Displaying 1-5 of 5 key documents
Source: Humanitarian Futures Programme | May 2010
This paper discusses how forecasters and risk managers can build common ground by designing 'smart' forecast‐based decisions as well as simple decision‐based forecasts. The aim is to bridge the gap between science and the humanitarian sector, and help translate early warning into early action.
It details successful examples of collaboration between forecasters and the risk managers. These include the 2008 emergency appeal, launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) West and Central Africa Zone, to prepare for flooding based on a seasonal rainfall forecast.
The paper describes how unlike previous years, where forecasts had been greeted with confusion, a partnership between the IFRC and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society allowed the flood forecast and accompanying uncertainty to be communicated effectively to the humanitarian policymakers, enabling them to act in time.
It proposes a framework based on four key attributes of science-based forecasts: the likely location of the event, its magnitude, its lead time (how far into the future it is likely to occur) and, its probability. These are then linked, respectively, to vulnerability, expected loss, range of plausible actions and whether or not to act.
Source: United Nations Environment Management Group | October 2011
This report outlines the first coherent strategy drawn up by the UN to address dryland management, taking into account environmental concerns and the well-being of dryland communities. It examines the relationship between drylands and climate change, food security and livelihoods, and highlights ways in which the UN is working to mainstream drylands into policymaking processes.
Climate change is already having an impact on crop yields and nutrition in areas that rely on rain-fed agriculture, according to the report, and these impacts will intensify by 2020 in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The impacts of climate change may be most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, suggesting that those already vulnerable will be affected the most.
A key message is that the international community has an opportunity to address the underlying causes of dryland degradation. The report concludes that global cooperation must be intensified if the ten-year strategic plan of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification — whose aim is to tackle desertification and degradation — and the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.
Source: Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
This paper, published by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies, examines how disaster risks associated with climate change might impact electricity generation and energy planning — which is an emerging research and development agenda. The authors argue that energy researchers and policymakers have overlooked how changing disaster risks could affect electrical power production.
The report assesses the vulnerability of nuclear power as well as several other options for energy generation — including oil, natural gas, hydropower and bioenergy — and identifies the implications for energy policy and planning. It lists recommendations as to how policymakers could take into account the link between disaster risk management and low-carbon development to improve the capacity of developing countries to build resilience. Suggestions include completing environmental impact assessments when siting new power plants, establishing better links between energy, climate, and disaster policymakers, and planning climate change adaption strategies for electricity production.
Source: ICT Update | June 2008
This feature article, written by members of the UN Operational Satellite Applications (UNOSAT) programme, outlines how satellite technology can improve emergency relief after a natural disaster.
UNOSAT uses satellite data to produce maps and damage reports for nongovernment organisations, intergovernmental agencies and disaster managers in emergency situations. The authors describe how the process works — from receiving a relief agency's phone call to collecting and analysing relevant satellite data.
They argue that satellite data, when combined with ancillary data such as road maps or population distribution, can help aid workers navigate affected areas and provide estimates of the number of people likely to be affected by, for example, floods or landslides.
The authors describe the range of satellite sensors used by UNOSAT, explaining the advantages of different types of data depending on the disaster. For example, radar imagery, which is unaffected by cloud, is particularly useful to monitor flooding, whereas high resolution optical data is better for earthquake damage assessment.
Source: WMO Bulletin | July 2007
This paper discusses likely future changes in tropical cyclones, questioning whether they will become more intense following higher sea surface temperatures. The author outlines the different approaches currently taken to climate modelling and discusses the results of characterising current and future climate using the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg model, comparing them to observations.
Most climate models predict stronger tropical cyclones in a warmer climate, as an increase in latent heat provides more energy for the storms. But the author claims there is less evidence for a reduction in the frequency of storms in a warmer climate. Still, such a reduction could result from a general weakening of large-scale atmospheric circulation (which reduces the number of cyclones) caused by the rapid increase in water vapour that would follow a rise in global temperatures.