event 22 апр. 2022

Research Article // Tradeoffs and Synergies Across Global Climate Change Adaptations in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

By Sarah Torhan and colleagues. This study performed the first global synthesis analyzing the interconnectedness of FEW security climate adaptation responses. It was found that vulnerabilities share tradeoffs and synergies across adaptation characteristics. According to this study, documented responses to FEW vulnerabilities do not take a Nexus approach in planning, implementation and adaptation into account.

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Figure 1: An overview of the food, energy, and water (FEW) Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative (GAMI) data set. The overlapping parts of the Venn diagram indicate publications coded as pertaining to two or more vulnerabilities of the FEW Nexus.


Food-energy-water (FEW) systems are increasingly vulnerable to natural hazards and climate change risks, yet humans depend on these systems for their daily needs, wellbeing, and survival. We investigated how adaptations related to FEW vulnerabilities are occurring and what the global community can learn about the interactions across these adaptations. We conducted a global analysis of a data set derived from scientific literature to present the first large scale assessment (n = 1,204) of evidence-based FEW-related climate adaptations. We found that the most frequently reported adaptations to FEW vulnerabilities by continent occurred in Africa (n = 495) and Asia (n = 492). Adaptations targeting food security were more robustly documented than those relevant to water and energy security, suggesting a greater global demand to address food security. Determining statistically significant associations, we found a network of connections between variables characterizing FEW-related adaptations and showed interconnectedness between a variety of natural hazards, exposures, sectors, actors, cross-cutting topics and geographic locations. Connectivity was found between the vulnerabilities food security, water, community sustainability, and response to sea level rise across cities, settlements, and key infrastructure sectors. Additionally, generalized linear regression models revealed potential synergies and tradeoffs among FEW adaptations, such as a necessity to synergistically adapt systems to protect food and water security and tradeoffs when simultaneously addressing exposures of consumption and production vs. poverty. Results from qualitative thematic coding showcased that adaptations documented as targeting multiple exposures are still limited in considering interconnectivity of systems and applying a Nexus approach in their responses. These results suggest that adopting a Nexus approach to future FEW-related adaptations can have profound benefits in the management of scarce resources and with financial constraints.


March 2022


Earth's Future


Torhan, S., Grady, C. A., Ajibade, I., Galappaththi, E. K., Hernandez, R. R., Musah‐Surugu, J. I., et al. (2022). Tradeoffs and Synergies Across Global Climate Change Adaptations in the Food‐Energy‐Water Nexus. Earth's Future, e2021EF002201.


Download the full article here.

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