Benjamin L. Preston

Benjamin L. Preston
RAND Corporation | RAND · RAND Social and Economic Well-Being

PhD

About

138
Publications
60,654
Reads
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7,063
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - February 2019
RAND Corporation
Position
  • Managing Director
February 2005 - February 2010
CSIRO
Position
  • Researcher
June 2001 - January 2005
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (138)
Article
n Australia, shared responsibility is a concept advocated to promote collective climate change adaptation by multiple actors and institutions. However, a shared response is often promoted in the absence of information regarding actions currently taken; in particular, there is limited knowledge regarding action occurring at the household scale. To a...
Article
The complexity of socioecological systems (SES) has posed a persistent challenge to the development of methods for diagnostic and prognostic analyses of global change. We developed a high dimensional statistical framework where cluster analysis was used to characterize regional landscape typologies and those typologies are linked to the outcome of...
Article
Climate adaptation research is expanding rapidly within an increasingly reflexive society where the relationship between academia and other social institutions is in a state of flux. Tensions exist between the two dominant research orientations of research about and research for adaptation. In particular, the research community is challenged to dev...
Article
Full-text available
Formal planning for climate change adaptation is emerging rapidly at a range of geo-political scales. This first generation of adaptation plans provides useful information regarding how institutions are framing the issue of adaptation and the range of processes that are recognized as being part of an adaptation response. To better understand adapta...
Article
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There is growing demand among stakeholders across public and private institutions for spatially-explicit information regarding vulnerability to climate change at the local scale. However, the challenges associated with mapping the geography of climate change vulnerability are non-trivial, both conceptually and technically, suggesting the need for m...
Article
Full-text available
Infrastructure are at the center of three trends: accelerating human activities, increasing uncertainty in social, technological, and climatological factors, and increasing complexity of the systems themselves and environments in which they operate. Resilience theory can help infrastructure managers navigate increasing complexity. Engineering frami...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is thought to be one of the greatest public health threats of the 21st century and there has been a tremendous growth in the published literature describing the health implications of climate change over the last decade. Yet, there remain several critical knowledge gaps in this field. Closing these gaps is crucial to developing effec...
Article
Connected vehicles (CV) comprise a broad class of capabilities enabled by automobiles, other vehicles, and components of the roadway system communicating with each other. A fast growing commercial market, CV has the potential for significant, but heretofore under-explored societal benefits. This study employs a scenario analysis to estimate environ...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00981-9.
Article
Long-term global scenarios have underpinned research and assessment of global environmental change for four decades. Over the past ten years, the climate change research community has developed a scenario framework combining alternative futures of climate and society to facilitate integrated research and consistent assessment to inform policy. Here...
Article
Scenarios are commonly used to evaluate the environmental implications of future alternative energy pathways - they provide a benchmark for policy-makers to evaluate social, economic or environmental tradeoffs of various policies and their benefits to society. However, scenarios may leave policy-makers incognizant of potential technological hurdles...
Article
Interactions between researchers and practitioners can lead to the increased use of climate science in decision-making. Past studies on these interactions have focused on the information needs of decision-makers, but less is known about why and how climate researchers choose to engage with decision-makers. Understanding the experiences, beliefs and...
Article
Urban decision-makers are increasingly focused on enhancing community resilience in anticipation of more frequent and intense impacts from climate variability and change. These impacts will manifest in complex and nuanced ways, particularly when coupled with additional social, economic, and environmental shifts that vary across contexts. Given thes...
Article
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Worldwide economic losses from extreme weather events (EWE) have increased over recent decades, with significant geographic heterogeneity in damages. The IPCC defines the risk from EWE as a function of the climate hazard, socioeconomic exposure, and vulnerability. Although these three drivers vary at fine spatial scales, spatial variability largely...
Article
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Maps synthesizing climate, biophysical and socioeconomic data have become part of the standard tool‐kit for communicating the risks of climate change to society. Vulnerability maps are used to direct attention to geographic areas where impacts on society are expected to be greatest and that may therefore require adaptation interventions. Under the...
Article
The magnitude and frequency of hydro-meteorological extremes are expected to increase in a changing environment in ways that threaten the security of US energy-water assets. These include probable maximum precipitation (PMP) and probable maximum flood (PMF), which are used as hydraulic design standards for highly sensitive infrastructures such as n...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a highly-resolved ensemble of climate simulations and empirical relationships between weather and household energy consumption to provide one of the most detailed estimates to date for potential climate-driven changes in the United States residential energy demand under the highest greenhouse gas emissions pathway. Our results indicate t...
Book
This topical and engaging Research Handbook illustrates the variety of research approaches in the field of climate change adaptation policy in order to provide a guide to its social and institutional complexity. A range of international expert contributors offer interdisciplinary explorations of climate change adaptation policy from policy science...
Article
Full-text available
The parallel scenario process enables characterization of climate-related risks and response options to climate change under different socio-economic futures and development prospects. The process is based on representative concentration pathways, shared socio-economic pathways, and shared policy assumptions. Although this scenario architecture is...
Article
With likely increases in probable maximum precipitation (PMP) in a changing environment, critical infrastructures such as major reservoirs and nuclear power plants are subject to elevated risk. To understand how factors such as PMP variability, climate change, land use land cover (LULC) change, antecedent soil moisture conditions, and reservoir sto...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A number of biophysical and socio-economic drivers will have a significant influence on future vulnerability, risk, resilience, and adaptation planning in the Bering-Chuckchi-Beaufort (BCB) region ( Chapters 4-7). The trajectories of some of those drivers are amenable to modeling, forecasting, or projection. However, the future is inherently uncert...
Article
Full-text available
