Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resources and Agriculture in the Central U.S. November 10-12, 2015 University of Nebrasak-Lincoln
 

Workshop Focus

Significant climate and environmental changes are occurring in the Arctic and the pace of some changes has exceeded expectations. The implications of these changes on agriculture, water resources, ecosystem health and other sectors for the Great Plains and Midwest regions of the U.S. could be profound given the importance of these regions as a breadbasket of the world. It is the goal of this workshop to explore both the science associated with changes in the Arctic region and the implications of these changes on the frequency of extreme weather and climate events (e.g., severe weather, droughts, floods, heat waves) in the Central U.S. This workshop is timely in that it coincides with the U.S. assuming chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015. This workshop will provide an opportunity to identify possible adaptation and mitigation measures in response to these changes in severe weather patterns as well as a framework for future research, management decisions and policy options. Download the Workshop Program

An additional workshop on "Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic" is described below.

Public Lecture: Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University

Title: Crazy Weather and the Arctic Meltdown​: Are they connected?

Workshop Objectives

  • To build awareness of the importance of changes in the climate of the Arctic region on the United States.
  • To initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue within the science community and between scientists and practitioners on the implications of changes in Arctic climate on Great Plains and Midwestern agriculture and water resources as well for other regions of the U.S. (e.g., California and other western states).
  • To identify, evaluate and propose actions in support of regional adaptation and mitigation strategies to ongoing changes.
  • To identify research needs/gaps and policy options in response to changes in the frequency and severity of severe weather and extreme climate events.

Workshop Sponsors

NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System

USDA/Office of the Chief Economist

University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

  • Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR)
  • Agricultural Research Division, IANR
  • Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED)
  • National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
  • High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC)
  • School of Natural Resources (SNR)
  • Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS)

University of Nebraska:

  • Daugherty Water for Food Institute (DWFI)

Registration

There is no registration fee to participate in the workshop. Refreshment breaks, lunches, dinner and a reception will be provided for all participants.

Participation in the workshop will be limited to 60 persons. You are encouraged to register for the meeting as soon as possible to ensure your participation.

Go to the Registration Form

Workshop Format

The format for the workshop will be a combination of plenary, stakeholder and breakout sessions. The workshop will also include a plenary lecture that will be open to the public. The workshop will begin the morning of November 10 and conclude at mid-day on November 12. A public plenary session will be held the evening of November 10.

Workshop Hotel

A block of sleeping rooms has been reserved for workshop participants at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The hotel is located at 808 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. When registering for the workshop, check the box on the reservation form indicating that you require hotel reservations. You will then be contacted by Tara Torres, project coordinator at the Joint Office for Science Support (JOSS) at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Tara will work with you to make your hotel reservation. Please do not contact the hotel directly to secure your room reservation.

The Courtyard Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket encompasses the Historic Haymarket charm in the heart of downtown Lincoln. The hotel is located within walking distance of the University of Nebraska campus, Pinnacle Bank Arena, Memorial Stadium, Haymarket Park, Canopy Street & The Railyard, The Courtyard Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket is centrally located and allows you to experience many of the highlights Lincoln, Nebraska has to offer. Enjoy an evening at one of many restaurants or bar venues. The hotel provides free high speed Internet access, a 24-hour business center, and large in-room workstations. The Bistro is located at the hotel where you can enjoy healthier food and beverage options, as well as high-tech conveniences. The hotel also has an exercise room and in-door swimming pool. The hotel provides a complimentary airport shuttle to the hotel and from the hotel to the Lincoln Airport. Call the hotel (402.904.4800) on arrival for pickup.

Transportation to Workshop Venue

All workshop events will be held at the Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC). The conference center at Nebraska Innovation Campus provides multi-functional meeting and collaboration space. NIC is located about 10 minutes from the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. A shuttle service will be provided for workshop participants to the workshop venue in the morning and return shuttle service at the end of the day. For workshop participants with their own transportation, parking at the Nebraska Innovation Campus is free. To find the NIC using GPS/iPhone Maps, please search for the Bob Devaney Sports Center. NIC (2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln NE) is located just east of the Bob Devaney Sports Center.  Shuttle Service Schedule

NIC and Marriott Courtyard Hotel

Workshop Organizers

Don Wilhite

Don Wilhite

Donald A. Wilhite, Professor, Applied Climate Science at UNL. Dr. Wilhite served as director of the School of Natural Resources from 2007 to 2012. Previously, Dr. Wilhite was the founding Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center in 1995 and the International Drought Information Center in 1988 at UNL. He was elected Fellow by the American Meteorological Society in 2013. Dr. Wilhite serves as the chair of the Management and Advisory Committees of the Integrated Drought Management Program under the auspices of the Global Water Partnership and the World Meteorological Organization. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 journal articles, monographs, book chapters, and technical reports and garnered more than $20 million in external funding. He has also edited numerous books, technical reports, and proceedings. Dr. Wilhite's research and outreach interests are in drought monitoring, planning, mitigation, and policy; climate change; and the use of climate information in decision making.

