A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains some stark messages. It is no longer considered that limiting warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels is the ‘safe’ maximum – rather warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Climate scientists expect that we will reach 1.5 degrees of warming within just 12 years ... and the world is currently on course to a total warming of 3 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This is significantly more than many natural and human systems can tolerate without major ramifications.
The IPCC report is clear in its recommendations. Urgent action is needed on both climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the amount of mitigation needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees goes far beyond not only what is on existing political agendas but, in some cases, beyond scientific development.
Read more at http://ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ with a summary at http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf
Great to see climate change issues figuring prominently on the programme of the World Canals Conference being held in Ireland next week (10th - 12th September in Athlone). The first keynote, by Catherine Sheridan, is on Building Resilience: Climate, Risk, and Waterways. Lauren Small will speak later in the week on Canada’s Canals and Climate Change, and there are several other papers addressing climate-related issues such as flood risk...
If you are not attending, you can see what you are missing at http://wccireland2018.com
A new publication by the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency provides useful, and potentially worrying, food for thought for the waterborne transport sector.
The 'Geography of Future Water Challenges' explains and illustrates the global implications of climate change for water-related disasters (floods and droughts), including anticipated increases in the frequency of extreme events.
The report can be accessed at http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/pbl-2018-the-geography-of-future-water-challenges-2920.pdf
The European Joint Research Centre has published two studies that identify an unprecedented coastal flood risk unless timely climate change adaptation measures are taken. The studies highlight that without such measures:
- average annual coastal flood damage in Europe could increase from just over €1billion today to between €93 billion and €961 billion by the end of the century, and
- coastal floods could impact up to 3.65 million people every year in Europe by 2100, compared to just over 100,000 today
While the reports point out that 1 in 3 EU citizens lives within 50 km of the coast, such findings obviously also have potentially significant implications for ports and coastal waterways.
More information can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/europe-needs-coastal-adaptation-measures-avoid-catastrophic-flooding-end-century
A paper in the journal Nature Communications describes a new mathematical model that predicts average global surface air temperature. For 2018–2022, the probabilistic forecast using this system indicates a warmer than normal period with an associated increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures.
The paper can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05442-8
A large proportion of the Leeds-Liverpool canal, an important recreational boating waterway, is closing - potentially for many weeks - because of drought conditions in Northern England. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-10835222
Some interesting preliminary analysis on the role of climate change in the current European heatwave at https://www.worldweatherattribution.org
Navigating a Changing Climate’s work on climate change adaptation has been presented at three major international conferences over the past ten days!
First, on June 19th at Adaptation Futures 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, where Jan Brooke presented the work of PIANC’s Working Group 178 at this biennial, global gathering of over 1300 climate change scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers from around the world. Find out more at https://adaptationfutures2018.capetown/ and see the attached presentation.
Second, on June 26th the work of Navigating a Changing Climate (NaCC) was introduced to participants at the 11th International Harbour Masters Congress, held in London, UK and run by NaCC partner IHMA. Here the focus was on the future need for adaptation of navigation infrastructure. The NaCC partnership’s survey on the costs and consequences of extreme weather events was also introduced. See http://navclimate.pianc.org/about/navclimate-news/survey-understanding-the-consequences-of-extreme-events
And then on 27th June at the EcoShape Conference 'Scaling up Building with Nature', in Utrecht, The Netherlands. At this event, the emphasis was on the role of ‘Working with Nature’ and nature-based solutions in improving the resilience of navigation infrastructure. You can find more on this at https://www.ecoshape.org/en/ecoshape-conference-scaling-up-building-with-nature/
The partners in the Navigating a Changing Climate initiative are preparing a survey to help improve understanding of the costs and other consequences of extreme weather events for ports and inland waterways.
The survey is intended to provide information to help such organisations justify future expenditure on measures to improve their climate change resilience.
We are currently piloting the survey. If you would like to help us by completing the attached (scroll down to see download) and returning it to we would be very grateful. As well as completing the survey, feel free to tell us how you think it can be improved!
The final survey will be launched in autumn 2018. The results will be made available here, on this website, in due course navclimate.pianc.org
An interesting session at the recent International Transport Forum summit 'Decarbonising Transport: Towards a catalogue of effective measures'.
More information, including a recording of the session, available at https://2018.itf-oecd.org/decarbonising-transport