Adaptation to global warming

Adaptation to global warming

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Adaptation to global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

and climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 is a response to climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate change effects
Effects of global warming
This article is about the effects of global warming and climate change. The effects, or impacts, of climate change may be physical, ecological, social or economic. Evidence of observed climate change includes the instrumental temperature record, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the...

. Even if emissions are stabilized relatively soon, climate change and its effects will last many years, and adaptation will be necessary. Climate change adaptation is especially important in developing countries since those countries are predicted to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. That is, the capacity and potential for humans to adapt (called adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity is the capacity of a system to adapt if the environment where the system exists is changing. It is applied to e.g., ecological systems and human social systems.As applied to ecological systems, the adaptive capacity is determined by :...

) is unevenly distributed across different regions and populations, and developing countries generally have less capacity to adapt (Schneider et al., 2007). Adaptive capacity is closely linked to social and economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 (IPCC, 2007). The economic costs of adaptation to climate change are likely to cost billions of dollars annually for the next several decades, though the amount of money needed is unknown. Adaptation will be more difficult for larger magnitudes and higher rates of climate change.

Another policy response to climate change, known as climate change mitigation (Verbruggen, 2007) is to reduce greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 (GHG) emissions or enhance the removal of these gases from the atmosphere (enhancing carbon sinks). Even the most effective reductions in emissions, however, would not prevent further climate change impacts, making the need for adaptation unavoidable (Klein et al., 2007). In a literature assessment, Klein et al. (2007) assessed options for adaptation. They concluded, with very high confidence, that in the absence of mitigation efforts, the effects of climate change would reach such a magnitude as to make adaptation impossible for some natural systems, e.g., ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

s. For human systems, the economic and social cost
Social cost
Social cost, in economics, is generally defined in opposition to "private cost". In economics, theorists model individual decision-making as measurement of costs and benefits...

s of unmitigated climate change would be very high.

Effects of Climate Change



The projected effects for the environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

 and for human life
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

 are numerous and varied. The main effect is an increasing global average temperature. This causes a variety of secondary effects, namely, changes in patterns of precipitation, rising sea levels, altered patterns of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, increased extreme weather
Extreme weather
Extreme weather includes weather phenomena that are at the extremes of the historical distribution, especially severe or unseasonal weather. The most commonly used definition of extreme weather is based on an event's climatological distribution. Extreme weather occurs only 5% or less of the time...

 events, the expansion of the range of tropical diseases, the opening of new trade routes.

Potential effects include sea level rise of between 1990 and 2100, repercussions to agriculture
Climate change and agriculture
Climate change and agriculture are interrelated processes, both of which take place on a global scale. Global warming is projected to have significant impacts on conditions affecting agriculture, including temperature, carbon dioxide, glacial run-off, precipitation and the interaction of these...

, possible slowing of the thermohaline circulation
Shutdown of thermohaline circulation
Shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation is a postulated effect of global warming.There is some speculation that global warming could, via a shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation, trigger localised cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling, or lesser warming, in...

, reductions in the ozone layer
Ozone layer
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone . This layer absorbs 97–99% of the Sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to the life forms on Earth...

, increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, lowering
Ocean acidification
Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH and increase in acidity of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere....

 of ocean pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

, and the spread of tropical disease
Tropical disease
Tropical diseases are diseases that are prevalent in or unique to tropical and subtropical regions. The diseases are less prevalent in temperate climates, due in part to the occurrence of a cold season, which controls the insect population by forcing hibernation. Insects such as mosquitoes and...

s such as malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and dengue fever
Dengue fever
Dengue fever , also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles...

.

A summary of probable effects and recent understanding can be found in the report made for the IPCC Third Assessment Report
IPCC Third Assessment Report
The IPCC Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001, is an assessment of available scientific and socio-economic information on climate change by the IPCC. The IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN's World Meteorological Organization ".....

 by Working Group II. The 2007 contribution of Working Group II detailing the impacts of global warming for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , is the fourth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects, and options for...

 has been summarized for policymakers.

Necessity for adaptation


In the Feb. 8, 2007 issue of Nature, a team of science policy experts argue that adapting to climate change would be a more effective means of dealing with global warming than reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

National Academy of Sciences


One prominent attempt to address adaptation was a 1991 report by the United States National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

, "Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming." The National Academy report cautioned that agricultural adaptation will be essential in a greenhouse world.

IPCC Working Group II


IPCC
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

 Working Group II argues that mitigation and adaptation should be complementary components of a response strategy to global warming. Their report makes the following observations:
  1. Adaptation is a necessary strategy at all scales to complement climate change mitigation efforts.
  2. Those with the least resources have the least capacity to adapt and are the most vulnerable
  3. Adaptation, sustainable development
    Sustainable development
    Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

    , and enhancement of equity can be mutually reinforcing.

Adaptation is a necessary strategy


Because of the current and projected climate disruption precipitated by high levels of greenhouse gas emissions by the industrialized nations, adaptation is a necessary strategy at all scales to complement climate change mitigation efforts because we cannot be sure that all climate change can be mitigated. And indeed the odds are quite high that in the long run more warming is inevitable, given the high level of GHGs in the atmosphere, and the (several decade) delay between emissions and impact.

Adaptation has the potential to reduce adverse impacts of climate change and to enhance beneficial impacts, but will incur costs and will not prevent all damages. Extremes, variability, and rates of change are all key features in addressing vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, not simply changes in average climate conditions.

Human and natural systems will to some degree adapt autonomously to climate change. Planned adaptation can supplement autonomous adaptation, though there are more options and greater possibility for offering incentives in the case of adaptation of human systems than in the case of adaptation to protect natural systems.

Disadvantaged nations


The ability of human systems to adapt to and cope with climate change depends on such factors as wealth, technology, education, infrastructure, access to resources, management capabilities, acceptance of the existence of climate change and the consequent need for action, and sociopolitical will. Populations and communities are highly variable in their endowments of these attributes, with Developing nations being among those worst-placed to adapt to global warming.

Mutual reinforcement


Many communities and regions that are vulnerable to climate change are also under pressure from forces such as population growth, resource depletion, and poverty. Policies that lessen pressures on resources, improve management of environmental risks, and increase the welfare of the poorest members of society can simultaneously advance sustainable development and equity, enhance adaptive capacity, and reduce vulnerability to climate and other stresses. Inclusion of climatic risks in the design and implementation of national and international development initiatives such as polar cities can promote equity and development that is more sustainable and that reduces vulnerability to climate change.

Mitigation


Yohe et al. (2007) assessed the literature on sustainability and climate change. With high confidence, they suggested that up to the year 2050, an effort to cap GHG emissions at 550 ppm would benefit developing countries significantly. This was judged to be especially the case when combined with enhanced adaptation. By 2100, however, it was still judged likely that there would be significant climate change impacts. This was judged to be the case even with aggressive mitigation and significantly enhanced adaptive capacity.
Tradeoffs and economics

Adaptation and mitigation can be viewed as two competing policy responses, with tradeoffs between the two. The other tradeoff is with climate change impacts. In practice, however, the actual tradeoffs are debatable (Schneider et al., 2001). This is because the people who bear emission reduction costs or benefits are often different from those who pay or benefit from adaptation measures.

Economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

s, using cost-benefit analysis
Cost-benefit analysis
Cost–benefit analysis , sometimes called benefit–cost analysis , is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project for two purposes: to determine if it is a sound investment , to see how it compares with alternate projects...

, have attempted to calculate an "optimal" balance of the costs and benefits between climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation (Toth et al., 2001). There are difficulties in doing this calculation, for example, future climate change damages are uncertain, as are the future costs of adaptation.

Also, deciding what "optimal" is depends on value judgements made by the economist doing the study (Azar, 1998). For example, how to value impacts occurring in different regions and different times, and "non-market" impacts, e.g., damages to ecosystems (Smith et al., 2001). Economics cannot provide definitive answers to these questions over valuation, and some valuations may be viewed as being controversial (Banuri et al., 1996, pp. 87, 99).

Some reviews indicate that policymakers are uncomfortable with using the results of this type of economic analysis (Klein et al., 2007). This is due to the uncertainties surrounding cost estimates for climate change damages, adaptation, and mitigation. Another type of analysis is based on a risk
Risk
Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity will lead to a loss . The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists . Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks"...

-based approach to the problem. Stern (2007) (referred to by Klein et al., 2007), for example, used such an approach. He argued that adaptation would play an important role in climate policy, but not in an explicit trade-off against mitigation.

UNFCCC


In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992...

 (UNFCCC), which most countries are Parties to (UNFCCC, n.d.), countries have made commitments to assist those most vulnerable in adapting to climate change (Banuri et al., 1996, p. 98). The Clean Development Mechanism
Clean Development Mechanism
The Clean Development Mechanism is one of the "flexibility" mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol . It is defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, and is intended to meet two objectives: to assist parties not included in Annex I in achieving sustainable development and in contributing to the...

 (CDM), set up as part of the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 to the Framework Convention, is the main source of income for the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund. This fund was established in 2007 (World Bank, 2010, pp. 262–263). The CDM is subject to a 2% levy, which could raise between $300 million and $600 million over the 2008-12 period. The actual amount raised will depend on the carbon price.

Although established under the Kyoto Protocol, the Adaptation Fund has been very slow to operationalize and has not as yet (August 2010) disbursed any funding. The call for Proposals was issued in April 2010

Institution of Mechanical Engineers


In February 2009, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is the British engineering society based in central London, representing mechanical engineering. It is licensed by the Engineering Council UK to assess candidates for inclusion on ECUK's Register of professional Engineers...

 (UK) issued a report in which they expressed pessimism about the ability of any international agreement, such as Kyoto Treaty to reduce carbon emissions. While it did not dismiss mitigation policy all together, it stated that they are "realistic enough to recognise that global CO2 emissions are not reducing and our climate is changing so unless we adapt, we are likely to face a difficult future."

Conceptualising adaptation


Adaptation can be defined as adjustments of a system to reduce vulnerability and to increase the resilience of system to change, in this case in the climate system. Adaptation occurs at a range of inter-linking scales, and can either occur in anticipation of change (anticipatory adaptation), or be a response to those changes (reactive adaptation). Most adaptation being implemented at present is responding to current climate trends and variability, for example increased use of artificial snow-making
Snowmaking
Snowmaking is the production of snow by forcing water and pressurized air through a "snow gun" or "snow cannon", on ski slopes. Snowmaking is mainly used at ski resorts to supplement natural snow. This allows ski resorts to improve the reliability of their snow cover and to extend their ski...

 in the European Alps. Some adaptation measures, however, are anticipating future climate change, such as the construction of the Confederation Bridge in Canada at a higher elevation to take into account the effect of future sea-level rise on ship clearance under the bridge.

Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity is the capacity of a system to adapt if the environment where the system exists is changing. It is applied to e.g., ecological systems and human social systems.As applied to ecological systems, the adaptive capacity is determined by :...

 and vulnerability
Vulnerability
Vulnerability refer to the susceptibility of a person, group, society, sex or system to physical or emotional injury or attack. The term can also refer to a person who lets their guard down, leaving themselves open to censure or criticism...

 are important concepts for understanding adaptation; vulnerability can be seen as the context in which adaptation takes place, and adaptive capacity is the ability or potential of a system to respond successfully to climate variability and change, in order to reduce adverse impacts and take advantage of new opportunities. Those societies that can respond to change quickly and successfully have a high adaptive capacity. High adaptive capacity does not necessarily translate into successful adaptation. For example the adaptive capacity in W. Europe is high, and the risks of warmer winters increasing the range of livestock diseases was well documented, but many parts of Europe were still badly affected by outbreaks of the Bluetongue virus
Bluetongue disease
Bluetongue disease or catarrhal fever is a non-contagious, non-zoonotic, insect-borne, viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep and less frequently cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedaries and antelope...

 in livestock in 2007.

Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity is the capacity of a system to adapt if the environment where the system exists is changing. It is applied to e.g., ecological systems and human social systems.As applied to ecological systems, the adaptive capacity is determined by :...

 is driven by factors operating at many different interlinked scales, and it is important to understand the ways in which the different drivers of adaptive capacity interact. Physical constraints are important, but in most cases it is social processes which increase or decrease adaptive capacity; it can be said that adaptive capacity is socially constructed. The social drivers of adaptive capacity are varied but may include broad structures such as economic and political processes, as well as processes which operate at a very local scale, such as access to decision-making and the structure of social network
Social network
A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

s and relationships within a community. Adaptive capacity at a local scale is constrained by larger scale processes. For example a farmer’s adaptive capacity will not only depend on access to resources (both physical and social) within the community which allow a crop to be grown successfully, but also the effect of macro-scale economic processes on the price received for the crop. Gender is another factor which is important in determining adaptive capacity constrain adaptive capacity and vulnerability, for example women may have participation in decision-making, or be constrained by lower levels of education.

The social construction of adaptive capacity is very important when thinking about the risks and impacts of a changing climate
Effects of global warming
This article is about the effects of global warming and climate change. The effects, or impacts, of climate change may be physical, ecological, social or economic. Evidence of observed climate change includes the instrumental temperature record, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the...

. It is not just the change in climate which will affect vulnerability and livelihoods, but the way that these changes are negotiated through complex social systems. A 10% decrease in rainfall may be acceptable and manageable to members of a community who have access to improved agricultural techniques, or whose livelihoods are in some way diversified, whereas marginalised members of the community may not be able to cope with these changes. Adaptation can be seen as a social and institutional process that involves reflecting on and responding to current trends and projected changes in climate.

Both temporal and spatial scales are very important in thinking about adaptation, as is the frame of reference taken for looking at adaptation. Much adaptation takes place in relation to short-term climate variability, however this may cause maladaptation
Maladaptation
A maladaptation is a trait that is more harmful than helpful. It is a term used when discussing both humans and animals in fields such as evolutionary biology, biology, psychology , sociology, and other fields where adaptation and responsive change may occur...

 to longer-term climatic trends. For example the expansion of irrigation in Egypt into the W. Sinai desert due to a period of higher river flows is a maladaptation when viewed in relation to the longer term projections of drying in the region). Adaptations at one scale can also create externalities at another by reducing the adaptive capacity of other actors. This is often the case when broad assessments of the costs and benefits of adaptation are examined at smaller scales and it is possible to see that whilst the adaptation may benefit some actors, it has a negative effect on others.

It is clear from the literature that people have always adapted to a changing climate and that coping strategies already exist in many communities, for example changing sowing times or adopting new water-saving techniques. Traditional knowledge and coping strategies must be maintained and strengthened, otherwise adaptive capacity may be weakened as local knowledge of the environment is lost. Strengthening these indigenous techniques and building upon them also makes it more likely that adaptation strategies will be adopted, as it creates more community ownership and involvement in the process. In some cases however this will be not be enough to adapt to new conditions which are outside the range of those previously experienced, and new techniques will be needed.

Criteria for assessing responses


James Titus identifies the following criteria that policy makers should use in assessing responses to global warming:
  • Economic Efficiency
    Efficiency
    Efficiency in general describes the extent to which time or effort is well used for the intended task or purpose. It is often used with the specific purpose of relaying the capability of a specific application of effort to produce a specific outcome effectively with a minimum amount or quantity of...

    : Will the initiative yield benefits substantially greater than if the resources were applied elsewhere?
  • Flexibility: Is the strategy reasonable for the entire range of possible changes in temperatures, precipitation, and sea level?
  • Urgency: Would the strategy be successful if implementation were delayed ten or twenty years?
  • Low Cost: Does the strategy require minimal resources?
  • Equity: Does the strategy unfairly benefit some at the expense of other regions, generations, or economic classes?
  • Institutional feasibility: Is the strategy acceptable to the public? Can it be implemented with existing institutions under existing laws?
  • Unique or Critical Resources: Would the strategy decrease the risk of losing unique environmental or cultural resources?
  • Health and Safety: Would the proposed strategy increase or decrease the risk of disease or injury?
  • Consistency: Does the policy support other national state, community, or private goals?
  • Private v. Public Sector: Does the strategy minimize governmental interference with decisions best made by the private sector?

