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

Abstract

Rapid and interacting change poses an increasing threat to livelihoods and food production, and pastoralists in Nordland, northern Norway, are at a crossroads 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. The central government systematically ignores pastoralists’ traditional knowledge and enforces narrow sector policies to be implemented at regional and local levels. 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 counterproductive 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 toward a more holistic governance in which multiple knowledge systems are integrated to ensure sustainable adaptation at all levels. This study is based on extensive and long-term fieldwork among reindeer herders and sheep farmers in Nordland, through a collaborative process of knowledge coproduction.

Open access
Sara E. Harrison, Sally H. Potter, Raj Prasanna, Emma E. H. Doyle, and David Johnston

Abstract

Impact forecasts and warnings (IFW) are key to resilience for hydrometeorological hazards. Communicating the potential social, economic, and environmental hazard impacts allows individuals and communities to adjust their plans and better prepare for the consequences of the hazard. IFW systems require additional knowledge about impacts and underlying vulnerability and exposure. Lack of data or knowledge about impacts, vulnerability, and exposure has been identified as a challenge for IFW implementation. In this study, we begin to address this challenge by developing an understanding of the data needs and uses for IFWs. Using the grounded theory method, we conducted a series of interviews with users and creators of hazard, impact, vulnerability, and exposure data (e.g., warning services, forecasters, meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, data specialists, risk modelers) to understand where these data are needed and used in the warning value chain, a concept used to represent and understand the flow of information among actors in the warning chain. In support of existing research, we found a growing need for creating, gathering, and using impact, vulnerability, and exposure data for IFWs. Furthermore, we identified different approaches for impact forecasting and defining impact thresholds using objective models and subjective impact-oriented discussions depending on the data available. We also provided new insight into a growing need to identify, model, and warn for social and health impacts, which have typically taken a back seat to modeling and forecasting physical and infrastructure impacts. Our findings on the data needs and uses within IFW systems will help guide their development and provide a pathway for identifying specific relevant data sources.

Open access
Karin Marie Antonsen, Brigt Dale, and Stephanie Mayer

Abstract

In 2018, tourism was the fastest growing sector in the world, accounting for 10% of all jobs worldwide and 10.4% of the world’s gross domestic product. 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 will 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 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and obligations contained in the Paris Agreement on reducing global emissions.

Open access
Max Martin, S. Abhilash, Vijaykumar Pattathil, R. Harikumar, N. T. Niyas, T. M. Balakrishnan Nair, Yatin Grover, and Filippo Osella

Abstract

Ocean State Forecasts contribute to safe and sustainable fishing in India, but their usage among artisanal fishers is often limited. Our research in Thiruvananthapuram district in the southern Indian state of Kerala tested forecast quality and value and how fishers engage with forecasts. In two fishing villages, we verified forecast accuracy, skill, and reliability by comparing forecasts with observations during the 2018 monsoon season (June–September; n = 122). We assessed forecast value by analyzing fishers’ perceptions of weather and risks and the way they used forecasts based on 8 focus group discussions, 20 interviews, conversations, and logs of 10 fishing boats. We find that while forecasts are mostly accurate, inadequate forecasting of unusual events (e.g., wind >45 km h−1) and frequent fishing restrictions (n = 32) undermine their value. Fishers seek more localized and detailed forecasts, but they do not always use them. Weather forecasts are just one of the tools artisanal fishers deploy, used not simply to decide as to whether to go to sea but also to manage potential risks, allowing them to prepare for fishing under hazardous conditions. Their decisions are also based on the availability of fish and their economic needs. From our findings, we suggest that political, economic, and social marginality of south Indian fishers influences their perceptions and responses to weather-related risks. Therefore, improving forecast usage requires not only better forecast skill and wide dissemination of tailor-made weather information, but also better appreciation of risk cultures and the livelihood imperatives of artisanal fishing communities.

Open access
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.

