wide range of topics were also received and reviewed as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input. A number of publications have looked at the requirements for adaptation of human and natural systems to climate change. These requirements include large- and small-scale planningd873710b-8d1f-43fa-bb4f-2ffe216c089c 3d715831-4555-4f0c-8f71-a9b93180f124 19e37c65-d9b5-4520-ae3e-747dd363cb3c ce43af8c-eaca-4a01-b071-3abe04d9faba, emphasis on restoring ecological systems and processes4a9729e9-fcaf-4d32-806c-d8a7ce9afaa8 a7d5afbe-8889-4774-be8d-6e21b6fcd55d d78219a2-57ef-4fd4-813b-60bc403371c9 c5f52295-5859-404e-80ac-9fd0b3adf0df 8be39e11-6b13-4ae7-a8b0-aaf7955f7cf8, realizing the importance of natural systemsce43af8c-eaca-4a01-b071-3abe04d9faba 6a83b4fd-59d5-4942-bc6b-8a4c95ca6731 6680f9dd-f754-4c35-b516-ef83e4352d5c 08a0dce6-6ec2-42de-9dd7-cbda0f5a8be8, and aligning the social and ecological goals.56c6e1a9-09ac-48f8-b02a-3ee8a86eaffe

New information and remaining uncertainties: New information and remaining uncertainties No clear catalog of ongoing adaptation activities exists for the Great Plains region. Initial steps towards such a catalog have been supported by the National Climate Assessment in association with NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments teams. The short-term nature of many planning activities has been described.23d16192-e3d7-489a-8e84-d5a761a54cb9 Until a systematic assessment is conducted, most examples of adaptation are anecdotal. However, stresses in physical and social systems are readily apparent, as described in the other key messages. How communities, economic sectors, and social groups will respond to these stresses needs further study.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence: Climate trends over the past century, such as North Dakota warming more than any other state in the contiguous U.S., coupled with evidence of ecological changes and projections for further warming indicates medium confidence that climate patterns will be substantially different than those of the preceding century. While systematic evidence is currently lacking, emerging studies point toward a proclivity toward short-term planning and incremental adjustment rather than long-term strategies for evolving agricultural production systems, habitat management, water resources and societal changes. Evidence suggests that adaptation is ad hoc and isolated and will likely be inadequate to address the magnitude of social, economic, and environmental challenges that face the region. Overall confidence is medium.

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