To what extent are land resource managers preparing for high-end climate change in Scotland?

Miriam Dunn, Mark Rounsevell, Henrik Carlsen, Adis Dzebo, Tiago Capela Lourenço, Joseph Hagg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore the individual and institutional conditions and the climate information used to underpin decision-making for adaptation to high-end climate change (HECC) scenarios in a land resource management context. HECC refers to extreme projections with global annual temperature increases of over 4 °C. We analyse whether HECC scenarios are used in the adaptation decision-making of stakeholders who will tackle the potential problem. We also explore whether the adaptation actions being considered are pertinent only to future climate change or whether other drivers and information types are used in decision-making (including non-climate drivers). We also address the role of knowledge uncertainty in adaptation decision-making. Decision-makers perceive HECC as having a low probability of occurrence and so they do not directly account for HECC within existing actions to address climate change. Such actions focus on incremental rather than transformative solutions in which non-climate drivers are at least as important, and in many cases more important, than climate change alone. This reflects the need to accommodate multiple concerns and low risk options (i.e. incremental change). Uncertainty in climate change information is not a significant barrier to decision-making and stakeholders indicated little need for more climate information in support of adaptation decision-making. There is, however, an identified need for more information about the implications of particular sectoral and cross-sectoral impacts under HECC scenarios. The outcomes of this study provide evidence to assist in contextualising climate change information by creating usable, cross-sectoral, decision-centred information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181–195
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number141
Early online date25 Jan 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jan 2017


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