Geographies of Caribbean Vulnerability in a Changing Climate: Issues and Trends

While it is generally recognized that the projected changes in the global climate will have serious negative consequences for the Caribbean as a whole, it is becoming more and more evident that the impacts of climate change will not be uniformly felt across the region. The primary aim of this paper is to provide a review of the Caribbean climate change literature. The paper begins with a brief discussion on the shifting nature of Caribbean vulnerability within the context of the region's longstanding and continued exposure to forces of global economic and environmental change. Particular attention is paid to both the practical and discursive dimensions of vulnerability, and the specific ways the term has been understood and framed in relation to other crosscutting themes such as adaptation and resilience in the broader academic literature. In addition to providing an overview of the regional climate change science literature, the paper offers a critical review of the existing climate change impacts literature for the Caribbean. By drawing on, and taking stock of this growing body of impact studies, the paper seeks to shed light on the differential and multi-scalar drivers of social and economic vulnerabilities to climate variability and change in the Caribbean as well as highlight some of the existing knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. The paper ends by providing some brief reflections on the emerging themes arising from the discussion and highlights a few key areas for future academic research for the Caribbean in light of existing knowledge gaps observed in the regional climate change impact literature.

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