The need for bottom-up assessments of climate risks and adaptation in climate-sensitive regions

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  • Declan Conway
  • Robert J. Nicholls
  • Sally Brown
  • Mark G.L. Tebboth
  • William Neil Adger
  • Bashir Ahmad
  • Hester Biemans
  • Florence Crick
  • Arthur F. Lutz
  • Ricardo Safra De Campos
  • Mohammed Said
  • Chandni Singh
  • Modathir Abdalla Hassan Zaroug
  • Eva Ludi
  • Mark New
  • Philippus Wester

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Studies of climate change at specific intervals of future warming have primarily been addressed through top-down approaches using climate projections and modelled impacts. In contrast, bottom-up approaches focus on the recent past and present vulnerability. Here, we examine climate signals at different increments of warming and consider the need to reconcile top-down and bottom-up approaches. We synthesise insights from recent studies in three climate-sensitive systems where change is a defining feature of the human-environment system. Whilst top-down and bottom-up approaches generate complementary insights into who and what is at risk, integrating their results is a much-needed step towards developing relevant information to address the needs of immediate adaptation decisions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number7
Early online date17 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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