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The Climate Risk Laboratory integrates insights from environmental and social sciences to improve understanding of the risks to people and ecosystems from climate change. Climate change is one of the defining risks of this century, endangering lives, ecosystems and entire countries. Responses to climate change risk, when done well, have the potential to create more just and equitable societies that protect biodiversity and enhance human wellbeing. Our research assesses how interactions between social, environmental and technological systems either amplify or reduce risks and influence the response options available to policymakers. We also research how responses to one risk in a system can cascade to generate multiple other risks. Click here to visit the Climate Risk Laboratory website.


The Climate Risk Laboratory creates actionable research on climate change risks. Specific focus areas are climate change risks to biodiversity and human health, climate change adaptation, and the projected risks to people and ecosystems from potential geoengineering technologies.

Projects included in this COP are:

  • Forecasting climate risks to biodiversity and ecosystem services to strengthen climate change adaptation.
  • Amplifying the Uptake of African Adaptation Science in the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Forecasting the timing of climate change risks to biodiversity to strengthen conservation decision-making in Africa.
  • Evaluating health impacts of solar radiation management in a risk-risk framework.

Project Team

Dr Christopher Trisos

Dr Nick Simpson

Dr Joanne Bentley

Dr Andreas Meyer

Carina Wessels

Luckson Zvobgo

For more information about the project please contact Dr Christopher Trisos at christopher.trisos@uct.ac.za 

Funder & Collaborators

The UK Royal Society, African Academy of Sciences, International Development Research Centre, South African National Parks


Trisos, C.H., Merow, C. & Pigot, A.L. The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change. Nature 580, 496–501 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2189-9. Available online here.

More recent outputs available here.