Note: If you’re not familiar with Roadmaps, the “Climate Web Roadmaps” link at right (desktop) or below (mobile) can quickly orient you. Right click on any of the links to open up a new browser tab.

The prospect that human-induced climate change might pose a societal risk within relevant decision-making timeframes was first raised in a scientific paper in 1957, and was the topic of its first Presidential briefing in 1965. Since then climate change is generally perceived to have arrived, and the level of concern regarding future climate change has increased dramatically. But there are still big questions when it comes to assessing the societal risks of climate change?

  • What are the known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns of climate change?
  • How should we distinguish between societal and business risks?
  • What’s the relationship between climate uncertainties and risk?
  • What’s the right time-frame for thinking about societal climate risks?
  • How does “expected climate change” differ from the “long tail” of climate change outcomes and climate risks?
  • How much climate risk might we be failing to recognize?
  • Is “unacceptable risk” a better framing than “worst-case” climate risk?
  • Is systemic climate the societal risk elephant in the room?
  • How do adaptation limits play into societal climate risk?

These are the kinds of questions the Climate Web, based on 20,000 hours of knowledge curation, can help you explore. This Lite Roadmap organizes some of the resources available to you.

Key Societal Risk Index Entries include:

Key Topical Headings for books, reports, and journal articles:

Key Topical Headings for news and opinion:

Key Topical Headings for extracted materials:

Key Topical Headings for websites, experts, and more:

As a bonus, here are some recent additions to the Climate Web you might find thought-provoking that relate specifically to the topic of this Lite Roadmap. They represent just the smallest sliver of what’s organized in the Climate Web with the goal of facilitating access to your actionable knowledge. Note that links with “$$” sit behind paywalls and we can’t provide direct access. But we are always working to go through those sources to extract key idea and graphics to share under “fair use” rules.

NOTE: Accessing the Climate Web via Roadmap hyperlinks can be a bit disconcerting if you’re not familiar with TheBrain software’s basic functionality, which you can explore via the Basic Navigation link at right. If you do explore some of the links, please remember that Open Access to the Climate Web (via the cloud) is both much slower and less powerful than Premium Access to the Climate Web (which allows you to download the Climate Web to your computer AND take advantage of TheBrain’s superior desktop and mobile softwares).


To clearly see the differences between a Lite Topical Roadmap and a Premium Topical Roadmap, you can take a look at both versions of the Under-Estimating Climate Risks Roadmap:

The Premium Societal Risks Roadmap digs much deeper into the topics already flagged at the top of this page, among others. Representing hundreds of hours of research and knowledge curation, the Premium Roadmap links together together explanatory materials, topical headings, individual reports, news stories, videos, and websites, curated topical dashboards for exploring key topics, and even individual ideas and graphics the Climatographers have extracted from a wide range of key sources. The Premium Societal Risks Roadmap covers topics including:

  • Climate change known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns
  • Distinguishing between societal and business risks
  • Societal climate risk over the near, medium, and long-terms
  • “Expected climate change” vs. “climate risk”
  • Unacceptable vs. worst-case climate risk framing
  • Systemic climate risk as the societal risk elephant in the room
  • Adaptation limits when it comes to managing societal risk
  • And much more

To get beyond Societal Risk 101 conversations, and to take advantage of today’s collective knowledge when it comes societal risks: access the Societal Risk Premium Roadmap here.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in a webinar or brainstorming session, whether regarding societal risk generally, or under-estimated risk in particular, contact us!

Other Roadmaps

You can review the Lite versions of more than 20 Topical Roadmaps, and access their respective Premium Roadmaps, through this Climate Site. Of particular relevance if you’re interested in societal climate risk would be:

  • Under-Estimating Climate Risks
  • Systemic Risk
  • Business Climate Risks

We welcome your feedback on other Roadmaps you’d like to see.

Climate Chess

Particularly relevant to the topic of societal risk is the idea of Climate Chess. The entire Climate Web is structured to contribute to the playing of Climate Chess, and there is no Climate Chess Premium Roadmap per se. But you can explore the metaphor in significant depth at our dedicated Climate Chess Climate Site.

Note: This Climate Site has been extracted from the Climate Web to make the material contained here easier to access; it represents just the smallest sliver of what you can do with the Climate Web. You can learn more through the links present to right of the website page, and:

  • To learn more about how the Climate Web is structured and its capabilities, use this Climate Site.

  • To learn more about how you can most effectively take advantage of the Climate Web, use this Climate Site.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for our Climate Web Newsletter!

(and we’ll send you a coupon for 50% off your first Premium Topical Roadmap!)