Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

RESEARCH ARTICLES: In Their Own Words: Perceptions of Climate Change Adaptation from the Great Lakes Region's Resource Management Community

  • Brian Petersen (a1), Kimberly R. Hall (a2), Katherine Kahl (a3) and Patrick J. Doran (a4)

Abstract

In response to observed and projected changes in climate, efforts to promote climate change adaptation to key stakeholder groups have been rapidly increasing. To help us understand the perceptions of resource managers in the Great Lakes region, we conducted a Web-based survey. We asked respondents to define climate change adaptation and to provide examples of both feasible and current adaptation actions. Responses from 441 individuals indicate that many did not have a clear, proactive concept of climate change adaptation. Only 74% provided a definition, and, of those, only 43% described adaptation as a proactive process. Nearly one third (30%) gave purely reactive descriptions, and 27% failed to convey the concept of intentionally responding to climate change impacts; half of these described climate change mitigation or evolutionary adaptation. Examples of feasible actions covered a range of current conservation practices and some adaptation-specific ideas (e.g., research on potential species' range shifts, managed relocation of species), along with such actions as updates to infrastructure. In comparison to feasible actions, actions identified as under way were biased toward early stages in adaptation, such as science and planning, increasing awareness, and capacity building. We suggest that targeted outreach can help catalyze movement from early-stage actions toward implementation of change: collaborative work with stakeholders to refine and customize the concept of adaptation and develop visions of successful adaptation is vital to the long-term conservation of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Environmental Practice 15:377–392 (2013)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Brian Petersen, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; (phone) 269-387-2716; (fax) 269-387-2272; (e-mail) brian.petersen@wmich.edu

References

Hide All
Adger, W.N., Agrawala, S., Mirza, M.M.Q., Conde, C., O'Brien, K., Pulhin, J., Pulwarty, R., Smit, B., and Takahashi, K.. 2007. Assessment of Adaptation Practices, Options, Constraints and Capacity. In Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Parry, M.L., Canziani, O.F., Palutikof, J.P., van der Linden, P.J. and Hanson, C.E., eds. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 717743. Available at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2chapter17.pdf.
Adger, W., Dessai, S., Goulden, M., Hulme, M., Lorenzoni, I., Nelson, D., Naess, L., Wolf, J., and Wreford, A.. 2009. Are There Social Limits to Adaptation to Climate Change? Climatic Change 93:335354.
Akerlof, K., and Maibach, E.W.. 2011. A Rose by Any Other Name … ? What Members of the General Public Prefer to Call “Climate Change.” Climatic Change 106(4):699710.
Akerlof, K., Maibach, E.W., Fitzgerald, D., Cedeno, A.Y., and Neuman, A.. 2013. Do People “Personally Experience” Global Warming, and If So How, and Does It Matter? Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 23(1):8191.
Allan, J.D., McIntyre, P.B., Smith, S.D.P., Halpern, B.S., Boyer, G.L., Buchsbaum, A., Burton, G.A., Campbell, L.M., Chadderton, W.L., Ciborowski, J.J.H., Doran, P.J., Eder, T., Infante, D.M., Johnson, L.B., Joseph, C.A., Marino, A.L., Prusevich, A., Read, J.G., Rose, J.B., Rutherford, E.S., Sowa, S.P., and Steinman, A.D.. 2013. Joint Analysis of Stressors and Ecosystem Services to Enhance Restoration Effectiveness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110(1):372377.
Austin, J.A., and Colman, S.M.. 2007. Lake Superior Summer Water Temperatures Are Increasing More Rapidly Than Regional Air Temperatures: A Positive Ice-Albedo Feedback. Geophysical Research Letters 34(6):L06604.
Austin, J.A., and Colman, S.M.. 2008. A Century of Warming in Lake Superior. Limnology and Oceanography 53(6):27242730.
Bardsley, D.K., and Sweeney, S.M.. 2010. Guiding Climate Change Adaptation within Vulnerable Natural Resource Management Systems. Environmental Management 45(5):11271141.
