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CHAPTER SEVEN Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed to Promote Effective Adaptation to Climate Change A mericaâs climate choices with regard to adaptation are undermined by the fact that the nation has a limited base of adaptation knowledge, tools, and options related specifically to climate change for two reasons. First, in most cases, evi- dence of impacts of climate change is just beginning to emerge, so the effectiveness of adaptation actions cannot yet be evaluated. While options available to the nation for adapting to the impacts of climate change have in many cases been identified, the scientific understanding of the effectiveness of these options is lacking, given that climate change is likely to pose challenges beyond those that have been addressed in the past as adaptations to climate variability. Thus, the need for scientific and techno- logical advances is pervasive across the field of climate change adaptation research. Second, climate change adaptation research to date has not been a national priority (NRC, 2009a). In fact, adaptation has been such a low priority that âadaptationâ does not appear in any current metrics for reporting climate change research (e.g., not in the budgets of the National Science Foundation and not in the budget summaries in the annual Our Changing Planet report of the U.S. Global Change Research Program [USGCRP] Climate Change Science Program). Recently, examination of the Climate Change Science Program has shown that investment in âhuman dimensions research,â including but not mainly oriented toward adaptation, and nonresearch expenditures on decision support represent about 2 percent of the total climate change research ef- fort (NRC, 2009c). Investment in adaptation research is only a fraction of that 2 percent. Science and technology advances are therefore needed to respond to many questions now being asked by decision makersâquestions related both to potentials for self- initiated adaptation by households and businesses and to likely needs for planned adaptation at all levels of our government and society. To realize the potential of ad- aptation, scientific and technological advances (including both near- and longer-term fundamental research) are needed to support adaptation analysis and assessment, to 0
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E identify and develop adaptation options, and to strengthen adaptation management and implementation. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOgy ADvANCES TO SuPPORT ADAPTATION ANALySIS AND ASSESSMENT The first step in adapting is understanding a systemâs vulnerability to climate change impacts and assessing adaptation options to address these vulnerabilities. Advances in science and technology of several kinds are needed to support such analysis and assessments. Improved Information Science and technology advances to support longÂterm adaptive risk management regarding climate change impacts. Responding to climate change adaptively requires a continuing flow of information about impacts that are emerging and impacts that are being projected with a higher level of confidence (also see âObserving Systemsâ), and it requires a continuing flow of information about experiences with adaptation actions. Moreover, it requires effective mechanisms for ensuring that the information reaches adaptation decision makers in forms that are useful to them (ACC: Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change; NRC 2010a). Tools to create placeÂbased geospatial assessments of vulnerability that identify and assess especially vulnerable areas, sectors, and groups as well as appropriate adaptive responses (Chapters 2 and 3). For example, a redefinition of flood-event return periods is needed to improve the geospatial resolution of this hazard in the context of climate change and contribute to adaptation planning. Improved information about climate change impacts under different assumptions about multiple driving forces and stressors (Chapter 2). For example, Hurricane Katrina and other recent experiences with natural hazards have demonstrated that vulnerabili- ties are shaped by social and economic conditions as well as by weather or climate phenomena, and the recent report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (USGCRP, 2009) shows that many long-term vulnerabilities are shaped by population size and distribution. Research is needed to match climate change impact projections with other driving forces of vulnerabilities, including technological and institutional change. 0
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed Improved understanding of Impact Thresholds Advancing understanding of thresholds or tipping points for climate change impacts, which in turn helps to determine the limits of adaptation (Chapter 2). To illustrate this challenge, one could envision the case where the projected rise in sea level along the U.S. Gulf Coast by 2050 (reflecting a combination of actual sea level rise and land subsidence; CCSP, 2008a) would be so large that sea walls and other adaptation ef- forts may not be sufficient to protect the regionâs traditional ways of life. Faced with either abrupt or gradual change, localities and sectors face the possibility thatâat some level and/or rate of emerging climate change impactsâcurrent human and environmental systems may become unsustainable. This phenomenon is poorly understood, but it is critically important for adaptation planning for relatively severe climate change scenarios. Understanding possible tipping points can help to inform adaptation choices to avoid reaching such points; it can help to design observational strategies and programs to monitor system changes to provide early warning of an impending threshold in time to consider adaptation options; and in some cases it can clarify