2021-05-10Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abed79
Pathways of climate resilience over the 21st century
The impacts of climate change are affecting human societies today. In parallel, socio-economic development has increased the capacity of countries around the global to adapt to those impacts although substantial challenges remain. Ongoing climate change will continue to result in a pressure to adapt, while socio-economic development could make it easier to do so. Countries’ effectiveness in fostering climate resilience will depend on the pace of both developments under different socio-economic and emission pathways. Here we assess trajectories of adaptation readiness in comparison with the continued emergence of hot days as a proxy for climate change hazards for different emission and socio-economic pathways over the 21st century. Putting the future evolution of both indices in relation to the observed dynamics over the recent past allows us to provide an assessment of the prospects of future climate resilience building beyond what has been experienced to date. We show that only an inclusive and sustainable stringent mitigation pathway allows for effective climate resilient development over the 21st century. Less inclusive or fossil-fuel driven development will not allow for improvements in resilience building beyond the recent past. Substantial differences emerge already in the 2020s. Our findings underscore the paramount importance of achieving the Paris Agreement goals to enable climate-resilient, sustainable development.