This document discusses and provides a rationale behind the concept of ‘critical climate-stress moments’ in the context of weather variability and climate change (hereafter: critical moments). It also describes a ‘critical-moments assessment’ methodology. It further serves as a guide to implement a critical-moments assessment in HI-AWARE study areas. Users of this guide would include HI-AWARE consortium members and partners, but it will also be of interest to others working in the field of climate-change adaptation and decision-making. Sections up to 3.3 target a broad audience. After section 3.3 the report is specific to the HI-AWARE initiative. The detailed description of methods and research questions are likely to be of use to HI-AWARE partners mainly.
‘Critical climate stress moments’ are defined as those moments when households, communities, and the livelihood systems they depend on, are especially vulnerable to climate and weather-related risks and hazards. These include events at different spatial and temporal scales (such as heat waves, cold spells, floods, droughts, and hail. In other words, critical moments are a combination of (context-) specific present and past conditions, in which climate stresses are particularly likely to be risky and adverse to a particular household or community and the livelihood system they depend on. A ‘moment’ refers to a time period shorter than a year. A ‘moment’ may be days, weeks, or even months.