Baron, J.S., Gunderson, L., Allen, C.D., Fleishman, E., McKenzie, D., Meyerson, L.A., Oropeza, J., and Stephenson, N.. 2009. Options for National Parks and Reserves for Adapting to Climate Change. Environmental Management 44(6):10331042.
Bierbaum, R., Smith, J.B., Lee, A., Blair, M., Carter, L., Chapin_III, F.S., Fleming, P., Ruffo, S., Stults, M., McNeeley, S., Wasley, E., and Verduzco, L.. 2013. A Comprehensive Review of Climate Adaptation in the United States: More Than Before, But Less Than Needed. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 18(3):361406.
Desai, A.R., Austin, J.A., Bennington, V., and McKinley, G.A.. 2009. Stronger Winds Over a Large Lake in Response to Weakening Air-to-Lake Temperature Gradient. Nature Geoscience 2(12):855858.
Dobiesz, N.E., and Lester, N.P.. 2009. Changes in Mid-summer Water Temperature and Clarity across the Great Lakes between 1968 and 2002. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35(3):371384.
Doria, M.D., Boyd, E., Tompkins, E.L., and Adger, W.N.. 2009. Using Expert Elicitation to Define Successful Adaptation to Climate Change. Environmental Science & Policy 12(7):810819.
Ehrlich, P.R., and Pringle, R.M.. 2008. Where Does Biodiversity Go from Here? A Grim Business-as-Usual Forecast and a Hopeful Portfolio of Partial Solutions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105(Suppl. 1):1157911586.
Eisenack, K., Stecker, R., Reckien, D., and Hoffmann, E.. 2012. Adaptation to Climate Change in the Transport Sector: A Review of Actions and Actors. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 17(5):451469.
Franks Taylor, R., Derosier, A., Dinse, K., Doran, P., Ewert, D., Hall, K., Herbert, M., Khoury, M., Kraus, D., Lapenna, A., Mayne, G., Pearsall, D., Read, J., and Schroeder, B.. 2010, June. The Sweetwater Sea: An International Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Lake Huron. Technical Report. The Nature Conservancy, Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Michigan Natural Features Inventory Michigan Sea Grant, and The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Lansing, MI, 264 pp. with appendices. Available at http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/05/Final-LHBCS-Technical-Report-08-09-11.pdf.
Geyer, J., Kiefer, I., Kreft, S., Salafsky, V. Chavez N., Jeltsch, F., and Ibisch, P.L.. 2011. Classification of Climate-Change-Induced Stresses on Biological Diversity. Conservation Biology 25(4):708715.
Gronewald, A.D., Fortin, V., Lofgren, B., Clites, A., Stow, C.A., and Quinn, F.. 2013. Coasts, Water Levels, and Climate Change: A Great Lakes Perspective. Climatic Change 120(4):697711.
Hall, K.R., and Root, T.L.. 2012. Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Great Lakes Region: From Fingerprints of Change to Helping Safeguard Species. In Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Navigating an Uncertain Future, Dietz, T. and Bidwell, D., eds. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, 6395.
Hansen, L.J., and Hoffman, J.R.. 2011. Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World. Island Press, Washington, DC, 245 pp.
Hayhoe, K., VanDorn, J., Croley, T. II, Schlegal, N., and Wuebbles, D.. 2010. Regional Climate Change Projections for Chicago and the US Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36(Suppl. 2):721.
Heller, N.E., and Zavaleta, E.S.. 2009. Biodiversity Management in the Face of Climate Change: A Review of 22 Years of Recommendations. Biological Conservation 142(1):1432.
Hobbs, R.J., Cole, D.N., Yung, L., Zavaleta, E.S., Aplet, G.H., Chapin, F.S., Landres, P.B., Parsons, D.J., Stephenson, N.L., White, P.S., Graber, D.M., Higgs, E.S., Millar, C.I., Randall, J.M., Tonnessen, K.A., and Woodley, S.. 2010. Guiding Concepts for Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Global Environmental Change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(9):483490.
