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Karin Marie Antonsen, Brigt Dale, and Stephanie Mayer

Abstract

In 2018, tourism was the fastest growing sector in the world, accounting for 10 percent of all jobs worldwide and 10.4% of the world’s GDP. Tourism is often cited as a strategy for future development at national, regional, and local levels. This paper takes a closer look at the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, where the increase in nature-based tourism over the last two decades has occurred in parallel with the restructuring of the traditional fisheries. Nature-based tourism in rural regions relies heavily on a broad range of ecosystem services (ES). This paper will present how stakeholders in nature-based tourism assess the influence of climate change on ES crucial for their activities and for the destination, and outline and explain how the practitioners perceive their ability to withstand or adapt to these changes. With the aid of models depicting potential future climate scenarios, we initiated discussions with stakeholders and found that tourism actors have only to a minor degree sought to develop strategies to increase adaptive capacity and therefore resilience to climate change. Based on our findings, we discuss how the adaptive capacity of individual actors in nature-based tourism forms the basis for the system’s resilience, and that a general resilience focus also forms the basis for transformational capacity, a capacity needed for future resilience. In light of our findings and analyses, we will conclude by reflecting on overarching systemic transformative tendencies in the wake of COVID-19 and obligations contained in the Paris Agreement on reducing global emissions.

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Camilla Risvoll, Grete K. Hovelsrud, and Jan Åge Riseth

Abstract

Rapid and interacting change pose increasing threat to livelihoods and food production, and pastoralists in Nordland, northern Norway are at cross-roads both economically and culturally. Some of these changes are localized and pertain to changing weather and grazing conditions caused by climate change and land fragmentation. Others, driven by national management policies and governance specifically related to predators are poorly adjusted for the different and localized contexts. The pastoralists are inherently adaptive and have a long history of responding well to variable changing conditions. This is now changing with the continued increasing pressures from many directions. Central government systematically ignores pastoralists’ traditional knowledge and enforce narrow sector policies to be implemented at regional and local level. We address the effect of how institutional, physical and societal constraints challenge pastoralists’ prospects for sustainable adaptation. Our results show how pastoralists’ livelihoods become compromised and potentially threatened because they are forced to respond in ways that they know are counter-productive in the long run.

Adaptation outcomes are affected by different approaches and epistemologies that are situated across scale and context in terms of regional and national regulations versus local empirical reality among the pastoral communities. This study concludes that radical change is needed towards a more holistic governance where multiple knowledge systems are integrated to ensure sustainable adaptation at all levels. This study is based on extensive and long-term field work among reindeer herders and sheep farmers in Nordland, through a collaborative process of knowledge co-production.

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Ilan Noy and Eric Strobl

Abstract

This study investigates whether extreme heat episodes (heatwaves) have contributed to the development of air conditioning technology in the United States. To this end we use weather data to identify days at which heat and relative humidity were above levels comfortable to the human body, and match these with patent data at the county level for nearly a hundred years. We find that in the two years after a county has experienced extreme heat air-conditioning patents increase. Overall, average extreme heat exposure results in an increase of 7.5% greater innovation. We find no similar increase in the frequency of non-air conditioning related patent filings, and therefore conclude that heatwaves result in innovation targeting their mitigation.

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Brooke Fisher Liu, Anita Atwell Seate, Ji Youn Kim, Daniel Hawblitzel, Saymin Lee, and Xin Ma

Abstract

This study proposes the concept of quiet weather communication and offers the first framework of quiet weather communication strategies tied to specific public outcomes (e.g., build and maintain organization-public relationships). Most of the risk communication literature focuses on severe weather communication. We posit that through defining and examining quiet weather strategic communication we can better understand how the Weather Enterprise can prepare communities for future severe weather. Through four virtual focus groups with 28 NWS and broadcast meteorologists, we operationalize quiet weather communication strategies (humanize the organization, provide weather education, share the love of blue skies, and showcase quiet weather trends). We then report meteorologists’ perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy and propose future directions for research on quiet weather communication.

