The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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An alternate approach to assessing climate risks

TitleAn alternate approach to assessing climate risks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBrown C, Wilby RL
JournalEos Trans. AGU
Start Page401
Date Published10/2012
KeywordsClimate change, Decision making, risk assessment, water resources

U.S. federal agencies are now required to review the potential impacts of climate change on their assets and missions. Similar arrangements are also in place in the United Kingdom under reporting powers for key infrastructure providers ( These requirements reflect growing concern about climate resilience and the management of long-lived assets. At one level, analyzing climate risks is a matter of due diligence, given mounting scientific evidence. However, there is no consensus about the means for doing so nor about whether climate models are even ft for the purpose; in addition, several important issues are often overlooked when incorporating climate information into adaptation decisions. An alternative to the scenarioled strategy, such as an approach based on a vulnerability analysis (“stress test”), may identify practical options for resource managers.