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January 2022

In This Issue...
  • SCIPP Publication Selected As Editor's Choice in Natural Hazards Review
  • New Report Examines the Effects of Climate Change Across the Gulf Coast Region
  • NCA5 Public Engagement Workshops
  • Dr. Barry Keim Provides Expertise on LA Weather Events in 2021
  • Upcoming Climate Science and Planning Webinar
  • New Resource: RISA Sustained Assessment Specialist Network Reference Sheet
  • Policy Change: FEMA Flood Insurance Policies
  • Team Member Highlight: Derek Thompson
  • From Our Partners: Upcoming SC-CASC Short Courses


SCIPP Publication Selected As Editor's Choice in Natural Hazards Review

In June 2021, SCIPP researchers Ward Lyles, Penn Pennel, and Rachel Riley published a study in Natural Hazards Review that examines Tulsa’s progression toward effective flood hazard mitigation. In November 2021, their paper was selected to be featured in the Editor’s Choice section of the Natural Hazards Review page in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Library. With this feature, the paper is made free with registration for a three-month period. 

The complete manuscript, entitled Jazz on Tulsa Time: The Remarkable Story of the Network of Flood Mitigation Champions behind the Tulsa Turnaround, can still be accessed for free with registration here. Beginning next month, the paper can be found in the Editor’s Choice Collection on the same page.

Image courtesy of the American Society of Civil Engineers. © 2022

Read More Here

Research Results

New Report Examines the Effects of Climate Change Across the Gulf Coast Region

In October 2021, SCIPP produced a report summarizing the changing climate and common weather and climate hazards of the Gulf Coast states (TX, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL). The report was produced for the FloodWise Communities Project and is part of a broader package of resources produced in concert with Gulf Coast communities threatened by a growing flood risk in the face of climate change. The primary target audience is city planners, community leaders, and local/state governments seeking deeper knowledge of the region’s climate and broader context for observed local climate trends.

Chapter 1 summarizes the physical geography of the Gulf Coast states, the climatic sub-regions based on the Köppen-Geiger climate classifications, and the entire region’s average climate state based on the 1981-2010 climate normal. Chapter 2 includes city, state, and regional-level analyses of observed changes in temperature and rainfall over the last 40 years. In Chapter 3, the report explains the concept of climate modeling for non-experts, makes a comparison of statistically versus dynamically downscaled climate model products, and describes how the Gulf Coast states’ climate could change by 2100 according to the NA-CORDEX multi-model ensemble (under the RCP8.5 emissions scenario). The fourth and final chapter of the report summarizes weather and climate hazards to which parts of the Gulf Coast states are vulnerable.

The report was produced in collaboration with Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments, Stanford University, Headwaters Economics, and Adaptation International. Click below to download the full report.

Read More Here

SCIPP Workshops

NCA5 Public Engagement Workshops

SCIPP is involved in authoring the Southern Great Plains chapter of the fifth National Climate Assessment. The National Climate Assessment is a Congressionally mandated quadrennial report led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report evaluates how climate change affects people and places in the United States.

To inform development of the fifth National Climate Assessment, USGCRP and the author teams will be hosting a series of virtual public engagement workshops in January and February 2022. Details on the workshops can be found on SCIPP's website.

The Southern Great Plains chapter is offering four 90-minute workshops to be held on the following dates: 

February 15, 2022 at noon to 1:30pm CT

February 15, 2022 at 2:30 to 4:00pm CT

February 15, 2022 at 5:30 to 7:00pm CT

February 16, 2022 at noon to 1:30pm CT

The Southeast chapter, which also encompasses the SCIPP region, is offering the following workshops:

January 31, 2022 at 6:30 to 8:30pm ET

February 1, 2022 at 11:00am to 3:30pm ET

For more information on the Fifth National Climate Assessment and for a complete schedule of engagement workshops, please visit the USGCRP website. To register for any of the workshops, click the registration button below.

Register Here


SCIPP Researchers Provide Expertise on Recent Weather Events Across Louisiana, Discuss Current SCIPP Projects

In December 2021, SCIPP investigator and Louisiana state climatologist Dr. Barry Keim was interviewed for several news articles published in two local newspapers.

Two articles, published by NOLA, focus on Louisiana's five most impactful weather events of 2021 and an analysis of rainfall in Louisiana during 2021. In the former article, Dr. Keim discusses the various meteorological factors and community impacts surrounding extreme events such as Hurricane Ida and the February 2021 Arctic outbreak.

