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Climate change adaptation

Analysis and Comment (36)

Yields are on the decline. Yields are on the decline. Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Climate change is causing havoc for global coffee yields

The global food system contributes to climate change through industrial farming practices, the increasing use of fertiliser to fight dropping yields and the transport of food around the world. But the…
Defences taking a battering. Defences taking a battering. EPA/Dimitris Legakis

Defence, adaptation and retreat needed to fight coastal erosion

Change at the British coastline is a reality we have always lived with. A thousand years ago, King Canute showed his courtiers how absurd it was to seek to command the waves. Later, others built sea walls…
Turbulence and disruption ahead. Turbulence and disruption ahead. Takver

Fresh thinking needed if tech is to help fight climate change

The IPCC has re-iterated its concern that climate change is a serious threat to human safety and security in its latest series of reports. And while energy, transport, water, tourism and health are highlighted…
How much green will it cost to go green? How much green will it cost to go green? epsos.de

IPCC report shows Stern inflated climate change costs

How much does climate change cost? What will be the impact on our wallets? The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II has concluded that global warming…
If companies won’t see things differently, we need to. If companies won’t see things differently, we need to. frankspandl/Pixel

Trying to cash in on climate change won’t fool nature

We find ourselves in an era of what we might call creative self-destruction. We’re destroying ourselves – it’s as simple as that. Economic growth and exploiting nature’s resources have long gone hand-in-hand…
We know what’s in store – now it’s time to do something about it. We know what’s in store – now it’s time to do something about it. AAP

The IPCC has spelled out the risks – now what do we do?

Despite the mounting evidence, there are still some who would deny the veracity of human-caused climate change and its potential to disrupt and harm our communities. Most dissenters rely on non-expert…
Bleached and healthy corals on the Great Barrier Reef near Queensland’s Keppel Islands. Bleached and healthy corals on the Great Barrier Reef near Queensland’s Keppel Islands. AAP

IPCC: Australia and New Zealand face greater fire and flood risk, damage to coral reefs

Australia’s coral reefs and mountain-top ecosystems are set to suffer from climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest summary of the research. The threats to these…
If the wells are dry, it doesn’t matter how many hands on the pumps. If the wells are dry, it doesn’t matter how many hands on the pumps. Kevin Frayer/AP

Water supply will struggle to meet demands of thirstier world

There are already many countries where the scarcity of water affects people’s lives. While water for drinking may be first to come to mind, as agriculture is the largest use of water worldwide water scarcity…
Climate lawyers suggest a clean and healthy future could be paid for with litigation. Climate lawyers suggest a clean and healthy future could be paid for with litigation. EPA/RADEK PIETRUSZKA

We know who’s profiting from emissions - let’s bill them

Research published last month in the journal Climatic Change may provide an essential building block in proving corporate liability for current and future climate change damage. Researcher Richard Heede…
Jaundiced view? Jaundiced view? Julien Behal/PA

Russia’s silence on climate change helps no one

Russia is the fourth largest producer of greenhouse gases, but has shown little initiative and remained quiet among the turmoil at the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) climate summit in Warsaw. The hottest…
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. 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? 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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…
To adapt crops to climate change, we need to know what’s working on the ground. To adapt crops to climate change, we need to know what’s working on the ground. bark/Flickr

Get real: agronomists and breeders should review agricultural science

How will agriculture adapt to a changing climate? It’s an important question and, as more governments start worrying about future food security, one that’s worth trying to answer. Many well-known scientific…
Wrexham, like this driver, is ill-prepared for floods and other climate change-related problems. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…
No one really wants to think about getting old, or about how climate change will affect us. But we can prepare for both. No one really wants to think about getting old, or about how climate change will affect us. But we can prepare for both. kamshots/Flickr

Who wants to prepare for the future?

For most of us, preparing for the future means having a retirement fund and health coverage, choosing our preferred tree change or sea change option and keeping on the good side of the relatives who will…
As climate change continues to affect our infrastructure and society in unpredictable ways, we’ll just have to keep adapting. As climate change continues to affect our infrastructure and society in unpredictable ways, we’ll just have to keep adapting. Justin Lane EPA

No ribbon to cut: climate change adaptation never ends

Besides the recent polarised debates about the carbon tax, another response to climate change is underway in Australia. It’s much quieter, less contested, and it seems to attract support from across the…
The World Bank says we’re heading for more heatwaves, so why are we unravelling efforts to protect vulnerable communities? The World Bank says we’re heading for more heatwaves, so why are we unravelling efforts to protect vulnerable communities? AAP

World Bank calls for greater climate preparedness - in Australia, planning unravels

Turn Down the Heat - a new report from the World Bank - stresses “no nation will be immune to the impact of climate change” and argues compellingly the necessity to hold warming below 2 degrees. It paints…
Scientists need to feel confident to speak out about the dangers of coming extreme weather. Scientists need to feel confident to speak out about the dangers of coming extreme weather. Ramin Talai/EPA

Is Australia prepared for a storm like Sandy?

Last week the global landscape of mitigating and managing disasters changed forever. We heard the news of six Italian scientists charged for manslaughter and jailed for six years each for failing to predict…
We don’t know what the Australian landscape will look like in 50 years, but we know it will change. We don’t know what the Australian landscape will look like in 50 years, but we know it will change. Tezza #

Climate change will transform the bush … and we’ll have to think big to cope

Within decades, environments across Australia will be substantially different from those that currently exist. CSIRO research released today suggests that, by 2030, climate change stress on our natural…
Little penguins are among a number of species that are threatened by climate change. Little penguins are among a number of species that are threatened by climate change. AAP/Rick Stevens

Ocean winners and losers revealed in Marine Report Card

Fish are on the move in Australia’s waters. In southern Australia, scientists, commercial and recreational fishers, divers and beach-goers are reporting the presence of new species. The movement of species…
Sign of things to come: a depleted Lake Hume in 2007, when the big dry still had a couple years to run. Sign of things to come: a depleted Lake Hume in 2007, when the big dry still had a couple years to run. Flickr/Tim J Keegan

Climate change and Victoria: high time to innovate, adapt, and cope

Victoria has entered a critical decade in the race to adapt for the stresses of climate change, according to a new report from the Climate Commission. Following the release of Victorian climate impacts…
Sometimes even the clearest signs of change are ignored. Sometimes even the clearest signs of change are ignored. Flickr/baldeaglebluff

Adapting to climate change: more questions than answers!

With increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, and no clear internationally-agreed path for emission reductions, we are faced with a global climate that will be at least two degrees warmer than today…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (4)