limits of adaptation, perhaps pointing to the need for structural changes such as voluntary relocation inland. Improved Knowledge of behavioral Dimensions of Adaptation Human behavior that affects prospects and avenues for adaptation. Except for autono- mous adaptations by natural ecosystems, all adaptation actions depend on human behavior, and there is a critical need for research on determinants of adaptation that focus on this topic (Chapter 4). Scientific knowledge of human behavior as a factor in climate change adaptation is currently very limited (NRC, 2009b), but is a critical com- ponent to understanding how adaptation decision making might work and consti- tutes an important part of the knowledge base for adaptation planning and action at a variety of levels and sectors. Institutional behavior that affects adoption and implementation of adaptation strategies, as well as monitoring of the effectiveness of these adaptation strategies. Because institu- tions shape climate change responses and because conditions for institutional inno- vation and change are fundamental to adaptation, this research area is considered a high priority (NRC, 1999, 2001a, 2005a, 2009a). 0
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E Improved understanding of How Climate Change Adaptation Relates to broader Sustainability Issues How climate change adaptation relates to broader societal concerns about resilience and sustainability (Chapter 3) in the face of multiple threats, stresses, and opportunities. As in- dicated above, adaptation to climate change impacts is only one of many concerns for localities, sectors, and populations concerned about their futures. Other driving forces include changes in population trends, the global economy, technology, and institu- tions (IPCC, 2007a). It is critically important to identify strategies and actions that sup- port adaptation to longer-term climate change and also provide benefits for resilience and sustainability in the near term. Improved understanding of Interdependencies among Climate Change Impacts and Implications of Adaptive Responses in One Sector to Other Sectors and Infrastructures, as well as to Economies and Societies More broadly Climate change impacts on one sector can affect other sectors as well. For example, in- creased water scarcity can affect energy production, agriculture, water quality, and ur- ban growth. Reduced electricity production can affect water pumping and wastewater treatment. Even within a single sector, disruption of service in one segment can stress other segments as well. Effective adaptation to impacts of climate change will require a much more integrated approach to analyzing impacts and responses. More fundamental research over a longer term is also needed to close a variety of gaps in the science of impact and vulnerability assessment. These gaps currently limit the ability to perform many kinds of adaptation assessments and option evaluations. Needs for fundamental science and technology advances include: improved informa- tion about climate change impacts under different assumptions about multiple driv- ing forces and stressors, improved information about costs of impacts and both costs and benefits of adaptation options, and improved capacities to assess and represent uncertainties (Chapter 2). SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOgy ADvANCES FOR ADAPTATION OPTION IDENTIFICATION AND DEvELOPMENT In too many cases, decision makers and stakeholders concerned about climate change risks and interested in possible adaptations have difficulty finding information about their options, as well as the possible effects, costs and benefits, and limits of those op- 0
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed tions. Historically, most of the attention to adaptation research, as reported in the In- tergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third and Fourth Assessment Reports, has been focused on understanding differences in adaptation capacity (Chapter 5), that is, determinants of the inclination and ability of a party to adapt. Summaries of possible adaptation options in selected sectors include Wilbanks and Sathaye (2007), Bierbaum (2007), and a set of âSynthesis and Assessment Productsâ produced by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, 2007â2009 (4.1 through 4.7), along with a workshop held at the National Research Council on October 25, 2007. Adaptation Data and Decision Support In the short term, a high priority for science and technology advances is to create an adaptation database that offers the best available information about adaptation alternatives, their characteristics, and examples of best practices. The database should contain information about costs of impacts and both costs and benefits of adapta- tion options, as well as measures of effectiveness as they become available. As part of monitoring the implementation of adaptation options, information needs to be gath- ered about the decision and regional context and the socioeconomic considerations to enable the transferability of âlessons learnedâ about the adaptation options. In time, such a database should be interactive, ideally offering users the opportunity to go be- yond simply surveying existing answers and to ask questions about database entries and consult experts about issues not covered by those entries. For example, the lists of options in Chapter 3 can be viewed as a beginning of such a database; however, more careful analysis would be required before choosing among these options. Sectoral Priorities for Science and Technology Advances in Support of Adaptation Advances in science and technology that would significantly strengthen adaptation planning and implementation in selected sectors, drawn from Chapter 3 and the matrices, include the following (ACC: Advancing the Science of Climate Change; NRC, 2010b). The list was developed from the references listed above, along with the knowl- edge of sectoral experts on the panel (see Chapter 3): Water â¢ Analyses of approaches for adapting water rights systems and practices to new climate conditions; 0
