The Climate Resilient Organization

The Climate Resilient Organization

Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change and Weather Extremes

Martina K. Linnenluecke and Andrew Griffiths

Climate change has had a significant impact globally, predominantly for those vulnerable to its influence. The first book of its kind, The Climate Resilient Organization assesses the issues that have mounted for decision-makers in the field, whilst providing strategies to tackle them. With a particular focus on building climate-resilient pathways for private sector organisations, the expert authors offer practical tools and decision-making criteria for evaluating adaptation needs, costs and benefits. Split into two parts this book begins with an analysis of the subject on a global scale; it continues by translating the science surrounding it while presenting it in a manner suited to local decision-makers.

Chapter 2: The threat of climate change

Martina K. Linnenluecke and Andrew Griffiths

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, environment, climate change


The scientific consensus on climate change has been a much-questioned topic in public debate. Why then are the physical impacts of climate change becoming of such great importance for organizations and economies? Even though public opinion continues to be divided, assessments in the peer-reviewed scientific literature of the degree of consensus among publishing scientists on the topic of human-induced climate change point to strong consensus (Oreskes, 2004). In a recent study, Cook et al. (2013) analyzed the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The authors examined a total of 11,944 abstracts of papers on the topics of ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’ in the period from 1991 to 2011. While 66.4 per cent of abstracts expressed no position regarding anthropogenic climate change (that is, did not address or mention the cause of global warming), 97.1 per cent of abstracts that expressed a position endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. Overall, the authors concluded that their analysis indicates the number of papers rejecting the consensus on climate change is a vanishingly small proportion of the published scientific research. While the public often perceives that the scientific consensus on climate change is still debated, the fundamental scientific conclusion that humans are warming the climate is solid. Within the climate science field, some key uncertainties remain about the exact nature of climate impacts. One key uncertainty relates to how local conditions will change in addition to average global temperature rise.

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