Climate pp 479-490 | Cite as

Adaptation of Inland Systems to Climate Change with Challenges and Opportunities for Physical, Social, and Engineering Disciplines

  • J. H. Lambert
  • A. Troccoli
  • K. D. White
  • H. Karl
  • L. Yumagulova
  • A. Sterin
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


This paper explores several issues associated with the adaptation of inland systems to climate change, particularly by addressing the vulnerabilities of inland centers of people, industry, and agriculture that are interconnected at multiple temporal and spatial scales. The aim of the paper is to improve understanding needed for sustainable climate change adaptation of inland systems, where sustainability encompasses social and psychological adaptation, environmental justice, and the preservation and enhancement of human dignity and natural resources. This requires participatory approaches with iterative problem framing and solution generation that are respectful of both human dignity and the integrality of nature. A vital component of developing adaptation strategies is the assessment of current vulnerabilities, namely the extent to which current climate variability and change, acting together with other stressors, impact inland systems. This assessment requires an understanding of the climate system and its impacts to inland systems, as well as the responses of the systems to changing climate. A complex adaptive systems approach can be useful in carrying out such an assessment. Important factors include how inland centers – especially marginal lands, disadvantaged populations, and threatened ecosystems – are resilient to both episodic shocks and to steady trends, which may be difficult to measure, monitor, or forecast. Climate change adaptation strategies for inland systems must also take into account transboundary issues, and take advantage of opportunities where present.


Climate Change Human Dignity Climate Change Adaptation Complex Adaptive System Wicked Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors appreciate the insights of colleagues at the NATO Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change, at Hella, Iceland, in June 2010, including Jose M. Palma, Melinda Kiker, Ronald Bowman, Ahmed Hady, Daniel Hillel, James Jones, and Rafael Munoz-Carpena. The authors particularly appreciate the advice and leadership through the workshop of Dr. Igor Linkov and Dr. Todd Bridges of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Lambert
    • 1
  • A. Troccoli
    • 2
  • K. D. White
    • 3
  • H. Karl
    • 4
  • L. Yumagulova
    • 5
  • A. Sterin
    • 6
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.US Army Corps of EngineersHanoverUSA
  4. 4.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  5. 5.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  6. 6.Russian Research Institute for Hydrometeorological InformationObninskRussia

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