Calls for papers


International Journal of Global Warming
International Journal of Global Warming


Special Issue on: "Loss and Damage from Climate Change"

Guest Editors:
Koko Warner and Kees van der Geest, UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security, Germany

"Loss and damage" refers to adverse effects of climate variability and change that communities and societies have not (yet) been able to cope with or adapt to. It includes impacts of extreme weather events, such as cyclones, floods, droughts and heat waves, and slow-onset climatic changes, such as sea level rise, higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and desertification. These climate threats can cause loss and damage in the areas of people's food, livelihood and security, but also in the social, health and cultural domains.

It is increasingly acknowledged that there are limitations to people's and societies' capacity to adapt to climate change without incurring significant losses and damages, especially in poorer developing countries. In this vein, some leading scholars call for a paradigm shift in climate change research. Mitigation and adaptation, they argue, are limited to prevention of impact and preclude a sound vision on how to deal with losses and damages after they occur. However, empirical research in this field is scattered and scarce.

This special issue is intended to make a major contribution to the emerging body of knowledge on the impacts of climate change beyond adaptation. Secondly, it will serve to assist national and international organisations to design better policies to address loss and damage from climate change.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the United Nations University Scientific Conference: “Perspectives on Loss & Damage: Society, Climate Change, and Decision Making” (25-27 February, 2013), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Is loss and damage a physical impact or a socially mediated outcome?
    • State-of-science on climate change impacts that contribute to loss and damage
    • Human impacts of climate change in vulnerable countries
    • Consequences of impacts: loss and damage in terms of social organisation, economics, politics and culture
  • What does loss and damage look like at different scales?
    • Scales of loss and damage now and in the future
    • Empirical findings about loss and damage in case studies
    • Community-level research on loss and damage
    • National and regional level views and research on loss and damage
  • Perspectives on and meaning of loss and damage research findings
    • Crisis or state change?
    • Adaptation and limits to adaptation vis-à-vis climatic extremes and incremental slow onset climate change
    • Vulnerability and resilience
    • Formal or informal decision pathways – framing decision making around loss and damage?
  • Paradigms for research and policy on loss and damage
    • Perspectives on loss and damage and their repercussions for decision making

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page.

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 30 April, 2013 (extended)

First-round reviews: 31 July, 2013

Final version: 30 September, 2013