Of Climate Change Causes, Impacts On Urban Areas
By Tiffany L. Rider - Assistant Editor
October 8, 2013 – With more than half of the world’s population living in urban centers – many located in coastal or delta areas – a new assessment of climate change impacts may be beneficial to urban planners in the greater Long Beach area.
That’s according to Tom Bowman, owner of Bowman Design Group and local climate science communications expert. He’s been invited to join the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), a group of some 500 researchers in cities around the world focused on addressing the causes and effects of climate change.
Bowman will work with an expert team over the next two years to produce a report with actionable items so cities can prepare for vulnerabilities like storm surge floods and heat waves.
Over the next two years, local climate science communications expert Tom Bowman,
owner of Signal Hill-based Bowman Design Group, will work with the Urban Climate Change Research Network
to produce an assessment on the private sector’s role in adapting to climate change.
Organizations and urban planners across the nation – including those in the greater Long Beach area
– may use the report as a reference on food, water and energy systems, transportation,
private finance, governance and economics. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)
“There’s a lot of opportunity here,” Bowman told the Business Journal. “A big part of this isn’t just an assessment of issues. It’s also a set of vetted, carefully written case studies from all over the world about things that are working in different sectors. So what the port is doing in Long Beach might be a case study. What Santa Monica did early on with green building codes and green business recognition might be a case study.”
At a recent, three-day workshop, Bowman gathered with urban climate change experts and other stakeholders from around the globe to figure out ways to engage city officials to make cities more resistant to climate change impacts in the future. “It’s time to start organizing some meetings with people in the city about what the potential is for this,” he said.
UCCRN was founded by Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York City. This is the second report by UCCRN, and the first produced with an interest in private sector impacts. Issues to be addressed in the report are economics, private finance, governance, transportation and food, water and energy systems.
“Cities, not central national governments, already lead the action on responding to climate change,” Rosenzweig said in a statement. “Our job is to help by providing the strongest possible physical and social science information and state-of-the-art knowledge so cities can prepare for rising temperatures and changing patterns of extreme weather events and soften their impacts when they hit.”
The assessment is slated for publication in 2015. For more information, visit www.uccrn.org.