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Understanding the dynamic nature of risk in climate change assessments – a new starting point for discussion

Viner, David, Ekstrom, Marie, Hulbert, Margot, Warner, Nicolle K., Wreford, Anita and Zommers, Zinta 2020. Understanding the dynamic nature of risk in climate change assessments – a new starting point for discussion. Atmospheric Science Letters 21 (4) , e958. 10.1002/asl.958

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This article sets out the current conceptualisation and description of risk used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It identifies limitations in capacity to reflect the dynamic nature of risk components, and the need for standardisation and refinement of methods used to quantify evolving risk patterns. Recent studies highlight the changing nature of hazards, exposure and vulnerability, the three components of risk, and demonstrate the need for coordinated guidance on strategies and methods that better reflect the dynamic nature of the components themselves, and their interaction. Here, we discuss limitations of a static risk framework and call for a way forward that will allow for a better understanding and description of risk. Such advancements in conceptualisation are needed to bring closer the understanding and description of risk in theory with how risk is quantified and communicated in practice. To stimulate discussion, this article proposes a formulation of risk that clearly recognises the temporally evolving nature of risk components.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Royal Meteorological Society
ISSN: 1530-261X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 18 January 2020
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2020 12:38

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