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Eisenack K.,Carl von Ossietzky University | Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Hoffmann E.,Institute for Ecological economics Research | Klein R.J.T.,Stockholm Environment Institute | And 5 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Franco G.,California Energy Commission | Cayan D.R.,University of California at San Diego | Cayan D.R.,U.S. Geological Survey | Moser S.,Stanford University | And 3 more authors.
Climatic Change | Year: 2011

Since 2006 the scientific community in California, in cooperation with resource managers, has been conducting periodic statewide studies about the potential impacts of climate change on natural and managed systems. This Special Issue is a compilation of revised papers that originate from the most recent assessment that concluded in 2009. As with the 2006 studies that influenced the passage of California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), these papers have informed policy formulation at the state level, helping bring climate adaptation as a complementary measure to mitigation. We provide here a brief introduction to the papers included in this Special Issue focusing on how they are coordinated and support each other. We describe the common set of downscaled climate and sea-level rise scenarios used in this assessment that came from six different global climate models (GCMs) run under two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios: B1 (low emissions) and A2 (a medium-high emissions). Recommendations for future state assessments, some of which are being implemented in an on-going new assessment that will be completed in 2012, are offered. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Moser S.C.,Stanford University | Jeffress Williams S.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Boesch D.F.,University of Cambridge
Annual Review of Environment and Resources | Year: 2012

With continuing influx of large numbers of people into coastal regions, human stresses on coastal ecosystems and resources are growing at the same time that climate variability and change and associated consequences in the marine environment are making coastal areas less secure for human habitation. The article reviews both climatic and nonclimatic drivers of the growing stresses on coastal natural and human systems, painting a picture of the mostly harmful impacts that result and the interactive and systemic challenges coastal managers face in managing these growing risks. Although adaptive responses are beginning to emerge, the adaptation challenge is enormous and requires not just incremental but also transformative changes. At the same time, such "wicked" problems, by definition, defy all-encompassing, definitive, and final solutions; instead, temporary best solutions will have to be sought in the context of an iterative, deliberately learning-oriented risk management framework. © Copyright ©2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Ekstrom J.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences | Year: 2011

Interest in adaptation among local and state governments in the USA is on a steep incline since about 2007. Yet, place-specific vulnerability and adaptation research in the USA is still sparse, the public in many regions is still skeptical about the reality of climate change, and model adaptation planning processes are not well-known among practitioners. Against this backdrop of growing interest in adaptation, there is a great need to chronicle and critically assess emerging adaptation planning processes to learn broader lessons and share them widely both in the science and in the practice communities. This paper describes and critically evaluates a pilot project tested in two California local communities-San Luis Obispo and Fresno Counties-to illustrate how active engagement of local government and other stakeholders with experts can advance adaptation planning. The approach taken in this project proved to be an effective "conversation opener" in communities not previously engaged in adaptation planning or where political support to address climate change is low. It created a sense of expectation and accountability among local leaders and stakeholders. It also gave local leaders a chance to take ownership of the process and of the issue; it succeeded in raising interest in adaptation planning and increasing understanding of adaptation and that it is needed as much as mitigation. It helped develop an initial set of adaptation strategies for key climate-sensitive sectors, but to be taken up into ongoing policy processes and implemented by localities, requires state and federal funding. © 2011 The Author(s).


Ekstrom J.A.,University of California at Berkeley | Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Moser S.C.,Stanford University
Urban Climate | Year: 2014

The persistent gap, termed the "adaptation deficit," between the assumed ability of communities to adapt to climate change and the on-the-ground evidence of their progress to adapt is well-documented. To at least partially explain this adaptation deficit, a growing number of researchers have focused on the existence and nature of barriers to adaptation and about society's ability to overcome them. This paper presents an empirical study that systematically identifies barriers to adaptation processes in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. To do so, a theory-driven framework, previously developed by the authors, was used here to identify, organize, and diagnose barriers in four cities and one largely urbanized region. The study identified as the most frequent type of barrier encountered in these cases is related to institutional and governance issues, followed by the attitudes, values and motivations of the actors involved. Resource and funding constraints also matter, but scientific and technical issues are far less prominent than often presumed. The theoretical framework was found to usefully support the empirical identification and organization of barriers and to provide a "road map" for designing strategies to circumvent, remove, or lower the barriers and thus come closer to closing the adaptation deficit. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Wolf J.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Moser S.C.,Stanford University
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2011

