All living creatures need to adapt to challenges in order to survive in their environments. And humans are no exception.
Many of the major policy responses to climate change fall under the category of mitigation because they aim to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases, but some policies focus more on adaptation. In other words, they are reactions to the already occurred, or projected, effects of climate change.
Examples of climate change adaptations include relocating residents of areas susceptible to flooding, improving the infrastructure of cities so they can better withstand extreme weather, and securing food and water supplies in regions affected by drought. In New York City, more buildings in the city are opting out of having penthouses to make space for emergency generators on their roofs.
There are a few international efforts to provide adaptation aid to developing countries, which are often hit the hardest by the effects of climate change:
Other efforts are more locally focused. They consist of individuals and communities working to make their homes and livelihoods more climate-resilient—sometimes on their own, sometimes with help from their own governments.
The interactive below highlights just a few examples of climate change adaptations.