As Paris Delegates Debate Emissions, Climate Adaptation Is Finding Solutions
By Tim McClanahan and Darren Long
While world leaders at the Conference of Parties (COP) meetings in Paris negotiate reductions of global carbon emissions, a number of organizations are already working to implement solutions to the problems those emissions create.
Many conservation and development institutions are focused on applied solutions to both the current and future impacts of climate change. Such efforts are helping wildlife and ecosystems adapt to changing climatic conditions.
Most importantly, these solutions are working. And despite the typical doom and gloom scenarios we all read about climate change, the relatively new field of science-based climate adaptation provides conservationists and others much hope for the future.
Delegates to the COP will be reminded by many submitted petitions that climate change is the single greatest threat to natural ecosystems; and of the many losses of species and ecosystem services that further threaten the health and livelihoods of impoverished people across the globe.
They may not hear many tales of hope, but the notion that all is lost is misguided and risks our resignation in confronting this crisis. Such a doomsday perspective ignores the history of the Earth, the resilience of our ecosystems, and our ability to learn and collaborate on dire problems.
Over the past few years scientific organizations around the world have identified species and ecosystems that demonstrate the ability to serve as climate refuges. Such areas may protect species of coral that have proven resilient to both —> Read More