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Nicholas P. Simpson

Nicholas P. Simpson
Global Centre for Climate Mobility · Africa Climate Mobility Initiative

PhD
IPCC; complex climate risk and response; climate literacy, perception & adaptation; resilience; capabilities & heritage.

About

70
Publications
23,763
Reads
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853
Citations
Citations since 2017
68 Research Items
846 Citations
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Introduction
Dr Nick Simpson is the Senior Advisor and Knowledge & Practice Lead of the Africa Climate Mobility Initiative (a partnership between the African Union Commission, the World Bank and the United Nations to address climate-forced migration and displacement in Africa and harness climate mobility for the continent’s collective resilience and development). He is a Lead Author of the Africa chapter of the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - October 2022
University of Cape Town
Position
  • Postdoctoral research fellow
Description
  • Postdoctoral research fellow at the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town and Affiliate Member of the Africa Academy of Science. Lead Author of Chapter 9 “Africa Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” of the 6th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author of the ICOMOS-IPCC-UNESCO White Paper on climate risk to heritage globally.
September 2017 - present
University of Cape Town
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • http://www.grgp.uct.ac.za/node/1219910
June 2014 - September 2014
University of Cape Town
Position
  • Research consultant
Description
  • Food and Agricultural Association (FAO) project on Fisheries Vulnerability Assessments
Education
January 2014 - December 2016
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Environmental Assessment and Management, Human development and capabilities, public participation
January 2012 - December 2013
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Environment, Society and Sustainability
January 2011 - December 2011
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Education

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change literacy encompasses being aware of both climate change and its anthropogenic cause, and thus underpins informed mitigation and adaptation responses. However, climate change literacy rates and their predictors remain poorly understood across the Global South. Here analysis of Africa’s largest representative public opinion survey show...
Article
Full-text available
The African coast contains heritage sites of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ that face increasing risk from anthropogenic climate change. Here, we generated a database of 213 natural and 71 cultural African heritage sites to assess exposure to coastal flooding and erosion under moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) greenhouse gas emission scenarios....
Technical Report
Full-text available
The African Shifts report starts with the ground-level realities of how people experience climate vulnerability, and how it affects mobility decisions in Africa today. It then lays out plausible scenarios for how climate mobility might unfold on the continent between now and 2050, and which parts of the continent are likely to be particularly affec...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a stocktake of the adaptation literature between 2013 and 2019 to better understand how adaptation responses affect risk under the particularly challenging conditions of compound climate events. Across 39 countries, 45 response types to compound hazards display anticipatory (9%), reactive (33%) and maladaptive (41%) characteri...
Book
The speed and scale of climate change presents unique and potentially monumental security implications for individuals, future generations, international institutions and states. Long-dominant security paradigms and policies may no longer be appropriate for dealing with these new security risks of the Anthropocene. In response to this phenomenon, t...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of human activities to climate change is well understood. Yet the integration of climate change considerations into local decision making tools designed to govern activities affecting the environment, such as Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), remains underdeveloped and inconsistently applied for proposed policies, programs,...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Africa chapter on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability under the IPCC's Working Group II.
Article
Full-text available
What the Latest Science on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability means for Cities and Urban Areas, offers a concise and accessible urban-focused distillation of the IPCC Working Group II Report. The scale, reach, and complexity of contemporary urbanisation can compound the risks from climate change for cities. Cities and urban areas have a critica...
Article
Africa is particularly affected by climate change due to its exposure to climate hazards, high vulnerability, and low adaptive capacity. Yet, Africa is also a continent rich in Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) that has a long history of informing responses to climatic variability and change. This paper explores the extent to which ILK has been...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa is wrestling with increasing climate change impacts and how to respond. The 2022 IPCC Working Group II Report synthesises the latest evidence on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and what this means for climate-resilient development. In this commentary, South African authors on the Report reflect on its key findings...
Research
Full-text available
ICSM CHC White Paper II: Impacts, vulnerability, and understanding risks of climate change for culture and heritage: Contribution of Impacts Group II to the International Co-Sponsored Meeting on Culture, Heritage and Climate Change. Discussion Paper. ICOMOS & ISCM CHC, Charenton-le-Pont, France & Paris, France https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/epri...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a stocktake the adaptation literature between 2013 and 2019 to better understand how responses affect risk under the particularly challenging conditions of compound climate impacts. Across 39 countries, 45 response types to compound hazards display anticipatory (9%), reactive (33%) and maladaptive characteristics (41%), as wel...
