climate change

Climate change and indigenous peoples

Not tools per se, but a nice introduction to climate change, the impacts on indigenous peoples and the potential for people to act.

Climate change modeling tools

Take a look at the WEadapt site which has a function which allows you to put observations in a layer on GoogleEarth.

weADAPT is a network of organisations collaborating on adaptation. They have a number of tools, including the Climate Change Explorer, Adaptation Decision Explorer and the Adaptation Layer in Google Earth. Downscaled climate data is available through the University of Cape Town, and there are also introductions to methods that we find useful in our work, such as agent-based modelling. The tools, data and the network could be useful for collaborative mapping.



United Nations Mapping in Climate Change Effort

The UN has initiated a Cities in Climate Change Initiative. As part of this, they'll be compiling a list of tools to map climate change impacts, particularly in cities. These also will include all kinds of tools related to risk assessment and vulnerability mapping. They plan to report on the Sustainable Urban Development Network. Stay tuned for their report.

Time Machine

Check out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Climate Time Machine. You can see all or portions of the globe, affected by sea ice or sea level rise or CO2 emissions or temperature rise.


Below is an article that Gail's students found.

Rahemtulla presentation at GEOIDE 2009 #1

Rahemtulla presentation at GEOIDE 2009 #1

Governance And The Geoweb, Sieber, R., Hanif Rahemtulla, Turner, A. Public participation is increasingly recognized as essential not only to minimize the damage caused by climate change, but also to maximize the opportunities presented by a transition to a low carbon economy. Government agencies, at all scales, will need to engage the public in actual decision‐making on climate change adaptation strategies, yielding local observations on climate change effects and novel ideas for adaptation. However, the increasing complexities of emergent environmental issues (e.g., climate change) are more vexing to more traditional means of engaging the public (e.g., public meetings), while government staff confront the difficultly of summarizing, collating and integrating citizen input. eGovernment solutions such as authoritative Web mapping predominantly offer one‐way communication from government to the public and do not include effective means to collect citizen feedback nor engage citizens in two‐way dialogues. New mechanisms, like the Geospatial Web (or Geoweb), have the potential to address these challenges and present a unique opportunity for government.

GEOIDE PIV‐41 in collaboration with our international partners in Europe and the United States are examining the participatory governance potential of the Geoweb and, in particular, its potential to enable a two‐way dialogue between government and civil society. Initially, this means comparing and contrasting the participatory Geoweb and traditional P/PGIS (including web‐based P/PGIS), which is the main focus of this presentation. The terms Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) and Participatory GIS (PGIS) (collectively shortened to P/PGIS) were coined to situate and evaluate the role of geomatics in government decision‐making processes. Traditional geomatics has been promoted as a means to engage members of the civil society in policy making, although geomatics has been found to both empower and marginalize (usually simultaneously) those publics. One question is whether anything has changed with the advent of the Geoweb. The findings from this comparison will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how citizens might act as distributed sensors for local knowledge, providing data and information that could aid their governments in addressing and developing policy and legislation that responds to this change.

Chung presentation at GEOIDE 2009

Chung presentation at GEOIDE 2009

Participation On The Geoweb: Map‐Based Discussion To Engage Residents In Local Climate Change Response And Adaptation, Insoo (Steven) Chung, Aaron Sani, Jacqueline Young, Claus Rinner The consequences of climate change concern numerous stakeholders, including governments, NGOs and the general public, in matters pertaining to environment, health, and security. The complex nature of climate change, however, involves large amounts of information and opinions often in a format not conducive to comprehension and contribution during the policy‐making process. Furthermore, the consequences of climate change are inherently local in nature, and thus geography is a critical component in the discussion. The Pilot Project PP‐041 promotes the use of the geospatial Web 2.0 for engaging the public in climate change response and adaptation. One of the case studies is being prepared in the context of the Live Green Toronto initiative where “community animators” are engaging residents in greenhouse gas reduction and green living. The goals for this project, therefore, are to 1) develop an open Web‐based platform to engage the public while avoiding limits imposed by geography and time, 2) stimulate and facilitate local discussion and action, 3) provide a forum by which adaptation strategies and policies to cope with the impacts of climate change can be developed in a collaborative manner, and 4) assess the effectiveness of this approach. In this project, we use an argumentation mapping tool, which enables stakeholders to access and more importantly contribute information to the policy process through spatially referenced discussion. The Argoomap tool is an open‐source discussion forum based on Google Maps. It leverages open APIs and Web standards at the front‐end, and has a back‐end architecture that allows for further extensibility (e.g., integration of Twitter and SMS‐based discussions). OGC compatibility for viewing discussions, and including geoprocessing and spatial decision support is envisioned for future versions. The tool has potential applications in a number of other fields, including public health and disaster response. For example, information regarding areas affected can be contributed during a natural disaster by the public, helping in directing people and prioritizing resource use. In addition, discussion of health issues affecting the community can be used to direct support services. Organizations and communities may find the Geoweb useful for increasing public participation in all aspects of society.

