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Craig D. Croskery, Kathleen Sherman-Morris, and Michael E. Brown

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in unprecedented challenges that dramatically affected the way of life in the United States and globally in 2020. The pandemic also made the process of protecting individuals from tornadoes more challenging, especially when their personal residence lacks suitable shelter, and particularly for residents of mobile homes. The necessity of having to shelter with other families—either in a public shelter or at another residence—to protect themselves from a tornado threat conflicted with the advice of public health officials who recommended avoiding public places and limiting contact with the public to minimize the spread of COVID-19. There was also a perception that protecting against one threat could amplify the other threat. A survey was undertaken with the public to determine the general viewpoint to see if that was indeed the case. The results found that it was possible to attenuate both threats provided that careful planning and actions were undertaken. Understanding how emergency managers should react and plan for such dual threats is important to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also maintaining the safety of the public. Because there was no precedence for tornado protection scenarios amid a pandemic, both short-term and long-term recommendations were suggested that may also be useful in future pandemic situations.

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Siqin Wang, Yan Liu, and Jonathan Corcoran

Abstract

Both the built environment and the natural environment have a physiological and psychological effect on human behavior, which potentially affects people’s sensitivity and tolerance to surrounding noise and leads to annoyance, nuisance, distress, or overt actions and aggressive behaviors such as noise complaints to people living nearby. This study aims to explore the extent to which weather conditions affect the prevalence of noise complaints between neighbors mediated through the neighborhood’s built environment. Using Brisbane, Australia, as a study case, we draw on a large-scale administrative dataset from 2016 to explore the monthly and seasonal variations of noise complaints between neighbors and employ a stepwise multiple regression to analyze the extent to which weather factors affect noise complaints. Our findings show that neighbors largely complain about noise made by animals, and such complaints most frequently appear in March–May, the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere. Built environment plays a primary role in noise complaints, and culturally diverse suburbs with less green space tend to have a higher likelihood of neighbor complaints in spring and summer; such a likelihood is further increased by a higher level of wind, humidity, and temperature in a yearly time frame. However, the effect of weather on animal- and non-animal-related noise complaints in different seasons is less consistent. Our findings, to a certain degree, reveal that weather conditions may serve as a psychological moderator to change people’s tolerance and sensitivity to noise, alter their routine activities and exposure to noise sources, and further affect the likelihood of noise complaints between neighbors.

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Natasha Simonee, Jayko Alooloo, Natalie Ann Carter, Gita Ljubicic, and Jackie Dawson

Abstract

As Inuit hunters living in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, we (N. Simonee and J. Alooloo) travel extensively on land, water, and sea ice. Climate change, including changing sea ice and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, has made it riskier and harder for us to travel and hunt safely. Inuit knowledge supporting safe travel is also changing and is shared less between generations. We increasingly use online weather, marine, and ice products to develop locally relevant forecasts. This helps us to make decisions according to wind, waves, precipitation, visibility, sea ice conditions, and floe edge location. We apply our forecasts and share them with fellow community members to support safe travel. In this paper, we share the approach that we developed from over a decade of systematically and critically assessing forecasting products such as Windy.com, weather and marine forecasts, tide tables, C-CORE’s floe edge monitoring service, SmartICE, Zoom Earth, and time-lapse cameras. We describe the strengths and challenges we face when accessing, interpreting, and applying each product throughout different seasons. Our analysis highlights a disconnect between available products and local needs. This disconnect can be overcome by service providers adjusting services to include more seasonal and real-time information, nontechnical language, familiar units of measurement, data size proportional to internet access cost and speed, and clear relationships between weather, marine, and ice information and safe travel. Our findings have potential relevance in the circumpolar Arctic and beyond, wherever people combine Indigenous weather forecasting methods and online information for decision-making. We encourage service providers to improve product relevance and accessibility.

