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

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Event Attribution science in adaptation decision-making : the context of extreme rainfall in urban Senegal. / Young, Hannah R.; Cornforth, Rosalind J.; Gaye, Amadou T.; Boyd, Emily.

In: Climate and Development, 06.02.2019.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Event Attribution science in adaptation decision-making

T2 - Climate and Development

AU - Young, Hannah R.

AU - Cornforth, Rosalind J.

AU - Gaye, Amadou T.

AU - Boyd, Emily

PY - 2019/2/6

Y1 - 2019/2/6

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - adaptation policy

KW - attribution

KW - climate change

KW - decision-making

KW - extreme events

KW - Senegal

U2 - 10.1080/17565529.2019.1571401

DO - 10.1080/17565529.2019.1571401

M3 - Article

JO - Climate and Development

JF - Climate and Development

SN - 1756-5529

ER -