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Featuring Dr. Kathleen Miller retired Senior Research Associate at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Changes in the hydrosphere will play a large role in driving the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on human communities and natural systems. A growing likelihood of erratic shifts between extreme wet and dry periods may be especially problematic. It is important to take these shifting risks and opportunities into account when developing long-range policies and plans for the management of water, land use and infrastructure development. It also is important to base those efforts on a clear understanding of the current institutional and infrastructural context for water management. In particular, the existing structure of interests, entitlements, and decision-making authorities will shape both ongoing conflicts and potential pathways for building resilience to future changes in water availability and flooding risks. Uncertainties regarding the local-scale nature and timing of the hydrologic impacts of climate change are unavoidable, but uncertainty is nothing new in the context of water resource management. In this talk, I will describe our current understanding of the impacts of climate change and ongoing natural variability on water resources. I will then address key challenges for responding to those impacts, and discuss pathways forward.

 

About the Speaker:

Dr. Kathleen Miller recently retired after 32 year career with the Climate Science and Applications Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). As a Senior Research Associate at NCAR, she will continue to conduct research on climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and will serve as a lead author on the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.

She is the author of numerous papers on the management of water, fisheries and other natural resources in the context of climate variability and prospective climate change. She recently served as the lead editor of a multi-authored book entitled:  Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate. Her previous work includes serving as a lead author of Chapter 3, “Water Resources and Their Management,” for the IPCC Working Group II, Fourth Assessment Report, and as a lead author of the 2008 IPCC Technical Paper on Climate Change and Water. She received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington in 1985.