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E â¢ Improved understanding of groundwater dynamics and recharge in the con- text of climate change; â¢ Technologies and practices for water-use efficiency improvement in multiple sectors; â¢ Lower-energy and renewable energy approaches to desalination of ocean water and brackish groundwater; and â¢ Assessments of the ecosystem and human health implications of reusing mu- nicipal wastewater. Ecosystems â¢ Advances in estimating values for ecosystem services as a basis for assessing benefits and costs of adaptations, including possible losses of services valued by society; â¢ Integrated analyses of alternative approaches to promoting ecosystem stabil- ity under changing climate conditionsâapproaches that range from easing impacts by reducing other ecosystem stresses to enhancing natural or assisted species migrations (including invasive species issues in destination areas); â¢ Improvements in the science base for dynamic spatial ecosystem planningâ for example, in oceans and ecosystems in areas facing stress from land use changes; and â¢ Improved maintenance of services from coastal or marine ecosystems, such as flood attenuation and water filtration. Health â¢ Significant advances in the capacity to model health impacts of climate change, such as changes in geographic range of diseases and disease vectors; â¢ Advances in science and technology to reduce vector populations that would otherwise benefit in some regions from climate change; â¢ Contingency planning for responding to multiple concurrent health threats with limited public health care resources; â¢ Analysis of alternatives for improving the resilience of health care facilities and systems to major weather events; and â¢ Analysis of equity considerationsâwho actually bears the health-related costs of climate change and receives the benefits of adaptation actions. 0
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed Agriculture â¢ Analysis of implications of regional drying for the long-term availability of ir- rigation for agriculture; â¢ Advances in the understanding of climate change effects on pests and pathogens; â¢ Analysis of possible roles of microinsurance in agricultural risk management; and â¢ Cross-cutting analysis, such as impacts of heat on the productivity of agricul- tural workers, impacts of higher ozone concentration on crops, and relation- ship of changes in agricultural productivity to sustainability in developing countries. Energy â¢ Improvements in the efficiency and affordability of space cooling technologies for buildings to assist adaptation to warming; â¢ New approaches for cooling thermal electric power plants that are signifi- cantly less water consumptive than most current practices; â¢ Analysis of electricity transmission and distribution systems to determine pos- sible vulnerabilities to heat waves; and â¢ Implications of new climate change policies on energy choices, their effects, and adaptation alternatives. Transportation â¢ Advances in developing materials for transportation systems that are less vul- nerable to damage from temperature increases and water submergence; â¢ Improvements in the understanding of effects of climate change on regional and local hydrology in order to guide changes in infrastructure specifications (e.g., bridges and culverts); and â¢ How to design and operate transportation systems that function well in emer- gency response and evacuation. Coastal vulnerabilities â¢ Advances in the understanding of benefits, costs, and broader implications of alternative approaches to reduce vulnerabilities (e.g., protect with barriers, protect with stabilization and facility hardening, insure, or relocate); 0
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E â¢ Improve the understanding of factors that influence decisions about coastal land use; â¢ Improve the understanding of the likelihood, causes, and implications of coastal eutrophication and hypoxia; and â¢ Examine options for sustaining coastal wetlands and ecologies with a rising sea level and more extreme storms. International â¢ Development of technologies such as salt-tolerant crops and solar cooling that will assist climate change adaptation in lower-income countries; â¢ Enhancement of monitoring systems to detect sustainability stresses and to provide early warning of possible needs for adaptation in order to avoid or delay economic/environmental tipping points; â¢ Evaluation of alternative institutional mechanisms for supporting climate change adaptation and capacity building globally; and â¢ Identification of potential ancillary benefits of intelligence information gener- ated for other purposes that could be used to inform adaptation strategies. Cross-Cutting Science and Technology Needs In addition, many urgent research needs cut across sectors. For example, each sector- specific action or plan needs to consider cross-sectoral interdependencies and interac- tions, where impacts and adaptation alternatives in one sector have implications for others as well. This should be explored, at least in part, in a place-based context such as one or more major urban areas, or one or more watersheds, where interactions can be traced in some detail. Improved understanding about when to implement adaptation actions is urgently neededâfor instance, in which cases should adaptation be started now to ensure longer-term resilience instead of waiting for impact uncertainties to be reduced? Tim- ing issues are likely to differ among adaptation needs and options, but they include such considerations as whether adaptation now can be more participative and less expensive than emergency-based, reactive, and sudden problem solving; whether ad- aptation now is more likely to be placed in a broader sustainability context; and how important current uncertainties are in valuing investments in risk management. Furthermore, research is required to evaluate options for encouraging voluntary relocation from high-vulnerability areas such as retreat from vulnerable coastlines. Alaska is already facing requirements to relocate vulnerable populations from affected 0