Article
Full-text available
Communities across the global south use their rich indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) to predict weather events and climate hazards. ILK may assist efforts to address climate change challenges in Africa. and make subsequent decisions regarding climate adaptation. The article documents evidence of the ILK’s potential in reducing vulnerability to c...
Article
Full-text available
This Cross-Chapter Box offers an assessment of the growing literature on Loss and Damage. Capitalised letter ‘Loss and Damage’ (L&D) has been used to refer to negotiations under the UNFCCC. Research has used lowercase ‘losses and damages’ for residual effects from (observed) impacts and (projected) risks (see Glossary, Annex II). Dialogue around L&...
Article
Full-text available
This Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents key findings of the Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC1. The report builds on the WGII contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC, three Special Reports2, and the Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the AR6 cycle. This report recogni...
Article
Full-text available
The concepts of risk and risk management have become increasingly central to climate change literature, research, practice and decision making (medium confidence). Risk, defined as the potential for adverse consequences for human and ecological systems, recognising the diversity of values and objectives associated with such systems, provides a fram...
Article
Full-text available
This technical summary complements and expands the key findings of the Working Group (WG) II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) presented in the Summary for Policymakers and covers literature accepted for publication by 1 September 2021. It provides technical understanding and is developed from the key findings of chapters and cross-...
Article
Full-text available
Adverse impacts of climate change, development deficits and inequality exacerbate each other. Existing vulnerabilities and inequalities intensify with adverse impacts of climate change (high confidence1). These impacts disproportionately affect marginalised groups, amplifying inequalities and undermining sustainable development across all regions (...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter synthesizes observed climate change impacts, adaptation-related responses, limits to adaptation, and the key risks identified across sectors and regions. We consider how these risks accrue with increasing global average temperature, how they depend on future development and adaptation efforts and what this implies for the Sustainable D...
Article
Full-text available
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Report on Adaptation, Impacts and Vulnerability identifies the urgent need to embark upon Climate Resilient Development Pathways. Climate Resilient Development acknowledges that adaptation needs to be undertaken together with mitigation and development, in joined-up, inclusive, j...
Article
Full-text available
Food-energy-water (FEW) systems are increasingly vulnerable to natural hazards and climate change risks, yet humans depend on these systems for their daily needs, wellbeing, and survival. We investigate how adaptations related to food, energy, and water vulnerabilities are occurring and what the global community can learn about the interactions acr...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence is increasing of human responses to the impacts of climate change in Africa. However, understanding of the effectiveness of these responses for adaptation to climate change across the diversity of African contexts is still limited. Despite high reliance on indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) for climate adaptation by African...
Preprint
Full-text available
Accessible, reliable and diverse sources of climate information are needed to inform anticipatory responses to climate change at all levels of society, particularly for vulnerable sectors such as smallholder farming. Globally, many communities use Indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) to provide contextually calibrated and trusted fore...
Article
Climate change poses a threat to heritage globally. Decolonial approaches to climate change-heritage research and practice can begin to address systemic inequities, recognize the breadth of heritage and strengthen adaptation action globally.
Article
Full-text available
Assessing global progress on human adaptation to climate change is an urgent priority. Although the literature on adaptation to climate change is rapidly expanding, little is known about the actual extent of implementation. We systematically screened >48,000 articles using machine learning methods and a global network of 126 researchers. Our synthe...
Article
Full-text available
People affected by conflict are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks and climate change, yet little is known about climate change adaptation in fragile contexts. While climate events are one of the many contributing drivers of conflict, feedback from conflict increases vulnerability, thereby creating conditions for a vicious cycle of conflict....
Article
Full-text available
Africa has only contributed a small fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions yet faces disproportionate risks from climate change. This imbalance is one of many inequities associated with climate change and raises questions concerning the origin, distribution and thematic prioritization of funding for climate-change research on Africa. This arti...
Article
Growing evidence suggests that climate adaptation responses that do not incorporate equity considerations may worsen inequality and increase vulnerability. Using data from a systematic review of peer-reviewed empirical research on adaptation responses to climate change (n = 1,682), we present an assessment of how social equity is considered in adap...
