Building Up Resilience

About this theme:

Climate change is impacting human and natural systems. It poses risks to biodiversity and ecosystem services, globally and regionally. It poses risks to the global economy, to lives and livelihoods, and to businesses. It poses risks to food security, water resources, the built environment, human health and wider well-being. 

Increasing levels of global warming increase the likelihood of severe and irreversible events and their impacts in the 21st century and beyond.

In order to reduce these levels of risk, both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation are required. While mitigation can reduce global warming, not all impacts can be avoided, and adaptation is necessary.

We explore how to build climate resilient pathways that reduce vulnerabilities to climate change in a manner which is synergistic with mitigation pathways. We consider synergies and conflicts between these pathways and the Sustainable Development Goals to highlight the opportunities for actions that have benefits on multiple levels, and unintended consequences. 

We explore how climate change risks accrue with different levels or warming, and assess how adaptation can be used to reduce these risks and enhance resilience. We assist climate-resilient development of human society, as well as land, water and ecosystem management. 

We consider human systems, managed systems and natural ecosystems through science and stakeholder expertise. We use our cross-disciplinary expertise to consider resilience in the light of social, physical, economic, ecological and engineering challenges. We fine tune the impacts of global warming on biodiversity worldwide and regionally.

An important contribution is our continued development and use of integrated decision tools, such as the Community Integrated Assessment System, and Wallace Initiative Biodiversity Maps. These tools combine information on climate projections with projections of wild species and crop distribution with land and water management and socio-economic variables. We use them to ask ‘what-if’ questions for different global temperatures and explore how decisions today can lead to different decision pathways for the future. Adaptation research continues to evolve from the Tyndall Centre built Coastal Simulator and Urban Integrated Assessment Facility.

Past highlights include:



Current projects


Some key publications


Ideas & insights