Climate Brown Bag
At the February Climate Brown Bag, Rob Lempert of the RAND Corporation will discuss "Climate Vulnerability and Response Option Analysis for Water Managers:
A New Approach to Assessing and Communicating the Uncertainty"
Thursday, February 26, 2009
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
IoE Large Conference Room
La Kretz Hall 300A
Climate change presents water managers with a difficult planning challenge because the speed, characteristics, and seriousness of future changes remain deeply uncertain. This talk will present results of a series of analyses and workshops where we have used: i) down-scaled climate and other information to identify the vulnerabilities of agencies' water management plans and to assess options for reducing those vulnerabilities and ii) survey methods and laboratory psychology experiments to evaluate the best means to communicate actionable, yet uncertain, information to the policy-makers and stakeholders involved with water planning. The analysis employs Robust Decision Making (RDM) methods, a new quantitative decision- analytic approach for supporting decision under conditions of deep uncertainty, in which we use simulation models to assess the performance of agency plans over thousands of plausible futures, identify those futures where the plans fail to perform adequately, use cluster finding algorithms to summarize these vulnerable futures in a small number of policy-relevant scenarios, and use these scenarios to help decision makers understand the vulnerabilities of their plans and assess the options for ameliorating these vulnerabilities. We are currently working with several large U.S. water agencies to help integrate this approach to climate vulnerability and response option analysis into their planning and to help communicate the results to their constituencies. This RDM approach may also provide a useful decision framework for evaluating the response to a wide range of uncertain impacts of climate change.
Rob Lempert is a senior scientist at RAND and an expert in science and technology policy, with a special interest in climate change, energy, and the environment. Dr. Lempert is a leading developer of robust decisionmaking approaches to policy problems characterized by deep uncertainty. He has led studies on climate change policy; long-term policy analysis, and science and technology investment strategies for clients such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and a variety of multinational firms.
Dr. Lempert earned his B.A.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Lempert was a member of the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Sponsor(s): Center for Climate Change Solutions