Martha Shulski

Martha Shulski

Martha Shulski is Director of the High Plains Regional Climate Center and an Associate Professor of Applied Climate Science in the School of Natural Resources. She joined the School in 2009 and is an applied climatologist with a background in meteorology, climatology, agronomy, and soil science. Prior to UNL, she worked as a research and service climatologist in the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and authored a book titled The Climate of Alaska.

Kim Morrow

Kim Morrow

Kim Morrow serves as Climate Change Resource Specialist at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She also serves as Executive Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, a non-profit whose mission is to facilitate the faith community’s response to climate change. Her articles and essays have appeared in the Lincoln Journal-Star, Prairie Fire and Sojourner’s. She is a Senior GreenFaith Fellow and was recently recognized by the White House for her work on climate change and the faith community.

Workshop Program (Updated 11/13/15)

Download the Workshop Program

Tuesday, November 10
0720Shuttle Pick-up at the Courtyard Marriott - 808 R Street
0800-830Registration
0830-900

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Don Wilhite, Professor, Applied Climate Science, School of Natural Resources, UNL
Martha Shulski, Director, High Plains Regional Climate Center, UNL
Roberto Lenton, Executive Director, Daugherty Water for Food Institute, University of Nebraska

0900-1000

Plenary Session:  Implications of a Changing Arctic
Don Wilhite (Moderator)

An Arctic Connection to Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes: New Evidence, Mechanisms, Metrics, and Emerging Questions. 
Jennifer Francis, Research Professor, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University (Francis PowerPoint)

1000-1030 Refreshment Break
1030-1200

Plenary Session:  Implications of a Changing Arctic on Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns and Climate Extremes
Michael Hayes, Director, National Drought Mitigation Center, UNL (Moderator)

Arctic Change and Possible Influence on Mid-latitude Weather Extremes
Judah Cohen, Principal Scientist, Climate Analysis Group, Atmospheric and Environmental Research
(Cohen PowerPoint)

Science of Arctic Change- Implications for Central U.S. Water and Agriculture
Marty Hoerling, Physical Sciences Division, NOAA/ESRL
(Hoerling PowerPoint 1)

1200-1330 Lunch
1330-1500

Plenary Session:  Building Resilience to a Changing Water Regime:  Implications for water resources in the Great Plains and Midwest regions
Roberto Lenton, Executive Director, Daugherty Water for Food Institute, University of Nebraska (Moderator)

Implications of Extreme Climate Events for Water Management and Policy
Richard Palmer, Director of the DOI Northeast Climate Science Center, University of Massachusetts
(Palmer PowerPoint)

A Fresh Look at Central U.S. Extreme Precipitation Trends. 
Ken Kunkel, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information
(Kunkel PowerPoint)

1500-1530

Refreshment Break

1530-1700

Plenary Session:  Building Resilience to a Changing Climate Regime:  Implications for agriculture in the Great Plains and Midwest regions
Mark Brusberg, Deputy Chief Meteorologist, USDA (Moderator) (invited)

Healthy Soils as the Cornerstone of Climate Resilience for Agriculture. 
Jerry Hatfield, Research Plant Physiologist, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, USDA/ARS, Ames, Iowa
(Hatfield PowerPoint)

Using the Arctic Oscillation to Improve Agricultural Decisions
Guillermo Baigorria, Crop Simulation Modeler, UNL
(Baigorria PowerPoint)

Discussant:
Gene Takle, Director, Climate Science Program, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

1700-1830 Dinner (Banquet Hall, Nebraska Innovation Campus)
1900 -2030


Public Lecture
Introductions,
Don Wilhite, Applied Climate Science, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Crazy Weather and the Arctic Meltdown​: Are they connected?
Jennifer Francis, Research Professor, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
https://youtu.be/WhKG6EckN_c  (Francis PowerPoint and associated files)
2045Shuttle Pick-up at the NIC Conference Center and transport back to the Courtyard Marriott
Wednesday, November 11
0720Shuttle Pick-up at the Courtyard Marriott - 808 R Street
0800-845Plenary Session: Climate change, drought and agriculture

