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A brief report on Cyclone Mora, Bangladesh

Tropical cyclone MORA struck the east coast of Bangladesh on May 30, 2017. The cyclone made landfall in Cox’s Bazar at around 3 AM during the time of low tide with a wind speed of around 130 km/hr. As the landfall time was during the low tide, the surge height was low. BUET's modelling team started monitoring the cyclone from its formation stage and predicted the possible inundation threat along the coast 24 hours before the cyclone made landfall (cyclone MORA model generated animation). The required data for this prediction was collected online from the global sources. BUET prediction closely matched with the prediction by Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), a government agency solely responsible to issue cyclone warning in Bangladesh. However, the spatial scale of BUET prediction (upazila level) was finer than the BMD prediction (district level). As the actual surge height of cyclone MORA was low due to landfall timing, the damage was also low. BUET modelling team later simulated a scenario which showed that had the cyclone made landfall few hours later than its actual landfall time, the surge height would be significantly high. The track of cyclone MORA, its landfall location and impact zone is within the DECCMA high risk zone due to storm surge hazard and is one of the identified climatic hotspot. BUET is trying to work together with BMD to enrich them with additional real time data of cyclone (what BUET is generating) which will help the government to reduce loss and damage from cyclone.

Posted 2017-06-21 15:37:03 by Anisul Haque (BUET)

A new tool developed by National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, to measure Disaster Cost

In order to gather a more accurate and scientifically developed assessment of relief and reconstruction packages for disaster-hit regions, the government of India has come up with a new scientific tool based on a UN model which will use satellite imagery and on-ground assessments to measure direct and indirect damages, besides opportunity cost lost due to disasters. The average annual economic losses due to disasters in India are estimated to be $10 billion. This cost is almost equal the sum that the country spends on education and double the amount it spends on healthcare, annually. This tool, known as the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA), developed by the National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, is ready for trial and a pilot test will be conducted in a calamity-hit region. It is likely that the government would engage the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation as part of the National Sample Survey and project predictable economic losses in disaster prone areas. Future allocation of funds made by the Centre to the states, for relief and reconstruction, will be based on PDNA assessment. Source: [19th September, 2016, Times of India, Kolkata|]

Posted 2016-09-26 12:20:12 by Asish Kumar Ghosh (CED-DECCMA)

New book | The economics of climate-resilient development

Professor Sam Fankhauser (PRISE Co-Principal Investigator) and Dr Declan Conway, from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment launched their new edited volume 'The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development'. Some climate change is now inevitable and strategies to adapt to these changes are quickly developing. The question is particularly paramount for low-income countries, which are likely to be most affected. This timely and unique book takes an integrated look at the twin challenges of climate change and development. The book treats adaptation to climate change as an issue of climate-resilient development, rather than as a bespoke set of activities (flood defences, drought plans, and so on), combining climate and development challenges into a single strategy. It asks how the standard approaches to development need to change, and what socio-economic trends and urbanisation mean for the vulnerability of developing countries to climate risks. Combining conceptual thinking with practical policy prescriptions and experience the contributors argue that, to address these questions, climate risk has to be embedded fully into wider development strategies. The book is available to purchase through the publisher [here|] and a discount is available [here|].

Posted 2016-09-16 10:18:23 by

Call for abstracts & papers - International scientific workshop on climate adaptation governance

The emerging complexity of climate adaptation governance in a globalising world 23–24 May 2017, Stockholm, Sweden Join the Stockholm Environment Institute and partners at an international scientific workshop that will examine the emerging complexity of climate adaptation governance with all its commensurate new forms and consequences. The aim of the scientific workshop is to explore governance of climate adaptation beyond the national level, i.e., international and transnational. Workshop participants will analyse, among other things, new forms of adaptation governance, its consequences for adaptation action on the ground, and the adequacy of existing institutions. The workshop will be an intimate two-day event held in Stockholm on 23-24 May 2017, with themed sessions discussing research papers and policy-maker perspectives. Abstracts must be submitted by 28 October 2016 For more details, download [the call for abstracts and papers|]

Posted 2016-09-16 09:38:55 by Carolin Bothe-Tews

8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software in Toulouse, France, July 10-14, 2016

