Climatic changes are expected to pose challenges to Nordic agriculture. While some changes may provide opportunities for higher productivity, others may severely increase agricultural vulnerability. Farmers attempt to adapt or cope with these changes by taking measures to decrease vulnerability or to take advantage of potential benefits, but little is known what outcomes these adaptation measures might have. This study identifies unintended negative impacts of adaptation measures, drawing on a literature review and interviews with farmers and agricultural officials and experts in Sweden and Finland. Based on the conceptual framework of maladaptation, this study identifies outcomes that either increase the vulnerability of the implementing actor, shift the vulnerability to other actors or sectors or affect common pool resources. While a large number of adaptation measures rebound vulnerability to the implementing actor, several potential maladaptive outcomes may shift vulnerability or affect common pool resources. The findings point to the large number of trade-offs that are involved in adaptation decision-making and lead to the conclusion that raising awareness of these aspects can support future adaptation strategies.
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