Event Attribution science in adaptation decision-making: the context of extreme rainfall in urban Senegal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Event attribution assesses the effect of climate change on individual extreme events. While scientists have suggested that results could be relevant for climate adaptation policy, this has had little empirical investigation, particularly in developing regions. Taking the case of Senegal, the national adaptation policy context regarding extreme precipitation and flooding in urban areas, and the scientific information needed to support this policy is investigated using key informant interviews, a workshop and document analysis. Flooding in Senegal was found to be viewed primarily as an urban planning concern rather than a climate change issue, with actions to address the impacts focussing on current vulnerabilities of urban communities without considering changing climate risks. While stakeholders thought event attribution might be useful to inform about climate change impacts and future risks of extreme events, it is unclear whether there would be an opportunity for this at present, due to the limited role climate information has in adaptation decision-making. While addressing vulnerability to extremes is necessary whether or not the risk is climate change-related, if long-term planning is to be resilient then knowledge about future changes in risks of extremes will need to be considered, even if individual events are not attributed to climate change.

Details

Authors
  • Hannah R. Young
  • Rosalind J. Cornforth
  • Amadou T. Gaye
  • Emily Boyd
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Reading
  • Cheikh Anta Diop University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Climate Research

Keywords

  • adaptation policy, attribution, climate change, decision-making, extreme events, Senegal
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate and Development
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Feb 6
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes