Major Role in European Climate Change Adaptation Conference 6-9 June

HELIX, with its sister projects IMPRESSIONS and RISES-AM are the scientific organisers of this year’s ECCA2017, 5-9 June in Glasgow. ECCA2017 is the third biannual gathering of climate scientists who are assessing impacts of climate change and adaptation, which means that Glasgow will have about 800 climate scientists in town. In addition to curating the content of ECCA, the HELIX team are disseminating this knowledge at ECCA. [Work in Progress Please Watch this space for updates]

ECCA2017 is the third biannual gathering of climate scientists who are assessing impacts of climate change and adaptation, which means that Glasgow will have about 800 climate scientists in town.

In addition to curating the content of ECCA, the HELIX team are disseminating this new HELIX knowledge at ECCA2017.

Michalis Vousdoukas, European Commission, Joint Research Centre , Chair & Speaker, Tue 6 Jun 11:00-12:45, Room Carron 1

Projections of coastal impacts along Europe’s coasts in view of climate change
Projections of coastal impacts along Europe’s coasts in view of climate change Michalis Vousdoukas, European Commission This contribution aims to present preliminary results from efforts towards (i) the development of the integrated risk assessment tool LISCoAsT for Europe (Large scale Integrated Sea-level and Coastal Assessment Tool); (ii) the assessment of coastal risk along the European coastline in view of climate change; and (iii) the development and application of a robust methodology to evaluate adaptation options for the European coastline under climate change scenarios. Comprehensive projections of Extreme Sea Levels (ESL), that include mean sea level (MSL), tides, waves and storm surges, have been generated until 2100 in view of climate change, using dynamic simulations forced by GCM ensembles. We find that by the end of this century the 100-year event ESL along Europe’s coastlines will on average increase by 57 cm for RCP4.5 and 81 cm for RCP8.5. The North Sea region will face the highest increase in ESLs, amounting to nearly 1 m under RCP8.5 by 2100, followed by the Baltic Sea and Atlantic coasts of the UK and Ireland. Relative Sea Level Rise (RSLR) is the main driver of the projected rise in ESL, with increasing dominance towards the end of the century and for the high-concentration pathway. Changes in storm surges and waves enhance the effects of RSLR along the majority of northern European coasts, locally with contributions up to 40%. In southern Europe, episodic extreme events tend to stay stable, except along the Portuguese coast and the Gulf of Cadiz where reductions in surge and wave extremes offset RSLR by 20-30%. By the end of this century, 5 million Europeans currently under threat of a 100-year ESL could be annually at risk from coastal flooding. The intensifying ESLs are also expressed in the projections of the expected annual damage (EAD) from coastal flooding, projected to increase up to 11 and 14 billion €/year by 2050 under RCP 4.5 and 8.5, respectively, and to 29 and 57 billion €/year by 2100 under RCP 4.5 and 8.5 (from a baseline value of 3.06 million €/year).

Tim Rayner and Asher Minns, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Future Earth Europe, University of East Anglia, Tue 6 Jun 13:45-15:30, Room Alsh 2

The challenge of communicating unwelcome high-end climate change
With the probability that global mean temperature rise can be kept below the internationally recognised 2°c target continuing to diminish, and growing evidence of limits to adaptation, citizens as well as economic and political decision makers need to engage with knowledge about the likelihood and implications of severe future 112 impacts, and the scale of mitigation required to avoid them, the likes of which few want to hear. The eu-funded helix project brought together around 30 individuals from a range of disciplinary and organisational backgrounds for a workshop to discuss how best to do this. Communicators must be more than ‘narrators of doom’, but recognise the need for ‘active hope’, constructed from realistic goals, imaginable paths, doable tasks and a meaningful role within a collective response to problems at hand. New, more dialogical forms of communication, with various audiences in a range of venues are needed, in which new high-end climate messages can be conveyed and processed with citizens and decision makers. Ideally, these processes should be facilitated by highly skilled individuals or teams. These currently less common forms of communication will require additional investment and training.

Caroline Zickgraf, The Hugo Observatory, University of Liège, Tue 6 Jun 16:00-17:45, Room Morar & Ness

