Welcome to the Third Nordic International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation 2014 to be held on August 25 – 27, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Hotel Scandic Sydhavnen. The conference is a follow-up to the highly successful conferences in Stockholm (2010) and Helsinki (2012) and aims to bring together scientists, practitioners and policy-makers with a particular interest in the Nordic region.
As highlighted in consecutive reports from the IPCC, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that anthropogenic climate change is taking place and the chances are high that future climate is going to change even more than what has already been realised. Impacts of changes over recent decades are likewise visible throughout the Nordic region, manifested e.g. through observed changes in the hydrological cycle, reductions in sea ice cover, lengthening growing seasons and the occurrence and strength of heavy rain events. Adaptation to these changes is already high on the agenda in the Nordic and international societies. However, science is providing new information on changes and their consequences, which calls for a wider dialogue to enable adjustments of already initiated adaptation plans as well as providing the baseline knowledge for future initiatives.
The conference “Adapting to Change: From Research to Decision-making” – like its two predecessors – seeks to advance existing common ground between scientists, practitioners and decision-makers and establish new ways forward for informed adaptation. The conference is targeted at scholars as well as private and public practitioners and decision-makers at strategic and operational levels and across a wide range of disciplines and sectors. This includes researchers and professionals within the fields of climate change, climate change impacts and adaptation, students, regional and local planners, business strategists and risk managers and policy-makers as well as representatives of NGO’s and Nordic/international organizations.
The Third Nordic International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation hereby invites papers for oral and poster presentations. Contributions are cordially invited to any of the sub-topics mentioned under each of the four main themes listed below.
IPCC AR5 – So now what?
By April 2014, the IPCC will have released its three Working Group Reports, which contribute to its Fifth Assessment (AR5). A final contribution to the AR5, the IPCC Synthesis Report, will be approved here in Copenhagen later in 2014. Some of the new knowledge that could be invaluable for informing climate change adaptation includes information on:
- Climate predictability
- Observations and attribution of changing climate and impacts
- Emergent risks and key vulnerabilities
- Impacts on human and natural systems
- Sectoral and regional adaptation
- Adaptation and mitigation linkages
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Climate sensitivity
Mainstreaming implementation strategies may well be the key for adapting to a changing climate. Facilitating adaptation decision-making and implementation of social and technical adaptation options involves both the private and public sectors and will require bridging the gaps of different disciplines and areas. Innovation is also likely to be an important driver for adaptation. Some of the key issues in this theme include:
- Adaptation and the private sector
- Policy development and implementation
- Towards best practices
- Assessment of impact response risks and opportunities
- Climate & weather services, in safety technology, in education/public information, etc.
- Embracing uncertainties
- Cross-cutting issues in adaptation
Limits and opportunities
Adaptation strategies have limitations but will also provide new opportunities. Defining and implementing strategies aiming at optimizing adaptation to a changing climate in a flexible, sustainable and timely manner is highly relevant. Important factors influencing the implementation of adaptation are:
- Limits to technologies
- Time scales of interest /urgency for adaptation
- Adaptive implementation of policies and measures, robust decision-making strategies
- Economic incentives and costs of adaptation
- Balancing physical uncertainty and societal development
- Smart adaptation
- Building resilience
- Shift of paradigms
Low probability /high impact
There is general acknowledgement of the potential importance of climate change impacts on businesses and operations, in particular when it comes to low-probability, high-impact events like storms or floods. Yet incorporating this knowledge into today’s adaptation plans are severely impeded by e.g. a limited understanding of the uncertainties and a poor understanding of how to translate climate information into value chains for different sectors. Examples of issues in this theme are:
- Risk aversion and societal preferences as a driver of adaptation
- The cost of no-action
- Risk management as a decision-making tool
- Extreme climate events
- High-end emission scenarios
- Managing concurrent hazards
Why you should attend?
Visit Copenhagen and meet with professionals, including top level researchers, decision makers and representatives of the business sector. Participate in discussions about what is new on agendas for research and decision-making concerning climate change impacts, risks, and adaptation. You will get an opportunity to present and discuss your work, and special sessions will facilitate an open dialogue on key conclusions and uncertainties that are emerging from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Like its predecessors, the conference aims to provide an overview of current state-of-the-art within the area of climate change adaptation and to establish a forum for researchers, practitioners and decision-makers to meet and share ideas and experiences. Key-note speakers will include several IPCC AR5 Lead Authors.
The Scientific Committee consists of:
- Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen (chair) (DK)
- Jens Christian Refsgaard (co-chair) (DK)
- Kirsten Halsnæs (co-chair) (DK)
- Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen (DK)
- Timothy Carter (FIN)
- Tore Furevik (N)
- Michael Goodsite (DK)
- Aslak Grindsted (DK)
- Anja Skjoldborg Hansen (DK)
- Grete Hovelsrud (N)
- Niels Philip Jensen (DK)
- Sirkku Juhola (FIN)
- Sigrun Karlsdottir (IS)
- Halldór Björnsson (IS)
- Richard Klein (S)
- Henrik Madsen (DK)
- Anil Markandya (E)
- Jørgen E. Olesen (DK)
- Adrian Perrels (FIN)
- John Porter (DK)
- Markku Rummukainen (S)
- Hans von Storch (D)