Climate Action

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Immediate Climate Vulnerabilities: Climate Change and Planning Policy in Northern Communities

  • Derek MacdonaldEmail author
  • S. Jeff BirchallEmail author
Living reference work entry



Abrupt or Rapid Climate Change

Abrupt, also referred to as rapid, climate change is the nonlinear application of expected climate forces that occur faster than anticipated, or the sudden occurrence of unexpected climate forces (Baede et al. 2014). These unexpected climate forces can have devastating effects for local communities, especially those on the coast (Birchall and Bonnett 2019, in review; Birchall 2019; Wallace 2017). While common coastal community climate change impacts such as sea level rise are more predictable in nature and can be monitored and prepared for over the long term, abrupt climate change impacts can be much more complex to predict, are highly localized (Sorensen et al. 2018), and often result in coastal communities resorting to reactionary measures in order to adapt.

Smaller communities are particularly vulnerable,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Urban and Regional Planning, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anabela Marisa Azul
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neuroscience and Cell BiologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal