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Manzoor Hussain Memon
,
Naveed Aamir
, and
Nadeem Ahmed

Abstract

Climate change has forced the world into a state of emergency, but the urgency can also become an opportunity to strengthen the focus on sustainable development and reduce social vulnerability. For developing economies, the first and foremost challenge regarding climate change is to address the knowledge gap on sustainable development and vulnerability. Besides this, evidence-based inputs are needed for the policies and programs that intend to enhance the adaptive capacity and social capital from the gender perspective in comparatively more disaster-prone districts of the country. The environmental impact in terms of socioeconomic conditions specifically pertaining to rural areas of Pakistan cannot be ignored. Natural events such as floods and droughts have raised the question of the social and socioeconomic vulnerability of the rural communities. This paper is an attempt toward understanding that everyone who is affected will be impacted differently by climate change both within the same gender and between different genders, including gender minorities. In addition, an attempt is made to identify the drivers of gender-disaggregated social vulnerability in selected disaster-prone rural communities of the district of Dadu, Sindh Province, Pakistan. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques are employed to examine the differences in gender perception on climate change, experiences related to climate change, disasters, and impacts on their lives. Women and households headed by them are found to be relatively more vulnerable due to their socioeconomic and social status in the rural areas of Pakistan. The paper gives policy directives that not only address the measures for reduction in climate change impacts but also suggest the development of effective disaster management programs, policies, and strategies.

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Rattanawan Mungkung
and
Tananon Nudchanate

Abstract

This study quantified greenhouse gas emissions from indirect activities along the whole value chain of supermarket retailing to derive mitigation measures. Both direct and indirect greenhouse gas emission sources of a supermarket retailing value chain were identified and calculated using the national guidelines for estimating the carbon footprint for organizations, based on a total area of 13 248 m2 and operating 12 h per day. A scoring matrix was applied that considered the magnitude of emissions, the level of influence, and the risks or opportunities associated with business operations. The scoring results indicated a major contribution from value chain activities that should be included in any greenhouse gas analysis. The calculation revealed that the greenhouse gas emissions from the value chain activities were 33 784 t CO2 emitted yr−1 or 94% of total emissions. The key contributors were linked to the production of purchased goods and the management of food waste. Thus, value chain activities should not be overlooked in developing efficient greenhouse gas management strategies. Furthermore, purchased products and services carrying a carbon-reduction label should be given priority, and the application of artificial intelligence and innovation could be considered to reduce the amount of food waste from expired goods.

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Ramazan Aslan
,
Musab Süleyman Köçer
, and
Sefa Mizrak

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is considered to be one of the biggest threats to humanity in this century, with severe direct or indirect impacts on people’s lives. Such a significant threat causes serious concern, which can motivate low-level proenvironmental behavior and lead to serious health problems at high levels. Therefore, determining the level of this concern is crucial. Outdoor recreation participants, who are constantly in contact with nature, can closely witness the effects of ACC due to these interactions. Therefore, evaluating their ACC worry is essential. In this study, the aim was to determine the ACC worry levels of outdoor recreation participants. The research data were collected through an online survey from a sample reached through convenience sampling method throughout Türkiye. The data were analyzed using analysis of moment structures (AMOS) and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The relationship between independent variables and ACC concern was revealed through ordinal logistic regression. The research found that the participants had a high level of concern about ACC, with a score of 3.50. It was also determined that this level of concern was influenced by variables such as the type of outdoor recreation, the duration of participation in outdoor recreation, and exposure to the effects of ACC. Considering that ACC can motivate proenvironmental behaviors, the research suggests that outdoor recreational participants with high levels of concern about ACC should not be ignored in the adaptation process.

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Anna C. Wanless
and
Rachel E. Riley

Abstract

Extreme rainfall events are hazardous and costly. They have increased in parts of the United States, and climate models project that trend to continue. Effective communication of potential threats and impacts associated with extreme rainfall events is one of the foci of a weather forecaster’s job and aligns with the National Weather Service (NWS)’s mission to protect life and property. This research investigated how NWS forecasters processed and communicated information about extreme rainfall events that occurred in the south-central United States between 2015 and 2019. The study also explored forecasters’ perceptions of the relationship between the events and climate change and whether those perceptions impacted the forecasts, including how forecast information was communicated. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 NWS forecasters about how they internally processed and externally communicated model outliers and anomalous rainfall events. Thematic analysis of the interview data identified components of sensemaking and decision-making conceptual frameworks as well as principles of forecasting. These components were then combined to create an extreme event forecast communication process model to illustrate the findings. Although forecast and communication processes are complex and vary between offices and forecasters, the communication process model presents a high-level conceptualization of how forecasters translate highly technical and disparate material into usable information for their audiences within the context of rare meteorological events.

