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


Abstract

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.

Conway, D., Nicholls, R.J., Brown, S., Tebboth, M.G.L., Adger, W.N., Ahmad, B., Biemans, H., Crick, F., Lutz, A.F., Safra De Campos, R., Said, M., Singh, C., Zaroug, M.A.H., Ludi, E., New, M. and Wester, P. (2019). In: Nature Climate Change 9, 503–511.https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0502-0