Adaptation to global warming

Actions and strategies intended to minimize the effects that global warming will have on humans and nature.

There will be some degree of global warming in the future even if humans do their best to mitigate it by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. It is, therefore, necessary to plan ahead and prepare for these changes.

Humans and other living organisms have always had to adapt to changing environments, but the changes by anthropogenic global warming are expected to be more abrupt and on a bigger scale than anything else Earth has seen in modern times.

The scale and scope of global warming mean precautions and strategies are needed. This is particularly true in vulnerable regions. An important part of adaptation to global warming is, therefore, the identification of vulnerable regions. Estimating climate sensitivity is also central.

The vast majority of the adaptation is concerned with how to deal with negative effects, but adaptation can also be a strategy to enhance some of the positive effects of global warming. In some countries farmers adapt to coming warmer climates by changing to crops with better yields. These crops were not previously usable in those country because of a colder climate.

One obvious and important example of adaptation is flood defenses in regions vulnerable to changing sea levels.

Agriculture and food production are very sensitive to climate changes, so many adaptation strategies deal with these two.

Work is being done to prepare crops that are more drought tolerant and infra-structure for irrigation is being built in some areas where the climate is becoming dryer.

Climate change does not affect the world equally. Very often poor countries lie in the regions that will be most affected by climate change. The richer countries, in contrast, are often located in regions that are less negatively affected. This means that adaptation is particularly important to these poor countries.

Wildlife management can help animals deal with a changing climate by providing habitats and stepping stones that facilitate migration.