The publication of this set of research papers is very timely as loss and damage will be a key topic during the climate negotiations in Warsaw next month (11-22 November 2013), and empirical evidence is still scarce. The findings also contribute to the emerging body of literature on adaptation limits and constraints, a topic that for the first time is discussed in a separate chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group 2 (IPCC AR5 WG2).
The issues that have arisen through this research point to an even greater urgency for ambitious mitigation and adaptation that are sufficient to manage climate stressors. If this goal is missed, loss and damage will undermine societys ability to pursue sustainable development.
"The special issue of the International Journal of Global Warming focuses on a crucial topic: 'Loss and damage' which refers to adverse effects of climate variability and climate change that occur despite mitigation and adaptation efforts," Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Dincer of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology says. The issue reports on the first ever multi-country study on this emerging topic from the perspective of vulnerable communities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The research papers included show that current mitigation and adaptation efforts are not enough. People across the study sites were not passive victims of climate change. A large majority implemented a wide variety of adaptation and coping measures to avoid impacts of climate stressors, but
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