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Resilience and climate change

Climate change poses risks for all societies: no place or population is immune. Our research is focussing on climate communication, developing adequate metrics, and exploring societal responses including migration and mobility.

Current research highlights

Projects with a variety of partners seeks to understand how people engage with, and communicate about, climate change. ESRC IAA funding brought together academic experts in visual climate communication with leading industry practitioners (Getty Images, World Press Photo Foundation, Climate Outreach) in a Visualising Climate Change Hackathon. The Hackathon report will produce best practice guidelines for visual climate communication.

A Leverhulme Research Fellowship to Saffron O’Neill will seek to understand how the circulation, repetition, and reinterpretation of visual images plays a key role in meaning-making about climate change; especially across digital interfaces. Saffron is also working with the IPCC Secretariat and communications consultant Dr Roz Pidcock (through funding from the Norwegian Environment Agency) to bring together diverse voices on climate communication; to critically reflect on successes, challenges, lessons learned and best practice for future IPCC reports.

Research funded by the Wellcome Trust (Healthy Adaptations) is seeking to incorporate health and well-being metrics into the assessment of adaptation interventions. For floods, for example, the main strategies are living with risk, relocating settlements, and hard defences: each has significant consequences for those involved. Research is ongoing in the UK, Ireland and Ghana with partners at Maynooth University and the University of Ghana.

Climate change is altering the economic geography of regions, making places attractive and productive compared to places at risk. This leads to movement of people, both through voluntary movement and through survival migration.

A major consortium, DECCMA (with funding from UK FCDO and IDRC Canada), is examining these strategies in India, Bangladesh and Ghana, working with multiple stakeholders and deploying major surveys in those countries. They show that climate change amplifies existing migrant flows, through making places feel less secure. Yet populations in destination areas are often also exposed to climate risks. Read the results in an open access book Deltas in the Anthropocene (Palgrave).