One of the critical questions of our time is how we adapt to climate change.
This theme, headed up by Cities RI Dr Johanna Nalau, the successful recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow 2019-2022, explores the ins and outs of climate adaptation, with a strong focus on sustainable and robust decision-making processes in managing local and global change. Johanna is also celebrating her amazing 2020 Queensland Young Tall Poppy of Year Award.
OUR WORLD IS CHANGING
We are constantly breaking new records (not in a good way) of reaching higher temperatures, and facing unprecedented events such as bushfires, floods, and cyclones. At the same time, slow onset changes such as droughts are testing our ability to produce food, to farm, and to live well.
Global climate change requires us not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also focus on the question of how can we adapt to current and future climate risks, especially in our growing cities.
The Research Theme of Adaptation Science seeks to answer this question, and many others that are surfacing as businesses, organisations, governments, communities and individuals are grappling with rapid local and global change.
Adaptation science is the pursuit of knowledge how to adapt with contributions from physical, natural, social and policy sciences. It aims to examine both the process of adaptation and the knowledge generated about adaptation.
We pay specific attention to decision-contexts (how, why and where are decisions made on adaptation), what kind of knowledge seems useful (how adaptation science can assist decision-makers) and what successful adaptation looks like (what metrics can or should we use).
The researchers in this theme come from many disciplines but all contribute different aspects to adaptation science, and also push forward an innovative research and policy relevant agenda that seeks to also engage with the theoretical foundations of climate adaptation in a critical manner.
We want to learn from practice of how adaptation is implemented, ask questions around “usefulness of science” but also be helpful and of service to those decision-makers and policy communities who see the value in developing more robust evidence-based adaptation science that can support decision-making processes.
Dr Johanna Nalau
ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow (2019-2021), Snr Research Fellow
Dr Aysin Dedekorkut-Howes
Snr Lecturer School of Environment & Science
Assoc Prof Michael Howes
School of Environment & Science
Dr Edward Morgan
Research Fellow, Cities Research Institute
Professor Tim Ryley
Professor of Aviation, School of Engineering and Built Environment
DECRA PROJECT: RE-EVALUATING CLIMATE ADAPTATION PRINCIPLES FOR A MORE RESILIENT AUSTRALIA
This project will investigate an urgent science and policy problem: how to increase Australia's resilience to adverse weather and climate events. The underlying principles in this process are currently inadequate and are leading to poor policy decisions and significant waste of resources. The project critically investigates how these principles have evolved and are used by climate adaptation professionals globally and nationally. Two innovative qualitative methods, conceptual modelling and premortem method, will be used to construct a novel policy relevant framework applicable to the Australian context. Expected outcomes provide a set of widely applicable adaptation principles to support decision-making towards a resilient Australia.
Articles and Publications
A critical exploration of adaptation heuristics - Science Direct - March 2021
Australian research institutes lead the way in climate change adaptation - Griffith News - March 2021
Corporate sustainability and ESG: counting on accountants - In the Black - April 2020
Disrupting path dependency: Making room for Indigenous knowledge in river management - Global Environmental Change- Vol 56, May 2019
Adapting to climate change: the priority for Australia - the Lowy Institute- April 2019
Is adaptation success a flawed concept? - Nature Climate Change July 2019
Planning for a different kind of sea change: lessons from Australia for sea level rise and coastal flooding Climate Policy, October 2020
When the tide gets high: a review of adaptive responses to sea level rise and coastal flooding Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, January 2020
Not Waving, Drowning: Can Local Government Policies on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Resilience Make a Difference? Urban Policy and Research, March 2017
Urban Resilience to Climate-Related Disasters: Emerging Lessons from Resilience Policy and Practice in Coastal Tourism Cities, Climate Change Management, 2017
The rise and fall of climate adaptation governance on the Gold Coast, Australia Climate Adaptation Governance in Cities and Regions: Theoretical Fundamentals and Practical Evidence, May 2016
In the Media
Johanna Nalau talks to 2SER about the possibility of having to relocate homes due to climate change and rising seas. August 2019 - Listen here
Johanna Nalau podcast on Go Simone - Moving the Climate Adaptation Agenda From Planning to Action through Brave Leadership. November 2019 - Listen here
Multi-hazards: The State of Adaptation Science in Australia & Beyond - Conversation with Dr. Johanna Nalau. October 2020 - Listen here