Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation

pp 1-25

Date: Latest Version

Understanding Impacts of Climate Variation in Varied Socio-ecological Domains: A Prerequisite for Climate Change Adaptation and Management

  • Nidhi NagabhatlaAffiliated withInstitut für Umweltplanung (IUP), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Email author 
  • , Sobhan Kumar SahuAffiliated withAPEC Climate Center (APCC)
  • , Armando GaetanielloAffiliated withEberswalde University for Sustainable Development
  • , Lijuan WenAffiliated withChinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute
  • , Wooseop LeeAffiliated withAPEC Climate Center (APCC)


This chapter examines the impacts of climate variability on selected socio-ecological settings in South Asia. A transdisciplinary conceptual framework is presented that blends multilevel interactions in a social-ecological-climate nexus. The overarching objective is to draw on empirical experience to build capacity to make use of climate data for societal needs, i.e., to facilitate climate change adaptation planning. The chapter has two modules. The first module, Climate Change Monitoring (CCM), details the operating structure of real-time climate data and its practical use. The second module, Climate Change Assessment (CCA), examines impacts and adaptation options using a case study approach. Focusing on the analytical process, the authors examine three socio-ecological subsystems, i.e., marine fisheries, a rice agroecosystem, and human migration, using a mixed “tool box” of meteorological data, remote sensing images, primary and secondary socioeconomic information, and a variety of software programs. The results indicate that (1) spatial indicators are useful in explaining a decline in marine ecosystem productivity; (2) local-level temperature variability is closely related to agroecosystem transitions; and (3) climatic variability, especially increased frequency of extreme events, triggers human migration. The case studies highlight the need to employ real-time climate data in the design of adaptation strategies and the requirement for a transdisciplinary approach.


Climate variability and change Adaptation Socio-ecological systems Transdisciplinary