Climate change impacts are escalating worldwide, but the efforts to reduce GHG emissions, the leading cause of climate change, are lagging.
Reports and studies of climate change, particularly the IPCC, show that extreme events will only increase in intensity and frequency.
Since the industrial revolution began between 1850 to 1900, global temperatures have increased by 1°C. This seemingly slight increase in average temperature brings enormous changes to the climate, as seen in severe heatwaves and wildfires in the United States and Canada, deadly floods in China and Germany, and Australia in 2022.
These studies and reports have warned us that climate change will continue to affect billions of people’s lives, health, and livelihoods in the coming decades. To address it, we need to scale up climate adaptation efforts rapidly.
Research plays a vital role in boosting climate adaptation action. A paper by Currie-Alder and colleagues published in communications earth and environment identifies three avenues for research to increase climate adaptation efforts.
- First, it is through informing the global stocktake of climate adaptation implemented worldwide. The Paris Agreement aims to increase climate action ambition and mandates a global stocktake of climate adaptation implemented worldwide, with the first stocktake due in 2023 and will be required every five years.
Surveying all climate adaptation actions alone is a huge undertaking. In addition, progress and results need to be monitored under various climate and socio-economic conditions in different countries and assess whether climate adaptation on the ground connects with the global goal. In this complex task, research can hugely assist.
- Second, research can guide climate finance to increase the climate resilience of developing countries. The study shows that the annual cost of adaptation in developing countries is growing annually, requiring a drastic increase in financial help from the public and private funds. Research can help make a business case for funding adaptation, demonstrate the returns of invention, and point to what and where adaptation is most needed.
- Third, rapid climate change demands more collaboration and engagement between policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. A renewed paradigm of the solution- and action-oriented research is emerging. And this deeper collaboration between the world of science and policy can make research usable and valuable.
Read the entire study by clicking the link provided in the “Source Citation” below:
Currie-Alder, B., Rosenzweig, C., Chen, M., Nalau, J., Patwardhan, A., & Wang, Y.. (2021). Research for climate adaptation. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00294-5