Decision-Scaling: A Decision Framework for DoD Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning (climate stress test)


General Information:

Author: University of Massachusetts, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), National Center for Atmospheric Research

Year of publication: 2016

Available languages: English  

Details of Assessment:

Type of assessment: Vulnerability assessment

Details: Multidimensional sensitivity analysis (pre-disaster risk assessment). The climate stress test is the term given to the multidimensional sensitivity analysis that is used to reveal the effects of possible climate changes, and other changes if desired, on the activity or system of interest.

Format of assessment: Report

Estimated costs for conducting: No information

Estimated duration of assessment: Expensive in computing time

To be carried out by whom: Consultants (climate experts)

Details: Software specialists who know how to handle for example the Energy Plus software or similar climate simulation software

Institutional scale of use: Local/community

Assesment to be used by which target audience: Multiple actors

Details: State level, local, regional decision makers. This research was done to guide investment decisions of Department of Defence (DoD) planners

Output: Report

Details: Scientific article including different figures mapping out different scales of impact of climatic changes on certain systems (risk models)


Coverage & Methodology:

Region of origin: North America

Developed by which sector: Science, State-run

Applied in practice: Yes

Geographic coverage in analysis: North America

Potential geographic coverage: Worldwide

Sectors covered: Infrastructure, Water sector, Financial sector, Not sector specific,

Details: Does not seem limited to these sectors

Method used: Other (see details)

Description of methodology: In this study the climate stress test approach was applied using a simple empirical representation of drought and fire risk based on KBDI-a sophisticated planning model, Energy Plus, and in the case of water resources assessment- a series of hydrologic models and water system models some of which were created for the purposes of the study

Risk framework used: No explicit use of risk framework

Risk components incorporated: Hazard, exposure, sensitivity

Hazards and impacts considered in the assessment: Drought, Flood, Wildfire

Source of required data: Primary (data has to be generated)

Details: Data is generated via running a multi-model ensemble of projections, how often simulations need to be run depends entiretly on the system and its inherent characteristics (some require inclusion of sptial and temporal variables, while other systems can be assessed using the mean conditions)

Temporal scale: Forward looking

Participatory elements: No

Details: No participation needed as the method is based on an algorithm the focus lays on running models and developing scenarios

Consideration of interconnectedness and -dependencies of risks: Yes

Details: Uses advanced rather than single variable sensitivtiy analysis. This means that it considers correlated behaviour of multiple variables. e.g. connection between temperature, precipitation and wind

Adressing uncertainty: Yes

Scope of assessment: Identification of risks, assessment of impacts, identification of adaptation options

Details: The anaylsis determines which adaptations can preserve performance metrics above their thresholds across the range of future scenarios

Relevance for losses and damages:

Economic/Non-Economic losses incorporated: Economic

Details: No clear mention of considerations of non eocnomic loss. Focus lays primarily on feasibility of adaptation option in term of finances and supply of basic goods such as water etc.

Applicability for entire risk spectrum (from extreme weather events to slow onset processes): Yes

Details: Considers EWE but also looks into SOE, espeically temperature rises


Recommendations for Adaptation measures included in Climate Risk Assessment: Yes

Details: Offers recommendations as part of each case study based on vulnerability assessment. Presents most vulerable points and what kind of infrastructure to invest in to ensure security

Usefulness for political purposes: Uses variety of performance indicators: environmental, drought, water supply indicators

Applied by whom: Used by Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)

Open access: Yes