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    Climate impact assessment and ‘islandness’: Challenges and opportunities of knowledge production and decision-making for Small Island Developing States

    Foley, Aideen M. (2018) Climate impact assessment and ‘islandness’: Challenges and opportunities of knowledge production and decision-making for Small Island Developing States. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 10 (2), pp. 289-302. ISSN 1756-8692.

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    Purpose: Climate data, including historical climate observations and climate model outputs, are often utilised in climate impact assessments, to explore potential climate futures. However, characteristics often associated with ‘islandness’, such as smallness, land boundedness and isolation, may mean that climate impact assessment methods applied at broader scales cannot simply be downscaled to island settings. This paper discusses information needs and the limitations of climate models and datasets in the context of small islands, and explores how such challenges might be addressed. Design/methodology/approach: Reviewing existing literature, the paper explores challenges of islandness in top-down, model-led climate impact assessment, and bottom-up, vulnerability-led approaches. It examines how alternative forms of knowledge production can play a role in validating models and in informing adaptation actions at the local level, and highlights decision-making techniques that can support adaptation even when data is uncertain. Findings: Small island topography is often too detailed for global or even regional climate models to resolve, but equally, local meteorological station data may be absent or uncertain, particularly in island peripheries. However, rather than viewing the issue as decision-making with big data at the regional/global scale versus with little or no data at the small island scale, a more productive discourse can emerge by conceptualising strategies of decision-making with unconventional types of data. Originality/value: This paper provides a critical overview and synthesis of issues relating to climate models, datasets and impact assessment methods as they pertain to islands, which can benefit decision-makers and other end-users of climate data in island communities.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Aideen Foley
    Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 11:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


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