SCAN's Initiatives and Assessments
SCAN works in partnership with a network of practitioners, scientists, government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses. SCAN's goal is not to take on projects independently, but add to the existing capacity of organizations involved in this work. As a result, all of the projects below are jointly occurring with or through these partnerships. This page is just getting going and will be updated frequently!
Assessing Climate Information Based on its Use
Typically climate information is evaluated based on its 'quality' (does it represent the real climate system well [accuracy], or is it objective and unbiased). And often climate assessments focus on our understanding of how the climate works and what impacts it may produce under different future scenarios.
However, rarely do we evaluate climate information based on how we need or intend to use it. For example, what climate information is more or less useful for flood management or for building design? How do we use scenarios for those purposes and how do we understand 'quality' in these cases. The ultimate goal of this project is to better assist practitioners in a range of circumstances better decide what climate information meets their needs.
This project is joining forces with the Aspen Global Change Institute to host a series of initial, virtual workshops to design how we might usefully evaluate climate information for use in planning and implementation of climate action.
SCAN has been working with partners to develop and launch a coastal resilience 'community of practice'. Dr. Richard Moss, while a Fellow at the Andlinger Center at Princeton University, has been working with a coastal adaptation and assessment advisory committee to develop a project that will engage both practitioners and scientists. The goal is to better specify information needs related to coastal inundation and to evaluate use of modeling and scenarios that integrates sea level rise, surge/wave action, local and inland storm precipitation/runoff, and other factors that affect the feasibility of current land use and settlement patterns. The team has been invited to submit a full proposal for part of the project to NOAA.
This project is awaiting final word for funding by the US Department of the Interior/Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and is joint with the University of Arizona. More details soon!
Independent Advisory Report on Sustaining Assessment
This project concluded in 2019 and resulted in national guidance on broadening and sustaining climate assessment so that it might serve a broader array of stakeholders with credible and usable information. The reports resulting from this work are below. See also the 'History of SCAN' page on this site:
Full Report: 'Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action' (published in Weather, Climate and Society)
Brief Report 'A Framework for Sustained Assessment in the United States' (published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society)
Article on the initiation of SCAN: ' Bridging the Gap with the Science for Climate Action Network' (in EOS Magazine, a publication of the American Geophysical Union).
Process of Assessment Working Group
SCAN has been working as part of an informal group beginning to assess the variety of climate assessment activities and approaches for cities, states, regions and beyond. There is a limited amount of guidance for states and cities to consider their options and make decisions for how to conduct assessments and what information resources to rely on. SCAN intends to be part of providing more resources for those looking to conduct sub-national scale assessments.
On May 20th and 27th, 2020, SCAN and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosted a two-part meeting on Exploring Economic Competitiveness in a Changing Climate: Emerging Considerations for Cities.” Participants from local government and industry shared perspectives and experiences on how climate change can impact cities’ economic competitiveness.
A industry panel that included Nora Wittstruck and Paul Munday from S&P Global Ratings, Katharine Burgess, from the Urban Land Institute, and Greg Lowe, from Aon was followed up by breakout sessions on real estate, tax bases, and bond ratings. And on the second day of the workshop, city representatives discussed how their communities have taken a proactive role in managing climate risk to increase competitiveness. A panel discussion included Andria McClellan from the City of Norfolk, Daniel Hamilton from the, City of Oakland, and Chris Castro, City of Orlando.
Many issues were raised during the workshop, including data needs to inform ratings agencies, the concerns of lending institutions of physical exposure to underinsured assets, and the benefits and difficulties of properly pricing climate risk in real estate. A full summary of the workshop will be forthcoming and we’ll link to it here next month.
C2ES is conducting research on this topic that will incorporate input from this workshop. When the outcomes of the research are published in a few months, we will share it here as well. SCAN is planning to co-host follow-up discussions to explore priority topics around competitiveness, adaptation financing, and climate assessment needs
'Citizen-' or 'community science' refers to public participation in the scientific process, usually in an open collaboration. Community roles can include large-scale data collection, local contextualization of data, quality assessment and assurance, and co-creation of research questions and projects. There is enormous potential for 'real world' community science to lend innovative and broad-scale applied knowledge to the climate challenges of adaptation and mitigation. SCAN, with its partners, has done fairly extensive investigation into the potential for community science to expand and improve applied climate assessment with the goal of improving information quality and utility for practitioners. SCAN hopes to share early insight via articles in the near future.