Successful Adaptation to Climate Change Across Scales

Short Description

Climate change is a reality. Observed impacts of climate change on physical and ecological systems over the past century (documented in McCarthy et al., 2001 and Parmesan and Yohe, 2003 for example) are a forerunner of things to come. Along with changes in mean climatic conditions, the earth potentially faces irreversible and catastrophic system feedbacks and impacts associated, for example, with collapse of thermohaline circulation, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet (Gregory et al., 2004), or other singular events (Alley et al., 2003). Societies, organisations and individuals have adjusted their behaviour in response to past climatic changes, and many are now contemplating adapting to altered future climatic conditions. Much of this adaptation is reactive, in the sense that it is triggered by past or current events, but it is also anticipatory in the sense that it is based on some assessment of conditions in the future.

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Suggested Citation

W. Neil Adger, Nigel W. Arnell, Emma L. Tompkins, Successful adaptation to climate change across scales, Global Environmental Change, Volume 15, Issue 2, July 2005, Pages 77-86, ISSN 0959-3780, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2004.12.005.