We reviewed existing and planned adaptation activities of federal, tribal, state, and local governments and the private sector in the United States (U.S.) to understand what types of adaptation activities are underway across different sectors and scales throughout the country.
In the past few years there has been a remarkable increase in the level of awareness of climate change worldwide. Concerns about causes and effects have moved beyond the realm of scientific debate to the offices of legislators and the conference rooms of city planners, and even to the living rooms of people everywhere. As evidence accumulates that a warming planet will cause widespread and mostly harmful effects, scientists and policy makers have proposed various mitigation strategies that might reduce the rate of climate change. For those officials in government who must plan now for an uncertain future, however, strategies for adapting to climate change are equally important.
The forests of the Northeast U.S. will be significantly affected by climate change, but they also play a role in mitigating climate change by sequestering CO2. Forest management decisions can increase forests’ resilience and ability to adapt to altered precipitation and temperature patterns. At the same time, management strategies that increase carbon storage will help reduce climate disruptions. Because of climate change, foresters on managed lands should take into account changes in species composition, more frequent disturbances, potential changes in growth rates, and distorted insect and disease dynamics. Silvicultural prescriptions should emphasize low impact logging techniques, the perpetuation of structural complexity, legacy trees, extended rotations, and uneven aged management systems where appropriate. In order to maintain resilience as well as to store carbon, forests should be protected from land use conversion.
The scientific literature contains numerous descriptions of observed and potential effects of global climate change on species and ecosystems. In response to anticipated effects of climate change, conservation organizations and government agencies are developing “adaptation strategies” to facilitate the adjustment of human society and ecological systems to altered climate regimes. We reviewed the literature and climatechange adaptation plans that have been developed in United States, Canada, England, M´exico, and South Africa and found 16 general adaptation strategies that relate directly to the conservation of biological diversity. These strategies can be grouped into four broad categories: land and water protection and management; direct species management; monitoring and planning; and law and policy. Tools for implementing these strategies are similar or identical to those already in use by conservationists worldwide (land and water conservation, ecological restoration, agrienvironment schemes, species translocation, captive propagation, monitoring, natural resource planning, and legislation/regulation). Although our review indicates natural resource managers already have many tools that can be used to address climate-change effects, managers will likely need to apply these tools in novel and innovative ways to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change.
The paper identifies the literature that deals with adaptation to climate change in the transport
sector by means of an extensive search, and presents a systematic review of the publications. Although it is frequently claimed that this socially and economically important sector is particularly vulnerable to climate change, there is comparatively little research into adaptation by industry, utilities and settlements. The 63 sources we found are analysed following an action theory of adaptation that distinguishes different adaptational functions. A very heterogeneous set of adaptations is identified and the actors and means of adaptation are classified by an open coding procedure. The paper shows that a broad diversity of actors is relevant for adaptation in the transport sector – ranging from transportation service providers to public and private sector actors and private households. Most adaptations discussed in the literature require inputs in the form of technical means, institutional means, and knowledge. The review shows that the existing iterature either focuses on overly general and vague proposals, or on detailed technical measures. The paper
concludes that the knowledge on adapting transport to climate change is still in a stage of infancy
and suggests fields for further research.