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Impacts to Adaptation

    FROM IMPACTS TO ADAPTATIONS
                        
    (Canada in a Changing Climate)
 
 

What is adaptation to climate change?

 

Adaptation to climate change is any activity that reduces the negative impacts of climate change and/or takes advantage of new opportunities that may be presented.  Adaptation includes activities that are taken before impacts are observed (anticipatory) and after impacts have been felt (reactive; Table SR-1).  Both anticipatory and reactive adaptation can be planned (i.e. the result of deliberate policy decisions), and reactive adaptation can also occur spontaneously.  In most circumstances, anticipatory planned adaptations will incur lower long-term costs and be more effective than reactive adaptations.


 

 

ADAPTATION

     Based on

        Type of adaptation

     

     Intent


   

    Spontaneous

      

       Planned

   
 T
iming         (relative to       climate impact)   

  

 Reactive

 

Concurrent

 

Anticipatory


Temporal scope


    

    Short term

   

    Long term


Spatial scope


    

     Localized

   

    Widespread








Adaptation will usually not take place in response to climate change alone, but in consideration of a range of factors with the potential for both synergies and conflicts.  Successful adaptation does not mean that negative impacts will not occur, only that they will be less severe than would be experienced had no adaptation occurred.  In deciding what adaptation option is most appropriate for a particular situation, attention must be paid to feasibility, likelihood and mechanisms for uptake.

 
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