Available from Springer Nature Sharing at: http://rdcu.be/nsZ3 This paper presents empirical data on household perceptions of capability to adapt to climate hazards and associated capacity needs. Households play an important role in responding to the impact of a changing climate by creating a functional link between individual and community respon...
Article
Over the past decade, adaptation has emerged as an important risk management strategy to address climate change and avoid adverse consequences. These endeavors overwhelmingly focus on actions within sectors and thus fail to account for coupled effects across systems. This paper focuses on adaptation constraints that arise from the interdependencies...
Article
Probable maximum precipitation (PMP), defined as the largest rainfall depth that could physically occur under a series of adverse atmospheric conditions, has been an important design criterion for critical infrastructures such as dams and nuclear power plants. To understand how PMP may respond to projected future climate forcings, we used a physics...
Poster
The objective of this study is to develop an integrated and computationally-efficient hydrologic-hydraulic modeling framework that couples a spatially distributed hydrologic model (DHSVM) with a high-resolution GPU-accelerated flood model (Flood2D-GPU). Taking Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) river basin as a test bed, hydrologic simulation is conduc...
Presentation
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This presentation combines life cycle assessment of water use and carbon emissions in shale gas productions with socioeconomic scenarios to identify the best adaptation practices for water management in shale gas production in Texas
Chapter
The present study aims to evaluate national adaptation planning, using the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation (RAN-API) in Indonesia as a case. In doing so, the current study applies the methodology used in Preston et al. (2011), where a set of 57 adaptation plans from three developed countries was evaluated against 19 planning proc...
Article
The exploration of alternative socioeconomic futures is an important aspect of understanding the potential consequences of climate change. While socioeconomic scenarios are common and, at times essential, tools for the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability and integrated assessment modeling research communities, their approaches to scenario develop...
Article
Full-text available
Water fulfills multiple functions and is instilled with numerous meanings: it is concurrently an economic input, an aesthetic reference, a religious symbol, a public good, a fundamental resource for public health, and a biophysical need for humans and ecosystems. Hence, water has multiple ontologies embedded within diverse social, cultural, spiritu...
Article
Human agency is a critical determinant of the dynamics of agroecosystems. However, the manner in which agency is represented within different approaches to agroecosystem modeling is largely contingent on the scales of analysis and the conceptualization of the system of interest. While appropriate at times, narrow conceptualizations of agroecosystem...
Article
There is limited knowledge of risk perceptions in coastal communities despite their vulnerability to a range of risks including the impacts of climate change. A survey of 400 households in two Australian coastal communities, combined with semi-structured interviews, provides insight into household perceptions of the relative importance of climatic...
Book
Full-text available
Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Article
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As U.S. energy policy turns to bioenergy, and second-generation biofuels in particular, to foster energy security and environmental benefits, consideration should be given to the implications of climate risk for the incipient bioenergy industry. As a case-in-point, we review evidence from the 2012 U.S. drought, underscoring the risk of extreme weat...
Article
Full-text available
The consequences of future sea-level rise for coastal communities are a priority concern arising from anthropogenic climate change. Here, previously published methods are scaled up in order to undertake a first pass assessment of exposure to hurricane storm surge and sea-level rise for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts. Sea-level rise sce...
Article
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Increasing evidence highlights the importance of context-specific understanding of the impacts of climate change and the need to move beyond generalized assumptions regarding the nature and utility of adaptive capacity in facilitating adaptation. The household level of impact and response is an under-researched context, despite influential decision...
Article
The northern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are highly vulnerable to the direct threats of climate change, such as hurricane-induced storm surge, and such risks are exacerbated by land subsidence and global sea-level rise. This paper presents an application of a coastal storm surge model to study the coastal inundation process induced by tide a...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter assesses recent literature on the opportunities that create enabling conditions for adaptation as well as the ancillary benefits that may arise from adaptive responses. It also assesses the literature on biophysical and socioeconomic constraints on adaptation and the potential for such constraints to pose limits to adaptation. Given th...
Article
Full-text available
Most scientific assessments for climate change adaptation and risk reduction are based on scenarios for climatic change. Scenarios for socio-economic development, particularly in terms of vulnerability and adaptive capacity, are largely lacking. This paper focuses on the utility of socio-economic scenarios for vulnerability, risk and adaptation res...
Article
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An actor-centered, risk-based approach to defining limits to social adaptation provides a useful analytic framing for identifying and anticipating these limits and informing debates over society's responses to climate change.
Article
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Climate adaptation has emerged as a mainstream risk management strategy for assisting in maintaining socio-ecological systems within the boundaries of a safe operating space. Yet, there are limits to the ability of systems to adapt. Here, we introduce the concept of an adaptation frontier , which is defined as a socio-ecological system s transition...
Article
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The adaptation science enterprise has expanded rapidly in recent years, presumably in response to growth in demand for knowledge that can facilitate adaptation policy and practice. However, evidence suggests such investments in adaptation science have not necessarily translated into adaptation implementation. One potential constraint on adaptation...
Article
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Full text open access available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-013-0931-0 This paper discusses the role and relevance of the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) and the new scenarios that combine SSPs with representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV) research....
Article
Full-text available
Most scientific assessments for climate change adaptation and risk reduction are based on scenarios for climatic change. Scenarios for socio-economic development, particularly in terms of vulnerability and adaptive capacity, are largely lacking. This paper focuses on the utility of socio-economic scenarios for vulnerability, risk and adaptation res...
Article
Full-text available
Technical assessments of vulnerability and/or risk are increasingly being undertaken to assess the impacts of climate change. Underlying this is the belief that they will bring clarity to questions regarding the scale of institutional investments required, plausible adaptation policies and measures, and the timing of their implementation. Despite t...