Adaptation, Adaptation Science, and the Status of Adaptation in Mountain Regions



This chapter introduces the conceptual foundations of, and core themes within, the climate change adaptation scholarship; outlines common approaches to adaptation science; presents key critiques of how adaptation is conceptualized and examined; and discusses the status of adaptation in upstream-downstream environments. The chapter draws out linkages between adaptation scholarship and mountain-specific socio-economic and environmental conditions. It also addressed an important gap in the broader adaptation scholarship, where there have been few studies characterizing and examining adaptation in mountain regions. Topics covered clarify key conceptual and analytical aspects of climate change adaptation and strengthen rationale for efforts to increase understanding of adaptation in upstream-downstream systems. The chapter also facilitates more informed engagement with subsequent chapters in Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective.


Adaptation Adaptation science Climate change Mountains Upstream-downstream 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham McDowell
    • 1
  • Eleanor Stephenson
    • 2
  • James Ford
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Resources, Environment, and SustainabilityUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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