finding 28.3 : key-message-28-3

Adaptation entails a continuing risk management process; it does not have an end point. With this approach, individuals and organizations of all types assess risks and vulnerabilities from climate and other drivers of change (such as economic, environmental, and societal), take actions to reduce those risks, and learn over time. (High Confidence)

This finding is from chapter 28 of Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II.

Process for developing key messages:

The scope for this chapter was determined by the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Federal Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from the U.S. Global Change Research Program member agencies. The scope was also informed by research needs identified in the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3). Authors for this NCA4 chapter were selected to represent a range of public- and private-sector perspectives and experiences relevant to adaptation planning and implementation.

This chapter was developed through technical discussions of relevant evidence and expert deliberation by chapter authors during teleconferences, e-mail exchanges, and a day-long in-person meeting. These discussions were informed by a comprehensive literature review of the evidence base for the current state of adaptation in the United States. The author team obtained input from outside experts in several important areas to supplement its expertise.

Description of evidence base:

Evidence from a large body of literature and observations of experience support the judgment that iterative risk management is a useful framework (e.g., National Research Council 2009, America's Climate Choices 2010, Kunreuther et al. 20127ab8b14a-38c7-4128-b0e3-fe1ab65edac0,a230ab8f-a284-491a-91cd-45d7b8b32bdf,98b06127-7ea5-415a-98cb-ee5a1b5f11dc). The literature also suggests its conceptual similarity with other methods that use different names.

New information and remaining uncertainties:

The literature and practice of climate change are undergoing a process of maturation and convergence. The process began with many organizations and sectors developing their own approaches and terminology in response to climate risks, meaning that a wide variety of approaches still exist in the field. We believe that the field will progress and converge on the most effective approaches, including iterative risk management. But this convergence is still in process, and the outcome remains uncertain.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence:

Significant agreement and strong evidence provide high confidence that adaptation is a form of iterative risk management and that this is an appropriate framework for understanding, addressing, and communicating climate-related risks.7f8b90be-c5d1-43b5-8b7f-a485ef08c7ec

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