32 research outputs found

    The Oyambre Coastal Terrace: a Detailed Sedimentary Record of the Last Interglacial Stage in Northern Iberia (Cantabrian Coast, Spain)

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    A detailed study is presented of a 15.3-m-thick Pleistocene coastal terrace located on the Cantabrian coast (northern Spain). Stratigraphic, sedimentological, topographic and micropalaeontological information is combined with a chronology based on luminescence dating to characterize the deposits. The sedimentary succession records: (i) a basal transgressive system, consisting of a wave-cut surface covered by a lower layer of beach gravels and upper beach pebbly sands; and (ii) a thicker upper highstand system (aggrading), comprising medium to very fine aeolian sands interbedded with thin palustrine muds. Luminescence dating involved a detailed sampling strategy (36 samples and two modern analogues) and the use of both quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and feldspar post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence single aliquot regeneration protocols; feldspar results were used to confirm the completeness of bleaching of the quartz OSL signal. The quartz OSL luminescence age-depth relationship shows significant dispersion, but nevertheless two rapid phases of deposition can be clearly identified: one at similar to 130 ka [Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5] and one at similar to 100 ka (MIS 5c). The top of the succession is dated to similar to 70 ka. The MIS 5e marine maximum flooding surface is identified at an elevation of 6.85m above mean seal level. This elevation provides evidence of a regional sea-level highstand for this sector of the Cantabrian coast.This work was co-funded by projects Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad - MINECO (CGL2013-41083-P and RTI2018-095678-B-C21, MCIU/AEI/FEDER UE), Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea - UPV/EHU (UFI11/09), Eusko Jaurlaritza - EJ GV-1 (IT365-10, IT767-13 and IT976-16) and FundacAo Para a Ciencia e Tecnologia, with FEDER and COMPETE 2020 funds, through project UID/MAR/04292/2020 - MARE (Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre). This is contribution 44 of the Geo-Q Zentroa Research Unit (Joaquin Gomez de Llarena Laboratory). J.-P. Buylaert received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme ERC-2014-StG 639904 - RELOS

    How well do climate adaptation policies align with risk-based approaches? An assessment framework for cities

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    Many cities around the world are undertaking adaptation planning processes in contexts of considerable uncertainty due to climate risks. However, new evidence suggests that current adaptation policies are failing to fully incorporate risk-related information and knowledge. Understanding how policies account for current and future risks becomes crucial to assess whether they will effectively contribute to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. Exploiting the synergies between the well-established discipline of disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation may be an interesting option. In this paper we develop an Adaptation-Risk Policy Alignment (ARPA) framework to assess whether (and how) climate change adaptation policies integrate risk knowledge and information. ARPA displays a set of risk-based metrics that we test in four early adapters cities: Copenhagen, Durban, Quito and Vancouver. These cities are considered pioneer cities in the design and implementation of adaptation plans and have the potential to show the full applicability of ARPA. The framework is easy to apply and allows to systematically assess whether and how policies appropriately account for major risks and properly integrate risk management into the policy-making process. We propose that the framework can be used for self-evaluation and learning as well as in large-scale adaptation tracking exercises.This research is funded by the Basque Government through the BERC 2018-2021 program and by the Spanish State Research Agency through Mar铆a de Maeztu excellence accreditation 2018-2022 (Ref. MDM-2017-0714 ). This study also counts with the support of Fundaci贸n Biodiversidad , from the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition, through the project PROCESA. MO has received funding from the AXA Research Fund under Grant Agreement No. 4771 and ESM acknowledges funding from the Basque Government (Ref. POS_2018_2_0027 )

    Transnationalization of climate adaptation by regional governments and the RegionsAdapt initiative

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    Adaptation to climate change has traditionally been framed as a local problem. However, in recent years, adaptation has risen on the global policy agenda. This article contributes to the study of transnational climate adaptation through an investigation of international connectivity on climate adaptation between regional policy-makers. We examine the RegionsAdapt initiative, the first global commitment to promote and track the progress of regional adaptation. While adapting to climate change at the regional level is crucial, we suggest that transnational adaptation governance not only helps to promote adaptation measures, but also improves the process of tracking the progress of such action, its visibility and its aggregation

    The costs of sea-level rise: coastal adaptation investments vs. inaction in Iberian coastal cities

