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Publications and Reports

Study on adaptation modelling - Recommended approach to analysis and modelling


This report is part of a study commissioned by the European Commission - DG Climate Action on adaptation modelling, which includes also a  report on a recommended approach to analysis and modelling and a report on rapid analysis.

This report collects recommended approaches to analysis and modelling for better-informed decision-making on adaptation at various levels of governance in the EU, analysed within a comprehensive study commissioned by the European Commission, DG Climate Action. Moreover, this report identifies the main research advancements needed to foster the development and application of the technical, financial, economic and non-monetary analysis and modelling of climate change hazards, risks, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.

This report builds on the comprehensive desk review of the literature on models and tools for climate change adaption, performed within the same study. It provides summaries, as well as detailed discussions and a ranking according to the priority of the related adaptation issues, of a selection of recommended approaches for technical, financial, economic and non-monetary analyses and modelling tools that cover climate change hazards, risks, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.

The report also defines relevant follow-up actions for the coming five years period with a view to improving the approach for each of the use cases analysed in a separate report. The present report covers three main angles:

  • It identifies the key methodological steps enabling the development of effective analysis of adaptation, based on the  Adaptation Support Tool (AST) by Climate-ADAPT. The six AST steps are translated into investigation phases to capture how adaptation analyses should be ideally structured.
  • It checks how the different models and methods scrutinized match these steps, providing a gap analysis that flags what is feasible today and what is not yet feasible. Identified gaps are related to coarse spatial-temporal resolution, the divide between the macroeconomic assessment of impacts and local analysis, the still unsatisfactory coverage of feedbacks and interactions among different dimensions of the climate change adaptation process, the lack of a consolidated practice in communicating uncertainty, and the inability of available Decision Support Systems to distil quick and operational insights for policy assessment from adaptation models. 
  • Finally, the report suggests options for improving upon identified limits in adaptation assessment. In particular, the report identifies and prioritize the next-term (for the next five years) actions that can further facilitate the application of climate–impact-economic modelling for concretely usable adaptation analyses. These actions include a systematic evaluation of the domain of applicability of statistical downscaling for the different parameters (temperature, precipitation, wind) over the historical period; a systematic comparison of dynamical and statistical downscaling performance in representing the statistics of all the relevant parameters;  the development of higher horizontal resolution versions of the current models taking part to the current Copernicus Climate Change Services (CCS), and, again within Copernicus CCS, the establishment of a front office for the producers of climate data, to increase availability reliability and accessibility of the datasets. Further suggested actions include a survey of existing quantitative evidence on cost and effectiveness of adaptation; the development of systematic guidance tools and case studies for climate change risk and adaptation assessment more tailored to stakeholders needs particularly focused on robust decision-making under uncertainty; and the continued support to research in all gap areas flagged.

Reference information


Publication Office of the EU

European Commission

Published in Climate-ADAPT May 31 2021   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12 2023

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