Climate change adaptation

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Blooming marvellous: cacti are among the few plant species that can thrive in the desert. Alan Levine/Flickr

Why are cacti so juicy? The secret strategy of succulents

Photosynthesis can be costly - but plants in hot and dry environments have evolved two special strategies for storing carbon dioxide, that could be used to protect crops against climate change.
The Onkaparinga River, part of the catchment that supplies around half of Adelaide’s drinking water. Justin Ratcliff/Flickr

Adelaide is facing a dry future – it needs to start planning now

Imagine a future where the yearly flow into one of the largest water reservoirs of a major Australian city could halve within 70 years. This is a scenario that Adelaide could face if the world continues…
The Boston-area transit authority has had major disruptions and shut-downs this winter. MaxVT/Flickr

Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of our cities to climate change

Despite the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, January and February were not kind months for the people of Boston and New England. By February 10th, more than 60 inches of snow in 30 days fell on the city…
Hurricane Sandy pummeled cities along the east coast in 2012, causing billions of dollars of damage. Shutterstock

The economic cost of climate change: time for new math

Climate change is as much an economic problem as an environmental one. The effects of climate change, such as damage from more severe weather or health problems from higher temperatures, will impose a…
The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s climate “hot spots” — vulnerable to rising seas, storms and erosion. Phalinn Ooi/Flickr

Cities could be the secret to fighting climate change

The world’s population could reach almost 10 billion by 2050. Most people will live in cities. To accommodate an additional 3 billion people, we’ll need to build the equivalent of one new city, that can…
King tides are just one of the threats faced by the people of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, as a result of climate change. Brad Marsellos

Rising seas pose a cultural threat to Australia’s ‘forgotten people’

While you may have heard about the increasing threat that climate change and rising seas pose to Pacific islands — already forcing some communities to move — Australia has its own group of islands that…
Apollo Bay in Victoria. Australia’s coastal towns are vulnerable to changes in the surrounding seas. ccdoh1/Flickr

Your coastal town’s climate score? There’s a website for that

Australia’s coastal towns, many built around fisheries and tourism, are particularly vulnerable to climate change. South east and south west Australia are marine hotspots — they are warming much faster…
When it gets hot in the city, where’s the best place to go? Alpha/Flickr

Smart urban design could save lives in future heatwaves

Heatwaves — Australia’s biggest natural killers — are getting more frequent and hotter thanks to climate change. One day cities such as Melbourne may see unprecedented heat, perhaps 48C or higher. But…
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…
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. 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. 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…

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