Building Up Resilience

About this theme:

Climate change is impacting human and natural systems. It poses risks to the global economy, to lives and livelihoods, and to businesses. It poses risks to food security, water resources, the built environment, human health and wider well-being. It poses risks to biodiversity and ecosystem services, globally and regionally.

Increasing levels of global warming increase the likelihood of severe and irreversible events and their impacts during the 21st century and beyond.

In order to reduce these levels of risk, both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation are required. While mitigation can reduce global warming, not all impacts can be avoided. Hence, adaptation is essential.

We explore how to build climate resilient pathways that reduce vulnerabilities to climate change in a manner which is synergistic with mitigation pathways. We consider synergies and conflicts between these pathways and the Sustainable Development Goals to highlight the opportunities for actions that have benefits on multiple levels, and avoid unintended consequences. 

We explore how climate change risks accrue with different levels of warming, and assess how adaptation can be used to reduce these risks and enhance resilience. We assist climate-resilient development of human society, as well as land, water and ecosystem management. 

We consider human systems, managed systems and natural ecosystems through science and stakeholder expertise. We use our cross-disciplinary expertise to consider resilience in the light of social, physical, economic, ecological and engineering challenges. We consider the impacts of global warming on biodiversity worldwide and regionally. We also explore the co-benefits of biodiversity conservation with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

An important contribution is the development and use of integrated models and decision tools with relevant stakeholders to co-produce policy-relevant insights and answers. Examples include the Community Integrated Assessment System, the Wallace Initiative Biodiversity Analyses and Maps, the Urban Integrated Assessment Facility (UIAF) and the Tyndall Coastal Simulator to name four of the more than 20 models and tools to whichstaff from the Tyndall Centre have developed and/or contributed. We use these models and tools to ask ‘what-if’ questions, such as “What are the effects of different levels of future global temperatureriseon human and/or natural systems, and how does that varyunder different socio-economicfutures”.  Hence, we can explore how decisions today can lead to different outcomesinthe future, and hence constrain future decision making.  Our climate risk and adaptation research continues to evolve from this long track record, and tackles regional/national decision making as well asglobal scaleissues.

Past highlights include:

We developed the Tyndall Coastal Simulator for North Norfolk examining the interaction between coastal flooding and erosion and winning the Lloyds Risk Prize in 2012 (to Richard Dawson), See Nicholls et al (2015). 

We developed the Urban Integrated Assessment Facility (UIAF) which developed an Integrated Assessment Modelling structure for London, combining sectoral economic analysis with transport demand analysis and environmental assessment for emissions and flood risk. See Ford et al (2019). 


Current projects

OpenCLIM: the Open CLimate IMpacts modelling framework – a UK Climate Resilience Project to build prototype methods for CCRA4. Involves Tyndall UEA, Tyndall Newcastle with CEH, Bristol University, STFC and Sayers and Associates.


Some key publications

Temitope Samuel Egbebiyi, Olivier Crespo, Christopher Lennard, Modathir Zaroug, Grigory Nikulin, Ian Harris, Jeff Price, Nicole Forstenhäusler, Rachel Warren ‘Investigating the potential impact of 1.5, 2 and 3 °C global warming levels on crop suitability and planting season over West Africa’.  Peer J., 2020.

Dawson RJ, Thompson D, Johns D, Wood R, Darch G, Chapman L, Hughes PN, Watson GVR, Paulson K, Bell S, Gosling SN, Powrie W, Hall JW. (2018) A systems framework for national assessment of climate risks to infrastructure. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 376(2121), 20170298.

Dietz, S., et al. including Warren R. (2018)  The economics of 1.5°C climate change Annual Review Environment and Resources 43, 455-480

Ford, A. Barr, S., Dawson, E., Virgo, J., Batty, M., Hall, J. (2019) A multi-scale urban integrated assessment framework for climate change studies: A flooding application. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 75, 229-243

Ford A, Dawson R, Blythe P, Barr S. (2018) Land-use transport models for climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 11(1), 83-101.

Forster, J., Turner, R., Fitzsimmons, C., Peterson, A., Mahon, R. & Stead, S., (2017) Evidence of a common understanding of proximate and distal drivers of reef health. Marine Policy. 84, 263-272 

Hall, J.W., Tran, M., Hickford, A. and Nicholls, R.J. (Eds.) (2016) The Future of Infrastructure Systems, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 1107066026, 338pp.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Jacob, D., Taylo M., Guillen Bolanos T, Bindi M, Brown S, Camillioni IA, Diedhou A, Dialant R, Ebi K, Engelbrecht F, Guiot J, Hijioka Y, Mehrote S, Cope CW, Payne AJ, Portner HO, Seneviratne SI, Thomas A, Warren R, Zhou G 2019.  The human imperative of stabilizing global climate change at 1.5C.  Science 365, 6459-6463

Nicholls, R.J., Adger, W.N., Hutton, C.W. and Hanson, S.E. (Eds) (2019) Deltas in the Anthropocene, Palgrave, ISBN 978-3-030-23516-1, 282pp.

Nicholls, R.J., Hutton, C.W., Adger, W.N., Rahman, M., Salehin, M. and Hanson, S.E. (Eds) (2018) Ecosystem services in deltas - Integrated assessment for policy analysis, Palgrave, ISBN 978-3-319-71093-8, 539pp.

Nicholls RJ, Dawson RJ, Day SA. (Eds.) (2015). Broad Scale Coastal Simulation: New Techniques to Understand and Manage Shorelines in the Third Millennium, Springer. ISBN-13: 978-9400752573.

Smith P., Price J., Molotoks A., Warren R., and Malhi Y. 2018. Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity of moving from a 2°C to a 1.5°C target. Phil Trans Roy Soc A 376: 20160448 DOI 10.1098/rsta.2016.0456. 

Warren, R., Price, J., Graham, E., Forstenhaeusler N., Vanderwal J. 2018. The projected effect on insects, vertebrates and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C. Science 360, 791-795 

Warren, R., Price J., Vanderwal J., Cornelius S,  and Sohl, H. 2018. The implications of the United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change for Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas. Climatic Change 147, 395-409.

Warren, R., Wilby, R.L., Brown K., Watkiss P., Betts R.A., Murphy J.M., and Lowe J.A. 2018.  Advancing national climate change risk assessment to deliver national adaptation plans. Phil Trans Roy Soc A 376: 2017029

Ideas & insights