UNCHAIN - Unpacking climate impact CHAINs. A new generation of action- and user-oriented climate change risk assessments

Research introduction

Adapting to climate change (CC) is one of the great challenges of our time, and this requires rigorous, but also shared knowledge base on climate risks and vulnerability. Even as climate projections become more sophisticated, they are generally not translated into adaptation decisions and actions.

Research challenges

Attempting to improve CC risk assessment frameworks to inform decision-making and CC adaptation action, this project will test the “impact chain” model and further develop the approach, by introducing five methodological innovations which include:

  1. Covering both short-term need for ‘adjusting’ current societal framework and long-term need for large-scale efforts of ‘societal transformation’
  2. Co-production of knowledge and integrate this into impact modelling to better account for different views on desirable and equitable climate resilient futures.
  3. Understanding the combined effect of potential climate and societal changes into integrated CC risks assessment to better understand the socio-economic consequences involved in local climate change adaptation.
  4. Addressing uncertainties involved in local decision-making on climate change adaptation
  5. Explore the possibility of expanding the logic of impact change along two dimensions: first, ‘time & space’, and ‘scope’ and second, linking mitigation and adaptation

The project will combine quantitative modelling with data from qualitative analysis through literature reviews, interviews, expert judgments and fieldwork. This combination of multiple methodological efforts is expected to represent a new integrated quantitative Climate risks assessment model.

At the core of UNCHAIN are several case studies conducted in each of the involved countries (Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Spain, Austria, Sweden and France). WSG-WUR together with Climate adaptation services(CAS) are leading the Netherlands cases to study; 1. Climate change impacts financial investment portfolios at different scales. 2. Risks and impacts of climate change on railway infrastructure. The outcome is expected to improve climate services from supply-based to demand-based and also help address the larger challenge of connecting science with policy.