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Autumn 2014
14 October to 7 November 2014

Postgraduate Courses on Building Resilience to Climate Change

Course I (2 credits)

Science, Impacts and Vulnerability

1. Introduction to the Programme

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Programme overview and philosophy
  • Context of the UNFCCC and IPCC
  • Structure, expectations and assessment
  • Group allocation and discussion of major research project

2. Weather, Climate and Atmospheric Processes

  • Fundamental concepts
  • Weather and climate mechanisms
  • Structure and composition of the atmosphere
  • General circulation of the atmosphere

3. Climate Change (UNFCCC, WMO)

  • Introduction to climate change
  • Greenhouse gases and aerosols
  • Carbon cycle
  • Fundamental principles of climate change
  • The oceans and climate change
  • Climate variability and change

4. Observed Climate Change and Impacts

  • Observation networks
  • Overview of climate change responses
  • Global and regional scale responses
  • Extreme events
  • Consequences of observed changes and extreme events

5. Scenarios for Future Impact Assessments

  • Introduction to scenario principles
  • IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES)
  • Introduction to Global Climate Models (GCMs)
  • GCM projections for impact assessments
  • Introduction to Regional Climate Models (RCMs)
  • RCM projections for regional and local impact assessments
  • Next-generation IPCC scenarios (5th Assessment Report)

6. Climate Projections & Uncertainty

  • Major sources of uncertainty in climate change projections
  • Concepts and practical examples: evaluating, quantifying and reducing uncertainty in climate projections
  • Issue of uncertainty in the wider context of natural variability

7. Selecting Appropriate Future Climate Predictions

  • Differences in model predictions
  • Multi-model ensembles
  • Bias correction
  • Weather generators from climate forecasts

8. Climate Change Impacts: Ecosystems

  • Concept of ecosystems services
  • Social, ecological and economic impacts of climate change and their interactions
  • Payment for ecosystem services and biodiversity

9. Climate Change Impacts: Water Sector

  • Climate change impacts on the water cycle
  • Flood discharge modification from climate change
  • Cost-benefit analysis of flood risk reduction measures
  • Conventional flood-control design and its alteration due to climate change

10. Climate Change Impacts: Food Security

  • Climate change impacts on food production
  • Quantifying food production changes due to weather changes
  • Adaptation measures for climate change impacts on food production
  • Cost-benefit analysis of adaptation measures

11. Climate Change Impacts: Extreme Events

  • Extreme events
  • Catastrophic disasters
  • Climate change modifications to extreme events and challenges
  • Reducing extreme even losses through adaptive practices

12. Assessing Climate Change Impacts: National and Regional Scales

  • Macro modelling of regional climate change impacts
  • Integrated models for climate change impact assessment
  • Assessing adaptation costs at national and regional scales


Course II (2 credits)

Approaches to Adaptation

1. Basic Understanding of Key Concepts

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Programme overview and philosophy
  • Context of the UNFCCC and IPCC
  • Structure, expectations and assessment
  • Group allocation and discussion of major research project

2.  Global and National Challenges

  • Security issues
  • Capacity and awareness issues
  • Policy processes and challenges
  • Problems at national and local levels
  • Local institutions
  • Local-level climate change adaptation

3.  Mitigation and Adaptation Practices and Resilience (Urban Areas)

  • Introduction: drivers of urban growth
  • Framing the problem in urban areas: social, cultural and economic aspects
  • Mitigation and adaptation options
  • Key constraints and measures
  • Case studies

4.  Mitigation and Adaptation Practices and Resilience  (Rural Areas)

  • Introduction
  • Mitigation options: engineering (hard) vs. ecological (soft) approaches, and socio-economic approaches
  • Adaptation options in various sectors
  • Adaptation strategies and re-adjustments
  • Local wisdom and indigenous technologies
  • Case studies

5. Adaptation in Practice (International Donors Context): Flood Disaster Risk Management

  • Introduction
  • What is happening in Japan
  • Flood risk management under a changing climate
  • Case studies

6. Adaptation in Practice: National Target Programme Development

  • Climate change observations
  • Greenhouse gas emission scenarios
  • Methods used for scenario development (GCM, dynamic downscaling, statistical downscaling, others)
  • Climate change scenarios and impact assessments
  • Institutional, budgetary and implementation challenges

7. Community Adaptation

  • Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA)
  • CVCA process and analysis
  • Participatory tools
  • Policy analysis

8. Community Engagement Practices

  • Steps in the adaptation process
  • Methodologies and principles of engaging communities
  • Participatory policy-making
  • Individual and collective participation and responsibilities
  • The ‘Yomenkaigi’ method for achieving consensus and strategic programmes for public participation

9.  Economics of Climate Change: Cost and Benefits Analysis

  • Basic economic principles
  • Putting a price on carbon
  • Uncertainties and assumptions
  • Market-based solutions: carbon markets (ETS) and carbon taxes

10. Economic Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Measures

  • Climate change parameters and potentially vulnerable system assets (flood and food production)
  • Integrated assessment of economic costs of climate change impacts and adaptation policies
  • Introduction to economic models used for assessing the impacts of climate change: e.g. Stern Review, AIM
  • Critical review of the framework, assumptions and value judgments of economic models

11. Global and National Policies on Financing Adaptation Strategies

  • International adaptation policy framework and financing
  • Role and impact of the Global Environment Facility
  • Assessment of past and existing adaptation projects
  • Co-benefits of adaptation and development
  • Mainstreaming adaptation into development planning


Applied Training

Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for environmental problem-solving

This training provides a basic understanding of the theory and application of use of RS and GIS as  tools for environmental problem-solving. Through practical hands-on experience with current environmental issues, students can obtain basic skills in spatial analysis and webmapping application development. GIS software will be used in this training.