Climate Change Research ›› 2019, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (3): 290-300.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2018.129

• Adaptation to Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review on the sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change

Cai-Ying LI1,Jian-Zhong YAN1(),Xiao-Bo HUA2,Yi-Li ZHANG3   

  1. 1 College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China
    2 Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
    3 Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2018-09-26 Revised:2018-12-21 Online:2019-05-30 Published:2019-06-06
  • Contact: Jian-Zhong YAN


Research on the sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change contributes to the understanding of the relationship between climate change and livelihoods, and it is of great significance to enhance farmers’ climate change adaptability and reduce livelihood vulnerability. On the basis of combing the concept of sensitivity in different fields, the scientific connotation, the research framework, the characterization, and the indicator system of farmers’ livelihood sensitivity to climate change are analyzed. The sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change refers to the extent to which climate change and extreme events affect the livelihood of farmers. Sensitivity characterization is mainly reflected in the impacts of climate change on natural resources, human health, livestock, assets, and income. Different regions and populations have different sensitivities to climate change. The sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change usually declines as the degree of development increases. For example, livelihood diversification and good infrastructure can reduce the impacts of climate change. Livelihood sensitivity assessment is mostly part of the vulnerability study, and the sustainable livelihood framework and the indicator method are often used for sensitivity assessment. Future research needs to improve sensitivity theory frameworks and research methods, enhance the study on the effectiveness of adaptation, and make cross-regional or cross-period comparisons of livelihood sensitivities, with a focus on ecologically fragile and poor areas.

Key words: Sensitivity, Vulnerability, Climate change, Livelihood, Developing countries

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