Open access
Victoria A. Johnson, Kimberly E. Klockow-McClain, Randy A. Peppler, and Angela M. Person

Abstract

Residents of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area are frequently threatened by tornadoes. Previous research indicates that perceptions of tornado threat affect behavioral choices when severe weather threatens and, as such, are important to study. In this paper, we examine the potential influence of tornado climatology on risk perception. Residents across central Oklahoma were surveyed about their perceptions of tornado proneness for their home location, and this was compared with the local tornado climatology. Mapping and programming tools were then used to identify relationships between respondents’ perceptions and actual tornado events. Research found that some dimensions of the climatology, such as tornado frequency, nearness, and intensity, have complex effects on risk perception. In particular, tornadoes that were intense, close, and recent had the strongest positive influence on risk perception, but weaker tornadoes appeared to produce an “inoculating” effect. Additional factors were influential, including sharp spatial discontinuities between neighboring places that were not tied to any obvious physical feature or the tornado climatology. Respondents holding lower perceptions of risk also reported lower rates of intention to prepare during tornado watches. By studying place-based perceptions, this research aims to provide a scientific basis for improved communication efforts before and during tornado events and for identifying vulnerable populations.

Open access
Jeannette Sutton, Laura Fischer, and Michele M. Wood

Abstract

Effective warning messages should tell people what they should do, how they should do it, and how to maximize their health and safety. Guidance essentially delivers two types of information: 1) information that instructs people about the actions to take in response to a threat and 2) information about how and why these recommended protective actions will reduce harm. However, recent research reported that while automated tornado warnings, sent by the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center via the account @NWStornado on Twitter, included useful information about the location of the threat, the potential impacts, and populations at risk, they failed to provide content that would contribute to successful protective actions. In this experimental study we investigate how the inclusion and presentation of protective action guidance affects participant perceptions of a tornado warning message and their perceived ability to act upon the information (i.e., self- and response efficacy). We find that the inclusion of protective action guidance results an increase in the participants’ understanding of the message, their ability to decide what to do, and their perceived self- and response efficacy. Knowing how to take action to protect oneself and believing the actions will make oneself safe are key motivators to taking action when faced with a significant threat. Future warning research should draw from other persuasive messaging and health behavior theories and should include self-efficacy and response efficacy as important causal factors. It should also look across additional hazards to determine if these outcomes differ by the length of forewarning and hazard type.

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Y. G. Tao, F. Zhang, W. J. Liu, and C. Y. Shi

Abstract

Understanding tourists’ perceptions of climate is essential to improving tourist satisfaction and destination marketing. This paper constructs a sentiment analysis framework for tourists’ perceptions of climate using not only continuous climate data but also short-term weather data. Based on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, we found that Chinese tourists’ perceptions of climate change were at an initial stage of development. The accuracies of word segmentation between sentiment and nonsentiment words using ROST content mining (CM), BosonNLP, and GooSeeker were all high, and the three gradually decreased. The positively expressed sentences accounted for 79.80% of the entire text using ROST emotion analysis (EA), and the sentiment score was 0.784 at the intermediate level using artificial neural networks. The results indicate that the perceived emotional map is generally consistent with the actual climate and that cognitive evaluation theory is suitable to study text on climate perception.

Open access
Jen Henderson, Lisa Dilling, Rebecca Morss, Olga Wilhelmi, and Ursula Rick

Abstract

Unintended consequences from decisions made in one part of a social–ecological system in response to climate hazards can magnify vulnerabilities for others in the same system. Yet anticipating or identifying these cascades and spillovers in real time is difficult. Social learning is an important component of adaptation that has the ability to facilitate adaptive capacity by mobilizing multiple actors around a common resource to manage collectively in ways that build local knowledge, reflective practices, and a broader understanding of contexts for decisions. While the foundations of social learning in resource management have been theorized in the literature, empirical examples of unintended consequences that trigger social learning are few. This article analyzes two cases of drought decisions made along the Arkansas River basin in Colorado; in each, social learning occurred after actors experienced unanticipated impacts from others’ decisions. Methods include interviews with actors, both individual and institutional representatives of different sectors (recreation, agriculture, etc.), and a review of relevant historical and policy documents. The study identifies four features of social learning that aided actors’ responses to unanticipated consequences: governance structures that facilitated more holistic river management; relationship boundaries that expanded beyond small-scale decisions to capture interactions and emergent problems; knowledge of others’ previous experience, whether direct or indirect; and creation of spaces for safer experimentation with adaptation changes. Results identify empirical examples of actors who successfully learned to adapt together to unexpected consequences and thus may provide insight for others collectively managing drought extremes.