Article
Water scarcity is a global challenge, yet existing responses are failing to cope with current shocks and stressors, including those attributable to climate change. In sub-Saharan Africa, the impacts of water scarcity threaten livelihoods and wellbeing across the continent and are driving a broad range of adaptive responses. This paper describes tre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evidence of human adaptation actions responding to climate impacts is increasing in Africa. However, a holistic understanding of effective adaptation across the diversity of African contexts is still limited at a continental scale. Despite high reliance on indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) for climate adaptation in Africa, the pote...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evidence of human adaptation actions responding to climate impacts is increasing in Africa. However, a holistic understanding of effective adaptation across the diversity of African contexts is still limited at a continental scale. Despite high reliance on indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) for climate adaptation in Africa, the pote...
Preprint
Full-text available
Important heritage sites along the African coast are at risk from the threats associated with rising sea levels. Here, we quantify the exposure of natural and cultural heritage sites in Africa to coastal flooding and erosion in the 21st century. We develop a comprehensive database of 284 coastal African Heritage Sites (AHS), composed of 213 natural...
Article
Full-text available
Considering the feasibility and effectiveness of adaptation options is essential for guiding responses to climate change that reduce risk. Here, we assessed the feasibility of adaptation options for the African context. Using the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative, a stocktake of adaptation-related responses to climate change from the peer-review...
Article
Full-text available
Disaster planning for slow-onset city-wide shocks will be become increasingly necessary, particularly as cities face increasingly severe climate hazards. This paper provides unique insight into the disaster planning and management that was undertaken by the City of Cape Town government in response to its most severe hydrological drought on record....
Article
This article introduces the role that design principles play in Tearfund's expanding approach to international development practice. Mindful that development gains can be undermined by degraded environments, Tearfund now encourages a focus on taking steps towards greater ecological integrity alongside economic and social imperatives when working wi...
Poster
Full-text available
Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme heat events impact people and ecosystems across the globe, and they are becoming more frequent and intense in a warming climate. Responses to heat span sectors and geographic boundaries. Prior research has documented technologies or options that can be deployed to manage extreme heat and examples of how individuals, communities, governments...
Article
This article demonstrates the use of a theoretically inspired Q-methodological approach to explore and analyse stakeholders' perspectives of their public participation experience in environmental impact assessment (EIA). Q methodology is a qualitative and quantitative approach designed to explore the breadth of social perspectives on a topic. Two e...
Article
Inclusive energy access remains elusive globally. Centrally planned energy infrastructures tend to neglect mar-ginalised and disparate populations while upfront costs make it rare for lower-income actors to adopt off-grid renewable energy. This article identifies one emerging response by low-income actors to secure access to through solar photovolt...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the first systematic, global stocktake of the academic literature on human adaptation. We screen 48,316 documents and identify 1,682 articles that present empirical research documenting human efforts to reduce risk from climate change and associated hazards. Coding and synthesizing this literature highlights that the overall extent of ad...
Chapter
This chapter outlines how insurers are responding to emerging harmscapes and the potential role they play in the governance of climate risk. It illustrates a case study of how one short- term insurer is grappling with three general challenges facing the industry and its regulators, those of climate risk exposure, solvency and manoeuvrability. It de...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context : It is now widely accepted that the climate is changing, and that societal responses will need to be rapid and comprehensive to prevent the most severe impacts. A key milestone in global climate governance is to assess progress on adaptation. To-date, however, there has been negligible robust, systematic synthesis of progress on adaptation...
Technical Report
Full-text available
South Africa’s National Water week takes place from 16 to 22 March. Dr Nicholas Simpson, from the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town, was part of a research project focusing on why people opt for off-grid solutions in response to disruptions in supply of water or energy and what the effect of those acti...
Article
Full-text available
This article extends ecological framings of resilience into socio-ecological and governance domains for urban infrastructure managers concerned with climate risk. Under moments of disruption, reliable and equitable access to adequate provision of public goods is anticipated to be increasingly challenging in cities across the world due to observed a...
