Newsletter: The New Normal

 

 

News and analysis on climate change adaptation.


Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions

Planning for Heat Waves: Heat and Social Equity in the United States


With an extreme snowstorm headed to the East Coast ready to wipe out early shoots and buds from February’s record-breaking heat, increasing variability in weather events is on the minds of many. To help with preparations for future heat events and understand the new normal, Four Twenty Seven has developed a tool to understand how heat vulnerability is increasing in the United States. This series of maps combine projections from global climate models with socioeconomic indicators of heat vulnerability to compare the complex and interconnected components of heat risk and resilience by county.

The maps feature a composite “Heat Vulnerability Score” indicator, created by Four Twenty Seven and peer-reviewed by CDC and NOAA, to identify vulnerable areas at the county level. This free tool can be used to discuss climate change impacts on public health with doctors, nurses and other professionals in the healthcare sector, to bolster to community engagement and long-term adaptation planning and is now featured on NOAA’s Climate Resilience Toolkit.

Mapping Climate Vulnerability in Denver

Extreme heat associated with changing climate conditions are expected to present challenges to human health through impacts such as heat stress. Working with Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, Four Twenty Seven developed a heat and Health Vulnerability Index and Story Map to illustrate the spatial patterns of vulnerability to extreme heat within the City of Denver. The interactive story map will help policymakers and community groups determine which areas and communities are most vulnerable and assess how the built environment, demographic factors, and elements of human health contribute to neighborhood-level vulnerabilities.

The Denver Department of Environmental Health will use the index and Story Map to evaluate neighborhood vulnerabilities, highlight how to reduce risks to vulnerable populations, and facilitate the integration of health and vulnerable populations into climate change priorities.

Protecting Against Risk to Climate Data Itself 

Starting with the White House website, the Trump administration is in the process of editing page content for multiple federal departments and agencies to remove references to climate change. This dismissive attitude towards climate change  most recently culminated by new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s false assertion that CO2 is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming in his first address to the agency. The same week, the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology Policy removed “science” from its mission statement.
Fearing for the datasets that support climate policy, a coalition of scientists and researchers has organized to rescue data from government websites. In February, analysts from Four Twenty Seven joined nearly 200 Bay Area open-data activists in a DataRefuge event at UC Berkeley. As a part of the larger nation-wide effort, the Berkeley event focused on NASA and DOE data, flagging over 8000 related webpages and backing-up many critical datasets.

Hottest. Year. Ever.

NOAA reported that in 2016, the record for the global average surface temperature was broken again. The global average of 58.69°F was the highest since recording began in 1880, or 1.69°F above the 20th century average. It was also the third year in a row that the record has been broken, and fifth year since the start of the century. So far, 2017 is seeing a continuation of the global warming trend with record-breaking heat in many part of the United States in February. (Image courtesy of Climate Central)

California Heat & Health Project

California's Fourth Climate Change AssessmentAs part of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, Four Twenty Seven is developing a tool to inform planning efforts to mitigate the public health impacts of extreme heat across the state.

In the first phase of this project, Four Twenty Seven conducted an extensive user needs assessment, summarized in a report, California Heat & Health Project: A Decision Support Tool. The report shows the challenges and limitations of emergency response to extreme heat, and finds that the greatest strides can be made through interventions planned well ahead of time, such as changes in the urban design and social programs. The tool will be released in the fall 2017.

Read the report: California Heat & Health Project: A Decision Support Tool

Webinar: Incorporating Climate Adaptation in Local Plans

March 29th at 10am PST

Register Today

Don’t miss the upcoming webinar discussing the requirements and timeline for the implementation of California’s Senate Bill 379, which calls on cities and counties to incorporate adaptation and resilience strategies into local hazard mitigation plans and the safety element of general plans. Director of Advisory Services Yoon Kim will join the panel to share replicable strategies and good practices from Four Twenty Seven’s work with six cities in Alameda County.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

  • March 29Webinar: Incorporating Climate Adaptation in Local Plans co-hosted with ARCCA. See above for details.
  • April 6-7: 6th Stranded Assets Forum, Waddesdon Manor, UK: Meet with CEO Emilie Mazzacurati to discuss the use of asset data to measure financial climate risk.
  • April 20: The ProAdapt Symposium, Washington, DC: Emilie Mazzacurati will join the symposium from the Inter-American Development Bank, “Climate Risk and Investment: Framing Private Challenges and Opportunities”.
  • April 20: UC Philomathia Forum, Berkeley, CA: Director of Finance Colin Shaw will join a panel on how startups are using data science to advance environmental sustainability.
  • April 26-27: Ceres Conference, San Francisco, CA: Meet Emilie Mazzacurati to learn more about Four Twenty Seven’s services for investors.
  • May 7-10Sustainatopia, San Francisco, CA: Emilie Mazzacurati will present on how investors approach the physical risks of climate change.
  • May 9-11: National Adaptation Forum, St. Paul, MN: Yoon Kim will present on a panel on Innovations in Adaptation Finance, and Aleka Seville will facilitate a pre-conference workshop to discuss findings on climate adaptation investing.
  • May 17-18: Women and the Environment, Santa Barbara, CA: Aleka Seville will present on the role of entrepreneurs in climate adaptation.
  • May 25: Silicon Valley Energy & Sustainability Summit, Redwood Shores, CA: Join Emilie Mazzacurati to discuss corporate climate risk and resilience strategies.

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