Assessing limits of adaptation to climate change and opportunities for resilience to be enhanced|
|Assessing limits of adaptation to climate change and opportunities for resilience to be enhanced|
Kesto: 01-JAN-11 - 31-DEC-14
The inevitability of continued and accelerated anthropogenic climate change in future decades, regardless of mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, places the spotlight for action firmly on adaptation. All change that mitigation fails to avert will have to be adapted to. This project examines present-day adaptive capacity in relation to two ecosystem services: agriculture and biodiversity. It seeks to test the hypothesis that the capacity to adapt climate-sensitive systems to climate change in Finland is limited, and may be insufficient to cope with plausible projections of the rate and magnitude of change during the 21st century. The project explores the direct and indirect impacts of climate change and the options for enhancing resilience. It also identifies barriers impeding adaptation and the limits beyond which adaptation fails to cope with residual impacts. The core research will take place in two case studies concerning: (A) agrifood systems, focusing on food supply by farms and access to food by consumers, and (B) biodiversity and´conservation challenges posed by physical and regulatory barriers. Linkages between the two will also be examined. The research has five main objectives: (i) to describe the sensitivity of the system to climate change and the adaptation measures already in place for addressing weather and climate variability; (ii) to undertake an assessment, with stakeholder participation, of the potential adaptive capacity of the system to cope with unprecedented climate change; (iii) to conduct an assessment of the likely impacts ? including a consideration of adaptation responses where these can be accounted for ? of climate change for a range of projected climate, environmental and socioeconomic conditions; (iv) to compare the estimates of impacts and adaptation with the assessment of potential adaptive capacity, including relevant uncertainties, in order to draw conclusions concerning the prospects for enhancing resilience and the interventions required to achieve this; and (v) to report the results in a form that is of value to stakeholders. The interdisciplinary approach proposed here evaluates ecological, economic and social means for enhancing resilience, including interventions through legislation, policies and innovations at local, regional and national levels. An integrated qualitative-quantitative approach is adopted using a review of literature and databases, survey and expert analyses, simulation by crop, habitat and economic models, and application of multiple scenarios of plausible climate and socio-economic change.