address Climate Change?
In the first version of Florida's Action Plan, climate change
was briefly touched upon in the 'climate variability'
chapter. Much has changed since the original action plan was
published. The science behind climate change has become more
evident and the emphasis on adaptation planning has grown
tremendously. Not only is the current climate change science
more robust, but many conservation partners are focusing on this
issue. To stay abreast of current conservation priorities, it is
imperative to focus more on this issue.
will the Action Plan address climate change impacts on fish and
The FWC is currently working with partners and key experts to
develop a climate change chapter that will focus on three key
issues: 1) a synthesis of the current state of climate science and
its potential impact on wildlife in Florida, with an emphasis on
sea level rise; 2) a vulnerability assessment focusing on the
impact of sea level rise to be developed in conjunction with
Defenders of Wildlife, the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyand
key experts; and 3) adaptation recommendations that will be
developed with the assistance of land managers and species experts.
The 2015 Action Plan revision will include other major climate
a vulnerability assessment in relation to climate
As defined in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Climate Change Guidance document, a vulnerability assessment
"provides the scientific basis for developing climate
adaptation strategies and uses information about future climate
scenarios with ecological information about climate
sensitivity and adaptive capacity to help managers anticipate how a
species or system is likely to respond under the projected climate
change conditions." Vulnerability assessments have
become very popular as a first step in planning for climate change.
The assessments can take different forms, but the ultimate goal is
to identify the vulnerabilities to climate change for species and
focus on sea level rise in the climate change chapter?
Florida is dominated by its coastlines and by its low lying
geography. Based on the most recent predictions for sea level rise,
Florida could be severely impacted by mid-century. Also, sea
level rise is the focus of many research efforts, so it can be more
easily modeled than temperature and precipitation change, or other
potential climate change impacts. The 2015 Action Plan revision
will include other major climate change impacts.