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Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Sea-level rise poses a significant threat to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to the concentration of people, assets, and infrastructure in coastal zones. This review assesses literature on key emerging topics in sea level rise including: the lasting impact of near-term mitigation on long-term sea-level rise; new global coastal vertical elevation data and their impact on existing sea-level rise projections; and the interaction of sea-level rise with other hazards, including salinization, tropical cyclones and extreme precipitation.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Based on a systematic review of journal articles, books and book chapters, and policy papers, we evaluate possible sources of finance for addressing loss and damage from slow onset climate events in developing countries. We find that most publications explore insurance schemes which are not appropriate for most slow onset events. From this, we determine that only a few sources are sustainable. Levies and taxes are seen as relatively fair, predictable, adequate, transparent, and additional.
Many studies have assessed the concept of geodiversity. Most studies have focused on large spatial scales, ranging from watersheds to landscapes. Recent studies from the Israeli drylands indicate that shrubs and trees growing in low-geodiversity sites experience mass mortality following long-term droughts, whilst those in high-geodiversity sites demonstrate high durability. Our objective was to review the relevance of small-scale geodiversity to the slow onset effects of climate change defined by the UN-FCCC, including land and forest degradation, biodiversity loss, and desertification.
Effective management of slow-onset impacts such as coastal erosion, desertification and sea level rise and their often-transformative impacts on communities and countries has remained relatively unexplored in terms of policy and finance responses. Drawing on relevant global experience, this paper investigates recent approaches to planned relocation as one possible response to climate change impacts and considers principles to inform the design of a fair and effective funding system.
Slow-onset events (SOE) such as sea level rise, desertification, salinisation, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity and forests or glacial retreat fall under loss and damage (L&D) from climate change impacts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and are increasingly threatening the environment and people's livelihoods. Irreversible SOE are closely linked to non-economic losses (NEL) such as health, human mobility or loss of ecosystem services. Neither L&D from SOE nor NELs have a dedicated funding stream.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
A growing scientific evidence reaffirms that slow onset climate events such as desertification, sea level rise and loss of biodiversity will place an increasing number of people at risk of poverty and social marginalization. Establishing national social protection systems aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement could be a key policy approach to address increasing risks from long-term changes to the climate system.
This paper reviews the evidence on slow-onset events presented in the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), both published in 2019. It analyses how the reports, and recent literature cited in them, deal with the eight types of slow-onset events, specified by the UNFCCC: increasing temperatures, sea level rise, salinization, ocean acidification, glacial retreat, land degradation, desertification and loss of biodiversity.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
The association of melting Himalayan glaciers and planetary health is complex. Climate change has accelerated the melting of Himalayan glaciers, with profound impacts on the planetary health realms of the Himalayan region and that now threaten hundreds of millions of people. Using a complex adaptive systems framework based on a systematic literature review, this complexity has been captured and mapped in nine subsystem categories: ecological services, disaster, water security, food security, energy security, livelihood and culture, migration, conflict and public health.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Climate change has affected diverse spheres and its impact is being witnessed worldwide. Soil, the basis of human sustenance, is both directly and indirectly affected by climate change. Soil erosion, vegetation degradation and soil salinisation are becoming prevalent, causing a threat to future food security. Saline soils are found mainly in North and Central Asia, Africa and South America. Various factors such as excess irrigation and poor drainage, groundwater salinity, sea level rise and intrusion, irregular rainfall contribute to the process of soil salinisation.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Slow onset events by definition occur gradually and it might be expected that policy-makers as a result pay less attention to them than to immediate risks or ‘shock’ crises. If this is true and what can be done about it are important issues for climate change policy-making, given the gradual nature of many climate related issues.

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