Journal of American Planning Association Call for Papers on Climate Change

Prospective authors are invited to submit webstracts of potential articles to the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) for inclusion in a special issue to be published in October 2010 on the subject of planning for climate change. The guest editors will also convene panels on the topic at the spring 2011 APA conference in Boston. Interested authors should submit webstracts to the guest editors, Professors John Landis ( and Randall Crane ( by June 1, 2009. Webstracts should not exceed 450 words and should follow the format described in the style guidelines for authors at (for examples, see the first page of every article in recent issues). By July 1, 2009, the guest editors, in turn, will invite the authors of a subset of these proposals to submit full papers. Final papers must be received at by November 1, 2009. Papers determined to have potential for publication will receive a normal JAPA double-blind peer review; invitation to submit a paper does not imply
a decision to review or acceptance for publication. Papers may be invited to the APA conference, for possible publication, or both.

With many state and local governments (and now, prospectively, the U.S. government) actively trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, questions are emerging about the potential roles for metropolitan and community planning in such efforts. These questions revolve around matching sound planning and policy strategies, effective implementation programs, proper governance functions, and appropriate spatial scales. For example, a number of advocates have proposed an increased role for metropolitan planning organizations (coupling issues of scale and governance) in promoting more compact growth forms (strategy) using urban growth boundaries and infill incentives (implementation programs) to reduce auto-based travel and CO2 emissions
(desirable outcomes). Beyond issues of impact mitigation, many researchers now see some degree of warming as inevitable and are starting to talk about framing effective adaptation strategies. To help inform these efforts, we seek papers on a variety of topics relating planning and infrastructure
investment activities to effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Potential paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • The relationships among particular land use forms, activity patterns, densities, travel behavior, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The effectiveness of different regulatory and nonregulatory approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions undertaken at the state, metropolitan, or local levels.
  • Innovations or changes to land use and infrastructure planning practices to better address climate changemitigation and adaptation. Examples may be domestic or international and may describe activities at a variety of spatial scales.
  • Examples of planning practices designed to promote the local diffusion of new technologies for reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The potential of different urban and neighborhood forms: (a) to incorporate energy conservation and renewable energy generation technologies; (b) to mitigate the urban heat island effect; or (c) to reduce the carbon footprint associated with food production and consumption activities.
  • The potential of various planning strategies (e.g., tree planting) to increase carbon uptake at the metropolitan, community, and neighborhood levels.
  • The potential of various planning and infrastructure investment strategies and approaches to cope with rising sea levels and related impacts, especially in urban areas.
  • The spatial equity implications of climate change, and of mitigation and adaptation responses.
  • Examples of how responses and adaptations to other disasters (e.g., floods or earthquakes) might be appropriately applied to issues of climate change.
  • Discussions of alternative systems of intergovernmental relations and policymaking for dealing with issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In all of these areas, we especially seek: (a) papers detailing innovative methodological breakthroughs or telling empirical results; (b) new meta-studies summarizing and assessing the existing literature and science; and (c) evaluation studies documenting the effectiveness of particular planning approaches. Best practice case studies will be considered where there is demonstrable evidence relating planning/policy interventions to carbon
reductions, effective adaptation results, or both. Put simply, we want to know what works.

We are not seeking proposals advocating particular policy or planning approaches unless based on prior and accepted evaluative studies, nor are we seeking national policy/planning interventions such as carbon taxation or investments in alternative energy sources or carbon sequestration unless they have a central urban or spatial dimension.

Cricket and Climate Change in the UK (no not the sport)

"'When you get in trouble and you don't know right from wrong, give a little whistle'. Jiminy Cricket. As if to prick our conscience about climate change, the humble cricket is providing powerful evidence of its impact." (BBC News) Monitoring crickets on the other side of the pond using maps is yet another example how UGC can help scientists. This article also provides the link to a butterfly watch in the UK as well.

Seals as Sensors

Some of you may already read this blog/newsletter but Spatial Sustainable highlighted this study this week...

Scientists have tagged fifty elephant seals in the southern ocean to understand the behavior of seals, but also to collect climate data. The enhanced sensors enable scientists to understand climatic conditions and give them access to areas of the ocean that they would be unable to get to in any other way.

The international project is run by CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre. Detailed findings are being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This may spark ideas for our studies. 

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