Costs


The United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

 estimated that an additional USD 86 billion per year would be needed in 2015.

According to UNFCCC estimates in 2007, costs of adaptation to climate change would cost $49–171 Billion per annum globally by 2030, of which a significant share of the additional investment and financial flows, USD 28-67 billion would be needed in 2030 in non-Annex I Parties. This represents a doubling of current official development assistance
Official development assistance
Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

 (ODA).

This estimate has been critiqued by Parry et al. (2009), in a joint study by IIED and the Grantham Institute, which argues that the UNFCCC estimate underestimates the cost of adaptation to climate change by a factor of 2 or 3. Moreover, sectors such as tourism, mining, energy and retail were not included in the UNFCCC estimate.

The more recent World Bank Study on the 'Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change' found that the costs of adaptation would be in the range of $75–100 Billion per year between 2010 and 2050; with higher estimates under the wetter global scenario than the drier scenario, assuming that warming will be about 2 degrees by 2050.

The benefits of strong, early action on mitigation
Mitigation of global warming
Climate change mitigation is action to decrease the intensity of radiative forcing in order to reduce the potential effects of global warming. Mitigation is distinguished from adaptation to global warming, which involves acting to tolerate the effects of global warming...

 considerably outweigh the costs. The Copenhagen Accord
Copenhagen Accord
The Copenhagen Accord is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009....

 was agreed on in order to create a commitment by developed countries to provide:

However, a key point of contention between states at the UNFCC Copenhagen Climate Summit was who was to foot the bill and if aid is to be given, how is it to affect other levels of development aid
Development aid
Development aid or development cooperation is aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.It is distinguished...

. The concept of additionality has thus arisen and the EU has asked its member states to come up with definitions of what they understand additionality to mean, the four main definitions are:
  1. Climate finance classified as aid, but additional to (over and above) the ‘0.7%’ ODA target;
  2. Increase on previous year's Official Development Assistance
    Official development assistance
    Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

     (ODA) spent on climate change mitigation;
  3. Rising ODA levels that include climate change finance but where it is limited to a specified percentage; and
  4. Increase in climate finance not connected to ODA.

The main point being that there is a conflict between the OECD states budget deficit cuts, the need to help developing countries adapt to develop sustainably and the need to ensure that funding does not come from cutting aid to other important Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

.

Adaptation mechanisms


Scheraga and Grambsch identify 9 fundamental principles to be considered when designing adaptation policy.
  1. The effects of climate change vary by region.
  2. The effects of climate change may vary across demographic groups.
  3. Climate change poses both risks and opportunities.
  4. The effects of climate change must be considered in the context of multiple stressors and factors, which may be as important to the design of adaptive responses as the sensitivity of the change.
  5. Adaptation comes at a cost.
  6. Adaptive responses vary in effectiveness, as demonstrated by current efforts to cope with climate variability.
  7. The systemic nature of climate impacts complicates the development of adaptation policy.
  8. Maladaptation can result in negative effects that are as serious as the climate-induced effects that are being avoided.
  9. Many opportunities for adaptation make sense whether or not the effects of climate change are realized.

Methods of adaptation


Examples of adaptation include defending against rising sea levels through better flood defenses, and changing patterns of land use like avoiding more vulnerable areas for housing.

Enhancing adaptive capacity


In a literature assessment, Smit et al. (2001) concluded that enhanced adaptive capacity would reduce vulnerability to climate change. In their view, activities that enhance adaptive capacity are essentially equivalent to activities that promote sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

. These activities include:
  • improving access to resources
  • reducing poverty
    Poverty
    Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

  • lowering inequities of resources and wealth among groups
  • improving education
    Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

     and information
  • improving infrastructure
    Infrastructure
    Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

  • improving institutional
    Institutional economics
    Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the...

     capacity and efficiency

Adaptation through local planning


Local landuse and municipal planning represent important avenues for adaptation to global warming. These forms of planning are recognised as central to avoiding the impacts of climate related hazards such as floods and heat stress, planning for demographic and consumption transition, and plans for ecosystem conservation. This type of planning is different from the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) which are intended to be frameworks for prioritizing adaptation needs. At the local scale, municipalities are at the coal face of adaptation where impacts are experienced in the forms of inundation, bushfires, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

Cities are planning for adapting to global warming and climate change. The New York Times began a series of articles on this subject with Chicago's adaptation initiatives being highlighted. Projects include changing to heat tolerant tree varieties, changing to water permeable pavements
Permeable paving
Permeable paving is a range of materials and techniques for paving roads, cycle-paths, parking lots and sidewalks that allow the movement of water and air around the paving material. Although some porous paving materials appear nearly indistinguishable from nonporous materials, their environmental...

 to absorb higher rainfalls and adding air conditioning in public schools. New York and other cities are involved in similar planning.