Article
Full-text available
Illustrating how mentalities govern private responses to risk, this article highlights the importance of mental frames in the selection of adaptation pathways. Scholarship emanating out of the Cape Town drought (2015–2018) has drawn attention to the effect of the drought on public mentalities and their response to the drought, transitional governan...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores responses to one type of climate risk, severe water scarcity, during Cape Town's drought from 2016 to mid-2018. Advancing our understanding of how societies can cope and develop despite disruptions, it considers how selected pathways shaped noteworthy response diversity to mitigate the impact and potential harms associated wit...
Article
At a time when flows of both water and finances were severely curtailed, this article explores the public and private adaptation actions which played out during Cape Town's drought which produced a 'shock within a shock' on the municipality's budget (2016-2018), this article provides a detailed and embedded account of the severity, urgency and comp...
Presentation
Full-text available
Nick Simpson presentation at Focus Fortnight 2019. Environmental degradation is increasing at an alarming rate, and it is the poorest people in our world who are being most affected by it – those who have done the least to cause it. Harmful patterns of consumption and waste, driven by business, are fuelling the crisis, putting pressure on the wor...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Environmental degradation is increasing at an alarming rate, and it is the poorest people in our world who are being most affected by it – those who have done the least to cause it. Harmful patterns of consumption and waste, driven by business, are fuelling the crisis, putting pressure on the world’s natural resources. In 2015 Tearfund published Th...
Article
This article situates contemporary developments in policing in the context of an emerging cross-disciplinary focus on ‘resilience’. We argue that an inchoate reimagining of how police, as security professionals, are engaging, and might engage, in the governance of safety with communities in response to emerging ‘harmscapes’ might be, and should be,...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper situates contemporary developments in policing in the context of an emerging cross-disciplinary focus on 'resilience'. We argue that an inchoate reimagining of how police, as security professionals, are engaging, and might engage, in the governance of safety with communities in response to emerging 'harmscapes' might be, and should be, c...
Article
Under conditions of protracted reduction in supply and heightened uncertainty, one of the notable responses to the Cape Town drought (2016-2018), was the proliferation of 'water resilience' in public and private discourses. Resilience was employed as an explanatory concept and governing tool, signalling a professed transition in the municipality's...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In response to public protests against a drastic increase in fuel prices in January 2019, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) were joined by the army in a brutal crackdown that resulted in at least 15 deaths, 340 injured, and more than 1,000 arrests (Mwananyanda, 2019; Bearak, 2019). Just months earlier, the police were found responsible, along wit...
Data
Chronology of the use of drought framing policies and media releases of the City of Cape Town (2010 – 2018), identifying shifts to a New Earth (Anthropocene) episteme
Article
Landscape-scale shocks, in the forms of Hurricane Maria and an unprecedented drought, have provided significant disruptions to the respective centrally designed water and energy networks of Puerto Rico and Cape Town. Despite a number of contextual differences, this article considers what can be learnt from the two cases as they present significant...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of changing climate on agriculture have consequences on livelihoods and food security. Smallholder farmers, who have heterogeneous farming systems and limited resources, compounded with multiple risks, are greatly affected. There has been limited research showing how vulnerability assessments have evolved in the smallholder agricultural...
Article
The integration of social aspects in environmental assessment (EA) remains a contested and challenging issue. This paper outlines how and why ideas from the capability approach (CA) can be useful for the enhanced conceptualization and integration of social aspects in EA, particularly those relating to well-being. A schematic outlines how perceiving...
Article
Where environmental procedures do not adequately include affected parties in decision-making, particularly those from vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society, environmental justice cannot be realized. Further, the practice of EIA will likely perpetuate the negative and disproportionate distribution of environmentally associated harms on vuln...
Thesis
Full-text available
Building on the work of Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen, this research aims to enhance integration of human development and well-being in environmental assessment through developing a capabilities approach to the practice. The research emphasises the effectiveness and equity imperatives of public participation and highlights the inclusion of approp...
Thesis
Full-text available
Public participation is an integral part of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and as such, has been incorporated into regulatory norms. Assessment of the effectiveness of public participation has remained elusive however. This is partly due to the difficulty in identifying appropriate effectiveness criteria. This research uses Q methodology to...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
We looking for a high-quality, contract basis, academic illustrator for a paper in Nature Climate Change, any recommendations?
Proven track record important.

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