Climate change adaptation

What is climate change adaptation?

Adaptation refers to the adjustments needed from individuals, communities and countries in response to changes to our planet’s climate. It is not the same as mitigation, more on which you can find here.

If we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, do we still need to adapt?

The earth has already warmed by approximately 1.1°C compared to pre-industrial times, and we are already seeing impacts from this in all parts of the world. Even if all emissions stopped today, we cannot avoid further impacts. For example, sea level rise takes many years to respond to increasing global temperatures and we will therefore see our seas rise for many years to come. Adaptation is therefore critical for our resilience to climate change.

What impacts of climate change are we already experiencing?

Global climate change impacts include, for example, changes in extreme weather, melting of glaciers, and loss of Arctic sea ice.  You can see more about some of the impacts on the climate system on our climate dashboard.

In the UK the average temperature has increased by 0.8°C since the 1961-1990 period and rainfall has increased by 7.3%. Find out more here.

How can I, my community or business adapt to climate change?

There are a range of things you can do to adapt to climate change from insulating and ventilating homes to siting new buildings away from flood risk areas. Keep an eye on the Get ClimateReady webpages for a range of suggestions from our expert partners which will be added to over time.