Adaptation through local planning occurs in two distinct modes. The first is strategic planning, which is important but not unique to local governments. At the local scale it fosters community vision, aspirational goals and place-making, along with defining pathways to achieve these goals. The second form is land-use planning, and is focused on the allocation of space to balance economic prosperity with acceptable living standards and the conservation of natural resources. Although these two types of planning are quite different in practice, and in many cases are managed by different departments, we propose that both are highly important to climate change adaptation, and can contribute to achieving adaptation at the local scale. Significant constraints are recognised to hinder adaptation through planning, including limited resources, lack of information, competing planning agendas and complying with requirements from other levels of government.

Planning for rising sea levels is one of the key challenges for local planning in response to climate change. Many national governments around the world have attempted to address the problem of rising sea levels through policy and planning reforms designed to increase adaptive capacity.

Agricultural production


A significant effect of global climate change is the altering of global rainfall patterns, with certain effects on agriculture. Extended drought can cause the failure of small and marginal farms with resultant economic, political and social disruption.

However, such events have previously occurred in human history independent of global climate change. In recent decades, global trade has created distribution networks capable of delivering surplus food to where it is needed, thus reducing local impact. There are also several ways to adapt to and minimize the disruptive effects of rainfall patterns.

Drought tolerant crop varieties


Agriculture of any kind is strongly influenced by the availability of water. Climate change will modify rainfall, evaporation
Evaporation
Evaporation is a type of vaporization of a liquid that occurs only on the surface of a liquid. The other type of vaporization is boiling, which, instead, occurs on the entire mass of the liquid....

, runoff
Surface runoff
Surface runoff is the water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water from rain, meltwater, or other sources flows over the land. This is a major component of the water cycle. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called a nonpoint source...

, and soil moisture storage. Changes in total seasonal precipitation or in its pattern of variability are both important. The occurrence of moisture stress
Moisture stress
Moisture stress occurs when the water in a plant's cells is reduced to less than normal levels. This can occur because of a lack of water in the plant's root zone, higher rates of transpiration than the rate of moisture uptake by the roots, for example, because of an inability to absorb water due...

 during flowering, pollination
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

, and grain-filling is harmful to most crops and particularly so to corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, soybeans, and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. Increased evaporation
Evaporation
Evaporation is a type of vaporization of a liquid that occurs only on the surface of a liquid. The other type of vaporization is boiling, which, instead, occurs on the entire mass of the liquid....

 from the soil and accelerated transpiration
Transpiration
Transpiration is a process similar to evaporation. It is a part of the water cycle, and it is the loss of water vapor from parts of plants , especially in leaves but also in stems, flowers and roots. Leaf surfaces are dotted with openings which are collectively called stomata, and in most plants...

 in the plants themselves will cause moisture stress. As a result, there will be a need to develop crop varieties with greater drought tolerance
Drought tolerance
Drought tolerance refers to the degree to which a plant is adapted to arid or drought conditions. Desiccation tolerance is an extreme degree of drought tolerance...

.

More spending on irrigation


The demand for water for irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 is projected to rise in a warmer climate, bringing increased competition between agriculture—already the largest consumer of water resources in semi-arid regions--and urban as well as industrial users. Falling water table
Water table
The water table is the level at which the submarine pressure is far from atmospheric pressure. It may be conveniently visualized as the 'surface' of the subsurface materials that are saturated with groundwater in a given vicinity. However, saturated conditions may extend above the water table as...

s and the resulting increase in the energy needed to pump water will make the practice of irrigation more expensive, particularly when with drier conditions more water will be required per acre.

Rainwater storage


One strategy involves adapting urban areas to increasingly severe storms by increasing rainwater storage (domestic water butts, unpaved gardens etc.) and increasing the capacity of stormwater
Stormwater
Stormwater is water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to apply to water that originates with snowmelt that enters the stormwater system...

 systems (and also separating stormwater from blackwater
Blackwater (waste)
Blackwater is a term dating to at least the 1970s used to describe wastewater containing fecal matter and urine. It is also known as brown water, foul water, or sewage...

, so that overflows in peak periods do not contaminate rivers).

According to English Nature
English Nature
English Nature was the United Kingdom government agency that promoted the conservation of wildlife, geology and wild places throughout England between 1990 and 2006...

, gardeners can help mitigate the effects of climate change by providing habitats for the most threatened species, and/or saving water by changing gardens to use plants which require less.

Weather control


Russian and American scientists have in the past tried to control the weather, for example by seeding clouds
Cloud seeding
Cloud seeding, a form of intentional weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud...

 with chemicals to try to produce rain when and where it is needed. A new method being developed involves replicating the urban heat island
Urban heat island
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon. The temperature difference usually is larger at night...

 effect, where cities are slightly hotter than the countryside because they are darker and absorb more heat. This creates 28% more rain 20–40 miles downwind from cities compared to upwind. On the timescale of several decades, new weather control
Weather control
Weather control is the act of manipulating or altering certain aspects of the environment to produce desirable changes in weather. Weather control can have the goal of preventing damaging weather, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, from occurring; of causing beneficial weather, such as rainfall in...

 techniques may become feasible which would allow control of extreme weather such as hurricanes.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) through its Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) has issued a "STATEMENT ON WEATHER MODIFICATION" as well as "GUIDELINES FOR THE PLANNING OF WEATHER MODIFICATION ACTIVITIES" in 2007, stating among others that "Purposeful augmentation of precipitation, reduction of hail damage, dispersion of fog and other types of cloud and storm modifications by cloud seeding are developing technologies which are still striving to achieve a sound scientific foundation and which have to be adapted to enormously varied natural conditions."

