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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Avoiding dangerous climate change: Development and application of an anatomy of climate-related vulnerabilities to address the ultimate objective of the Framework convention on climate change


The research proposed here aims at developing a conceptual model of the UNFCCC approach to preventing 'dangerous climate change' and an 'anatomy' of climate-related vulnerabilities. This anatomy will provide a framework for structuring the knowledge about potentially 'dangerous' aspects of anthropogenic climate change in a way that is explicitly targeted at the underlying decision problem.

Application of this framework to selected 'key vulnerabilities' will improve the effectiveness of participative approaches addressing the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC, and it will facilitate the consideration of different types of vulnerabilities in integrated assessment models of climate change (IAMs). The research involves methods from systems analysis, text analysis, vulnerability research, and risk assessment.

The fellow will spend the outgoing phase of his fellowship at the Centre for Environmental Science and Policy at Stanford University (USA). There he will develop the conceptual model and the anatomy of vulnerability, which will be tested on student groups. This conceptual framework will then be applied to key climate-related vulnerabilities, which is expected to involve additional stochastic model analyses with existing IAMs.

During his return phase at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany), the results will be applied in ongoing European research projects that employ participatory and model-based integrated assessments of climate change. The fellowship will help to transfer and utilize knowledge from a top research centre on that topic into the European Research Area and to establish new scientific partnerships, thereby strengthening the excellence of European research.

It will significantly improve the ability of the fellow to establish an independent research career in Europe. The proposed research on the science-policy interface in global climate change is also highly relevant for other explicitly stated political objectives of the Community.

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