Open access
Alexia Karwat and Christian L. E. Franzke

Abstract

Over the last few decades, heat waves have intensified and have led to excess mortality. While the probability of being affected by heat stress has significantly increased, the risk of heat mortality is rarely quantified. This quantification of heat mortality risk is necessary for systematic adaptation measures. Furthermore, heat mortality records are sparse and short, which presents a challenge for assessing heat mortality risk for future climate projections. It is therefore crucial to derive indicators for a systematic heat mortality risk assessment. Here, risk indicators based on temperature and mortality data are developed and applied to major cities in Germany, France, and Spain using regional climate model simulations. Bias-corrected daily maximum, minimum, and wet-bulb temperatures show increasing trends in future climate projections for most considered cities. In addition, we derive a relationship between daily maximum temperatures and mortality for producing future projections of heat mortality risk from extreme temperatures that is based on low (representative concentration pathway RCP2.6) and high (RCP8.5) emission scenario future climate projections. Our results illustrate that heat mortality increases by about 0.9% decade−1 in Germany, 1.7% decade−1 in France, and 7.9% decade−1 in Spain for RCP8.5 by 2050. The future climate projections also show that wet-bulb temperatures above 30°C will be reached regularly, with maxima above 40°C likely by 2050. Our results suggest a significant increase of heat mortality in the future, especially in Spain. On average, our results indicate that the mortality risk trend is almost 2 times as high in all three countries for the RCP8.5 scenario relative to RCP2.6.

Open access
Emma Austin, Anthony S. Kiem, Jane Rich, David Perkins, and Brian Kelly

Abstract

Drought is a global threat to public health. Increasingly, the impact of drought on mental health and well-being is being recognized. This paper investigates the relationship between drought and well-being to determine which drought indices most effectively capture well-being outcomes. A thorough understanding of the relationship between drought and well-being must consider the (i) three aspects of drought (duration, frequency, and magnitude); (ii) different types of drought (meteorological, agricultural, etc.); and (iii) the individual context of specific locations, communities, and sectors. For this reason, we used a variety of drought types, drought indices, and time windows to identify the thresholds for wet and dry epochs that enhance and suppress impacts to well-being. Four postcodes in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, are used as case studies in the analysis to highlight the spatial variability in the relationship between drought and well-being. The results demonstrate that the relationship between drought indices and well-being outcomes differs temporally, spatially, and according to drought type. This paper objectively tests the relationship between commonly used drought indices and well-being outcomes to establish whether current methods of quantifying drought effectively capture well-being outcomes. For funding, community programs, and interventions to result in successful adaptation, it is essential to critically choose which drought index, time window, and well-being outcome to use in empirical studies. The uncertainties associated with these relationships must be accounted for, and it must also be realized that results will differ on the basis of these decisions.

Open access
Anna Heidenreich, Martin Buchner, Ariane Walz, and Annegret H. Thieken

Abstract

Heat waves are increasingly common in many countries across the globe, and also in Germany, where this study is set. Heat poses severe health risks, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children. This case study explores visitors’ behavior and perceptions during six weekends in the summer of 2018 at a 6-month open-air horticultural show. Data from a face-to-face survey (n = 306) and behavioral observations (n = 2750) were examined by using correlation analyses, ANOVA, and multiple regression analyses. Differences in weather perception, risk awareness, adaptive behavior, and activity level were observed between rainy days (maximum daily temperature < 25°C), warm summer days (25°–30°C), and hot days (>30°C). Respondents reported a high level of heat risk awareness, but most (90%) were unaware of actual heat warnings. During hot days, more adaptive measures were reported and observed. Older respondents reported taking the highest number of adaptive measures. We observed the highest level of adaptation in children, but they also showed the highest activity level. From our results we discuss how to facilitate individual adaptation to heat stress at open-air events by taking the heterogeneity of visitors into account. To mitigate negative health outcomes for citizens in the future, we argue for tailored risk communication aimed at vulnerable groups.

Open access
Free access
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