Joyce, L.A., Blate, G.M., McNulty, S.G., Millar, C.I., Moser, S., Neilson, R.P., and Peterson, D.L.. 2009. Managing for Multiple Resources under Climate Change: National Forests. Environmental Management 44(6):10221032.
Kates, R.W., Travis, W.R., and Wilbanks, T.J.. 2012. Transformational Adaptation When Incremental Adaptations to Climate Change Are Insufficient. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109(19):71567161.
Koopman, M. 2011, November 28. Climate Change Scientist and Adaptation Workshop Leader with the GEOS Institute Climate Wise Program. http://www.geosinstitute.org/climatewiseservices. Personal e-mail communication.
Lake Ontario Biodiversity Strategy Working Group. 2009. The Beautiful Lake: A Binational Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for Lake Ontario. Developed in co-operation with the US–Canada Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan. 49 pp. Available at http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lakeont/reports/lo_biodiversity.pdf.
Lawler, J.J. 2009. Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Resource Management and Conservation Planning. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Special Issue: The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology) 1162:7998.
Lawler, J.J., Tear, T.H., Pyke, C., Shaw, M. R., Gonzalez, P., Kareiva, P., Hansen, L., Hannah, L., Klausmeyer, K., Aldous, A., Bienz, C., and Pearsall, S.. 2010. Resource Management in a Changing and Uncertain Climate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(1):3543.
Leadley, P., Pereira, H.M, Alkemade, R., Fernandez-Manjarres, J.F., Proenca, V., Scharlemann, J.P.W., and Walpole, M.J.. 2010. Biodiversity Scenarios: Projections of 21st Century Change in Biodiversity and Associated Ecosystem Services: A Technical Report for the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3. Technical Series no. 50. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, 132 pp. Available at http://www.cbd.int/doc/publications/cbd-ts-50-en.pdf.
Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., and Smith, N.. 2011. Global Warming's Six Americas, May 2011. Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Yale University and George Mason University, New Haven, CT, 57 pp.
Lemieux, C.J., Beechey, T.J., Scott, D.J., and Gray, P.A.. 2011. The State of Climate Change Adaptation in Canada's Protected Areas Sector. Canadian Geographer—Geographe Canadien 55(3):301317.
Lofgren, B.A., Hunter, T.S., and Wilbarger, J.. 2011. Effects of Using Air Temperature as a Proxy for Potential Evapotranspiration in Climate Change Scenarios of Great Lakes Basin Hydrology. Journal of Great Lakes Research 37(4):744752.
Maibach, E.W., Leiserowitz, A., Roser-Renouf, C., and Mertz, C.K.. 2011. Identifying Like-minded Audiences for Global Warming Public Engagement Campaigns: An Audience Segmentation Analysis and Tool Development. Plos One 6(3):e17571.
Marshall, N.A., Park, S.E., Adger, W.N., Brown, K., and Howden, S.M.. 2012. Transformational Capacity and the Influence of Place and Identity. Environmental Research Letters 7(3):034022.
McCarthy, J.J., Canziani, O.F., Leary, N.A., Dokken, D.J., and White, K.S., eds. 2001. Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Available at http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/.
Mishra, V., Cherkauer, K.A., and Shukla, S.. 2010. Assessment of Drought Due to Historic Climate Variability and Projected Future Climate Change in the Midwestern United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology 11(1):4668.
Moser, S.C., and Ekstrom, J.A. 2010. A Framework to Diagnose Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107(51):2202622031.
Myers, T.A., Maibach, E.W., Roser-Renouf, C., Akerlof, K., and Leiserowitz, A.A.. 2013. The Relationship between Personal Experience and Belief in the Reality of Global Warming. Nature Climate Change 3(4):343347.
Park, S.E., Marshall, N.A., Jakku, E., Dowd, A.M., Howden, S. M., Mendham, E., and Fleming, A.. 2012. Informing Adaptation Responses to Climate Change through Theories of Transformation. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 22(1):115126.
