Challenges to adaptation: A fundamental concept for the shared socio-economic pathways and beyond

AMS Citation:
Rothman, D. S., P. Romero-Lankao, V. J. Schweizer, and B. A. Bee, 2014: Challenges to adaptation: A fundamental concept for the shared socio-economic pathways and beyond. Climatic Change, 122, 495-507, doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0907-0.
Date:2014-02-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Challenges to adaptation: A fundamental concept for the shared socio-economic pathways and beyond
Abstract: The framework for the new scenarios being developed for climate research calls for the development of a set of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), which are meant to differ in terms of their challenges to mitigation and challenges to adaptation. In order for the scenario process to fulfill its goals, the research and policy communities need to develop a shared understanding of these concepts. This paper focuses on challenges to adaptation. We begin by situating this new concept in the context of the rich literatures related to inter alia adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience. We argue that a proper characterization of challenges to adaptation requires a rich, exploration of the concept, which goes beyond mere description. This has a number of implications for the operationalization of the concept in the basic and extended versions of the SSPs. First, the elements comprising challenges to adaptation must include a wide range of socioeconomic and even some (non-climatic) biophysical factors. Second, careful consideration must be given to differences in these factors across scales, as well as cross-scale interactions. Third, any representation of the concept will require both quantitative and qualitative elements. The scenario framework offers the opportunity for the SSPs and full scenarios to be of greater value than has been the case in past exercises to both Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM) and Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (IAV) researchers, but this will require a renegotiation of the traditional, primarily unidirectional relationship between the two communities.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 Springer
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7w37x76
Publisher's Version: 10.1007/s10584-013-0907-0
Author(s):
  • Dale Rothman
  • Patricia Romero-Lankao - NCAR/UCAR
  • Vanessa Schweizer - NCAR/UCAR
  • Beth Bee
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