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed coastlines (Chapter 3), and other areas in the United States are almost certain to face difficult choices over the next half-century as wellâchoices between expensive large- scale protection of current land use practices versus relocation of such land use to other areas. The most illustrative examples include Alaskan shoreline erosion and the threat of a disruptive rise in sea level along the Gulf Coast (CCSP, 2008a), mentioned above. Other areas subject to severe water shortages, wildfires, flooding, or sea level rise may face similar challenges in the future. A research literature is beginning to ap- pear about retreating from especially vulnerable areas (Cutter et al., 2007; Kates, 2007), motivated by observed trends in impacts, along with rising costs of insurance and other factors. Improving the understanding of how to encourage this kind of volun- tary risk-management assessment and decision making is essential in order to avoid potentials for socially disruptive and economically expensive problem solving in the mid- to long-term future. In addition, new approaches to cost sharing for low-probability, high-consequence extreme events will be needed. Climate change impacts and vulnerabilities are likely to lead to large losses in buildings, infrastructure, economic activities, and ecosystem services (Chapter 2). While in theory some of these are preventable, in practice the most common experienceâthat is, the most common adaptationâwill be the bear- ing or sharing of these losses. Research is urgently needed on the distribution of these losses, the current modes of sharing (disaster relief, insurance, and government reim- bursement), and new methods of sharing in the form of comprehensive or specialized climate insurance, catastrophe trust funds, and the like. Objectives include determin- ing the best balance between investments in local adaptations and investments in cost sharing in the event of low-probability, high-consequence events. This should involve (1) both avoiding inefficient redundancies in local self-insurance against low- probability contingencies and realizing potentials for local adaptations to reduce the cost of insurance, and (2) exploring the right balance between private- and public- sector approaches to cost sharing. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOgy ADvANCES FOR ADAPTATION MANAgEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION Climate change adaptation is not just a set of actions. It is an ongoing process of learn- ing and adapting, both to emerging information about climate change impacts and to evolving experience with adaptation strategies and decisions. Science and technology advances are needed to improve that process in the following areas (Chapters 3 and 4).
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E Areas for Science and Technology Advances Observing systems. Deploying and using systems are necessary to monitor climate change impacts and to provide a continuing flow of information about them to deci- sion makers (see also âImproved Information,â earlier in this chapter). Developing an adaptive approach to adaptation and reassessing risk management as additional in- formation emerges about impacts and responses depend fundamentally on this kind of accurate and timely information. Risk analysis and management approaches. The development of risk analysis and management approaches is needed to provide tools and guidelines for adaptation decision makers (Chapter 4). Examples include refining and testing approaches for addressing such issues as the treatment of risks, the timing of adaptation actions, and benefits and costs of alternative actions, and for understanding of the likely winners and losers associated with any particular adaptation strategies and actions. Learning from emerging experience and documenting and disseminating best practices. In nearly every case, at nearly every scale, there will eventually be a need to assess the outcomes of adaptation strategies and actions, asking such questions as what they have accomplished and whether they can be considered successes. The current state of the art and science for such assessments is very limited and is complicated by such factors as the need to define a baseline for comparison and the fact that multiple factors will influence the observed outcomes of any particular adaptation action. To build the knowledge base that allows the development of âbest practices,â the various factors that influence the choice and the outcome of the adaptation option need to be measured, archived, and analyzed. Ideally, a standard set of variable is monitored in every case to enable analyzing the link between option and geographic context. This is a significant cross-cutting adaptation research need in a field where, in at least some cases, practice is likely to proceed in parallel with knowledge enhancement, including needs to improve knowledge of the costs of adaptation. Best practices in adaptation management (for example, successes with mainstream- ing adaptation in ongoing community and sectoral processes, including institutional structures that sustain attention to adaptation beyond the spans of attention of indi- vidual leaders, and successes in improving resilience to climate-related disasters) need to be identified, documented, and disseminated. Validating âbest practice,â of course, depends on monitoring the effectiveness of policies and practices as they are imple- mented (see âImproved Informationâ and âObserving Systemsâ in this chapter). Monitoring the impacts of adaptation and mitigation actions; adapting to adaptation and mitigation actions. Adaptation does not stop with adapting to direct changes in
