3B.5 The effects of global climate change on the landscape: the role of landscape architecture in adaptation strategies

Monday, 18 July 2011: 4:30 PM
Swannanoa (Asheville Renaissance)
Michael J. Brewer, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and M. McGuirk and D. Tuch
Manuscript (309.1 kB)

The impacts of climate change have been observed throughout the nation and worldwide. Climate change is altering the water cycle, affecting where, when, and how much water is available. Extreme weather events such as drought and heavy precipitation, which are expected to increase as climate changes, can significantly impact water resources including surface water quality and groundwater storage. Increases in air temperature are causing a rise in sea level, reducing snow cover, and melting glaciers. These changes will affect water supply, water quality, human health, and many aspects of the natural environment.

Climate information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be presented that identifies projected changes throughout the US including key regional areas on water resources, energy, transportation, agriculture, and ecosystems. Providing access to relevant climate information is essential to understanding how weather patterns and climate trends influence the landscape, and to developing appropriate planning and design solutions by employing response and adaptation strategies.

The role of landscape architects in applying adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change will be discussed and include: stormwater management, natural resources, development patterns, green infrastructure and plant selection. Climate change will have an impact on these core areas in which landscape architects can make significant contributions to help craft design, planning, and management solutions that can sequester carbon and help communities and regions adapt to climate change.

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