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Climate adaptation planning to aid state, municipal, tribal, and federal governmental decision makers in Oklahoma

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Climate adaptation planning to aid state, municipal, tribal, and federal governmental decision makers in Oklahoma
Washington State Convention Center
Renee A. McPherson, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and M. A. Shafer, J. E. Hocker, and R. E. Butterworth

Poster PDF (7.8 MB)

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) hosted a half-day meeting on planning for climate change, held at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK, on December 10, 2009. The goal of the meeting was to frame high-level needs for climate variability and climate change information and establish future directions for an integrated planning effort.

During this climate adaptation kick-off meeting, OCS and SCIPP provided an overview of climate change and potential impacts on Oklahoma, and obtained substantial feedback from participants regarding how climate affects their organization and its mission. The feedback helped to define the needs for information, research, products, and training, and formed a basis for a draft climate adaptation planning document for Oklahoma.

Meeting participants included representatives from state and federal agencies, municipal governments, tribes, and universities. In particular, almost one-third of the sovereign tribal nations that reside within Oklahoma participated in December's kick-off meeting. Future meetings will be held to engage other agencies, tribes, and cities, as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations. Future efforts are being supported in part by a special project funded by the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program through SCIPP as part of the next U.S. National Assessment on climate change. As part of that project, climate information and planning needs in Oklahoma will be cross-compared to a similar needs assessment effort being conducted along a portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast (Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi).

As a direct result of the meeting OCS drafted a report on climate adaptation planning for Oklahoma. Elements of the document include an overview of Oklahoma climate (including weather extremes), current understanding of global climate change and projected impacts in the southern Great Plains, Oklahoma-specific impacts by sector (e.g., agriculture, transportation, water resources), and general guidelines for adaptation planning. A major emphasis of the document was to summarize IPCC, USGCRP, and other relevant resources in the context of decision makers who affect resources within the geographical boundary of Oklahoma.

This presentation will provide an overview of the current status of climate adaptation planning in Oklahoma, including its many challenges.