Cross-sectoral impacts of climate and socio-economic change in Scotland: implications for adaptation policy

Ian P. Holman, Paula A. Harrison, Marc J. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Understanding the importance of cross-sectoral implications of climate and socio-economic change in Scotland is essential for adaptation policy. This study explored the direct and indirect sectoral impacts of future change using the CLIMSAVE Integrated Assessment Platform. There is great spatial diversity in projected impacts across Scotland, and increasing uncertainty in the direction of change of impacts from the national to regional scale associated with climate uncertainty. Further uncertainty associated with socio-economic change results in 6 out of 13 indicators (artificial surfaces, biodiversity vulnerability, forest area, land-use intensity, irrigation usage and land-use diversity) with robust directions of change at the national scale and only three (artificial surfaces, forest area and irrigation usage) that are robust across all regions of Scotland. Complex interactions between socio-economic scenario assumptions (e.g. food imports, population and GDP), climatic suitability and agricultural productivity and profitability lead to significant national and regional changes in the distribution and extent of land cover types, with resultant cross-sectoral interactions with water, forestry and biodiversity. Consequently, stakeholders characterised robust adaptation policy options, within the CLIMSAVE participatory process, as those beneficial to society (and the country) in all scenarios, irrespective of the direction of change of the impacts. The integration in CLIMSAVE of a participatory scenario development process and an integrated participatory modelling framework has allowed the exploration of future uncertainty in a structured approach and better represented the importance of qualitative information and the social and institutional contexts within adaptation research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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