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Ling Tan and David M. Schultz

Abstract

Because many viral respiratory diseases show seasonal cycles, weather conditions could affect the spread of COVID-19. Although many studies pursued this possible link early in the pandemic, their results were inconsistent. Here, we assembled 158 quantitative empirical studies examining the link between weather and COVID-19. A meta-regression analysis was performed on their 4,793 correlation coefficients to explain these inconsistent results. We found four principal findings. First, 80 of the 158 studies did not state the time lag between infection and reporting, rendering these studies ineffective in determining the weather–COVID-19 relationship. Second, the research outcomes depended on the statistical analysis methods employed in each study. Specifically, studies using correlation tests produced outcomes that were functions of the geographical locations of the data from the original studies, whereas studies using linear regression produced outcomes that were functions of the analyzed weather variables. Third, Asian countries had more positive associations for air temperature than other regions, possibly because the air temperature was undergoing its seasonal increase from winter to spring during the rapid outbreak of COVID-19 in these countries. Fourth, higher solar energy was associated with reduced COVID-19 spread, regardless of statistical analysis method and geographical location. These results help interpret the inconsistent results and motivate recommendations for best practices in future research. These recommendations include calculating the effects of a time lag between the weather and COVID-19, using regression analysis models, considering nonlinear effects, increasing the time period considered in the analysis to encompass more variety of weather conditions and to increase sample size, and eliminating multicollinearity between weather variables.

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David A. Call and Guy A. Flynt

Abstract

Snow has numerous effects on traffic, including reduced traffic volumes, greater crash risk, and increased travel times. This research examines how snow affects crash risk, traffic volume, and toll revenue on the New York State Thruway. Daily data from January for a ten-year period (2010-2019) were analyzed for the Thruway from the Pennsylvania state line in western New York to Syracuse.

Anywhere from 35-50 percent of crashes are associated with inclement weather, with smaller impacts, proportionally, in areas with greater traffic volumes. As expected, snow was almost always involved when weather was a factor. “Unsafe speed” was the most common cause of crashes in inclement weather with all other factors (e.g., animals, drowsiness) much less likely to play a role. The percentage of crashes resulting in an injury did not change significantly with inclement conditions when compared to crashes occurring in fair conditions, and there were too few fatal crashes to make any inferences about them.

Daily snowfall rates predicted about 30 percent of the variation in crash numbers, with every 5.1 cm of snowfall resulting in an additional crash, except in Buffalo where 5.1 cm of snow resulted in an additional 2.6 crashes. Confirming earlier results, daily snowfall had a large impact on passenger vehicle counts while commercial vehicle counts were less affected. Revenue data showed a similar pattern, with passenger revenue typically decreasing by 3-5 percent per 2.5 cm of snow, while commercial revenue decreases were 1-4 percent per 2.5 cm of snow.

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Traoré Amadou, Falconnier Gatien N, Kouressy Mamoutou, Serpantié Georges, BA Alassane, Affholder François, Giner Michel, and Sultan Benjamin

Abstract

Adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change is crucial to avoid food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. Farmers’ perception of climate change is a crucial element in adaptation process. The aim of this study was (i) to compare farmers’ perception of climate change with actual weather data recorded in central Mali and (ii) to identify changes in agricultural practices implemented by farmers to adapt to climate change and iii) to investigate the link between farmers’ perception of climate change and implementation of adaptation practices. Focus group discussions and individual surveys were conducted to identify climate-related changes perceived by farmers and agricultural adaptation strategies they consider relevant to cope with these changes. Majority (>50%) of farmers perceived an increase in temperature, decrease in rainfall, shortening of growing season, early cessation of rainfall and increase in the frequency of dry spells at beginning of growing season. In line with farmers’ perception, analysis of climate data indicated (i) increase in mean annual temperature and minimum growing season temperature and (ii) decrease in total rainfall. Farmers’ perception of early cessation of rainfall and more frequent drought periods were not detected by climate data analysis. To cope with decrease in rainfall and late start of growing season, farmers used drought-tolerant cultivars and implemented water-saving technologies. Despite a perceived warming, no specific adaptation to heat stress was mentioned 30 by farmers. Our study high-lights the need for a dialogue between farmers and researchers to develop new strategies to compensate for the expected negative impacts of heat stress on agricultural productivity.

