Session 13B Cities and Megacities: Climate Variability, Change, and Extremes

Thursday, 10 January 2019: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
North 122BC (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Host: 32nd Conference on Climate Variability and Change
Margaret Hurwitz, Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, MD and Shanna N. McClain, NASA, Disasters Program, Washington, DC

Imbalances among geography, ecology, economy, society and institutions are compromising the future sustainability of cities. Rapid demographic growth, economic expansion, and the increasing environmental footprint of cities have triggered dynamics that institutions are unable to manage effectively. There are now more than 37 megacities – cities with populations of more than 10 million inhabitants – and more than half of urban populations are concentrated in cities with at least one million inhabitants. Furthermore, most cities are located in areas highly vulnerable to disasters, with cities in less-developed regions both at higher risk of exposure to disaster and more vulnerable to disaster-related economic losses and mortality. There is a pressing need for new tools and integrated approaches that strengthen city governance to reduce disaster risk and protect human, economic, and environmental assets. Earth observation data has emerged as an important resource for monitoring environmental hazards, quantifying risk and providing complex visualizations on the interconnectedness of populations, key infrastructure, and climate-related processes. For example, new research and tools are using remote sensing imagery to delineate human settlements as well as the locations of critical infrastructure, e.g., roads, highways, bridges. Thus, Earth observations are helping city decision-makers to address disaster risk and develop long-term plans in a consistent and systematic way. This session will explore how Earth observations are being applied at the city scale, particularly when they are integrated with information about the cities’ economic, physical and social systems. Specifically, the session will examine how remote sensing and geospatial data, and Earth system modeling, can enhance local organizations' planning and operations. This session is seeking submissions that consider the following: 1)      Methods for advancing the application of Earth observation data, models and tools for the benefit of cities at short-term (e.g., air quality, water quality, disaster response) and longer-term scales (e.g., infrastructure planning, transportation policy); 2)      Research combining data, models, and methods derived from both social science and physical science to highlight the interlinkages between these systems and improve understanding of vulnerability and exposure within cities; and 3)      Examples of programmatic and technical approaches that build predictive capacity within city institutions and local networks by harnessing Earth observations.

10:30 AM
The NASA–Rio de Janeiro Partnership: Enhancing Rio de Janeiro’s Climate Resilience and Environmental Monitoring
Margaret Hurwitz, Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, MD; and D. Kirschbaum and F. Mandarino

10:45 AM
High-Resolution Climate Simulations of the Arabian Peninsula for Regional Sustainability Studies
Muge Komurcu, MIT, Cambridge, MA; and C. A. Schlosser, I. S. Alshehri, T. Alshahrani, W. Alhayaza, and A. AlSaati

11:00 AM
11:15 AM
Simulating Personal Heat Exposure in Cities with the ICARUS Model
David M. Hondula, Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ; and M. Chester, A. Middel, A. Fraser, D. Eisenman, C. G. Hoehne, L. E. Watkins, K. Gerster, and J. Grotts
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