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View: Abstract

Assessing regional impacts and adaptation strategies for climate change: The Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment

Miles, E.L., M.M. Elsner, J.S. Littell, L.C. Whitely Binder, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2010. Assessing regional impacts and adaptation strategies for climate change: The Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment. Climatic Change 102(1-2): 9-27, doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9853-2.

Abstract

Climate change in the twenty-first century will strongly affect the processes that define natural and human systems. The Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment (WACCIA) was intended to identify the nature and effects of climate change on natural and human resources in Washington State over the next century. The assessment focused on eight sectors that were identified as being potentially most climate sensitive: agriculture, energy, salmon, urban stormwater infrastructure, forests, human health, coasts, and water resources. Most of these sectors are sensitive in one way or another to water availability. While water is generally abundant in the state under current climate conditions, its availability is highly variable in space and time, and these variations are expected to change as the climate warms. Here we summarize the results of the WACCIA and identify uncertainties and common mechanisms that relate many of the impacts. We also address cross-sectoral sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies.