climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area.
The vulnerability of an agricultural production system to a climate change hazard depends on how the system is exposed to the hazard, and how sensitive it is to that hazard. This will influence the impact that that hazard can have on the agricultural system. That potential impact, combined with the capacity of the system to adapt to the hazard and its impacts, determines the vulnerability of the agricultural system
And as you can imagine, there are gender aspects to all of these factors
CCAFS and Climate Change Concepts
Linking Knowledge with Action Research Theme Leader
CCAFS Gender Training and Strategizing Workshop October, 2013
Weather versus Climate
• The difference between weather
and climate is a measure of time.
• Weather consists of the short-term
(minutes to months) changes in the
atmosphere, including temperature,
humidity, precipitation, cloudiness,
brightness, visibility, wind, etc.
• Weather changes from minute-tominute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day,
and season-to-season. Climate,
however, is the long-term pattern
of weather in a particular area.
Weather vs. Climate
• Climate is what you expect, like a rainy season from
• Weather is what you get, like an unusually hot day
• In various parts of the world, people have noticed that
springtime comes earlier now than it did 30 years ago. An earlier
springtime is indicative of a possible change in the climate.
• In addition to long-term climate change, there are shorter term
climate variations. This so-called climate variability can be
represented by periodic or intermittent changes related to El
Niño, La Niña, volcanic eruptions, or other changes in the Earth
Climate Change Adaptation
Adopting measures to protect
against the actual and
expected harmful effects of
climate change, to exploit any
opportunities it may
generate, and to ensure the
sustainability of investment
interventions in spite of more
difficult conditions; aims to
reduce sensitivity to the
effects of climate change.
Climate Change Mitigation
Involves reducing GHG
enhancing the capacity of
‘sinks’ for GHGs, for the
ultimate purpose of
concentration in the
global exposure to the
effects of climate change.
Vulnerability to Climate Change
The extent to which a system, individual or
group of people is susceptible to, and unable to
cope with, the adverse effects of climate
change; vulnerability to climate change depends
on exposure to climate change, sensitivity to its
effects and adaptive capacity.
The ability of a system, individual or group to
absorb disturbances, and adapt to stress and
change (basically the opposite of vulnerability).
• Traditional knowledge about a location and how to
produce and care for crops, livestock, trees, water, soil
and other resources contributes to adaptive capacity.
• Often farming families have been exposed to different
climate hazards in the past, like drought or
flooding, and have ideas on what to do to decrease
their sensitivity to these hazards, and to adapt to their
potential impacts. These traditional ideas can lower
costs and be more culturally appropriate for villagelevel and smallholder producers.
Adaptive Capacity, Cont’d
CARE Int’l* has a ‘local adaptive capacity
framework’ that describes the factors influencing
adaptive capacity as:
• Access and control over assets
• Institutions and entitlements
• Knowledge and information
• Flexible forward-looking decision-making and
(no date). The ACCRA Local Adaptive Capacity Framework, AACRA
Briefs Series. Available at: http://community.eldis.org/accra
Thanks to Chris Jost for these working
Christine C. Jost. 2011. Livestock and Climate
Change in the Pacific Island Region Workshop
Report. Secretariat of the Pacific
Community, Nabua, Suva, Fiji, 22-25 August, 115
Other CC terms and definitions can be found in
the CCAFS/FAO ‘Gender and CC Research in
Agriculture and Food Security for Rural
Development’ Training Manual, at: