Adaptation To Global Warming

Adaptation to global warming and climate change is a response to climate change that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of biological systems to climate change effects. 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) 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 (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. Donor countries promised an annual $100 billion by 2020 through the Green Climate Fund for developing countries to adapt to climate change. However, while the fund was set up during COP16 in CancĂșn, concrete pledges by developed countries are so far missing. The adaptation challenge grows with the magnitude and the rate of climate change. A theoretical, physiological limit to adaptation is that humans cannot survive temperatures of above 35 degrees Celsius.

Another policy response to climate change, known as climate change mitigation (Verbruggen, 2007) is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and/or enhance the removal of these gases from the atmosphere (through 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 ecosystems. For human systems, the economic and social costs of unmitigated climate change would be very high.

Read more about Adaptation To Global Warming:  Effects of Climate Change, Necessity For Adaptation, Conceptualising Adaptation, Criteria For Assessing Responses, Costs, Adaptation Mechanisms, Methods of Adaptation, Adaptation Finance, Adaptation Measures By Country

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