New @CCADAPT paper on search and rescue in the Arctic featured on CBC

2016 July 26

New paper on search and rescue in press

A new study that examines the relationship between environmental conditions and search and rescue in Nunavut is In Press. The article was highlighted by CBC North this week. Read more about it here.

Welcome to the lab Frances

2016 July 26

@ccadapt would like to welcome Frances Wang to the lab. Frances did her undergraduate at McGill and completed her MSc at Oxford, and will be working on the recently launched Adaptation Tracking Collaborative.

Welcome to the lab Cheenar

2016 July 26

@ccadapt would like to welcome new team member Cheenar Shah to the lab. Cheenar did her undergrad at McGill and has experience working with UNEP. She will lead a project examining the current state of adaptation in northern Quebec

Congrats to Malcolm on finishing his MA thesis!

2016 July 26

The @ccadapt and TRAC3 team would like to congratulate Malcolm on completing his MA thesis: “Adaptation to climate change in urban areas: A global assessment and a case study of Dhaka, Bangladesh.” Three peer reviewed articles were published from his thesis which examined the state of adaptation in cities >1m people globally, and also examined how one city (Dhaka) is grappling with the adaptation challenge.

Articles and media pieces on Malcolm’s work can be read here:

The role of environmental factors in search and rescue incidents in Nunavut, Canada

2016 July 25

Clark, D.G., Ford, J.D., Berrang-Ford, L., Pearce, T., Kowal, S., Gough, W.A. (2016). The role of environmental factors in search and rescue incidents in Nunavut, Canada. Public Health Journal. DOI 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.06.003.


Unintentional injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nunavut, where the importance of land-based activities and reliance on semi-permanent trails create unique risk profiles. Climate change is believed to be exacerbating these risks, although no studies have quantitatively examined links between environmental conditions and injury and distress in the Canadian Arctic. We examine the correlation between environmental conditions and land-based search and rescue (SAR) incidents across Nunavut.

CCADAPT Featured on Vice Magazine

2016 July 11

@ccadapt research featured on Vice Magazine, Motherboard. Article can be found here

Climate change adaptation planning in large cities: A systematic global assessment

2016 July 8

Araos, M., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Austin, S.E., Biesbroek, R., Lesnikowski, A. (2016). Climate change adaptation planning in large cities: A systematic global assessment. Environmental Science & Policy. DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.06.009.


Cities globally face significant risks from climate change, and are taking an increasingly active role in formulating and implementing climate change adaptation policy. However, there are few, if any, global assessments of adaptation taking place across cities. This study develops and applies a framework to track urban climate change adaptation policy using municipal adaptation reporting. From 401 local governments globally in urban areas with >1 m people, we find that only 61 cities (15%) report any adaptation initiatives, and 73 cities (18%) report on planning towards adaptation policy. We classified cities based on their adaptation reporting as extensive adaptors, moderate adaptors, early stage adaptors, and non-reporting. With few exceptions, extensive adaptors are large cities located in high-income countries in North America, Europe, and Oceania, and are adapting to a variety of expected impacts. Moderate adaptors usually address general disaster risk reduction rather than specific impacts, and are located in a mix of developed and developing countries. Early stage adaptors exhibit evidence of planning for adaptation, but do not report any initiatives. Our findings suggest that urban adaptation is in the early stages, but there are still substantive examples of governments taking leadership regardless of wealth levels and institutional barriers.

Dylan Clark works with Air Force on Search and Rescue training in the North

2016 June 24



Last week CCARG master’s candidate Dylan Clark participated in a search and rescue (SAR) training mission with the Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 424 and the Civil Air Search & Rescue Association (CASARA). The mission goals were to build SAR capacities in Northern Communities, cultivate relationships between community SAR volunteers and national agencies, and discuss prevention and land safety opportunities. Dylan provided insight into the leading causes of SAR needs in the North, a topic of his master’s research. He also led discussions about how communities may improve land safety and shared information about various community-based programs that are ongoing throughout the territory.

The trip was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the committed volunteers in Nunavut and Nunavik and to share what we have heard from discussions with Elders, active hunters, and youth over the past few years. With 251 searches across Nunavut in 2015, there is a lot of interest in figuring out how to make sure family and friends are safer on the land.

The 4Cs of adaptation tracking: consistency, comparability, comprehensiveness, coherency

2016 June 24

Ford, J., Berrang-Ford, L. (2016). The 4Cs of adaptation tracking: consistency, comparability, comprehensiveness, coherency. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 21(6), 839-859.