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Chen Zhang, Hua Liao, Fang-Zhi Wang, and Ru Li

Abstract

Human behaviors are believed to be sensitive to environmental conditions. However, little is known about the role of temperature in individual daily behaviors. We examine the links between temperature and food intake using nearly one million purchasing records from China. The results show that a 1°C increase in temperature would cause a 0.11% decrease in food intake, which amounts to USD 4.2 million of daily food expenditures nationwide. Moreover, females appear to be more sensitive to the temperature in their food intake than males. In addition, we observe a U-shaped relationship between the temperature and the willingness to order a takeout online, and this observation is robust under multiple alternative estimations. Our results indicate that a higher temperature would reduce energy demand for body thermoregulation, resulting in less food intake. Both extreme high and low temperatures can cause disutility. Therefore, the consumers who still want to satisfy their needs for food intake feel compelled to alter their willingness to pay under the extreme temperature events. The quantitative analysis can provide helpful references for modeling the climate–consumer relationship in integrated assessment models. Thus, it is an interesting avenue for future research to bridge the climate and consumers to identify welfare loss and inequality due to climate change.

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Katie A. Wilson, Burkely T. Gallo, Patrick Skinner, Adam Clark, Pamela Heinselman, and Jessica J. Choate

Abstract

Convection-allowing model ensemble guidance, such as that provided by the Warn-on-Forecast System (WoFS), is designed to provide predictions of individual thunderstorm hazards within the next 0–6 h. The WoFS web viewer provides a large suite of storm and environmental attribute products, but the applicability of these products to the National Weather Service forecast process has not been objectively documented. Therefore, this study describes an experimental forecasting task designed to investigate what WoFS products forecasters accessed and how they accessed them for a total of 26 cases (comprising 13 weather events, each worked by two forecasters). Analysis of web access log data revealed that, in all 26 cases, product accesses were dominated in the reflectivity, rotation, hail, and surface wind categories. However, the number of different product types viewed and the number of transitions between products varied in each case. Therefore, the Levenshtein (edit distance) method was used to compute similarity scores across all 26 cases, which helped to identify what it meant for relatively similar versus dissimilar navigation of WoFS products. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient R results found that forecasters working the same weather event had higher similarity scores for events that produced more tornado reports and for events in which forecasters had higher performance scores. The findings from this study will influence subsequent efforts for further improving WoFS products and developing an efficient and effective user interface for operational applications.

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Zeke Baker

Abstract

A major implication of climate change is the declining capacity for communities to anticipate future conditions and scenarios. In the Bering Sea region of western Alaska, this situation is acute and holds manifold consequences, particularly for the region’s primarily Indigenous residents. Based upon interviews and fieldwork in two Bering Sea communities and among regional weather forecasters, this paper explores the intertwined temporalities of weather, climate, and social life. I demonstrate that anticipatory culture, which otherwise structures anticipatory practices with regard to climate, local weather, and social life, is beset by temporal dissonance across three time scales. First, dramatic climatic and ecosystem shifts reshape how Indigenous Peoples envision themselves as culturally inhabiting a long-range history and future. Second, changes in weather patterns, ecological cycles, and sea ice dynamics upset evaluations of seasonality, leading to a pervasive sense of unpredictability. Third, on the everyday time scale, social and technological change complicates mariners’ evaluations of risk and economic (commercial and subsistence) decision-making. I conclude by connecting these three socioenvironmental temporalities to the temporal frames that primarily characterize weather and climate services, with an emphasis on the U.S. National Weather Service. The paper discusses how such services may further orient toward engaging socially embedded practices of anticipation in addition to formal prediction. Such an orientation can help to shape an anticipatory culture that more closely aligns meteorological and social patterns.

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