Climate Impact Platform Webinar Series | How can attribution science inform loss and damage?

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    10:00 am > 11:00 am UTC-11:00
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As the climate changes, extreme weather events’ frequency and intensity increase. Record-breaking heat waves on land and in the ocean, drenching rains, severe floods, years-long droughts, extreme wildfires, and widespread flooding are all becoming more frequent and intense. But now, we can calculate the influence of climate change on (some) of these extreme weather events. Low agricultural yields with devastating consequences can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change thanks to large-ensemble climate data and impact modelling: this is attribution science.

The science is being used to trace climate change to the activities of specific industries and companies, potentially generating evidence to fuel climate litigation. As the magazine Anthroposphere put it: has weather lost its innocence? And – we ask – what does this mean for loss and damage?

CGIAR Climate Impact Platform is launching a new webinar series focused on new and innovative topics. In our inaugural webinar, Dr Friederike Otto (The Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment) will discuss the legal and policy implications of attribution science, discussing its development in recent years and exploring how it can be a useful tool for loss and damage attribution.

But ‘disasters’ are not just the hazard. Attribution analyses focus on extreme weather events, but vulnerability, exposure, and capacity also play key roles in understanding the severity and extent of the impacts. Additionally, Dr Joyce Kimutai (The Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment) will discuss how attribution science cannot be the sole determinant of loss and damage assessments, given the data limitations in many African countries. She will explore alternative ways of determining losses and damages that may be more appropriate for contexts where the powers of attribution science are limited.

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