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Documenting and evaluating adaptation to climate change in the south of England

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, January 12, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

What is the spectrum, distribution and prevalence of human adaptations to flood events and heatwaves? Which strategies to adapt to any environmental shock or stress are most common and which most rare? The short answer is – we don’t know. Choices are being made within governments around the world about what additional support is needed to help people adapt to climate and weather hazards, in the absence of a baseline assessment of what people are already doing to adapt to climate and weather hazards. Empirical evidence shows that people are already adapting in various ways, but to date there have been no large scale assessments to document all these adaptation responses. The 2015 Paris Agreement (Article 14) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change mandates a “Global Stocktake” of adaptation, the first of which needs to be completed by 2023. This Global Stocktake will assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the [Paris] Agreement and its long-term goals, it will focus on both adaptation and mitigation. Significantly more progress has been made on measuring progress on national mitigation than on adaptation progress. As yet, no country has managed to complete a baseline assessment of levels and types of adaptation to climate and weather hazards that are occurring, let alone assess progress towards ‘sufficient’ adaptation. The aim of this project is to build on work recently published in WIREs Climate Change (Tompkins et al., 2018) which offers a theoretical framework to guide documentation of adaptation, with a view to contributing to the Global Stocktake. Specifically this project will apply a stocktaking approach to first document and then assess the adequacy of adaptation. To make the project manageable in 3 years, we propose a regional focus on the south of England, however, the successful candidate can select a different regional or sectoral focus, depending on their own area of interest. The outputs from this PhD should feed into the Global Stocktake process, and will provide guidance as to where and how adaptation finance should be spent to effectively reduce adverse effects of climate change.

The GECEO research group focusses on climate change impacts and adaptation, sustainability science, and global environmental monitoring including innovative use of Earth observation data, including Earth system science. We have a world-leading reputation for research on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, with lead authorships in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment report.

Candidates must have or expect to gain a first or strong upper second class degree, in an appropriate discipline, not necessarily Geography. For the latest information on postgraduate opportunities see

The PhD project will commence September 2019.

Funding Notes

This is one of a range of topics currently being advertised. Funding will go to the project(s) with the best applicant(s). The studentship is to be funded at UKRI level, currently £14,777 per annum, with an RTSG of £750. The studentship will fully support British and EU nationals only. International students can apply but they must be able to meet the difference between home/EU and International tuition fees themselves.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Southampton in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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