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed climate alone; it also faces challenges in adapting to what people do in responding to climate change. That includes actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as adaptation actions (and potentially, geoengineering options). Because these second-order adaptations have received very little attention, integrating them into adaptation planning and actions will be a challenge. For example, emissions-reduction strategies that raise the cost of some forms of energy, or geoengineering strategies that could have secondary consequences, may call for advances in adaptation research to support assessment, option identification, and option implementation (Chapter 2). In addition, some actions aimed at adaptation may in fact represent âmaladaptations.â A frequently cited example is what has been called the âlevee effectâ (e.g., Kates et al., 2006), where short-term adaptive responses create a sense of security and lead to societal responses that increase the chances of catastrophic risk in the future when short-term adaption options become inadequate. Strengthening the Science and Technology base for Adaptation Optimizing the nationâs adaptation to impacts of climate change is likely to require more than advances in science and technology in subject areas that can be identified now. It will most likely require transformational changes in our science and technology base for adaptation, too. This means that a national science and technology enhance- ment strategy should include investments in more innovative, âfarther-outâ ideas as well familiar ideas. For example, most adaptations to climate change considered today are extensions of existing options for adapting to climate variability or extreme events, differing only in the scope of implementation, the frequency of application, and the intensity of effort. But climate change may well exceed the range of current climate variability and extreme events; thus, novel adaptations are very likely to be needed, especially in the event of tipping points and/or abrupt changes. Particularly in the case of such potential severe or unexpected consequences, prudent risk management sug- gests the need to consider contingency plans for high-impact, low-probability events in adaptation planning. However, much research is needed on how to develop such âworst-caseâ plans. Finally, there is a need to assess options currently not feasible. A number of needed adaptations that should be considered in national strategies seem infeasible today because current opposition outweighs their possible longer-term value. For example, many recognize the long-term need for a retreat from the coast but are unwilling to pursue this option, given societyâs heavy investment in current coastal development. Similarly, the future climate system is unlikely to supply the growing water demands of the South and West, meaning that water rights surely need revision. Given the history
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E and diversity of water rights and the major difficulties experienced in pursuing even modest revisions, however, few decision makers are willing to undertake it. How such unfeasible solutions might become feasible should be the focus of a specific research effort. A research program designed to elicit such innovations is desirable. ALTERNATIvE APPROACHES FOR MEETINg SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOgy NEEDS FOR CLIMATE CHANgE ADAPTATION How can these high-priority needs for science and technology advancement best be met? It is not the place of this report to prescribe a specific mechanism and bud- get level, but the panel suggests some possible guidelines for developing effective research mechanisms. Possible guidelines Forceful actions to show that the nation considers adaptation a high priority and wants to improve its science and technology base in order to achieve adaptation goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. The need for a higher level of science and technology effort in support of adaptation has been identified previously (GAO, 2009a,b; NRC, 2009a,b), could be addressed by increasing its visibility and emphasis in government priori- ties, and might require changes in organizational structures in federal agencies and increased level of funding. Involving a wide range of science and technology users and stakeholders in setting agenÂ das for adaptation research. Because suitable adaptations differ according to loca- tion, sector, and affected parties, and because knowledge about adaptation is widely distributed, adaptation science and technology agendas should be informed by stakeholder interactions. Some guidelines for such interactions are contained in recent NRC reports (NRC, 2008d, 2009b) and a forthcoming report (ACC: Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change; NRC, 2010a). Involving multiple contributors, not just the federal government. Adaptation science and technology advances should be grounded in a partnership among federal, state, and local governments; the private sector and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and the academic research community. This is required because capacities to contribute to topics of interest vary among the partners, research needs to be re- sponsive to the decision-making context of all the decision makers, and science and technology advances should inform voluntary autonomous adaptation actions as well
