Greenland ice sheet showing area experiencing at least one melt day at present (red)
You've seen the headlines besetting another News Corp publication? The Guardian feed covers the essentials: The new Times Atlas was ushered in with a press release that 15% of Greenland's ice sheet had disappeared in the past decade. John Vidal notes the publisher launching the atlas, saying "This is concrete evidence of how climate change is altering the face of the planet forever – and doing so at an alarming and accelerating rate", reiterated by a spokeswoman on Monday.
GCAP completed its second Adaptation Academy Foundation Course in Cape Town, South Africa. The course was a huge success and has helped shape the direction of the Academy and future courses. We are excited that we were able to connect with a great group of participants and look forward to the 2012 course.
Muriel, an Adaptation Analyst at GCAP, attended this course as both a participant and trainer. Here is what she had to say:
"Though the Adaptation Academy Foundation Course took place over a month ago, I still reflect on my experiences during the Course and the people I met. Throughout the Course, I deepened my understanding of methods to support practical and robust adaptation decisions; further expanding on the work I have done with GCAP since I started working a year ago.
Two longstanding champions, Bert Metz and Hartmut Grassl, have re-visited "Climate change: science and the precautionary principle" that analyses the interplay between science and politics on climate change over the last 25 years. Do take a look, a sobering reflection as the pace of scientific evidence has vastly outstripped real action.
I recently came across a pioneering study of vulnerability in Kenya. Below are the extracts from the summary, with brief reflections based on more recent work (notably our review of the economics of climate change adaptation and low carbon growth). The earlier study integrated methods common in climate impact assessment (as the field was known in the 1980s) with concepts and techniques related to food entitlement, human ecology and household economics. The vulnerability assessment related specifically to climatic variability and household food security in six districts of Central and Eastern Kenya.
Research question 1. How does climatic variability affect household food security based on on-farm agricultural production?
During severe drought, there is little households are able to do to meet their food requirements from on-farm production. However, in moderate drought, average, and good years there is remarkable potential for agricultural improvements, sufficient to meet most household food requirements. This potential is constrained by availability of labor and capital.
Reflection: Still holds. Yet, there is often the naïve assumption in climate change vulnerability assessments that on-farm food security is the driving issue, as seen in some studies (the crop-climate model based studies by IFPRI and ILRI stand out, particularly when compared with the more complete work on sustainable livelihoods by the FAO, and many others). Vulnerability was well-established in the Kenya study as being located in socio-economic factors (see below) rather than the direct causal impacts of adverse climate events, yields and household production. The study adopted the sense of risk (perhaps anticipating Beck) and anticipation of a sequence of seasons.