A framework for complex climate change risk assessment

Nicholas P Simpson*, Daniela N Schmidt, Christopher H Trisos*, et al.

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among the multiple drivers of climate change risks and of interactions among multiple risks. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding interactions that generate risk, including the role of adaptation and mitigation responses. In this perspective, we present three categories of increasingly complex risk that focus on the interactions among the multiple drivers of risk, as well as among multiple risks. A significant innovation is the recognition that risks can arise from both potential impacts due to climate change and from responses to climate change. This approach encourages thinking that traverses sectoral and regional boundaries, and that links physical and socio-economic drivers of risk. Advancing the assessment of climate change risk in this way is essential for informing decision-making on responses to reduce negative climate change impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-501
Number of pages13
JournalOne Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021


  • Climate change
  • Complex climate change risks
  • Risk response
  • Cascading risk
  • Compound risk
  • Aggregate risk
  • Climate risk assessment


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