About this Research Topic
Since 2001, when the first IPCC chapter on adaptation was published, there has been limited consistency within the IPCC and among the broader research community in the definition and use of vulnerability, risk, adaptation and a range of related terms. While conceptual inconsistencies might be an expected feature of an unfolding field of research, they also hamper empirical progress. And lack of empirical progress, in turn, slows down the uptake of this research by those who stand to benefit from it.
IPCC reports have shaped adaptation research by adopting, popularising and discarding relevant concepts, presenting alternative analytical frameworks, and inspiring a growing and increasingly diverse empirical literature. But is this growing body of adaptation research providing policymakers, funders and practitioners with the necessary information to close the adaptation action gap? What additional advances in adaptation research are needed to better inform and galvanise action? And what does it take to fill the lingering chasm between adaptation research and action?
Building on the recent assessment by the IPCC, the goal of this Research Topic is to identify and explore existing and emerging conceptual shortcomings and empirical blind spots in adaptation research that, if left unaddressed, continue to hinder effective adaptation action and the provision of finance. The IPCC conclusion that climate risks are more complex than initially assumed and more difficult to manage makes this Research Topic particularly pertinent and timely.
The conceptual focus on climate risk since the 2012 IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters is shifting to one on compound and systemic risk, within the context of climate-resilient development. Adaptation then needs to be planned, designed and analysed accordingly, but research to inform this process is still limited.
Researchers have made significant strides in empirically documenting adaptation with case studies and large-N samples, but this literature still only offers an incomplete view of adaptation success. For example, it tends to exclude distributive issues regarding costs and benefits and justice.
Finally, the role of the IPCC in informing policymaking at different levels, including the UNFCCC Global Stocktake, requires deeper analysis. Such analysis would help in identifying policy needs and steps to galvanise action before the next assessment report.
Papers should clearly but succinctly present knowledge needs, conceptual and methodological innovations and scientific findings that emerged after the publication of the IPCC WGII report, and discuss how these could advance adaptation research, action and funding in the decade to come. We welcome the following types of manuscripts:
• Perspectives discussing the emerging framing of compound and systemic risk and its implications for adaptation research, action and funding
• Articles that analyse conceptual, empirical or policy gaps relevant to adaptation, which have remained or become apparent following the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report
• Articles proposing and discussing innovative methodological approaches to adaptation research, action and funding
• Synthesis papers or systematic literature reviews that assess the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation action and support
Keywords: IPCC report, IPCC Working Group II (WG II), IPCC Working group III (WG III), Climate change, Climate resilient development, Adaptation action, Systemic risk, Adaptation support, Adaptation research, Policy gaps
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.