Limits to adaptation

Limits to climate change adaptation in mountain regions


Climate change is dramatically altering living conditions for the ~915 million people residing in mountain areas, many of whom are already burdened by poverty, food insecurity, and exclusion from social support services. The nexus of such depravations and the magnitude of climate-related changes is overwhelming the capacity of many mountain communities to effectively adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. Such limits to adaptation are leading to widespread vulnerability, yet to date there has been little work focused on defining the characteristics of limits to adaptation in mountain regions.

Our goals

In response, this project draws on theoretical insights from social vulnerability research, key informant interviews, a global survey of mountain stakeholders, and a global-scale systematic literature review to:

1) specify the current distribution and characteristics of limits to adaptation in mountain regions globally,

2) identify the underlying social and climate-related determinants of limits to adaptation as well as leverage points for ameliorating these root causes, and

3) elaborate synergies between addressing limits to adaptation in mountain regions and advancing the UN’s Global Goal on Adaptation (Paris Agreement, Article 7).

Vulnerability, Adaptation, Limits, Mountains
2020 – 2022
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; Government of Canada)