This article considers the social institutions, expertise, and technologies shaping commitments to climate adaptation across the Caribbean. The historical experience of modernity in the region can provide insight into the challenges and opportunities of current global climate negotiations. As greenhouse gas emissions steadily increase, Caribbean scientists and political leaders have taken urgent steps to develop state-sponsored partnerships for projects that combat some of the region’s most destructive risks, including floods, hurricanes, and sea level rise. But these projects have tended to prioritize big science over other knowledge forms, demonstrating that climate adaptation materializes around three major concerns: data, vulnerability, and climate justice.

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