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    Iberian coastal cities are subject to significant risks in the next decades due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. These risks are quite uncertain depending on several factors. In this article, we estimate potential economic damage in 62 Iberian coastal cities from 2020 to 2100 using regional relative sea-level rise data under three representative concentration pathways (RCP 8.5, RCP 4.5 and RCP 2.6). We analyze the expected accumulated damage costs if no adaptation actions take place and compare this scenario to the investment cost of some adaptation strategies being implemented. The results show that some adaptation strategies are less costly than the potential damage under inaction. In other words, it is economically rational to invest in adaptation even in a context of high uncertainty. These calculations are very relevant to inform climate change adaptation decisions and to better manage the risk posed by sea-level rise. Moreover, our findings show the importance of a good understanding of the shape of the sea-level rise and damage cost distributions to calculate the expected damage. We show that using the 50th percentile for these calculations is not adequate as it leads to a serious underestimation of expected damage and coastal risk

    Comparing urban coastal flood risk in 136 cities under two alternative sea-level projections: RCP 8.5 and an expert opinion-based high-end scenario

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    The high degree of uncertainty associated with the extent of future sea-level rise stems primarily from the potential mass loss of the Greenland and Antarctica ice-sheets. We explore the impact of this uncertainty on economic damage due to sea-level rise for 136 major coastal cities. We compare the probability distribution for damage under the assumption of no adaptation for two relative sea-level projections: the RCP 8.5 scenario from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and a High-end scenario that incorporates expert opinion on additional ice-sheet melting. We use the 50th and 95th percentiles to estimate expected damage and one risk measure, the Expected Shortfall ES (95%), which represents the impact of low-probability, high-damage coastal flood risk (above the 95th percentile). Aggregate expected damage by 2050 under RCP 8.5 is US1,600billion,whiletheaggregateriskmeasureES(951,600 billion, while the aggregate risk measure ES(95%) is almost twice as much as the average damage at US3,082 billion. Under the High-end scenario, ES(95%) figures in Guangzhou and New Orleans by 2050 are twice as high as the expected damage. The city of Guangzhou leads the ranking under both scenarios, followed by Mumbai and New Orleans. Our results suggest that it is critical to incorporate the possibility of High-end scenarios into coastal adaptation planning for future sea-level rise, especially for risk-averse decision-making

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    Climate change induced socio-economic tipping points:Review and stakeholder consultation for policy relevant research

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    Tipping points have become a key concept in research on climate change, indicating points of abrupt transition in biophysical systems as well as transformative changes in adaptation and mitigation strategies. However, the potential existence of tipping points in socio-economic systems has remained underexplored, whereas they might be highly policy relevant. This paper describes characteristics of climate change induced socio-economic tipping points (SETPs) to guide future research on SETPS to inform climate policy. We review existing literature to create a tipping point typology and to derive the following SETP definition: a climate change induced, abrupt change of a socio-economic system, into a new, fundamentally different state. Through stakeholder consultation, we identify 22 candidate SETP examples with policy relevance for Europe. Three of these are described in higher detail to identify their tipping point characteristics (stable states, mechanisms and abrupt change): the collapse of winter sports tourism, farmland abandonment and sea-level rise-induced migration. We find that stakeholder perceptions play an important role in describing SETPs. The role of climate drivers is difficult to isolate from other drivers because of complex interplays with socio-economic factors. In some cases, the rate of change rather than the magnitude of change causes a tipping point. The clearest SETPs are found on small system scales. On a national to continental scale, SETPs are less obvious because they are difficult to separate from their associated economic substitution effects and policy response. Some proposed adaptation measures are so transformative that their implementations can be considered an SETP in terms of 'response to climate change'. Future research can focus on identification and impact analysis of tipping points using stylized models, on the exceedance of stakeholder-defined critical thresholds in the RCP/SSP space and on the macro-economic impacts of new system states

    Determining discount rates for the evaluation of natural assets in land-use planning: an application of the equivalency principle

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    One of the most pressing issues when making decisions over long-term environmental problems is deciding on an appropriate discount rate. This can be a highly technical discussion. While some argue in favour of market rates, which usually tend to be high, others support the use of near-zero rates to ensure that both current and future generations are properly accounted for. This paper presents an alternative approach to determining the discount rate for environmental assets in the case of land-use planning - the Equivalency Principle (EP)- based on the normative proposition that the social value of protected natural land should be at least the same as the market price of an adjacent land with similar environmental characteristics that has been granted permission for development. The paper first provides a theoretical overview of the approach, followed by an application of the EP at the land plot level across 11 European countries. Based on the EP, pure rates of social time preference that would equate natural and development land values within each administrative unit have been calculated. The findings show that the application of the EP usually results in discount rates that are lower-than-market rates and that are geographically differentiated. This implies discount rates that account for preferences of the society where the land or natural resource is located, with results ranging between 0% and 11%, with an average rate of 1% across study sites
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