The Role of Science in Climate Change Adaptation Funding

Lead PI: Professor Michael Gerrard

Unit Affiliation: Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

November 2010 - March 2014
Africa ; Sub-Saharan Africa ; United States
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This study examines the role of state-of-the-art climate science in guiding the planning and funding of climate change adaptation projects, with a particular focus on agricultural projects in Africa. The goal is to highlight the current strengths of climate science, to understand how this science is being used in adaptation, and to shed light on how adaptation planning and funding could make better use of the science available today.

OUTCOMES: The first phase of this project focused on the use of science to inform negotiations at the UNFCCC meetings, the role of science in guiding adaptation planning and funding decisions, and the specific experiences of parties involved in a discrete adaptation project in Ethiopia. Results of this research were published in Alexis Saba, Michela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard, and David B. Lobell
Getting Ahead of the Curve: Supporting Adaptation to Long-term Climate Change and Short-term Climate Variability Alike
Carbon and Climate Law Review 1/2013: pp. 3-23.

Research also involved attendance at the 2010 and 2011 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings, as well as a study of the UNFCCC decisions and associated guidance related to adaptation funding. The second phase of the project, currently underway, is considering the legal and scientific issues presented by the decision taken at Rio +20 to promote a "land degradation neutral world" as a way to mainstream and attract greater attention to the issues of dryland land degradation and drought.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




Michela Biasutti, Shelley Welton


Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)


climate change climate science adaptation climate and society funding


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate