Back to overview

Science in the Context of Climate Change Adaptation: Case Studies from the Peruvian Andes

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Orlowsky Boris, Andres Norina, Salzmann Nadine, Huggel Christian, Jurt Christine, Vicuña Luis, Rohrer Mario, Calanca Pierluigi, Neukom Raphael, Drenkhan Fabian,
Project Detection of human and natural influences on the climate system: regional insights from the past Millennium
Show all

Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective
Editor , Salzmann Nadine
Publisher Springer International Publishing, Cham
Page(s) 41 - 58
ISBN 978-3-319-40771-5
Title of proceedings Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-40773-9


Within the context of the Climate Change Adaptation Program (PACC), a number of scientific investigations on water resources, natural disasters and perceptions by local people highlight adaptation needs in the regions of Cusco and Apurímac in Peru, considering past, present-day and future climate conditions. This chapter compiles their findings and attempts a systematic evaluation with respect to their contributions to climate change adaptation. The studies consistently find aggravating water scarcity during the dry season (April to September) due to projected precipitation decreases and reduced storage capacity of shrinking glaciers. Impacts include below-capacity hydropower generation and increased crop failure risks. For natural disasters, database inconsistencies prevent a detection of trends. While the natural science studies have produced a new and more comprehensive understanding of the target regions, their implications for society have hardly been investigated anthropologically. One of the few social science studies emphasizes that climate change is only one out of many determinants of rural livelihoods in the target regions, which have not been addressed scientifically yet. We thereby find an imbalance of available scientific knowledge regarding natural vs. social sciences. Overcoming such imbalance would allow for a more comprehensive integration of scientific findings into design and implementation of adaptation measures within the local context.