Significance Statement

This study presents an extreme event forecast communication process model that helps to explain how National Weather Service forecasters process and communicate extreme rainfall events. Forecasters were interviewed about their experience with extreme rainfall events. Effective communication of such events is important because they can lead to significant, and sometimes deadly, impacts. In the future, the extreme event forecast communication process model might provide a framework for best practices and be incorporated into forecaster training materials. Additional research is needed to determine whether the model applies to regions outside the south-central United States.

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Andrea C. Simonelli
and
Kaitlyn Novalski

Abstract

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is beginning to feel the impacts of climate change. Its geography and low-lying landscape have put it at a disadvantage to fight the coming seas. National leadership and environmental groups continue to provide locals with communications about the challenges to come. While climate change is a concept of science, there may be local barriers to its public internalization. This study seeks to determine if there is a relationship between fundamentalist Christian views, climate change communication, and Marshallese perceptions of global environmental change. The Marshall Islands has a deeply religious population, the majority of whom are fundamentalist Christians. A mixed-methods survey is employed to assess the impact that the belief in biblical literalism, the Noahic Covenant, and apocalyptic narratives exert over Marshallese views of environmental change. Results demonstrate that nonelite Marshallese inhabitants do not see climate change as an existential threat but rather as a sign of the end times and the Second Coming of Christ. This has significant implications for human security and migration outcomes if current climate communication methods are ineffective with respect to urgency. If locals see climate impacts through a religious lens, climate change communication must incorporate biblical concepts and address contextual understandings.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to investigate how biblical literalism impacts the way in which Marshall Islanders interpret information on climate change and its impacts. Religion is a strong factor in the development of cosmology and/or worldview of all peoples; it provides a lens through which people understand the events of their existence. Our results show that climate impacts are interpreted by the followers of some literalist sects to be signs of biblical apocalypse. Viewing climate impacts as divine will pose a challenge to the need for relocation planning, adaptation, and personal safety.

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Rob Allan
,
Roger Stone
,
Joëlle Gergis
,
Zak Baillie
,
Hanna Heidemann
,
Nick Caputi
,
Rosanne D’Arrigo
, and
Christa Pudmenzky

Abstract

A “protracted” El Niño episode occurred from March–April 2018 to April–May 2020. It was manifested by the interlinked Indo-Pacific influences of two components of El Niño phases. Positive Indian Ocean dipoles (IODs) in 2018 and 2019 suppressed the formation of northwest cloud bands and southern Australia rainfall, and a persistent teleconnection, with enhanced convection generated by positive Niño-4 region sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and strong subsidence over eastern Australia, exacerbated this Australian drought. As with “classical” El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, which usually last 12–18 months, protracted ENSO episodes, which last for more than 2 yr, show a similar pattern of impacts on society and the environment across the Indo-Pacific domain, and often extend globally. The second half of this study puts the impact of the 2018–20 protracted El Niño episode on both the Australian terrestrial agricultural and marine ecophysiological environments in a broader context. These impacts are often modulated not only by the direct effects of ENSO events and episodes, but by interrelated local to region ocean–atmosphere interactions and synoptic weather patterns. Even though the indices of protracted ENSO episodes are often weaker in magnitude than those of major classical ENSO events, it is the longer duration of the former that poses its own set of problems. Thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the potential to forecast protracted ENSO episodes, particularly when the mid-2020 to current 2022 period has been experiencing a major protracted La Niña episode with near-global impacts.

Significance Statement

The major 2018–20 Australian drought and its terrestrial and marine impacts were caused by a “protracted” El Niño episode, exacerbated by global warming. Indo-Pacific ocean–atmosphere interactions resulted in a persistent positive western Pacific Niño-4 sea surface temperature anomaly during the period 2018–20 and positive Indian Ocean dipoles (IODs) in 2018 and 2019. These suppressed rainfall across eastern Australia and limited northwest Australian cloud band rainfall across southern Australia. Australian agricultural and ecophysiological impacts caused by protracted El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes permeate, overstress, and expose society, infrastructure, and livelihoods to longer temporal-scale pressures than those experienced during shorter “classical” ENSO events. Thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the potential to forecast protracted ENSO episodes.

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Olivia G. VanBuskirk
,
Renee A. McPherson
, and
Lauren E. Mullenbach

Abstract

As a result of climate change, extreme precipitation events are likely to become more common in Oklahoma, requiring cities and municipalities to plan for managing this extra water. There are multiple types of practitioners within communities who are responsible for overseeing planning for the future, including stormwater and floodplain management. These practitioners may be able to integrate weather and climate information into their decision-making to help them prepare for heavy precipitation events and their impacts. Floodplain managers from central and eastern Oklahoma were interviewed to learn what information they currently use and how it informs their decision-making. When making decisions in the short term, floodplain managers relied on weather forecasts; for long-term decisions, other factors, such as constrained budgets or the power of county officials, had more influence than specific climate predictions or projections. On all time scales, social networks and prior experience with flooding informed floodplain managers’ decisions and planning. Overall, information about weather and climate is just one component of floodplain managers’ decision-making processes. The atmospheric science community could work more collaboratively with practitioners so that information about weather and climate is more useful and, therefore, more relevant to the types of decisions that floodplain managers make.

