How much adaptation to climate change is enough?

In a commentary published in Nature Climate Change, professor Jim Hall (director of the Environmental Change Institute) and his collaborators argue that we should not use uncertainty about how much climate will change as an excuse to delay adaptation to harmful effects of climate change.

‘Like all complex problems, several perspectives are needed and any single answer would misrepresent the uncertainty, but let us not let paralysis by analysis be an obstacle to action on adaptation’, says Professor Hall.

‘Adaptation decisions have further benefits. The tenfold increase in the Netherlands standard of flood protection proposed in 2008 has sent a message to global business that the Netherlands will be open in the future, come what may’, says co-author Professor Robert Nicholls from Southampton University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

The article was published in the December 2012 issue of Nature Climate Change. You can read more about this research in the Tyndall Centre press release and on the Science Daily website.