What is climate change adaptation? | Land Portal
Photo by  Adam Cohn,Sacks of Charcoal, Ulingan Manila Philippines, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED)

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January 2021
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Humans have been adapting to their environments throughout history by developing practices, cultures and livelihoods suited to local conditions – from the Mediterranean siesta to the Vietnamese practice of building homes on stilts to protect against monsoonal rains. However, climate change raises the possibility that existing societies will experience climatic shifts (in temperature, storm frequency, flooding and other factors) that previous experience has not prepared them for. As average global temperatures rise, the impacts of climate change and their associated losses and damage are likely to increase more rapidly and more unpredictably.

Adaptation seeks to reduce the risks posed by climate changes, and to benefit from any associated opportunities where possible. It is one of two main policy responses to climate change, the other being mitigation – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the root causes. Both approaches are necessary because even if emissions are dramatically decreased over the coming decade, further warming is now unavoidable and adaptation will be needed to deal with the climatic changes already set in motion.

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