Parmesan, C., and Yohe, G.. 2003. A Globally Coherent Fingerprint of Climate Change Impacts across Natural Systems. Nature 421:3742.
Pearsall, D., de Grammont, P. Carton, Cavalieri, C., Chu, C., Doran, P., Elbing, L., Ewert, D., Hall, K., Herbert, M., Khoury, M., Kraus, D., Mysorekar, S., Paskus, J., and Sasson, A.. 2012a. Returning to a Healthy Lake: Lake Erie Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. Technical Report. The Nature Conservancy, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI, 340 pp. with appendices.
Pearsall, D., de Grammont, P. Carton, Cavalieri, C., Doran, P., Elbing, L., Ewert, D., Hall, K., Herbert, M., Khoury, M., Mysorekar, S., Neville, S., Paskus, J., and Sasson, A.. 2012b. Michigami: Great Water. Lake Michigan Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. Technical Report. The Nature Conservancy and Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI, 313 pp. with appendices.
Pearsall, D.R., Khoury, M.L., Paskus, J., Kraus, D., Doran, P.J., Sowa, S.P., Taylor, R. Franks, and Elbing, L.K.. 2013. “Make No Little Plans”: Developing Biodiversity Conservation Strategies for the Great Lakes. Environmental Practice 15(4) [in this issue].
Poiani, K.A., Goldman, R.L., Hobson, J., Hoekstra, J.M., and Nelson, K.S.. 2010. Redesigning Biodiversity Conservation Projects for Climate Change: Examples from the Field. Biodiversity Conservation 20(1):185201.
The Resources Innovation Group (TRIG). 2011. Can Climate Change Preparedness Efforts Spur Greater Interest in Emission Reductions? The Influence of Adaptation Planning on Attitudes toward Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from Oregon. TRIG Working Paper Series 2011-01. TRIG, Eugene, OR, 5 pp. Available at http://www.theresourceinnovationgroup.org/storage/TRIG Preparation-Mitigation FINAL LR 6-13-2011.pdf.
Root, T.L., Price, J.T., Hall, K.R., Schneider, S.H., Rosenzweig, C., and Pounds, J.A.. 2003. Fingerprints of Global Warming on Wild Animals and Plants. Nature 421:5760.
Salafsky, N., Salzer, D., Stattersfield, A.J., Hilton-Taylor, C., Neugarten, R., Butchart, S.H.M., Collen, B., Cox, N., Master, L.L., O'Connor, S., and Wilkie, D.. 2008. A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions. Conservation Biology 22(4):897911.
Solomon, S., Plattner, G.K., Knutti, R., and Friedlingstein, P.. 2009. Irreversible Climate Change Due to Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106(6):17041709.
Thomas, R.K., Melillo, J.M., and Peterson, TC., eds., for the US Climate Change Program. 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. New York, Cambridge University Press, 188 pp. Available at http://nca2009.globalchange.gov/.
Trenberth, K.E. 2011. Changes in Precipitation with Climate Change. Climate Research 47(1-2):123138.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Secretariat. 1992. Feeling the Heat: Climate Science and the Basis of the Convention. UNFCC, Bonn, Germany. Available at http://unfccc.int/essential_background/the_science/items/6064.php.
Wang, J., Bai, X., Hu, H., Clites, A., Colton, M., and Lofgren, B.. 2011. Temporal and Spatial Variability of Great Lakes Ice Cover, 1973–2010. Journal of Climate 25(4):13181329.
Warren, R., VanDerWal, J., Price, J., Welbergen, J.A., Atkinson, I., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Osborn, T.J., Jarvis, A., Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E., and Lowe, J.. 2013. Quantifying the Benefit of Early Climate Change Mitigation in Avoiding Biodiversity Loss [Letter]. Nature Climate Change 3(7):678682.
West, J.M., Julius, S.H., Kareiva, P., Enquist, C., Lawler, J.J., Petersen, B., Johnson, A.E., and Shaw, M.R.. 2009. US Natural Resources and Climate Change: Concepts and Approaches for Management Adaptation. Environmental Management 44(6):10011021.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed