- USGCRP Coordinators:
- Kristin Lewis, Senior Scientist
- Natalie Bennett, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst
<b>Clarke</b>, L., L. Nichols, R. Vallario, M. Hejazi, J. Horing, A.C. Janetos, K. Mach, M. Mastrandrea, M. Orr, B.L. Preston, P. Reed, R.D. Sands, and D.D. White, 2018: Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems. In <i>Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II</i> [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 638–668. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH17
Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems
The world we live in is a web of natural, built, and social systems—from global and regional climate; to the electric grid; to water management systems such as dams, rivers, and canals; to managed and unmanaged forests; and to financial and economic systems. Climate affects many of these systems individually, but they also affect one another, and often in ways that are hard to predict. In addition, while climate-related risks such as heat waves, floods, and droughts have an important influence on these interdependent systems, these systems are also subject to a range of other factors, such as population growth, economic forces, technological change, and deteriorating infrastructure (Figure 17.1).
Assessing the risks associated with climate change requires us to acknowledge that understanding the risks to individual sectors is important but may not always be sufficient to characterize the risks to interdependent systems. Improved understanding of the complex dynamics that arise from interactions among systems is therefore essential to understand risk and manage our response to a changing climate. Characterizing the nature of such interactions and building the capacity to model them are important research challenges.
Figure 17.1: Complex Sectoral Interactions
See Full Chapter & References