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Kathryn Semmens
,
Rachel Hogan Carr
,
Burrell Montz
, and
Keri Maxfield

Abstract

Communicating the threat of severe winter weather is not simply a matter of the number of inches of snow or degrees of cold; it also considers the potential impacts of the storm. The winter storm severity index (WSSI) is a graphical product from the National Weather Service that presents anticipated impacts from forecast winter weather for a range of winter conditions. To assess the utility of the WSSI and how an impact-based winter weather forecast product is interpreted and used to inform decision-making, a mixed-methods social science study was conducted by the Nurture Nature Center in coordination with the Weather Prediction Center. Through focus groups and surveys, testing in the Hydrometeorological Testbed, and iterations on design and category descriptions, several themes emerged about how professional stakeholders understand, interpret, and use this product for communicating about impending winter weather. There is perceived utility in the WSSI for situational awareness and as part of a package of other information to inform decision-making. However, there is variability in interpretations of impacts, resulting from differences in geography, community readiness, and experience, among other factors, which creates complications in communicating the forecast. Furthermore, many users seek quantities related to winter weather, suggesting that education about what impact-based products include and what data are shown is necessary. Understanding the factors that influence perspectives on impact levels and the variable needs for winter weather information across regions improves forecasters’ abilities to effectively communicate and provide critical information that helps end users prepare for severe winter weather.

Significance Statement

Effectively communicating severe winter weather is critical to supporting communities in being prepared for and mitigating weather-related losses and damages. The winter storm severity index focuses on impacts to provide awareness of impending winter weather, information that is useful but not always interpreted consistently, requiring an understanding of factors influencing perspectives on impact levels and user education.

Open access
Wesley Wehde
and
Matthew Nowlin

Abstract

Social science studies of weather and natural hazards have examined in depth the sources of information individuals use in response to a disaster. This research has primarily focused on information sources in isolation and as they relate to severe weather. Thus, less research has examined how individuals use information acquisition strategies during routine times. This paper addresses this limitation by examining patterns of routine weather information source usage. Using three unique survey datasets and latent class analysis, we find that weather information source usage can be summarized by a limited number of coherent classes. Importantly, our results suggest that weather information types, or classes, are generally consistent across datasets and samples. We also find demographic determinants, particularly age, help to explain class membership; older respondents were more likely to belong to classes that are less reliant on technology-based information sources. Income and education also were related to more complex or comprehensive information use strategies. Results suggest that the prevalent view of single-source information usage in previous research may not be adequate for understanding how individuals access information, in both routine and extreme contexts.

Free access
Jessica N. Burgeno
and
Susan L. Joslyn

Abstract

When forecasts for a major weather event begin days in advance, updates may be more accurate but inconsistent with the original forecast. Evidence suggests that resulting inconsistency may reduce user trust. However, adding an uncertainty estimate to the forecast may attenuate any loss of trust due to forecast inconsistency, as has been shown with forecast inaccuracy. To evaluate this hypothesis, this experiment tested the impact on trust of adding probabilistic snow-accumulation forecasts to single-value forecasts in a series of original and revised forecast pairs (based on historical records) that varied in both consistency and accuracy. Participants rated their trust in the forecasts and used them to make school-closure decisions. One-half of the participants received single-value forecasts, and one-half also received the probability of 6 in. or more (decision threshold in the assigned task). As with previous research, forecast inaccuracy was detrimental to trust, although probabilistic forecasts attenuated the effect. Moreover, the inclusion of probabilistic forecasts allowed participants to make economically better decisions. Surprisingly, in this study inconsistency increased rather than decreased trust, perhaps because it alerted participants to uncertainty and led them to make more cautious decisions. Furthermore, the positive effect of inconsistency on trust was enhanced by the inclusion of probabilistic forecast. This work has important implications for practical settings, suggesting that both probabilistic forecasts and forecast inconsistency provide useful information to decision-makers. Therefore, members of the public may benefit from well-calibrated uncertainty estimates and newer, more reliable information.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study was to clarify how explicit uncertainty information and forecast inconsistency impact trust and decision-making in the context of sequential forecasts from the same source. This is important because trust is critical for effective risk communication. In the absence of trust, people may not use available information and subsequently may put themselves and others at greater-than necessary risk. Our results suggest that updating forecasts when newer, more reliable information is available and providing reliable uncertainty estimates can support user trust and decision-making.

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