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Transcript
Living with Climate Change
Are there Limits to Adaptation?
Themes
Theme 1: Adapting to thresholds in
physical and ecological systems
Theme 2: The role of values and
culture in adaptation
Theme 3: Governance, knowledge and
technologies for adaptation
Adaptation is necessary ….
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GtCO2e)
450ppmv cumulative emission scenarios peaking in 2020
80
Low A
Low B
Medium A
Medium B
High A
High B
60
40
20
0
2000
2020
2040
2060
2080
2100
Year
Global emissions growing at 2.7% p.a., 2000-08. They will have to
drop like a stone after 2020 to meet any reasonable stabilisation level
Bows and Anderson (2008) Phil Trans Roy Soc in press.
Thinking behind the Themes
Adaptation may be limited by:
• divergent goals of adaptation (diverse and
incommensurable values)
• uncertainty in foresight
• intrinsic current value of places and identities
Adaptation is constrained by:
• social characteristics and individual behaviour
Adger, Dessai et al. (2008) – background paper
Theme 1
Adapting to thresholds in physical
and ecological systems
• Can limits be defined in
physical parameters when
adaptation involves biological
and human adaptation?
• Irreversibility …..
• …… of social, cultural and
ecological attributes?
Information is not the constraint
UK climate scenarios from 1990-2002 compare favourably to recent CET observations
60
Summer precipitation change (%)
Summer temperature change (ºC)
3
2
1
0
-1
40
20
0
-20
-40
-60
-80
-2
1960
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
Year
1990
1995
2000
2005
1960
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Year
Dessai and Hulme (2008) GRL submitted
Theme 2
Role of values and culture in adaptation
•
•
•
•
Unique nature of places, societies, cultures
Identities bound to localities
Subjective, cultural and symbolic values
Continuous change and adaptation?
Theme 3
Governance, knowledge and technologies
for adaptation
Scale
Agency
Diverse goals
Modes of governance
A priori thoughts
• Adaptation is happening now, but
constrained by behaviour, inertia and
contested values and aims
• Adaptation is absolutely necessary and
resonates with sustainable development
• Adaptation will be painful for many
Living with Climate Change
Are there Limits to Adaptation?