Approach

The principal task of projects will be to systematically work though the possibilities for and limits to adaptation. Projects should be conducted by teams of researchers from the ecological and social sciences, and where necessary including researchers with expertise in technological and economic analysis.

·       Desktop reviews of available information about climatic and other drivers of risk, and proposed responses. 

·       Extensive workshopping to systematically identify climate change risks, adaptation options, and the limits to adaptation as they concern diverse environmental and social values will be required. 

·       Projects may also need to engage with key researchers and decision makers with knowledge of the ecological, technological, economic and social dimensions of adaptation. This is to consider the full range of adaptation possibilities, the thresholds at which they may fail to reduce vulnerability, and the values that will be affected. This may be done through various methods, such as interviews, workshops and focus groups, and expert elicitation techniques.

·       Finally, some collection of primary data, primarily from stakeholder groups, may also be required. 

Across the Limits to Adaptation projects, a set of common questions guide the analysis:

• Assuming there will be no planned adaptation, what are the likely impacts of climate change (in association with other known drivers of vulnerability)? For whom will these impacts be a problem?

• What adaptation strategies are available? Will (can) these strategies address all the climate risks that concern all potential stakeholders?

• Assuming climate stabilises at 2oC above pre-industrial levels, what seem to be the likely residual impacts of climate change after adaptation has taken place? For whom will these impacts be a problem?

• Assuming warming exceeds 4oC above pre-industrial levels, what seem to be the likely residual impacts of climate change after adaptation has taken place? For whom will these impacts be a problem?

• Given anticipated losses, are there substitutes for things that are lost that would be acceptable to affected parties?

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