Local climate change impact: societal perceptions of risk vulnerabilities and adaptation
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In terms of the Kansas City metropolitan area, there is a need to look at climate change and try to limit and modify various practices in order to further understand and mitigate climate change issues. To comprehend climate change issues, it is necessary to identify the overall problem. For the purpose of this research, focus groups were established in various sectors in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The sectors included: agriculture, transportation, health, water, energy, land use, and commerce. Local stakeholders were identified for each sector and invited to participate in panel discussions. It is our goal that the input from each focus group will provide an extensive background on how each stakeholder views climate change, along with perceptions of risk, vulnerabilities, and adaptation. This information should prove vital in comprehending the effects of climate change. The debate on climate change has primarily relied upon global data and draws global climate change implications. Solutions to human caused acceleration of climate changes must be locally based - driven by local organizations and individuals. This study is based on local data of climate variability impacts with the intention to create tools and methods that provide solutions and recommendations for business planning and local public policy. This approach to regional climate science is based on a matrix of likely scenarios for the region's future; potential directions that our local economy, social structures and environment will take relative to climate change issues. We use targeted focus groups and case studies to (1) gain a better understanding of the sensitivities of different goods, services, and practices within major social and economic sectors to current climate variability and hazards; (2) quantify the risk that the natural environment poses for citizen stakeholders, the business community and craft means to prepare for and adapt to the expected changes; (3) determine critical process/resource specific environmental thresholds or non-linearities that have particular economic implications by ranking vulnerabilities under different scenarios, and (4) provide feedback to the political sector on actions that public and private sector resource managers must take to prepare for the climatological scenarios.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Stakeholder results -- Discussion -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. IRB approval letter -- Appendix B. Sample questionnaire -- Appendix C. Matrix of likely scenarios