Prof Paul Whitehead attended the [8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software|] in Toulouse, France, on July 10-14, 2016. The event was convened by Dr. Sabine Sauvage and Dr. José-Miguel Sánchez-Pérez from the University of Toulouse. The purpose of the meeting was to foster discussion and the interchange of challenges, solutions, ideas, and new methods and techniques in environmental modelling and software. The theme of the conference was environmental modelling and software for supporting a sustainable future. Professor Whitehead gave a presentation on his DECCMA research at a special Workshop on Africa and Sustainable Development, the Title of presentation was 'Modelling climate, hydrology and water quality in the River Volta, Ghana : impacts of climate change and socioeconomic change' There then followed a discussion on issues of working in Africa, data exchange, student training, modelling issues, climate change issues and interactions with stakeholders. The iEMSs is the premier professional society on integrated environmental modelling and software and its biennial conferences are officially endorsed by the scientific journal Environmental Modelling and Software (Elsevier). The aims of the iEMSs are to: 1. Develop and use environmental modelling and software tools to advance the science and improve decision making with respect to resource and environmental issues, placing emphasis on inter-disciplinary and the development of generic frameworks and methodologies that integrate models and software tools across issues, scales, disciplines and stakeholders with respect to resource and environmental issues 2. Promote contacts among physical, social, and natural scientists, economists, and software developers from different countries and coordinate their activities 3. Improve the cooperation between the sciences and decision makers/advisors on environmental matters 4. exchange information in the field of environmental modelling and software among scientific and educational organizations and private enterprises, as well as non-governmental organizations and governmental bodies The next meeting of iEMS will be held in Fort Collins USA and it might be a good opportunity for students/post docs to give some presentations on DECCMA Modelling research.

Posted 2016-08-02 10:30:18 by Prof Paul Whitehead

Job Advert: Research Fellow in Integrated Modelling (Deltas)

Research Fellow in Integrated Modelling (Deltas) University of Southampton, UK Salary: £28,982 per annum Full Time Fixed Term for 18 months Closing Date: Saturday 13 August 2016 This post is being advertised as part of the DECCMA (DEltas, vulnerability and Climate Change; Migration and Adaptation) projects. DECCMA is an international, multi-disciplinary and multi-partner project examining climate change and adaptation in deltas, with a particular focus on migration. Three deltas are considered: the Ganges-Brahmaputra, (Bangladesh and India), the Mahanadi (India) and the Volta (Ghana). The project is highly multidisciplinary and involves engineers, natural and social scientists, lawyers and policy analysts along with a range of stakeholders. In DECCMA, the overall goal is to understand migration in deltas, including the role of climate change, and place this in the context of adaptation choices. This will involve significant integration and model development. This research is being conducted in a participatory manner with relevant stakeholders who will help to pose the critical policy questions, define future scenarios and contribute to the analysis and interpretation of the results As a Research Fellow on this project, the applicant will be responsible, supported by discipline experts and other research fellows across the project, for helping to develop and apply the integrated methods and models that are required to analyze environmental change, adaptation and migration. This will include handling data and model outputs generated by the project concerning the natural and social dimensions of the delta and how they have changed in the 20th/early 21st century and hence might change in the future. For further information and to apply [click here|]

Posted 2016-07-14 11:32:47 by Jon Lawn

Social Simulation of Fisheries and Coastal Management workshop

[Social Simulation of Fisheries and Coastal Management workshop, Manchester Metropolitan University, 6-7 June 2016|] Attila Lazar (University of Southampton, UK) was invited as a keynote speaker for the Social Simulation of Fisheries and Coastal Management workshop (Manchester Metropolitan University, 6-7 June 2016) organised by the Centre for Policy Modelling, the Stockholm Environment Institute (Oxford Centre) and the University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway. The aim of the workshop was (i) to further establish the academic-developer-practitioner network, (ii) to improve the use of data and methods, and (iii) to work towards the integration of tools and methods and creation of decision support frameworks. Attila presented the philosophy, methods and results of the ESPA Deltas project with a special focus on the ΔDIEM assessment framework and the plausible futures of coastal Bangladesh. He also introduced the DECCMA project and its planned integration activities. There were many interesting presentations and discussions. For example, Anthony Charles (St. Mary’s University, Canada) talked about the importance of multi-level considerations in systems analysis: different scales, objectives and believes exist for different stakeholders that makes the modelling and engagement processes even more complex. John Theodoru (TEI, Greece) discussed the observed human response to large scale fish-kills in Greece. He stressed the importance of the communication between officials/expert and the general public to avoid large-scale and long-term impact on livelihoods and protests. Valker Grimm (UFZ, Germany), the ‘father’ of agent-based modelling, showed examples for theory development and the usefulness of ABMs to study ecological and human systems, and stressed the importance of proper documentation and multi-objective fitting and ‘validation’ of all models. Mike Bithel (Cambridge University, UK) outlined the NERESUS program, a 10-year research program to further develop a global individual-based ecosystem model called Mandingley. Steve Shaul (ASU, Florida) presented his (multi-objective) efforts to quantify the uncertainties and estimate uncertain human behaviour-related model parameters for his Bay of Mexico fisheries ABM, and thus learn about the fisher-fish behaviour and their consequence on stock assessment. Richard Taylor (SEI, Oxford, UK) the usefulness of ‘local’ fisheries toy-models in stakeholder engagement and demonstrated the ‘Shallow Seas’ participatory game, a coastal fisheries model, that allows 4-6 plays to interact in an online game environment, and learn about the importance of social-interaction on livelihood success and ecosystem exploitation. The workshop was closed with a generic discussion. Three key topics were raised by the participants: (i) It is not straightforward to couple qualitative survey data with quantitative models, due to contextual bias (i.e. answers relate to the context set by the interviewer). This makes its generic model-use difficult. Furthermore, adaptation to the new circumstances are continuous, and this makes future predictions uncertain if only the survey data is considered in the model. (ii) It often thought that if the model works reliably (i.e. reproducing observed patterns) that is the end of the model development and testing. However, models should be pushed to make wrong predictions in order to learn about tipping points that would result in a shift in dominant processed, and thus, learn about the model performance under extreme conditions and more about the system behaviour. (iii) Under ideal situation, large, complex, expert simulation models, such as ΔDIEM (to explore realistic, plausible futures) should be used in conjunction with toy models, with which experts, stakeholders and the general public can interact and learn.