Policy polarities: migration, climate change and adaptation
As the number of concrete international measures remains wanting, the number of migrants forced to move by the impacts of climate change depends largely on the adaptation policies that are implemented at lower levels of governance and in sending and receiving locales. As has become clear, most migration related to climate change remains internal (newland 2011), and thus it is local and national governments’ adaptation initiatives that mold these flows and their outcomes. Primarily, policymakers focus on curbing migration through adaptation strategies in situ in order to reduce the pressure to migrate. In the mekong delta, for example, some local governments explicitly discourage migration. Faced with rainfall shortages and variability, they try to attract factories to their primarily agriculture-dependent economies in order to halt rural exodus. At the national level, some countries are grappling with huge shifts in their population distribution and so prioritize adaptation intent on stopping migration to their exploding urban centers. Coastal megacities in west africa, for example, simply do not possess the infrastructure or socio-economic opportunities necessary to cope with a large influx of migrants (zickgraf et al. 2016). Without appropriate adaptation measures in destination areas, rural migrants arrive in precarious urban slums and often become the most vulnerable to coastal flooding, associated health risks and other human security concerns. Such policies tend to consider migration as a failure to adapt. However, an emerging a vantage point reflects a shift in discourse: migration as adaptation. Migration can be a positive strategy that diversifies rural livelihoods, reduces pressures on dwindling natural resources, and can lead to rural development. There are indeed countries that seek to harness this potential through skills training, bilateral agreements, and remittance incentives. Kiribati introduced the ‘migration with dignity’ policy as part of their long-term nation-wide relocation strategy. It aims to create opportunities for those who wish to migrate to various receiving countries, such as australia and new zealand, so that their expatriates may facilitate chain migration and remit back to their sending communities. It also seeks to improve the levels of educational and vocational qualifications in kiribati to prepare citizens for a life abroad (mcnamara 2015). Resettlement programs are another clear case of initiatives that facilitate population movements (de sherbinin et al. 2011), which have seen success in the mekong delta, but failure elsewhere. It is these two distinct policy streams – those that seek to deter migration from areas affected by climate change and those that embrace migration as an adaptation strategy in itself – that this paper investigates. We assert that they represent two opposing framings of the relationship between human mobility and climate change whose polarity itself issues challenges and provides beneficial potential.

Katy Richardson, Met Office, Tue 6 Jun 13:45-15:30, Room Carron 1

Using climate model output to understand present-day and projected future risk to food systems and supply chains
Achieving and maintaining global food security is threatened by our changing climate, particularly in the most food insecure regions. However, effective translation of the impacts of climate change into food security outcomes is challenging. The hunger and climate vulnerability index framework (hcvi; krishnamurthy et al 2014) was designed to address this challenge through evaluating the impacts of weather events (e.g. Floods and drought) on national scale vulnerability to food insecurity in developing and least-developed countries. Updates to the hcvi methodology have enabled the calculation of future projections of vulnerability to food insecurity under a range of emission, adaptation and development scenarios (richardson et al, in prep). These updates to the framework enable direct translation of climate model projections into food security outcomes. The results provide evidence for the dual requirement of both mitigation and adaptation in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. They are directly applicable for use in adaptation and policy planning and are available on an interactive website designed for policy makers ( This talk will discuss the challenges faced in updating the index framework to enable future projections from climate model output, and also the development of scenarios of adaptation and development. Results from the future projections will be presented and discussed, along with limitations of the index output.

Tim Rayner, Tyndall Centre, University Of East Anglia, Chair, Wed 7 Jun AM, Room Morar & Ness, Co-production as a means of climate change governance

Christopher Reyer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Chair, Weds 7 Jun 13:45-15:30, Room Carron 1, Data and information tools for adaptation planning

Jeff Price, Tyndall Centre, University Of East Anglia, Thurs 8 Jun AM1, Room Carron 2

Biodiversity Impacts, Adaptation Options And Effort Requirements From 1.5°C To 6°C – Refugia And Tipping Points
HELIX is an EU funded project looking at the potential impacts of climate change and potential adaptation options for global warming levels ranging from 1.5° – 6°C. This presentation presents an overview of some of the results from our Helix funded work on global biodiversity. The Wallace Initiative has developed models examining the potential impacts of climate change on 80,000 terrestrial plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians at a global spatial resolution of ~20 km, for 21 climate models, under several potential dispersal scenarios. The goal of the Wallace Initiative is to identify the refugia (i.e., areas remaining climatically suitable for >75% of the species studied), species range shifts and climate migratory pathways for a wide range of species. These data can be used to look at the design/robustness of protected area systems, to look at the potential changes in ecosystem services to local communities, and to design proactive sustainable development for biodiversity, food security, water 284 security and bioenergy at differing levels of climate change. While the impacts on biodiversity are as might be expected under 6°C of warming, there are still some areas that might be seen as partial refugia, at least for some taxa. However, there are sizeable differences in the potential adaptation effort required to maintain biodiversity in some parts of the world even between 1.5° C and 2°C (especially in the tropics). As the temperature increases the number of potential refugia decreases (tipping points in many temperate areas) and adaptation options quickly shift from Business-as-Usual natural resource management to the need to potentially facilitate change. Overall, across the five taxa, plants appeared to benefit the most and reptiles the least from holding the temperature rise to 1.5°C rather than 2°C. Regionally, Coastal East Africa appeared to benefit the most (average benefit of 22%) in the priority place area requiring reduced adaptation to climate change to maintain current biodiversity under these models. The African Rift Lakes and the Orinoco River (South America) region were second (21%) followed by Madagascar and the Namib-Karoo of Africa (20%). The degree to which dispersal (and corridors) can benefit biodiversity depends on how the 1.5°C target is achieved, especially which types of mitigation (e.g., biofuels), are used. While corridors and dispersal are often put forward as natural adaptation to climate change, barriers to movement in the form of competing land-uses, cities, and roads may limit movement as an adaptation option.

Olivier Dessens, University College London, Chair, Thur 8 Jun AM 2, Lomond Auditorium, Energy and Transport Infrastructure under Climate Change