Clinton Rowe, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, UNL (Moderator)
Trends in Climate Teleconnections and Effects on the Midwest
Donald Wuebbles, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois and Assistant Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy and Zach Zobel, University of Illinois
(Wuebbles/Zobel PowerPoint)

0845-930

Drought Fusion: A Union of Past and Present Drought Characteristics and their Impacts
Michael Hayes, Director,National Drought Mitigation Center and Mark Svoboda, Climatologist and Monitoring Program Leader, National Drought Mitigation Center, UNL.
(Hayes/Svoboda PowerPoint)

0930-1000 Refreshment Break
1000-1030 Plenary Session: Climate change, drought and agriculture (continued)

The Physics of Great Plains Drought, Its Predictability and Its Changed Risk in a Warming World. 
Marty Hoerling, NOAA/ESRL, Physical Sciences Division.
(Hoerling PowerPoint2)

1030-1045 Breakout group instructions
1045-1215

Breakout groups:  Water resources and agriculture

  • What are the key concerns for the water resources and agricultural sectors in association with increasing climate variability and the occurrence of extreme events?
  • What adaptation and mitigation actions could be used to deal with a changing climate in the future?
  • What data and information needs/gaps exist to effectively respond?
  • What key communication strategies are required to promote changes in water and agricultural management practices?
  • What research gaps/priorities exist?
  • What policy options should be considered in order to adapt to and mitigate the effects of a changing climate on agriculture and water resources?
1215-1345

Lunch 
Capturing Climate Variability and Change in the Platte River Basin. 
Mike Forsberg, Nature Photographer.

1345-1530

Stakeholder Panel Discussion
Management Strategies Associated with a Changing Climate: A Local, Regional and Global Perspective (Stakeholder Panel):
Donald Wilhite, Applied Climate Science, School of Natural Resources (Moderator)

  • Douglas Bereuter, Co-chairman, Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Agricultural Development Initiative; Member, State Department's International Security Board (Arctic Policy Study Committee)
  • John Berge, Manager, North Platte Natural Resources District
  • Martha Kauffman, Managing Director, Northern Great Plains Program, World Wildlife Fund
    (Kauffman PowerPoint)
  • John Hansen, President, Nebraska Farmers Union
1530-1600 Refreshment Break
1600-1700 The Arctic Council and more: U.S. engagement on international climate 
Karen Florini, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State.
1730Shuttle Pick-up at the NIC Conference Center and transport back to the Courtyard Marriott
Thursday, November 12
0720Shuttle Pick-up at the Courtyard Marriott - 808 R Street
800-900

Breakout Group Session: Report back
Water resources and agriculture breakout group discussions

0900-1030

Panel Discussion
Adapting to a Changing Regional Climate:  Understanding and Communicating the Science to Practitioners/Identifying Adaptation and Mitigation Actions/Policy Implications
Martha Shulski. Director, High Plains Regional Climate Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Moderator)

Panelists:
Linda Prokopy, Natural Resource Social Science, Purdue University (Prokopy PowerPoint)
Taryn Finnessey, Colorado Water Conservation Board (Finnessey Powerpoint)
Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist, South Dakota State University (Todey PowerPoint)
Tom Buman, AGREN

Refreshment Break (Incorporated in the panel discussion)

1030-1130 Recommendations and Next Steps
1130-1200 Wrap-up and Adjourn
1200Shuttle Pick-up at the NIC Conference Center and transport back to the Courtyard Marriott

Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic

As an addendum to the workshop, Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resources and Agriculture in the Central U.S., there will be an additional event organized by Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute immediately following the Arctic Workshop. This additional workshop will begin the afternoon of November 12 and continue through noon on November 13. The focus of this additional meeting will be Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic. The Thursday afternoon session will be held at Nebraska Innovation Campus, the same location for the Arctic Workshop that will be held from November 10-12, 2015.

The focus of this additional meeting will be to bring together subject matter experts from the Department of Defense, the State Department, and academic institutions for discussions in two specific areas having direct relevance to national security:

  1. impacts of Arctic change on global agricultural production and food security and
  2. remote sensing of the Arctic as it relates to understanding climatological processes, precipitation and availability of water resources as well as the data requirements for numerical weather and climate prediction models.

Please see the attached document for more detailed information on this additional meeting, including a description of the sessions that are being organized in association with this event. To participate in this meeting, please contact Eric Hunt, ehunt@aer.com.