In the third article, published by The Advocate, Dr. Keim explains how La Niña conditions led to above-average temperatures in Baton Rouge throughout December 2021. He also mentions long-term vulnerabilities for the state of Louisiana.

Finally, SCIPP researchers Dr. Vincent Brown, Derek Thompson, and Dr. Keim were featured in a BRProud article, where they discussed SCIPP's new grant, current research and projects, and partnerships. The article is available here.

Climate Science & Planning Webinar

This February, SCIPP Director Rachel Riley will be speaking on a webinar hosted by the American Planning Association. The goal of the webinar is to provide a concise overview of the present and future impacts of changing climate conditions on planning practices, as well as the best tools that planners can implement to help prepare their communities for these impacts. The webinar is part of the APA Sustainability and Resilience Webinar Series. 

The webinar will take place Friday, February 18, 2022, from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm CST. The primary audience will be planners, but anyone is welcome to attend. To read more details and to register, click the link below.
Register Here

New Resource

The RISA Sustained Assessment Specialist Network Reference Sheet

Established as a collaborative group composed of sustained assessment specialists, the RISA Sustained Assessment Specialist (SAS) Network promotes cross-regional collaboration, leverages expertise, and promotes learning and equitable solutions within the adaptation community.

In November 2021, SCIPP Climate Assessment Specialist Darrian Bertrand, who is a member of the SAS Network, collaborated with the network to produce a 2-page reference sheet that provides information about sustained assessment, introduces the recent and current sustained assessment specialists, and describes their regional accomplishments as well as their cross-regional, collective impact.

To learn more about the network, click below to access the document.

Download The Reference Sheet Here

Policy Change Summary

Upcoming Changes To National Flood Insurance Rates

In October 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new pricing structure for flood insurance rates, titled Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action, caused major changes for National Flood Insurance Program policyholders. Under this new rating system, FEMA is taking a major step toward equitable flood insurance pricing. In order to address rating disparities, this new methodology factors in more variables when assessing a property's flood risk. Such variables include: the frequency and types of flooding (E.g. river overflow, storm surge, coastal erosion, rainfall), the distance to a water source, and property characteristics such as elevation and the cost to rebuild. Previously, rebuilding costs were not considered, which meant that policyholders with lower-valued homes paid a disproportionate amount compared to policyholders with higher-valued homes. Now, premiums will be more equitably distributed based on a home's value and unique flood risk.

According to a national rate analysis conducted by FEMA, 23 percent of policyholders should see immediate premium decreases averaging 86 dollars per month, while 66 percent should expect increases of up to 10 dollars per month. Only 4 percent  of policyholders will see average rate increases exceed 20 dollars per month. To help policyholders estimate their premium changes, the Association of State Floodplain Managers and The Pew Charitable Trusts have developed an interactive map that breaks down projected premium changes by state and territory. 

More information can be found on FEMA's website at the link below. 

Image courtesy of the Association of State Floodplain Managers on Twitter. © 2022

Learn More About Risk Rating 2.0

SCIPP Team Member Highlight

Derek Thompson joined the SCIPP team as a graduate student at Louisiana State University (LSU) in August 2015, becoming a full-time Research Associate at the beginning of January 2022. Prior to this, Derek attended Western Kentucky University (WKU), where he received a B.S. in Meteorology with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). During his time at LSU, Derek completed a M.S. in Geography researching tropical cyclone size and insurance losses under Dr. Barry Keim. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in Geography, also under Dr. Barry Keim, with a dissertation focusing on wet bulb globe temperature and human health.

Derek grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky (about 60 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee), but spent a couple of years living in Tucson, Arizona. He is a fan of multiple sports teams, both professional and collegiate, and has a small collection of sports-themed shirts/hoodies/jerseys. In addition, he is known to walk several miles a day, collect playing cards (currently over 75 decks), and anxiously wait for the next cold front.

From Our Partners

South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center Offering Short Courses During Spring 2022

The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center is offering two short courses during Spring 2022. These free, online courses will discuss the impacts of climate change and subsequent adaptation strategies, and they are open to anyone who is interested in participating. The first course, entitled Climate Change and Society, will be live from February 1 through February 28, 2022. To register for the course, click the button below.
Register Here

Follow SCIPP On Social Media

For the latest climate news, follow SCIPP on Facebook and Twitter. Research updates and other news may also be found on our website.
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University of Oklahoma
120 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 2900
Norman, OK 73072-7305

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Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program · 120 David L. Boren Blvd, Suite 2900 · Norman, OK 73072 · USA

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