Damming glacial lakes


Glacial lake outburst flood
Glacial lake outburst flood
A glacial lake outburst flood is a type of outburst flood that occurs when the dam containing a glacial lake fails. The dam can consist of glacier ice or a terminal moraine...

s may become a bigger concern due to the retreat of glaciers, leaving behind numerous lakes that are impounded by often weak terminal moraine
Terminal moraine
A terminal moraine, also called end moraine, is a moraine that forms at the end of the glacier called the snout.Terminal moraines mark the maximum advance of the glacier. An end moraine is at the present boundary of the glacier....

 dams. In the past, the sudden failure of these dams has resulted in localized property damage, injury and deaths. Glacial lake
Glacial lake
A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create...

s in danger of bursting can have their moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

s replaced with concrete dams (which may also provide hydroelectric power).

Geoengineering


In a literature assessment, Barker et al. (2007) described geoengineering as a type of mitigation policy. IPCC (2007) concluded that geoengineering options, such as ocean fertilization to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
Atmosphere
An atmosphere is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low...

, remained largely unproven. It was judged that reliable cost estimates for geoengineering had not been published.

The Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 (2009) published the findings of a study into geoengineering. The authors of the study defined geoengineering as a "deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system, in order to moderate global warming" (p. ix). According to the study, the safest and most predictable method of moderating climate change is early action to reduce GHG emissions.

Scientists such as Ken Caldeira
Ken Caldeira
Ken Caldeira is an atmospheric scientist who works at the Carnegie Institution for Science's . He researches ocean acidification, climate effects of trees, intentional climate modification, and interactions in the global Carbon cycle/climate system...

 and Paul Crutzen, suggest geoengineering
Geoengineering
The concept of Geoengineering refers to the deliberate large-scale engineering and manipulation of the planetary environment to combat or counteract anthropogenic changes in atmospheric chemistry The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in 2007 that geoengineering options, such...

 techniques, which can be employed to change the climate deliberately and thus control some of the effects of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. These include:
  • Solar radiation management
    Solar radiation management
    Solar radiation management projects are a type of geoengineering which seek to reflect sunlight and thus reduce global warming. Examples include the creation of stratospheric sulfur aerosols. They do not reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and thus do not address problems...

     may be seen as an adaptation to global warming. Techniques such as space sunshade, creating stratospheric sulfur aerosols
    Stratospheric sulfur aerosols
    Stratospheric sulfur aerosols are sulfur-rich particles which exist in the stratosphere region of the Earth's atmosphere. The layer of the atmosphere in which they exist is known as the Junge layer, or simply the stratospheric aerosol layer. These particles consist of a mixture of sulfuric acid...

     and painting roofing and paving materials white all fall into this category.
  • Hydrological geoengineering - typically seeking to preserve sea ice
    Sea ice
    Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

     or adjust thermohaline circulation
    Thermohaline circulation
    The term thermohaline circulation refers to a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes....

     by using methods such as diverting rivers to keep warm water away from sea ice
    Sea ice
    Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

    , or tethering icebergs to prevent them drifting into warmer waters and melting. This may be seen as an adaptation technique, although by preventing Arctic methane release
    Arctic methane release
    Arctic methane release is the release of methane from seas and soils in permafrost regions of the Arctic, as part of a more general release of carbon from these soils and seas. Whilst a long-term natural process, it may be exacerbated by global warming. This results in a weak positive feedback...

     it may also have mitigation aspects as well.

Assisting disadvantaged nations


In 2000, there was a proposal made at the Sixth Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that called for the creation of an Adaptation Fund of $1 billion per year for developing countries, especially the least developed and small island states, to enable them to combat the consequences of climate change.

Many scientists, policy makers and the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , is the fourth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects, and options for...

 have agreed that disadvantaged nations, especially in the global south need more attention to the negative impacts of climate change. These regions are highly populated and people have generally lower adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity
Adaptive capacity is the capacity of a system to adapt if the environment where the system exists is changing. It is applied to e.g., ecological systems and human social systems.As applied to ecological systems, the adaptive capacity is determined by :...

. A balance, however, between development and climate change mitigation and adaptation needs to be found.

In the global south, national governments are largely responsible for formulation and implementation of the adaptation plan, from local to the national level. In this context, a contradictory situation exists. National governments attach high priority to development polices and plans not climate change. Development agendas are driven by pre-existing problems such as poverty, malnutrition, food insecurity, availability of drinking water, indebtness, illiteracy, unemployment, local resource conflicts, lower technological development etc. Here, it is important to recognize that if climate change phenomenon is not properly understood and coping strategies such as mitigation and adaptation are not adopted on timely manner, climate change impacts will exacerbate these pre-existing problems.

Hence, there is a need of exploring strategies of integration between the climate change plans and development plans in the global south. This integration should include principles such as social justice and equity, inclusion of marginal population in decision making, women’s participation and promotion of social cohesion. Inclusion of these principles will not only promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change but will also make development more distributive.

