We have a new paper accepted
Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press.
The abstract reads
“We discuss the adoption of a bottom-up, resource–based vulnerability approach in evaluating the effect of climate and other environmental and societal threats to societally critical resources. This vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to local and regional water, food, energy, human health, and ecosystem function resources from extreme events including climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risks can be compared with other risks in order to adopt optimal preferred mitigation/adaptation strategies.
This is a more inclusive way of assessing risks, including from climate variability and climate change than using the outcome vulnerability approach adopted by the IPCC. A contextual vulnerability assessment, using the bottom-up, resource-based framework is a more inclusive approach for policymakers to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the complexity of the spectrum of social and environmental extreme events that will occur in the coming decades, as the range of threats are assessed, beyond just the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as emphasized in the IPCC assessments.”
I have discussed aspects of this paper in my post
where the figure from Füssel  and O’Brien, K. L. et al.  is presented [it is also in our new paper]
The left hand figure, in our view, is an inappropriately narrow way to assess threats to key water, energy, food, human health and ecosystem function in the coming decades. This limiting “outcome vulnerability” approach, is what is used in the IPCC sequential series of reports (WG1; WG2 and WG3) and is what is being heavilty funded by the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundaton; e.g. see the post
In my view, the adoption of the top-down outcome vulnerabiltiy approach based on multi-decadal global climate model predictions is not a robust scientific approach. Considerable amounts of money are being spent on what is recognized by an increasing number of our colleagues, as a failed approach.
In our new paper, we write
Thus neither dynamic downscaling or statistical downscaling from multi-decadal global model projections add proven value to spatial or temporal accuracy that can assist the impacts community in ways beyond what is already available from historical, paleo- or analogue records [Rajgopalan et al., 2009; Parson et al., 2003]. The global and regional multi-decadal climate change models are providing a level of confidence in forecast skill of the coming decades that is not warranted.