A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay (2010 External Review Draft)
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Climate change is a global phenomenon that is affecting natural and human systems in all parts of the world. Some of the decisions and actions taken to manage these systems are likely to be affected by climate change and may likewise affect the vulnerability of the managed resource or ecosystem to climate change. Maintaining or improving the health of resources, as articulated in many management goals, means maximizing the effectiveness of existing management practices. Maximizing effectiveness of practices will not only include understanding the magnitude of potential impacts, but also understanding the effects of climate change on specific practices and their performance.
The goal of this study is to formalize an approach to inventory and analyze management decisions in order to produce useful information targeted toward effective adaptation to climate change. We began by: (1) selecting a study area and compiling a list of key decisions (2) developing criteria for evaluating the climate-relevance of decisions; (3) applying the criteria to select decisions that are potentially sensitive to climate change; (4) soliciting expert judgment regarding those selections (and refine the selections accordingly); and (5) testing alternative weighting schemes for prioritizing decisions most in need of decision support or additional research based on the selected attributes.
We selected the Chesapeake Bay as the subject area for the pilot study because decision making occurs at several levels (e.g., state, multi-state, EPA, other federal agencies), management is concerned with both water quality and aquatic ecosystem decisions, and decisions that affect actions implemented on the ground are readily identifiable. The test of our theoretical approach revealed that in practice, it provides useful information on adaptation measures for local decision makers and direction for fruitful research endeavors that will further improve our provision of information.
|Aug 2008||EPA conducted an internal review of the document.|
|Sept 2009||EPA initiated a peer consolutation of the document.|
|Aug 2010||EPA released the external review draft report for a 60-day public peer review and comment period. [Federal Register Aug 31, 2010]|
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