Adapting to climate change is a critical problem facing humanity. This involves reconsidering our lifestyles, and is linked to our actions as individuals, societies and governments. This book presents top science and social science research on whether the world can adapt to climate change. Written by experts, both academics and practitioners, it examines the risks to ecosystems, demonstrating how values, culture and the constraining forces of governance act as barriers to action. As a review of science and a holistic assessment of adaptation options, it is essential reading for those concerned with responses to climate change, especially researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and graduate students. Significant features include historical, contemporary, and future insights into adaptation to climate change; coverage of adaptation issues from different perspectives: climate science, hydrology, engineering, ecology, economics, human geography, anthropology and political science; and contributions from leading researchers and practitioners from around the world.
• Covers adaptation issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, creating an understanding of the multifaceted nature of the topic • Historical, contemporary, and future insights into the issue allow readers to examine how to implement adaptation actions at different timescales and contexts • Contributions from leading scientists from around the world provide a holistic assessment of the subject and the adaptation options currently available
Introduction; 1. Adaptation now; Part I. Adapting to Thresholds in Physical and Ecological Systems: 2. Ecological limits of adaptation to climate change; 3. Adapting to the effects of climate change on water supply reliability; 4. Protecting London from tidal flooding: limits to engineering adaptation; 5. Climate prediction: a limit to adaptation?; 6. Learning to crawl: how to use seasonal climate forecasts to build adaptive capacity; 7. Norse Greenland settlement and limits to adaptation; 8. Sea ice change in Arctic Canada: are there limits to Inuit adaptation?; Part II. The Role of Value and Culture in Adaptation: 9. The past, present and some possible futures of adaptation; 10. Do values subjectively define the limits to climate change adaptation?; 11. Conceptual and practical barriers to adaptation: vulnerability and responses to heat waves in the UK; 12. Values and cost-benefit analysis: economic efficiency criteria in adaptation; 13. Hidden costs and disparate uncertainties: trade-offs in approaches to climate policy; 14. Community based adaptation and culture in theory and practice; 15. Exploring the invisibility of local knowledge in decision-making: the Boscastle harbour flood disaster; 16. Adaptation and conflict within fisheries: insights for living with climate change; 17. Exploring cultural dimensions of adaptation to climate change; 18. Adapting to an uncertain climate on the great plains: testing hypotheses on historical populations; 19. Climate change and adaptive human migration: lessons from rural North America; Part III. Governance, Knowledge and Technologies for Adaptation: 20. Are our levers long and our fulcra strong enough? Exploring the soft underbelly of adaptation decisions and actions; 21. Decentralized planning and climate adaptation: toward transparent governance; 22. Climate adaptation, local institutions and rural livelihoods; 23. Adaptive governance for a changing coastline: science, policy and publics in search of a sustainable future; 24. Climate change, international cooperation and adaptation in transboundary water management; 25. Decentralization: a window of opportunity for successful adaptation to climate change?; 26. Adapting to climate change: the nation-state as problem and solution; 27. Limits to adaptation: analysing institutional constraints; 28. Accessing diversification, networks and traditional resource management as adaptations to climate extremes; 29. Governance limits to effective global financial support for adaptation; 30. Organizational learning and governance in adaptation in urban development; 31. Conclusions: transforming the world; Index.
Review of the hardback: 'This book is a major contribution to a subject that has hitherto been far too little studied and commented on. 'Adaptation' to climate change sounds a simple idea, but turns out to be a complex and problematic one. Everyone involved in the debate about how to cope with global warming will profit by studying the diverse contributions this volume contains.' Lord Tony Giddens, London School of Economics and Political Science
Review of the hardback: 'A fascinating collection of papers addressing adaptation to climate change in all its complexity, ranging geographically from the Inuit of Arctic Canada to the African Sahel via the inhabitants of Boscastle in Cornwall. On the way, it explores from the perspectives of many different writers the factors that enable and encourage communities to adapt, and the factors that hold them back. The book has a richness and depth of thinking that makes it required reading for all who seek to understand why some communities live in harmony with their climatic environment whilst others fail, and what this means for the future of society as a whole as it seeks to come to terms with climate change.' Jean Palutikof National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Griffith University
'This book provokes thought … it succeeds in bringing together a wide-ranging group of specialists and provides valuable synopses of vital aspects of climate change science and social science.' A. M. Mannion, The Biologist
'This book presents a wide range of ideas and approaches to adapting to climate change. … The book provides a good overview of the challenges facing those studying adaptation and those seeking to adapt to climate change … there are many thought provoking chapters covering a diverse range of subects. … the book is a must read for anyone, researcher or policy-maker working in the area of adaptation.' The Geographical Journal