Collaborative research from the Institute of Development Studies
Institute of Development Studies
The Institute of Development Studies based at the University of Sussex is a global organisation for research, teaching and communications on international development....

 draws links between adaptation and poverty to help develop an agenda for pro-poor adaptation that can inform climate-resilient poverty reduction. Adaptation to climate change will be "ineffective and inequitable if it fails to learn and build upon an understanding of the multidimensional and differentiated nature of poverty and vulnerability". Poorer countries tend to be more seriously affected by climate change, yet have reduced assets and capacities with which to adapt. This has led to more activities to integrate adaptation within development and poverty reduction programmes. The rise of adaptation as a development issue has been influenced by concerns around minimising threats to progress on poverty reduction, notably the MDGs, and by the injustice of impacts that are felt hardest by those who have done least to contribute to the problem, framing adaptation as an equity and right issue.

Migration


Recent literature has also put forward the concept of migration as a climate change coping mechanism. Climate change push factors are weighed against economic or social pull factors: the role of climate change in migration is thus not a linear one of cause and effect. Migration frequently requires would-be migrants to have access to social and financial capital, such as support networks in the chosen destination, and the funds to be able to move. It is frequently the last adaptive response households will take when confronted with environmental factors that threaten their livelihoods, and mostly resorted to when other mechanisms to cope have proven unsuccessful. 'Migration and Climate Change', a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 publication, explores the dynamics of environmental migration and the role of migration as an adaptive response to climate change.

Adaptation Finance


The aggregate of current climate change adaptation programs will not raise enough money to fund adaptation to climate change.
There are, however, several programs and proposals to finance adaptation to climate change in developing countries. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992...

 runs a program called the Global Environmental Facility, which provides some funding for adaptation to least developed countries and small island states. Under the GEF umbrella, the GEF Trust Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Special Climate Change Fund operate to carry out the climate change adaptation financing goals of the GEF.
There are several other climate change adaptation finance proposals, most of which employ official development assistance
Official development assistance
Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

 or ODA. These proposals range from a World Bank program, to proposals involving auctioning of carbon allowances, to a global carbon or transportation tax, to compensation-based funding.
Other proposals suggest using market-based mechanisms, rather than ODA, such as a vulnerability reduction credit (VRC) or a program similar to the Clean Development Mechanism
Clean Development Mechanism
The Clean Development Mechanism is one of the "flexibility" mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol . It is defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, and is intended to meet two objectives: to assist parties not included in Annex I in achieving sustainable development and in contributing to the...

, to raise private money for climate change adaptation.
The Copenhagen Accord
Copenhagen Accord
The Copenhagen Accord is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009....

, the most recent global climate change agreement, commits developed countries to goal of sending $110 billion to developing countries in assistance for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation through 2020. This agreement, while not binding, would dwarf current amounts dedicated to adaptation in developing countries. This climate change fund
Climate change fund
The impacts of climate change have started and the world’s poorest people are likely to be hit first and hardest. Recent researches have estimated the costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation to global warming at around US$ 200 to US$ 210 billion and US$ 28 to US$ 67 billion, respectively,...

 is called the Green Climate Fund from the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference
2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The conference is officially referred to as the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 6th session of the...

.

Adaptation measures by country


Numerous countries have held inquiries into and have planned, or started adaptation measures including Australia
Adaptation to global warming in Australia
-Introduction:According to non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace and global scientific organisations such as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the frequency and intensity of disasters brought about by greenhouse gas emissions and climate change will grow...

 is still trying to find more out. The state of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 has also issued a document titled "2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy Discussion Draft" that summarizes the best known science on climate change impacts in seven specific sectors and provides recommendations on how to manage against those threats.
Poorer communities have gotten help with climate adaptation in places like Bangladesh as well.

National Adaptation Programme of Action


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) helps least developed countries (LDCs) identify climate change adaptation needs by funding the development of National Adaptation Programme of Action
National Adaptation Programme of Action
A National Adaptation Programme of Action is one of the types of reporting envisaged by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . They are prepared by Least Developed Countries, to describe the country's perception of its most "urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate...

(NAPA). NAPAs are meant to provide LDCs with an opportunity to identify their “urgent and immediate needs” for adapting to climate change. As part of the NAPA process, LDC government ministries, typically assisted by development agencies, assess their countries’ vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events. They then develop a prioritized list of adaptation projects that will help the country cope with the adverse affects of climate change. LDCs that submit NAPAs to the UNFCCC then become eligible for funding through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDC Fund) for NAPA projects. The LDC Fund was designed through the UNFCCC to specifically assist least developed countries, as they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. To date, forty five LDCs have written and submitted NAPAs to the UNFCCC, with Nepal as the latest country to submit its NAPA in November 2010. Three more countries (Angola, Myanmar, and Timor Leste) are scheduled to complete their NAPAs by the end of 2011.

See also


  • Bali Road Map
  • Climate bond
    Climate bond
    Climate bonds are fixed-income financial instruments linked in some way to climate change solutions.Climate Bonds are issued in order to raise finance for climate change solutions - climate change mitigation or adaptation related projects or programs...

  • Climate Vulnerability Monitor
    Climate Vulnerability Monitor
    The Climate Vulnerability Monitor is an independent global assessment of the effect of climate change on the world’s populations brought together by panels of key international authorities...


Relevant IPCC reports


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

 produced two separate reports: Climate Change 2001: Mitigation and Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Relevant United States sources


Other government sources


Several countries have taken a lead in climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning. Their web sites contain reports, strategies, and tools which other countries can customize to their own situation.

