2.5 Mitigation and adaptation


The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects.


Villas must adapt to floods and storms. “After the Sandy storm”. New Jersey. (Photo: S, Å, Bjørke)

In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities.

In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects  IPCC, 2014

Mitigation is a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Mitigation, together with adaptation to climate change, contributes to the objective expressed in Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
IPCC 2014 


Parts of the shoreline in the Seychelles has been reclaimed from the sea, by coastal reclamation. These artificial islands, located around the capital Victoria, have been built to relieve the development pressure on hillsides due to erosion and landslides. Infrastructure development along the coast increases its vulnerability to coastal erosion, rising sea levels and tropical cyclones. Photo: Lawrence Hislop

UNEP (2021) Step up adaptation measures!
As temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds. Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts – is a key pillar of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures through national plans, climate information systems, early warning, protective measures and investments in a green future. https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/step-climate-change-adaptation-or-face-serious-human-and-economic

Climate Adapt European Climate Adaptation Platform
provides users with climate vulnerability information as well as potential adaptation strategies, case studies, and other useful tools. http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu

Climate Central
is a credible source of climate change news and analysis, as well as a range of videos, graphics, and mapping tools that visualize local impacts like heat, extreme weather, and sea-level rise. http://www.climatecentral.org

Skeptical Science
provides the basics of climate change science as well as rebuttals to some of the most common myths perpetuated by climate change deniers. https://www.skepticalscience.com

Read more:


Home  Chapter 1 1.   The natural Greenhouse effect
Chapter 2 2.  Global Warming
2.1 Authoritative sources
2.2 The Sun?
2.3 Volcanoes?
2.4 Winter is cold?
2.5 Mitigation and adaptation
 Chapter 3 3. Impacts