Climatic Change

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 87–101 | Cite as

Bridging the gap: linking climate-impacts research with adaptation planning and management

  • Michael D. MastrandreaEmail author
  • Nicole E. Heller
  • Terry L. Root
  • Stephen H. Schneider


A critical challenge in supporting climate change adaptation is improving the linkage between climate-impacts and vulnerability research and public and private planning and management decisions. We highlight the need for bottom-up/top-down vulnerability assessment, bringing together bottom-up knowledge of existing vulnerabilities with top-down climate-impact projections, as a transparent basis for informing decisions intended to reduce vulnerability. This approach can be used to evaluate the likelihood of crossing identified thresholds of exposure, and to evaluate alternative adaptation strategies based on their ability to reduce sensitivity to projected changes in exposure and their robustness across uncertainty in future outcomes. By identifying thresholds for which adaptive capacity is limited in particular systems, adaptation and mitigation become complements where the magnitudes of climate change at which such thresholds cluster can help to define mitigation targets.


Adaptive Capacity Emission Scenario Vulnerability Assessment Rapid Climate Change Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Mastrandrea
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole E. Heller
    • 2
  • Terry L. Root
    • 1
  • Stephen H. Schneider
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Woods Institute for the EnvironmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Climate CentralPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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