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NC CSC Adaptation and Decision Making Working Group Webinar

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Quantitative risk and decision analysis applied to climate adaptation -- William R. Travis (Department of Geography and Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract: A “risk approach” is increasingly invoked in discussions of climate change, along with a turn toward decision analysis and decision support. Risk and decision analysis were mentioned prominently in NRC’s America’s Climate Choices, IPCC AR5, and the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, yet these reports lacked details on how to apply risk and decision theory and methods to climate adaptation. Both approaches can contribute theoretical and diagnostic insights to the larger project of understanding, predicting, and improving adaptation. Here I describe my group’s methodology of modeling adaptation choices and evaluating trade-offs with decision tools that are in use, only slightly modified to operate in an adaptation testbed for simulation with varied climate conditions, extended time horizons, and alternative adaptation choices. While our main goal is to develop and test hypotheses about adaptation processes (e.g., do some insurance indemnification schemes increase risk taking?), use of slightly modified extant models can also yield decision supports familiar to resource managers. This presentation describes results for dryland agriculture (North Dakota spring and winter wheat) and wastewater management (Colorado Front Range), and briefly lays out the status of projects in stormwater systems and the ranching-with-drought effort discussed at the joint NCCSC/USDA-Hub/WWA retreat in May.




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