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Applying the global RCP–SSP–SPA scenario framework at sub-national scale: A multi-scale and participatory scenario approach

Applying the global RCP–SSP–SPA scenario framework at sub-national scale: A multi-scale and participatory scenario approach
Applying the global RCP–SSP–SPA scenario framework at sub-national scale: A multi-scale and participatory scenario approach

To better anticipate potential impacts of climate change, diverse information about the future is required, including climate, society and economy, and adaptation and mitigation. To address this need, a global RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways), SSP (Shared Socio-economic Pathways), and SPA (Shared climate Policy Assumptions) (RCP–SSP–SPA) scenario framework has been developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC-AR5). Application of this full global framework at sub-national scales introduces two key challenges: added complexity in capturing the multiple dimensions of change, and issues of scale. Perhaps for this reason, there are few such applications of this new framework. Here, we present an integrated multi-scale hybrid scenario approach that combines both expert-based and participatory methods. The framework has been developed and applied within the DECCMA1 project with the purpose of exploring migration and adaptation in three deltas across West Africa and South Asia: (i) the Volta delta (Ghana), (ii) the Mahanadi delta (India), and (iii) the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) delta (Bangladesh/India). Using a climate scenario that encompasses a wide range of impacts (RCP8.5) combined with three SSP-based socio-economic scenarios (SSP2, SSP3, SSP5), we generate highly divergent and challenging scenario contexts across multiple scales against which robustness of the human and natural systems within the deltas are tested. In addition, we consider four distinct adaptation policy trajectories: Minimum intervention, Economic capacity expansion, System efficiency enhancement, and System restructuring, which describe alternative future bundles of adaptation actions/measures under different socio-economic trajectories. The paper highlights the importance of multi-scale (combined top-down and bottom-up) and participatory (joint expert-stakeholder) scenario methods for addressing uncertainty in adaptation decision-making. The framework facilitates improved integrated assessments of the potential impacts and plausible adaptation policy choices (including migration) under uncertain future changing conditions. The concept, methods, and processes presented are transferable to other sub-national socio-ecological settings with multi-scale challenges.

0048-9697
659-672
Kebede, Abiy S.
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Allan, Andrew
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Arto, Iñaki
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Cazcarro, Ignacio
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Fernandes, Jose A.
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Hill, Chris T.
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Hutton, Craig W.
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Kay, Susan
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Lázár, Attila N.
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Macadam, Ian
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Palmer, Matthew
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Suckall, Natalie
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Tompkins, Emma L.
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Vincent, Katharine
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Whitehead, Paul W.
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Kebede, Abiy S.
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Allan, Andrew
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Arto, Iñaki
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Cazcarro, Ignacio
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Fernandes, Jose A.
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Hill, Chris T.
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Hutton, Craig W.
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Kay, Susan
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Lázár, Attila N.
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Macadam, Ian
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Palmer, Matthew
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Suckall, Natalie
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Tompkins, Emma L.
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Vincent, Katharine
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Whitehead, Paul W.
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Kebede, Abiy S., Nicholls, Robert J., Allan, Andrew, Arto, Iñaki, Cazcarro, Ignacio, Fernandes, Jose A., Hill, Chris T., Hutton, Craig W., Kay, Susan, Lázár, Attila N., Macadam, Ian, Palmer, Matthew, Suckall, Natalie, Tompkins, Emma L., Vincent, Katharine and Whitehead, Paul W. (2018) Applying the global RCP–SSP–SPA scenario framework at sub-national scale: A multi-scale and participatory scenario approach. Science of the Total Environment, 635, 659-672. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.368).

Record type: Article

Abstract

To better anticipate potential impacts of climate change, diverse information about the future is required, including climate, society and economy, and adaptation and mitigation. To address this need, a global RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways), SSP (Shared Socio-economic Pathways), and SPA (Shared climate Policy Assumptions) (RCP–SSP–SPA) scenario framework has been developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC-AR5). Application of this full global framework at sub-national scales introduces two key challenges: added complexity in capturing the multiple dimensions of change, and issues of scale. Perhaps for this reason, there are few such applications of this new framework. Here, we present an integrated multi-scale hybrid scenario approach that combines both expert-based and participatory methods. The framework has been developed and applied within the DECCMA1 project with the purpose of exploring migration and adaptation in three deltas across West Africa and South Asia: (i) the Volta delta (Ghana), (ii) the Mahanadi delta (India), and (iii) the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) delta (Bangladesh/India). Using a climate scenario that encompasses a wide range of impacts (RCP8.5) combined with three SSP-based socio-economic scenarios (SSP2, SSP3, SSP5), we generate highly divergent and challenging scenario contexts across multiple scales against which robustness of the human and natural systems within the deltas are tested. In addition, we consider four distinct adaptation policy trajectories: Minimum intervention, Economic capacity expansion, System efficiency enhancement, and System restructuring, which describe alternative future bundles of adaptation actions/measures under different socio-economic trajectories. The paper highlights the importance of multi-scale (combined top-down and bottom-up) and participatory (joint expert-stakeholder) scenario methods for addressing uncertainty in adaptation decision-making. The framework facilitates improved integrated assessments of the potential impacts and plausible adaptation policy choices (including migration) under uncertain future changing conditions. The concept, methods, and processes presented are transferable to other sub-national socio-ecological settings with multi-scale challenges.

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Kebede-etal_STOTEN_Manuscript_Accepted_20180330 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 30 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 April 2018
Published date: 1 September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419951
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419951
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 17947c02-ddc1-4dd5-a228-211b7a74c1f3
ORCID for Robert J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109
ORCID for Craig W. Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X
ORCID for Attila N. Lázár: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2033-2013

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Date deposited: 24 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:29

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Contributors

Author: Abiy S. Kebede
Author: Andrew Allan
Author: Iñaki Arto
Author: Ignacio Cazcarro
Author: Jose A. Fernandes
Author: Chris T. Hill
Author: Craig W. Hutton ORCID iD
Author: Susan Kay
Author: Attila N. Lázár ORCID iD
Author: Ian Macadam
Author: Matthew Palmer
Author: Natalie Suckall
Author: Katharine Vincent
Author: Paul W. Whitehead

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