Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of adaptation and mitigation responses. In this perspective, the authors present a framework for three categories of increasingly complex climate change risk that focus on interactions among the multiple drivers of risk, as well as among multiple risks.
The framework provided here seeks to strengthen assessment of complex climate change risks by clarifying the types of interactions that generate risk, and where they originate. Moreover, the integration of responses into the climate change risk framework helps deepen understanding and increases the relevance of climate change risk assessment for a diversity of decision makers, and can help conceptualize risk trade-offs that are being made.