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A systematic review of observed climate change adaptation in developed nations

A letter


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.


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Correspondence to James D. Ford.

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Ford, J.D., Berrang-Ford, L. & Paterson, J. A systematic review of observed climate change adaptation in developed nations. Climatic Change 106, 327–336 (2011).

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  • Climate Change
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Develop Nation
  • Adaptation Action
  • Systematic Review Methodology