“The Times They Are A-Changin”

There is a refreshing weblog post by Bill Hooke announced on the AMS website [h/t to Joe Daleo]. Hopefully, this means that the AMS will start moving away from its predominent focus on multi-decadal global climate models as the mechanism to assess climate and other environmental and social threats in the coming years.


in reference to this blog from William Hook:


Bills’ post includes the insightful comments

“First, we should remember that the Earth does its business through extreme events and always has…..Extremes are not suspensions of the normal order; they are its fulfillment.”
“Second, these extremes, like all nonlinear phenomena (forgive the lapse into pointy-headedness), are always integrating events”.
“Third, social change matters more to what extreme events and disasters portend for our future than does climate change”

These views are supportive what we present in our paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press

where our abstract reads

We discuss the adoption of a bottom-up, resource–based vulnerability approach in evaluating the effect of climate and other environmental and societal threats to societally critical resources. This vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to local and regional water, food, energy, human health, and ecosystem function resources from extreme events including climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risks can be compared with other risks in order to adopt optimal preferred mitigation/adaptation strategies.

This is a more inclusive way of assessing risks, including from climate variability and climate change than using the outcome vulnerability approach adopted by the IPCC. A contextual vulnerability assessment, using the bottom-up, resource-based framework is a more inclusive approach for policymakers to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the complexity of the spectrum of social and environmental extreme events that will occur in the coming decades, as the range of threats are assessed, beyond just the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as emphasized in the IPCC assessments.

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