Adaptation tracking seeks to characterize, monitor, and compare general trends in climate change adaptation over time and across nations. Recognized as essential for evaluating adaptation progress, there have been few attempts to develop systematic approaches for tracking adaptation. This is reflected in polarized opinions, contradictory findings, and lack of understanding on the state of adaptation globally. In this paper, we outline key methodological considerations necessary for adaptation tracking research to produce systematic, rigorous, comparable, and usable insights that can capture the current state of adaptation globally, provide the basis for characterizing and evaluating adaptations taking place, facilitate examination of what conditions explain differences in adaptation action across jurisdictions, and can underpin the monitoring of change in adaptation over time. Specifically, we argue that approaches to adaptation tracking need to (i) utilize a consistent and operational conceptualization of adaptation, (ii) focus on comparable units of analysis, (iii) use and develop comprehensive datasets on adaptation action, and (iv) be coherent with our understanding of what constitutes real adaptation. Collectively, these form the 4Cs of adaptation tracking (consistency, comparability, comprehensiveness, and coherency).

Catch Melanie Flynn at ICOP2016 in Potsdam, Germany

2016 June 22

icop sign

Melanie is in Potsdam, Germany this week taking part in a Permafrost Young Researcher Network workshop and attending the International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP2016) which will run until Friday. Melanie presented the research from her master’s thesis on evaluating adaptation projects in a permafrost environment. The talk focused on some of the key aspects of creating usable science when producing community hazard maps for permafrost and outlined the importance of monitoring and evaluation in adaptation projects in order to provide learning opportunities ad identify best practice in climate change adaptation actions. Keep up with the conference through Melanie’s Twitter account (MelanieFlynn88). Find Mel’s PowerPoint slides here.

Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to climate change: a case study from Iqaluit, Nunavut

2016 June 6

Bunce, A., Ford, J.D., Harper, S., Edge, V., and IHACC Research Team (2016) Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to climate change: a case study from Iqaluit, Nunavut. Natural Hazards, 1-23.


Climate change impacts in the Arctic will be differentiated by gender, yet few empirical studies have investigated how. We use a case study from the Inuit community of Iqaluit, Nunavut, to identify and characterize vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Inuit women to changing climatic conditions. Interviews were conducted with 42 Inuit women and were complimented with focus group discussions and participant observation to examine how women have experienced and responded to changes in climate already observed. Three key traditional activities were identified as being exposed and sensitive to changing conditions: berry picking, sewing, and the amount of time spent on the land. Several coping mechanisms were described to help women manage these exposure sensitivities, such as altering the timing and location of berry picking, and importing seal skins for sewing. The adaptive capacity to employ these mechanisms differed among participants; however, mental health, physical health, traditional/western education, access to country food and store bought foods, access to financial resources, social networks, and connection to Inuit identity emerged as key components of Inuit women’s adaptive capacity. The study finds that gender roles result in different pathways through which changing climatic conditions affect people locally, although the broad determinants of vulnerability and adaptive capacity for women are consistent with those identified for men in the scholarship more broadly.

Food system vulnerability amidst the extreme 2010–2011 flooding in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from the Ucayali region

2016 May 30

Sherman, M., Ford, J.D., Llanos-Cuentas, A., José Valdivia, M., and IHACC Research Group (2016) Food system vulnerability amidst the extreme 2010–2011 flooding in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from the Ucayali region. Food Security, 8(37), 1-20.


Projections of climate change indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of climatic hazards such as flooding and droughts, increasing the importance of understanding community vulnerability to extreme hydrological events. This research was conducted in the flood-prone indigenous community of Panaillo, located in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon, examining how the 2010–2011 flooding affected the food system at community and institutional levels. Drawing upon in-depth fieldwork using participatory research methods over multiple seasons—including semi-structured interviews (n = 74), focus groups, and seasonal food security calendar and historical timeline exercises—the flooding was documented to have created several opportunities for increased fishing and agricultural production in Panaillo. However, households lacked the resources to fully exploit the opportunities presented by the extreme conditions and increasingly turned to migration as a coping mechanism. International aid organizations were drawn to Ucayali in response to the flooding, and introduced additional programming and provided capacity-building sessions for local institutions. However, local institutions remain weak and continue to generally disregard the increasing magnitude and frequency of extremes, documented in the region over the last decade. Moreover, the long-term implications of community-level and institutional responses to the extreme flooding could increase food system vulnerability in the future. This case study highlights the importance of considering both slow and fast drivers of food system vulnerability in the aftermath of an extreme hydrological event.

The Climate Change Adaptation Tracking Collaborative (ATC) is hiring

2016 May 20

The ATC is hiring! click on the links below for more information.

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Research Assistant

Catch @ccadapt member Melanie Flynn at the UNFCCCs Bonn climate conference this week

2016 May 18

Kaitlyn Finner’s new job

2016 May 16

The lab wishes Kaitlyn Finner all the best in her new position as a policy analyst with Nunatsiavut Secretariat. She began her position in April following on her MA research in Rigolet and work with the Policy and Evaluation Division at IDRC. Nunatsiavut Government (NG) is a self-governing regional Inuit government – the first among Inuit regions in Canada to achieve self-government Kaitlyn has been a valued member of the ccadapt team since 2012, conducting her MA research on climate change and food systems in Nunatsiavut