Managing Climate Change: Papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 2 August 2011



Manolas, E. (2011), "Managing Climate Change: Papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 3 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Managing Climate Change: Papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference

Managing Climate Change: Papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference

Article Type: Books and resources From: International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Volume 3, Issue 3

Edited by Imogen Jubb, Paul Holper and Wenju Cai,CSIRO Publishing,Collingwood,2010,AU$120.00,296 pp. (hardback),ISBN: 9780643098312

Managing Climate Change: Papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference, contains papers from the GREENHOUSE 2009 Conference which was organized in Perth, Australia, from 23-26 March 2009. GREENHOUSE 2009, the fifth conference in the GREENHOUSE series, was attended by more than 500 delegates representing research, policy and communication of various aspects of climate change. The conference heard over 150 oral presentations and read more than 70 posters. The book under review is an important snapshot of the issues presented at the conference.

The first two chapters of the book in many ways highlight the importance of the book as an interdisciplinary attempt to climate change issues. Chapter 1 considers the challenges posed to individuals, companies and governments by greenhouse gas emissions as well as the acceptable and equitable response options. In light of issues such as global recession and emissions growth, structural change, financial fragility and employment change and the market economy, Chapter 2 discusses how Australian policy can contribute to strong global action against climate change. What follows is divided into three parts. Part 1 contains six chapters all dealing with scientific aspects of climate change. Part 2 contains 11 chapters focusing on impacts and adaptation. Part 3 is comprised of four chapters which deal with the issue-area of climate change communication.

The chapters contained in the three parts of the book may be summarized as follows.

Part 1: climate change science

Chapter 3 describes the achievements of the Australian climate change science program research in the last 20 years focusing on atmospheric and oceanic science issues, biospheric changes to the carbon cycle as well as on assessments regarding likely changes in Australia’s climate in the future.

Chapter 4 examines the extent to which current models can simulate the Australian monsoon, including basic temperature, pressure, wind and precipitation patterns and variation.

Chapter 5 considers how the recent decline of rainfall in southwest Australia may be linked to the influence of enhanced levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases which, by the end of the century, may lead to even less rainfall.

Chapter 6 examines the impact of aerosols on ocean-atmospheric changes which may be a cause for the persistent drought-like conditions occurring in recent decades in southeast Australia.

Chapter 7 deals with the protection of Australian freshwater ecosystems from the effects of climate change through the adoption of long-term monitoring programs.

Using climate models, Chapter 8 shows how further reductions in storm development and rainfall, mirror reductions in baroclinic instability over Southern Australia.

Part 2: impacts and adaptation

Chapter 9 discusses how science can help Australian agriculture adapt to climate change.

Chapter 10 is about helping farmers use their understanding of climate variability to manage climate change better.

Chapter 11 identifies the lessons learned from observations and management decisions made by a cross-section of wine grape industry practitioners to ameliorate the impact from a severe heatwave in 2009 which affected many vineyards in the Southeastern region of Australia.

Chapter 12 is about strengthening existing government regulations used to address the energy and efficiency of residential houses.

Climate change will affect a range of industries reliant on the natural environment such as agriculture or ecotourism and several others. Using Western Australia as a focal point, Chapter 13 discusses changes in infrastructure and the way energy is used, as effective responses to the challenges set by climate change.

In discussing energy efficiency for low-income households, Chapter 14 deals with the development of programs which leverage spending in existing programs as well as provide comprehensive home energy programs.

Chapter 15 describes research undertaken to examine approaches, such as scenario modeling and applied and participatory GIS modeling, in order to generate information to support regional adaptation decision making.

In searching for ways to reduce oil use, Chapter 16 examines opportunities appropriate for substantial reductions such as electric transit and electric plug-in vehicles powered by renewable energy, telepresence and airships.

Owing to the highly contextual nature of climate risk and in order to make comparisons across different places possible, Chapter 17 argues for some degree of standardization in the use of risk management as a framework for analysis, without, at the same time, sacrificing context.

Chapter 18 is about how various forms of infrastructure including water, power, transport, buildings and communications will become “climate ready” so that the future challenges which will be posed by climate change will be successfully met.

Chapter 19 develops a framework for the evaluation of adaptation planning and applies this framework to a suite of 57 adaptation plans from Australia, the UK and the USA.

Part 3: communicating climate change

By integrating diverse perspectives across and within community and business, Chapter 20 attempts to answer the question of what it would be like to live in a zero-carbon community.

Chapter 21 provides evidence of how Energymark, a coordinated initiative designed to bridge the gap between concern and action regarding the individual’s energy use, has tracked changes in public perceptions over time, identified triggers, barriers and challenges at individual level and attempted to quantify knowledge transfer through using the social network analysis method.

Chapter 22 is about how a project titled “Communicating climate change to agricultural industries” addressed two questions: what do those involved with agricultural industries want to know about the changing climate? How can that information best be communicated?

Chapter 23 deals with some innovative ways to communicate climate change futures through the use of spatial technologies such as the Google Earth digital globe and 3D rendering and animation software.

The book is well written and engaging. The book is of interest to researchers, policy makers and students but also to the general public. Regarding the general public, the book may be at parts difficult to understand but, generally, it is written in accessible style that makes it possible for a wide readership to familiarize itself with the issues it deals with. It also contains several figures, illustrations and tables which certainly aid the reader in understanding and evaluating important information. More than 70 percent of the references cited in the book’s chapters are after 2005. Managing Climate Change is full of information, cases, methodologies, concepts and ideas. It can be used in many undergraduate or graduate courses dealing with climate change issues, especially those which approach the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition, although the book focuses on Australia, nevertheless, if only from a methodological point of view, it can be useful to many people in other parts of the world that are interested in studying climate change issues.

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing humanity. The editors of this book have not only kept attention on the challenge of reducing dependence on fossil fuels but also brought together a collection of essays that enlighten us about many of the dimensions of this important global issue. The book certainly deserves to be widely read and used.

Evangelos ManolasDepartment of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, Orestiada, Greece

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