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed as government program interventions (see below). Mechanisms for effective science and technology partnerships should be developed in a collaborative way. CoÂevolution of science and experience. Because (1) adaptation planning and some ad- aptation actions are already under way, (2) in many cases adaptation implementation should not wait for years until the knowledge base is strengthened through new re- search, and (3) current experience is a uniquely valuable source of empirical evidence about what and how adaptation works, it is vitally important to link ongoing science and technology advances with ongoing adaptation experience-building. One impor- tant step should be to ensure monitoring and database development to capture and disseminate adaptation experiences (without imposing undue burdens on adaptation decision makers and implementers). Attention to autonomous adaptation as well as planned adaptation. Finally, it is abso- lutely essential to avoid an assumption that adaptation only happens because of direct government programs. In many contexts, individual decision makers, from firms to families, are already considering adaptations to stresses associated with climate variability and change. The greater the share of adaptations that can be handled in this way, the more likely adaptation is to be both effective and affordable. A very high priority is to improve our understanding of how to promote, facilitate, and support autonomous adaptation as an alterative or supplement to planned adaptation. One source, for example, suggests that voluntary grassroots action can be encouraged by a combination of significant local control over decisions about priorities, an increased awareness of the risks associated with climate change impacts and the potential ben- efits of adaptation, and access to a diverse portfolio of technological and institutional alternatives, some of which might not be currently available to some decision makers (Kates and Wilbanks, 2003). Current Models to Illustrate Options A number of models for organizing and funding adaptation science and technology are available to illustrate options. The most familiar model in the United States is to mobilize a multi-agency collaboration, depending mainly on individual agency pro- grams but with a provision for multi-agency collaboration. The USGCRP is an example of such an approach, although it has not notably advanced science and technology for adaptation. Australia has responded to strong national concerns about climate change impacts by establishing a National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility to play a lead role, although it will not be the only source of science and technology advances for adaptation. A solution somewhere between these two approaches might
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E involve assigning lead roles to particular agencies for advancing adaptation sci- ence and technology for different sectors, although a coherent national effort would require support for oversight, coordination, and cross-cutting research as well. Finally, an additional example is offered by the United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP), previously described as a boundary organization, which leads the effort in sci- ence and technology development for adaptation in the United Kingdom. CONCLuSIONS A lack of serious commitment by the United States to adaptation to climate change has led to an inadequate research effort to provide the science and technology to sup- port appropriate and effective adaptation decisions. Advances in science and technol- ogy are needed in the following areas: to support adaptation analysis and assessment, to identify and develop adaptation options, and to strengthen adaptation manage- ment and implementation. Many of these advances are needed as quickly as possible to inform such issues as: thresholds or tipping points for climate change impacts that may exceed the limits of adaptation; prospects and approaches for encouraging voluntary relocation from high-vulnerability areas; and relationships between climate change adaptation and issues of resilience and sustainability in a context of multiple threats, stresses, and opportunities. Regarding other high priorities for science and technology advances, see the many challenges listed in this chapter. Adaptation faces challenges not only related to direct changes in climate but also in adapting to the actions people take in responding to climate change (including both GHG emissions- reduction actions and adaptation actions). Conclusion: In order to strengthen Americaâs choices for adapting to impacts of climate change, science and technology advances are needed in the following areas: adaptation analysis and assessment, adaptation option identification and development, and adaptation management and implementation. Conclusion: To provide a reliable foundation for adapting to impacts of climate change, in a larger context of sustainability and as a key component of a cross- agency climate change research program (ACC: Advancing the Science of Climate Change; NRC, 2010b), the nation needs a significant national strategy and program for climate change adaptation research and development. A shared partnership between the federal government, other levels of government, the private sector and other NGOs, and the academic research community would be the most effective way to achieve this outcome.
Major Scientific and Technological Advances Needed Conclusion: Studies of autonomous adaptation as well as planned adaptation are needed, along with monitoring and learning from ongoing experiences with adaptation in practice. A national program could prioritize these needs and also expedite advances in adaptation science and technology that have promise in reducing critical national and regional vulnerabilities to climate change impacts in the coming decades.