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Class 11 - Climate Change Impacts.docx

Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENV 1101
Sonia Wesche

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Climate Change Impacts & Adaptations
Vulnerability to Climate Change
Vulnerability: potential for harm or loss
Is a function of:
The nature of the physical changes to which a population is exposed
The sensitivity of that population to climatic variability and change
The adaptive capacity of that population
Vulnerability to Climate Change
Vulnerability (V) = potential for harm or loss
V = f (E, S, A)
E = exposure
S = sensitivity
A = adaptive capacity
Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The exposure and sensitivity are similar for Holland and Bangladesh
The adaptive capacity of Holland is very different from Bangladesh
What is Climategate?
In 2009, hackers stole emails from accounts of scientists at University of East
Anglia, some of which were later posted to the internet
The released emails give impression that some scientists were actively conspiring
to refute the arguments of critics of climate science (commonly described as
„skeptics‟), maybe even manipulating data to achieve particular results
Why the Fuss?
UEA is an important centre for climate research, and several of these scholars are
leaders in the field
Fundamental tenets of good science are that the research must be replicable,
results should not be manipulated to achieve particular ends
Emails give impression scientists may have had ulterior motives
The story emerged just before the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009
Developments Since Climategate
Independent studies of the research in question have been conducted in the UK
and the US (at Penn State U)
No evidence has yet been found of any manipulation of research methods or
results; the research in question all appears sound
No one has been charged with the data theft
The blogosphere and conspiracy theorists are having great fun
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