Other relevant sources


In addition to government and United Nations reports, an extensive research literature assesses options for response to global warming. Much of this literature addresses the potential economic costs associated with different strategies.
  • The World Bank has worked with developing countries to support adaptation planning since 1999. It has also analyzed how to mainstream adaptation planning into its loan and grant programs. This page has publications to download
  • The World Bank is also working on a Regional Program to Reduce the Vulnerability of Agricultural Systems to Climate Change in the Europe and Central Asia Region
  • Indigo Development has a page of links to government and research web sites on climate adaptation
  • Oxfam has issued a report detailing the need for high emissions countries to support adaptation in developing countries: Adapting to climate change, What’s needed in poor countries, and who should pay Oxfam Briefing Paper 104
  • The Eldis platform, run by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex
    University of Sussex
    The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

     has literature on adaptation and sustainable development
  • The WEAP
    WEAP
    WEAP: the Water Evaluation And Planning system is a Windows-based decision support system for integrated water resources management and policy analysis...

     (Water Evaluation And Planning system) assists water resources researchers and planners in assessing impacts of and adaptations to climate change.
  • The weADAPT platform encourages the collaborative development of tools for adaptation and sharing experiences from adaptation projects
  • The UNDP runs the adaptation learning mechanism which provides country case studies of adaptation.
  • The UNFCCC has a database on local adaptation measures and information on the international climate negotiations
  • "Economic Approaches to Greenhouse Warming" provides a summary of Yale economist William Nordhaus
    William Nordhaus
    William Dawbney "Bill" Nordhaus is the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University. Nordhaus lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife Barbara.-Career:...

    ' ideas (1991). Nordhaus questions the motivation for countries to pursue relatively costly measures for responding to global warming given current scientific uncertainty about the problem's magnitude and estimates potential economic impacts may not be that high, particularly for developed economies.
  • Economist William R. Cline
    William R. Cline
    William R Cline is an American economist. He graduated from Princeton University in 1963 and received a PhD in 1969 from Yale.Cline was deputy director of development and trade research at the office of the assistant secretary for international affairs at the United States Department of the...

     offers an opposing view, arguing potential economic costs of unabated global warming could be very high. In the monograph, "Global Warming: The Economic Stakes", Cline (1992) assesses the potential cost of damages from global warming and the cost of efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.
  • "Coping with Global Climate Change: The Role of Adaptation in the United States" Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    Pew Center on Global Climate Change
    The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions transitioned from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in November 2011 under the leadership of its president, Eileen Claussen...

    , June 2004.
  • National Center for Policy Analysis
  • "Adaptation to Global Warming" James Titus
  • "Climate's Long-Lost Twin" Richard Monastersky
  • Heintz Foundation, 2007 A Survey of Climate Change Adaptation Planning pdf
  • "Adapt or Die: The Science, Politics and Economics of Climate Change" Profile Books, December 2003 ISBN 1-86197-795-6
  • USDA Economic Research Service Economics of Sequestering Carbon in the U.S. Agricultural Sector
  • USDA Economic Research Service Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues of Longrun Sustainability
  • USDA Economic Research Service World Agriculture and Climate Change: Economic Adaptations
  • "Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming." United States National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

    , 1991.
  • "Water Allocation in a Changing Climate: Institutions and Adaptation" Springer Netherlands, ISSN 0165-0009 (Paper) 1573-1480 (Online) Volume 35, Number 2, February 1997. pp. 157 – 177.
  • Risks, opportunities, and adaptation to climate change Joel D. Scheraga, Anne E. Grambsch, United States Environmental Protection Agency
    United States Environmental Protection Agency
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

    .
  • McMichael et al. (2003). Climate Change and Human Health – Risk and Responses. WHO
    Who
    Who may refer to:* Who , an English-language pronoun* who , a Unix command* Who?, one of the Five Ws in journalism- Art and entertainment :* Who? , a 1958 novel by Algis Budrys...

    , UNEP, WMO, Geneva. ISBN 92-4-159081-5.
  • Müller, B. (2002) Equity in Climate Change. The Great Divide. Oxford
    University of Oxford
    The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

     Institute for Energy Studieshttp://www.oxfordenergy.org/. Oxford, UK
  • House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs, 2nd Report of Session 2005-6 The Economics of Climate Change. Volume I: Report pdf
  • Rivington M, Matthews KB, Buchan K and Miller D (2005) "An integrated assessment approach to investigate options for mitigation and adaptation to climate change at the farm-scale", NJF Seminar 380, Odense
    Odense
    The city of Odense is the third largest city in Denmark.Odense City has a population of 167,615 and is the main city of the island of Funen...

    , Denmark, 7–8 November 2005, via Macaulay Institute
    Macaulay Institute
    The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute is a research institute based at Aberdeen in Scotland...

    's Land Allocation Decision Support System
    Land Allocation Decision Support System
    LADSS or Land Allocation Decision Support System, is an agricultural land use planning tool developed at The Macaulay Institute. More recently the term LADSS is used to refer to the research of the team behind the original planning tool....

    .
  • Ludwig, Fulco, Pavel Kabat, Henk van Schaik and Michael van der Valk (2009) Climate Change Adaptation in the Water Sector, Earthscan, London, 320 pp, ISBN 978-1-84407-652-9.
  • Amy Seidl Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming Beacon Press
    Beacon Press
    Beacon Press is an American non-profit book publisher. Founded in 1854 by the American Unitarian Association, it is currently a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association.Beacon Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses....

    (June 7, 2011) ISBN 978-0807085981