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Kettle N.P.,Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy | Kettle N.P.,Alaska Climate Science Center | Dow K.,University of South Carolina
Environment and Behavior | Year: 2014

This study examines support for climate adaptation planning and the role of perceived risk, uncertainty, and trust on adaptation of U.S. coastal communities. This assessment is based on the analysis of web-based questionnaires (n = 137) among state, local, and non-government organization (NGO) planners in Alaska, Florida, and Maryland. Ordinal regression and correlation analysis were used to assess which factors are related to support for adaptation during two planning stages. Findings from this study suggest the influence of perceived risk, uncertainty, and trust on support for climate change adaptation (CCA) varies across two stages of adaptation planning (support for the development of plans and willingness to allocate human and financial resources to implement plans). The disaggregation of planning entities into different study areas and levels of management revealed significant differences in the relationship between perceived risk, uncertainty, and trust and support for CCA planning. These findings have implications for the design of communication and engagement strategies. © 2014, © 2014 SAGE Publications.

Kettle N.P.,Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy | Kettle N.P.,Alaska Climate Science Center | Dow K.,University of South Carolina
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

Climate change adaptation (CCA) planning is an iterative process involving numerous actors and institutions at multiple levels of governance. This study investigates how cross-level differences may be a potential barrier or enabler of adaptation activities. It focuses on five potentially divisive issues: the level support for adaptation planning, adaptation goals, preferences among adaptation strategies, the desired role for the state vis a vis local leadership/control in supporting adaptation, and elements to include state level adaptation plans. The analysis is based on 138 questionnaires from coastal planners (local, state, and NGO) in Alaska, Florida, and Maryland. Findings reveal topics of agreement and disagreement in CCA planning across levels of management and study areas. State and NGO planners are significantly more likely than local planners to favor near-term planning activities and allocation of resources. This mismatch in timing is a potential barrier for adaptation. There were also significant differences in priorities motivating the development of plans among state, local, and NGO planners, though some differences may provide opportunities for the negotiation of planning priorities that have positive synergies. Although most planners indicated the state should play some role in local-level CCA planning, local planners desired a significantly lower level of involvement - a key threshold difference that represents the common and long-standing tension between state-level regulation and the desire for local control. The high proportion of all planners who have started to consider the development of CCA strategies and the desire for state-level adaptation plans to include support for risk and vulnerability assessments highlight potential synergies and opportunities to increase adaptive capacity and implement adaptation strategies. Few differences were detected among preferences for adaptation options. Analysis across multiple study areas provides additional insight into the stability and variation of cross-level differences. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Kettle N.P.,Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy | Dow K.,University of South Carolina
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning | Year: 2015

Abstract: Coastal planners' expectations of climate change play an important role in their assessment of potential risks, vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies. This paper assesses coastal planners' expectations of climate change and compares their estimates to widely referenced climate science projections. It focuses on assessing expectations of the magnitude and uncertainty of global temperature and sea-level change by 2030 and the likelihood of four climate change impacts by the mid-to-late twenty-first century. A web-based questionnaire (n = 137) was used to elicit coastal planner expectations of climate change in three coastal states (Alaska, Florida, and Maryland) across three levels of management (local, state, and non-government organizations). Findings indicate that over half of the planners were unsure of the magnitude of global temperature and sea-level rise (SLR). Among those who responded, planner estimates of the magnitude and uncertainty of global temperature and SLR are higher than climate science projections reviewed in this research. Roughly 80% of all participants believed that each of the four climate impacts were at least ‘more likely than not' to occur. We discuss the consequences of these expectations for how climate risk, vulnerability, and adaptation are managed and suggest pathways for aligning expectations and facilitating adaptation. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Lackstrom K.,University of South Carolina | Kettle N.P.,Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy | Haywood B.,University of South Carolina | Dow K.,University of South Carolina
Weather, Climate, and Society | Year: 2014

This paper analyzes the information dissemination pathways that support climate-sensitive decisions inNorth and South Carolina. The study draws from over 100 online questionnaires and follow-up interviews with leaders in the forestry, natural resources management, planning and preparedness, tourism and recreation, and water supply management sectors. Participants represented subregions within each state, different types of organizations, and organizations working at different geographic scales. The cross-sector comparison demonstrates diverse information uses acrossmultiple time horizons and a wide range of sector-specific needs and factors that influence how and where decision makers obtain climate information. It builds upon previous research regarding climate decision making by providing a comprehensive view of the patterns of information exchange within a given region. Although all sectors draw from a common pool of federal agencies for historical and current climate data, participants consider sector-specific and local sources to be their key climate information providers. Information obtained through these sources is more likely to be trusted, accessible, and relevant for decisionmaking. Furthermore, information sharing is largely facilitated via subregional networks, and accessing relationships with colleagues and local agency personnel is a critical component of this process. This study provides a more nuanced understanding of how climate information use varies across sectors and time frames and the decentralized nature of existing networks. These findings have important implications for future efforts to provide climate decision support to state- and local-level decision makers and highlight the need for networks and processes that meet diverse regional and sector concerns and contexts. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.

Haywood B.K.,University of South Carolina | Brennan A.,Carolinas Integrated science and Assessments | Dow K.,University of South Carolina | Kettle N.P.,Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy | Lackstrom K.,University of South Carolina
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning | Year: 2014

North and South Carolina have experienced considerable land-use change, urban sprawl and environmental management challenges within the past 30 years that have amplified and interacted with growing impacts from climate variability and change. However, with strong conservative majorities in the legislatures of both states, political tension around the issue of climate change has intensified, increasing the need for sensitive and deliberate climate change response strategies that mainstream action into salient areas of public concern. With data from online questionnaires and interviews with over 100 leaders within the Carolinas, this research explores a number of context-specific socio-ecological factors that influence climate change response activities and the mainstreaming process. Additionally, this study highlights how a key component of mainstreaming climate response action in the Carolinas involves the careful use of public communication frames. As such, mainstreamed climate change response within this region of the USA is often aligned publicly with other relevant areas of concern, not referenced or communicated as climate change response. Focusing on the process of mainstreaming provides a salient opportunity to bridge literatures around the concepts of mainstreaming and communication framing while analysing pathways by which climate change response activities are initiated, developed and enacted. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

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