Scenarios for sectoral adaptive capacity to climate change

PhD Project

This doctoral thesis seeks to develop globally applicable scenarios of sectoral adaptive capacity to climate change. Adaptation was defined by the IPCC as “the adjustments in human and natural systems, in response to actual of expected climate stimuli or their effects, that moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities.” (IPCC, 2001). The ability of nations to make these adjustments describes their adaptive capacity. Adaptation to climate change is a relevant topic in scientific research as it will have a major impact on the development of future generations. The capacity to adapt to climate change is influenced by a large number of climate change factors and is embedded in the socio-economic framework conditions of the countries. Due to the high complexity of the elements that describe adaptive capacity, it will be a great challenge to describe it in a meaningful way and assign exemplary determinants. The doctoral thesis will focus on the water, agriculture, health and energy sectors. Once relevant adaptation measures have been identified, they will be represented by socio-economic variables. This will allow the evolution of adaptation measures in the 21st century to be projected on a country-specific basis for different scenarios. Ultimately, these scenarios will be included in biophysical modelling and integrated assessment models and can thus capture the extent of different warmings and change. The aim of the doctoral thesis is to support better planning of the impacts of climate change and therefore allow for informed decision-making. In addition, the work could forecast losses and damages beyond the adaptive capacity of countries.