Climatic Change

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 327–336 | Cite as

A systematic review of observed climate change adaptation in developed nations

A letter
  • James D. Ford
  • Lea Berrang-Ford
  • Jaclyn Paterson
Open Access
Letter

Abstract

We develop and apply a systematic mixed-methods literature review methodology to identify and characterize how climate change adaptation is taking place in developed nations. We find limited evidence of adaptation action. Where interventions are being implemented and reported on, they are typically in sectors that are sensitive to climate impacts, are most common at the municipal level, facilitated by higher-level government interventions, with responses typically institutional in nature. There is negligible description of adaptation taking place with respect to vulnerable groups, with reporting unequal by region and sector. The methodology offers important insights for meta-analyses in climate change scholarship and can be used for monitoring progress in adaptation over time.

Supplementary material

10584_2011_45_MOESM1_ESM.doc (694 kb)
Supplementary Data(DOC 693 KB)

References

  1. Adger WN, Barnett J (2009) Four reasons for concern about adaptation to climate change. Environ Plan A 41:2800–2805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnell NW (2010) Adapting to climate change: an evolving research programme. Clim Change 100:107–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berrang-Ford L et al (2011) Are we adapting to climate change? Glob Environ Change 21(1):25–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ford JD, Pearce T (2010) What we know, do not know, and need to know about climate change vulnerability in the western Canadian Arctic. Environ Res Lett 5. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014008 Google Scholar
  5. Ford JD, Berrang-Ford L (2011) (eds) Climate change adaptation in developed nations: from theory to practice. Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands (in press)Google Scholar
  6. Füssel HM (2007) Adaptation planning for climate change: concepts, assessment approaches, and key lessons. Sustain Sci 2(2):265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hulme M (2009) Mapping climate change knowledge: an editorial essay. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 1Google Scholar
  8. Hulme M et al (2010) IPCC: cherish it, tweak it or scrap it? Nature 463:730–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. New M et al (2011) Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications. Philos Trans R Soc A 369(1934):6–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Oppenheimer M et al (2007) Climate change—the limits of consensus. Science 317:1505–1506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pielke R (2010) The climate fix: what scientists and politicians won’t tell you about global warming. Basic, New York, p 276Google Scholar
  12. Smit B et al (1999) The science of adaptation: a framework for assessment. Mitig Adapt Strategies Glob Chang 4:199–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Smit B et al (2000) An anatomy of adaptation to climate change and variability. Clim Change 45:223–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Smith MS et al (2011) Rethinking adaptation for a 4 degrees C world. Philos Trans R Soc A 369(1934):196–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tompkins E et al (2010) Observed adaptation to climate change: UK evidence of transition to a well-adapting society. Glob Environ Change 20(4):627–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Ford
    • 1
  • Lea Berrang-Ford
    • 1
  • Jaclyn Paterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations