April 4, 2013
The State of Adaptation in the United States surveys activities underway to help communities prepare for climate change and identifies needs, challenges, and potential actions that communities can now pursue.
The report was commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation and was undertaken by the Georgetown Climate Center, EcoAdapt, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, and the University of California-Davis.
The report provides examples of societal responses to climate change in our planning and management of cities, agriculture, and natural resources. These examples include regulatory measures, management strategies, and information sharing.
“From Sandy and extreme weather to droughts to rising sea-levels, it is tough to ignore the changes that are happening to our climate – changes that we know will only accelerate over time,” said Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and one of the report’s authors. “While forward-thinking communities are already making adjustments and planning for a different future, there is still a big gap between planning and action, and we need more focus placed on the implementation of policy changes if we are to protect our communities. This report highlights some of the important actions that governments and the public can take to help prepare all of us for the climate change impacts that are now inevitable.”
Dr. Louise Jackson, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California: “Agricultural planning for climate change in the US has focused on farm practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and on crop vulnerabilities to new environmental stresses or pests. These approaches have failed to address the full range of challenges and opportunities faced by farmers and rural communities, and how the sustainable food movement along with new land use strategies to preserve farmland can jointly contribute to climate change adaptation, food security, and other essential ecosystem services.”
Dr. Amy Snover, Director, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington: “I'm heartened by growing efforts around the country to identify and prepare for the impacts of climate change. These efforts draw attention to the fact that we have - right now - the knowledge, data, and tools necessary for understanding local impacts and developing local strategies for building climate resilience.”
“Climate change is something you can plan on and it's something forward thinkers are starting to plan for,” said Dr. Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt. “The State of Adaptation in the United States shows you where to find the emerging new ideas, as well as where the opportunities exist to leap-frog the process ahead more quickly so we can all benefit from this innovative, early learning.”