finding 10.1 : energy-land-water-interactions

Energy, water, and land systems interact in many ways. Climate change affects the individual sectors and their interactions; the combination of these factors affects climate change vulnerability as well as adaptation and mitigation options for different regions of the country.



This finding is from chapter 10 of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment.

Process for developing key messages: The authors met for a one-day face-to-face meeting, and held teleconferences approximately weekly from March through August 2012. They considered a variety of technical input documents, including a Technical Input Report prepared through an interagency process,552cc5f5-a7b3-4a64-8bee-98ae0cced150 and 59 other reports submitted through the Federal Register Notice request for public input. The key messages were selected based on expert judgment, derived from the set of examples assembled to demonstrate the character and consequences of interactions among the energy, water, and land resource sectors.

Description of evidence base: The key message and supporting text summarizes extensive evidence documented in the Technical Input Report (TIR): Climate and Energy-Water-Land System Interactions: Technical Report to the U.S. Department of Energy in Support of the National Climate Assessment.552cc5f5-a7b3-4a64-8bee-98ae0cced150 Technical input reports (59) on a wide range of topics were also received and reviewed as part of the Federal Register Notice solicitation for public input. The TIR552cc5f5-a7b3-4a64-8bee-98ae0cced150 incorporates the findings of a workshop, convened by the author team, of experts and stakeholders. The TIR summarizes numerous examples of interactions between specific sectors, such as energy and water or water and land use. A synthesis of these examples provides insight into how climate change impacts the interactions between these sectors. The TIR552cc5f5-a7b3-4a64-8bee-98ae0cced150 shows that the character and significance of interactions among the energy, water, and land resource sectors vary regionally. Additionally, the influence of impacts on one sector for the other sectors will depend on the specific impacts involved. Climate change impacts will affect the interactions among sectors, but this may not occur in all circumstances. The key message is supported by the National Climate Assessment Climate Scenarios (for example, Kunkel et al. 2013903f7ebb-9b60-4418-b617-593476cbcea5). Many of the historic trends included in the Climate Scenarios are based on data assembled by the Cooperative Observer Network of the National Weather Service (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/). Regional climate outlooks are based on the appropriate regional chapter. The Texas drought of 2011 and 2012 provides a clear example of cascading impacts through interactions among the energy, water, and land resource sectors.2c8387dc-24b4-4293-b51c-46871cac064f 11d768c2-a4c6-479e-ae58-29cbeff601ce f03c8590-8b20-442a-a603-dee6c3bf70e1 d52ec144-56fe-4272-9445-3cf302b289d0 c614ccf4-f962-4bd3-ace0-c73391431b16 f6620ec8-a9f9-4552-80f4-5381f5db4211 The U.S. Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) provides relevant historical data. Evidence also includes articles appearing in the public press95346703-7512-4bb0-8967-8dc89ec7acae and Internet media.7db38c4a-ece3-4a7d-ae2b-5e95b04c6ba7

New information and remaining uncertainties: The Texas drought of 2011 and 2012 demonstrates the occurrence of cascading impacts involving the energy, land, and water sectors; however, the Texas example cannot be generalized to all parts of the country or to all impacts of climate change (for example, see Chapter 3 for flooding and energy system impacts). The Technical Input Report552cc5f5-a7b3-4a64-8bee-98ae0cced150 provides numerous additional examples and a general description of interactions that underlie cascading impacts between these resource sectors. There are no major uncertainties regarding this key message. There are major uncertainties, however, in the magnitude of impacts in how decisions in one sector might affect another. The intensity of interactions will be difficult to assess under climate change.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence: Given the evidence base and remaining uncertainties, confidence is high. The primary limitation on the confidence assigned to this key message is with respect to its generality. The degree of interactions among the energy, water, and land sectors varies regionally as does the character and intensity of climate change.

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