Amplifying the uptake of African adaptation science in the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Climate change represents a significant threat to human health, biodiversity, and the sustained eradication of poverty. Africa is poised to be one of the most negatively impacted regions, with rates and magnitudes of climate change above the global average. A detailed assessment of climate change risks and solutions is therefore urgently needed to guide decisions on climate change adaptation by governments across the continent. However, it is widely acknowledged that African scholars and scholarship are poorly represented in the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Further, the IPCC does not provide any financial support for these fundamental assessment functions.
The IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report places much greater emphasis on assessing climate change impacts and adaptation solutions at regional scales (including a chapter on Africa) to target a key information gap for decision-makers. It is therefore important to ensure that climate change risks to Africa, and African climate change adaptation needs, are comprehensively covered by this cycle of the IPCC.
This project strengthens Africa’s contribution to the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report and builds the capacity of young African scholars to contribute toward future assessment cycles by supporting the participation of two African chapter scientists; enabling on-demand research synthesis on key assessment topics and knowledge gaps; and creating two internship positions that will support the chapter authors. In addition to the career and skills enhancement opportunities for emerging scholars offered through this project, bringing African early-career researchers into the IPCC as chapter scientists, research consultants, and chapter interns is also an important opportunity for the IPCC itself because it expands the pipeline of future IPCC authors from Africa.
A framework for complex climate change risk assessment
The approach encourages divergent thinking, which traverses sectoral and regional boundaries and recognizes links between physical and socio-economic drivers of risk. In this paper recent work describing complex climate change risk is synthesized. It includes concepts of compound, connected, and cascading interactions. It reflects on the consequences of risk assessment and response. It then establishes a framework for risk assessment that encompasses increasing levels of complexity. The framework is demonstrated through diverse case studies to illustrate how risk assessments can better consider and categorize complexity. For convenience and tractability, analysts tend to break risk assessments into silos, often taking a component-oriented view.
Author(s): Simpson, Nicholas P., Mach, Katharine J., Constable, Andrew, Hess, Jeremy, Hogarth, Ryan