Articles on Climate change adaptation

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A year after Hurricane Sandy, President Obama has taken serious steps toward climate adaptation. Australia is also subject to extreme weather, but we’re underprepared. Charlie Walker

Obama prepares US for climate change impacts – what is Australia waiting for?

The political controversy which erupted recently about the influence of climate change on the NSW bushfires was a distraction. First, the Climate Council has confirmed climate change is influencing the…
How are we going to adapt to more frequent extremes? AAP Image/High Alpha

Now is the right time to talk about climate change adaptation

When tragedies such as the NSW bushfires strike it might feel thoughtless and insensitive to talk about climate change. But history proves there are three reasons that disasters are precisely the time…
More of us are getting older, for longer, and policies need to reflect that. John Stillwell/PA

Ageing population more at risk from environmental threats

The global population is ageing. This is happening at a time when the rate and scale of human-induced environmental change is exceeding critical ecological limits, raising concerns over the consequences…
Firefighters have plenty of ideas about disaster management - so why don’t we listen? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What firefighters say about climate change

You do not find many climate change sceptics on the end of [fire] hoses anymore… They are dealing with increasing numbers of fires, increasing rainfall events, increasing storm events. – A senior Victorian…
Marlgu Billabong in Australia’s Kimberley region, which new research nominates as a smart place to invest in conservation. www.shutterstock.com/Janelle Lugge

Adapt or die: where in the world we should start on cost-effective conservation

As the dust settles on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the science of climate change, the obvious question is: what do we do next? Our research, published in Nature…
We’re going to need more than sandbags to adapt to climate change. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Who should fund Australia’s adaptation to climate change?

If we haven’t heard much about carbon policy this election, we’ve heard even less about the other side of the climate equation - adaptation. We’re already seeing an increase in extreme weather, and climate…
Many of those who help out after extreme weather hits are vulnerable themselves. AAP Image

Vital services are highly vulnerable under climate change

The responsibility of caring for those most vulnerable in society often falls to community service groups. When extreme events such as bushfires, floods, heatwaves and storms hit, many rely on local volunteers…
Wrexham, like this driver, is ill-prepared for floods and other climate change-related problems. Matt Price/Flickr

How ready for climate change is your town or city?

More than half the world’s population now lives in cities or urban areas, which means our vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is tied up with cities’ ability to cope. Responsible for more than…
Isn’t it time Australia got serious about adapting to climate change? AAP Image/Gympie Council, Greg Wilbraham

Senate inquiry on extreme weather won’t help Australia prepare

The Australian Senate inquiry on preparedness for extreme weather events was, according to Green’s Senator Christine Milne, an opportunity to bring “urgency and ambition” to the issue. The final report…
Forest fires will become more severe with climate change, inevitably taking a greater toll of lives. European Press Agency

Are extreme forest fires the new normal?

The tragic events in Yarnell, Arizona, where 19 firefighters died battling a forest fire, brought to the forefront the dangers of forest fires. The changes in climate that have been observed during the…
Only 39% of mining companies believe the climate is changing; 13% have made plans to adapt. CSIRO

Mining companies are underprepared for climate change

Recent research suggests only a minority of mining companies are preparing for the biophysical impacts of climate change. Those that are preparing are going it alone: there is little collaboration on planning…
We’re facing up to fire, flood and environmental devastation - let’s refocus our approach. thesaradarling/Flickr

Winning the climate debate by adapting

It is time to reframe the climate change debate. Inadvertently, climate and environmental scientists have created an intellectual ecosystem that has created opportunities for contrarians like Lord Monckton…
Australians are largely under-prepared for the threats posed by future global warming. AAP Image/Raymond Keyworth

Who will speak up for climate change adaptation?

As with the federal elections of 2007 and 2010, climate change appears set to feature again in the forthcoming September poll. Yet one of the most important aspects of the issue, that of adaptation to…
Climate adaptation has to keep poorer people cool too. Chris Riebschlager

Staying safe in a hotter Australia might depend on your income

In a summer that has so far seen unprecedented heat followed by unprecedented floods across large parts of the country, it’s hard for those of us researching climate change impacts not to say “I told you…
Adapting to future disasters is complicated and expensive, but might be more cost-effective than endless clean-ups. AAP Image/Paul Beutel

Clean-up or adaptation? ‘Disaster-proofing’ Queensland

Following several years of devastation in Queensland, the state’s premier believes it’s time to “flood and disaster proof” as many towns and communities as possible. In Mr Newman’s words: “We can’t accept…
Many people flooded out in 2011 went back and suffered the same fate in 2013.

Why move back? Floods and the difficulty of relocation

The 2013 floods show a striking resemblance to the weather system that generated the 2011 floods. A small cyclone in North Queensland (Tasha in 2010, Oswald in 2013) moved down the east coast bringing…
The rush to rebuild is understandable, but our attitude to bushfires will bring us more trouble in the long run. AAP Image/Rob Blakers

Adapting to bushfires means accepting their place in Australia

It’s just a week into the new year and here in Tasmania we are already licking our wounds after disastrous fires in the state’s south. Mainlanders are facing similar events as extreme weather conditions…

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