Posted 2016-06-08 11:31:52 by Attila Lazar

Watch DECCMA Post Grad Presentations

On 6th May the DECCMA Post Graduates at the University of Southampton, as part of their DPA Seminar Series, presented an update on their research findings and recent fieldwork. The recordings of these presentations can be watched online: [Humans and deltas: Defining evolutionary pathways|], Amy Welch [A visit to India to explore the natural and anthropogenic drivers of fish production across the Chilika Lagoon|], Gregory Cooper [Using mixed-methods research to characterise livelihoods in tropical deltas: on the use of qualitative fieldwork for quantitative modelling|], Tristan Berchoux The [Abstracts|] can also be viewed.

Posted 2016-06-02 11:10:18 by Jon Lawn

DECCMA researchers participate in Adaptation Futures 2016

DECCMA researchers participate in Adaptation Futures 2016

Five DECCMA researchers made oral or poster presentations at the Adaptation Futures 2016 conference, held from 10-12th May in Rotterdam, whilst other consortium members also attended. Adaptation Futures is the biennial conference of the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). It has developed a reputation as the largest forum for scholars, practitioners, policy-makers and business people from around the world to discuss emerging theory and practice in adaptation. In this fourth edition of Adaptation Futures more emphasis was placed on encouraging private sector and practitioner participation. Dr Colette Mortreux from the University of Exeter presented [‘The political economy of climate change-induced resettlement’|], reflecting findings from DECCMA’s work package 3 on migration; whilst Dr Sugata Hazra from Jadavpur University presented a poster on ‘Migration as an adaptation to climate change in the Mahanadi Delta’. Reflecting research undertaken as part of work package 6 on adaptation, Professor Rezaur Rahman presented [‘Climate change adaptation policies and practices in the delta region of Bangladesh’|]. Speaking on the value of the conference, Professor Rahman highlighted a presentation he attended on ecosystem-based adaptation in Denmark where payment for ecosystem services has been developed to counteract issues of flooding. ‘So far we haven’t implemented any systems of payment for ecosystem services in Bangladesh’, he said, ‘but it seems that this would be a useful adaptation instrument to explore further.’ Atikul Islam, from Khulna University in Bangladesh, also presented under theme of ecosystems and ecosystem-based adaptation with a paper on [‘Ecosystem-based shrimp aquaculture as an adaptation option in southwest Bangladesh’|] Dr Katharine Vincent from Kulima Integrated Development Solutions participated in a [roundtable organised by the Adaptation Committee|]. The Adaptation Committee is the overall advisory body on adaptation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – who used the opportunity of the gathering to hold their annual Adaptation Forum with the theme ‘Adaptation under the UNFCCC after the Paris Agreement’. Dr Vincent provided some inputs to the discussion with a presentation on ‘What can be done to effectively and efficiently recognise the adaptation efforts that have been undertaken by developing countries?’ The fifth Adaptation Futures conference will take place in 2018 in Cape Town.

Posted 2016-06-02 10:45:19 by Katharine Vincent

Job Opportunity; DECCMA Research into Use Coordinator

The DECCMA project is recruiting for a Research into Use Coordinator to be based at the University of Southampton. For more details view the advert: Closing date for applications: 21 April 2016

Posted 2016-03-24 13:03:20 by J. Lawn

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