Public understandings and perceptions of, as well as engagement with, climate change have garnered the interest of research and policy for almost three decades. A portion of this growing body of literature examines such perceptions in-depth, using largely qualitative methodologies, such as personal interviews, limited sample size surveys, focus groups, and case studies. This area of research has been conducted on different continents, with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and ethnic groups, and a variety of demographic characteristics. It has examined various aspects of the communication process, such as audience differences, influence of framing, messages and messengers, information processing, etc.). This paper focuses on this subset of the climate change literature, highlighting similarities and differences across cultural, social, and geographical landscapes. Apart from demographic and regional differences, this literature also offers more detailed insights into the effectiveness of different communication strategies and into the cognitive and psychological processes that underlie public opinions. These insights are generally not obtained through large-scale opinion surveys. Our review highlights great variation and sometimes direct contradiction between these pieces of research. This not only points to a need for further refinement in our knowledge of public understanding and engagement, but also simply to accept that no one theory will explain the variation in human experience of climate change and action in response to it. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Moser S.C.,Stanford University
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2016

Appreciable advances have been made in recent years in raising climate change awareness and enhancing support for climate and energy policies. There also has been considerable progress in understanding of how to effectively communicate climate change. This progress raises questions about the future directions of communication research and practice. What more is there to say? Through a selective literature review, focused on contributions since a similar stock-taking exercise in 2010,1 the article delineates significant advances, emerging trends and topics, and tries to chart critical needs and opportunities going forward. It describes the climate communication landscape midway through the second decade of the 21st century to contextualize the challenges faced by climate change communication as a scientific field. Despite the important progress made on key scientific challenges laid out in 2010, persistent challenges remain (superficial public understanding of climate change, transitioning from awareness and concern to action, communicating in deeply politicized and polarized environments, and dealing with the growing sense of overwhelm and hopelessness). In addition, new challenges and topics have emerged that communication researchers and practitioners now face. The study reflects on the crucial need to improve the interaction between climate communication research and practice, and calls for dedicated science-practice boundary work focused on climate change communication. A set of new charges to climate communicators and researchers are offered in hopes to move climate change communication to a new place-at once more humble yet also more ambitious than ever before, befitting to the crucial role it could play in the cultural work humanity faces with climate change. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Moser S.C.,Stanford University
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2014

This article synthesizes relevant literature and examples from practice to examine what is known to date about communicating climate change adaptation. It explores the language used to discuss adaptation, what is known about resonant frames, drawing on adaptation discourses in policy, practice, and the media. Identifying trends and widely applicable insights is made challenging not only by the variety of words used to speak of adaptation, but by the fact that 'adaptation' language is often not used at all. A broad literature on perceptions and experiences of climate change impacts and how these experiences affect people's valuations and emotional responses to climate change offers crucial insights to the challenges and opportunities in communicating adaptation. It reveals much about people's interest in and acceptability and knowledge of adaptation, about preferred timing and who is thought to be responsible for enacting adaptive actions. Insights from the literature on place attachment and place identity are of particular relevance to public engagement on adaptation as it goes a long way toward explaining the quality of the adaptation debate to date while offering promising opportunities for dialogue. Suggestions for improved adaptation communication practice and critical research gaps are offered. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Conflict of interest: The author has declared no conflicts of interest for this article. Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Moser S.C.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting
Applied Geography | Year: 2010

Geographers have a long history of contributing to basic, use-inspired, and applied research on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced: global climate change. Their contributions cut across all the major traditions and subfields within geography, have aimed at a variety of scales, and have connected to the scholarship of other disciplines. Building on these past accomplishments, this paper argues that geographers must continue their interdisciplinary endeavors and engage now-even more so than before-in practice-relevant research, particularly in the area of the human dimensions of climate change. The paper points to a range of critical research needs in the area of vulnerability and adaptation, particularly focused on the US, and argues for rapid capacity building and far-reaching changes in the incentive structure for geographers to engage in practice-relevant research and in interaction with policy-makers and resource managers at the science-practice interface. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting
Climatic Change | Year: 2012

The frequently heard call to harmonize adaptation and mitigation policies is well intended and many opportunities exist to realize co-benefits by designing and implementing both in mutually supportive ways. But critical tradeoffs (inadequate conditions, competition among means for implementation, and negative consequences of pursuing both simultaneously) also exist, along with policy disconnects that are shaped by history, sequencing, scale, contextual variables, and controversial climate discourses in the public. To ignore these issues can be expected to undermine a more comprehensive, better integrated climate risk management portfolio. The paper discusses various implications of these tradeoffs between adaptation and mitigation for science and policy. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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