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Maria Kubacka, Maciej Matczak, Maciej Kałas, Lucjan Gajewski, and Marcin Burchacz

Abstract

Weather is a crucial factor (and the most unpredictable of all factors) determining the success or failure of any offshore activity, such as investments in seafloor grid connectors (gas, energy, or communication), development of oil and gas drilling facilities, and erection of offshore wind farms. Weather conditions cannot be foreseen accurately over a time horizon longer than a few days, and so arranging a realistic work schedule for such an enterprise poses a great challenge. This paper identifies and analyzes the greatest risks associated with weather conditions at sea. The importance and impact of weather on the project implementation are assessed and mitigating measures are proposed. As part of the work, a review of scientific literature was conducted, and the core conclusions were reached using information-gathering techniques and a documentation review of the offshore projects implemented in cooperation with the Maritime Institute. The authors based their analysis on experience from survey campaigns conducted in the Baltic Sea in the areas of the investments planned for implementation. The analysis of risks associated with weather conditions is based on the statistical weather data obtained using the Wave Ocean Model cycle 4 (WAM4). The research reveals that it is impossible to create an accurate survey schedule for long-term offshore projects; however, using statistics for each individual hydrodynamic parameter can, to some extent, facilitate the creation of survey schedules for maritime projects.

Open access
Eric C. Jones, Corinne Ong, and Jessica Haynes

Abstract

Climate change is an increasingly pressing concern because it generates individual and societal vulnerability in many places in the world, and also because it potentially threatens political stability. Aside of sea-level rise, climate change is typically manifested in local temperature and precipitation extremes that generate other hazards. In this study, we investigated whether certain kinds of governance strategies were more common in societies whose food supply had been threatened by such natural hazards—specifically floods, droughts and locust infestations. We coded and analyzed ethnographic data from the Human Relations Area Files on 26 societies regarding dominant political, economic and ideological behaviors of leaders in each society for a specified time period. Leaders in societies experiencing food-destroying disasters used different political economic strategies for maintaining power than did leaders in societies that face fewer disasters or that did not face such disasters. In non-disaster settings, leaders were more likely to have inward-focused cosmological and collectivistic strategies; conversely, when a society had experienced food-destroying disasters, leaders were more likely to have exclusionary tribal/family-based and externally focused strategies. This apparent difficulty in maintaining order and coherence of leadership in disaster settings may apply more to politically complex societies than to polities governed solely at the community level. Alternatively, it could be that exclusionary leaders help set up the conditions for disastrous consequences of hazards for the populace. Exceptions to the pattern of exclusionary political economic strategies in disaster settings indicate that workarounds do exist that allow leaders with corporate governance approaches to stay in power.

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Michael K. Ndegwa, Apurba Shee, Calum Turvey, and Liangzhi You

Abstract

Weather index insurance (WII) has been a promising innovation that protects smallholder farmers against drought risks and provides resilience against adverse rainfall conditions. However, the uptake of WII has been hampered by high spatial and intra-seasonal basis risk. To minimize intra-seasonal basis risk, the standard approaches to designing WII based on seasonal cumulative rainfall have shown to be ineffective in some cases as they do not incorporate different water requirements across each phenological stage of crop growth. One of the challenges in incorporating crop phenology in insurance design is to determine the water requirement in crop growth stages. Borrowing from agronomy, crop science, and agro-meteorology we adopt evapotranspiration methods in determining water requirements for a crop to survive in each stage, that can be used as a trigger level for a WII product. Using daily rainfall and evapotranspiration data, we illustrate the use of Monte Carlo risk modelling to price an operational WII and WII-linked credit product. The risk modelling approach we develop includes incorporation of correlation between rainfall and evapotranspiration indexes that can minimise significant intertemporal basis risk in WII.

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