Adaptation to Climate Change for Sustainable Development: A Survey

Adaptation to Climate Change for Sustainable Development: A Survey

Soumyananda Dinda (Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0803-8.ch018


Climate change is an important global issue. For sustainable development human society must adopt the climate change and reduce vulnerability. This chapter provides an overview on the climate change and its effects, in response how human societies adopt it across the globe. Chapter reviews major papers on adaptation to climate change. Based on major important articles this chapter provides clarity of the concept of adaptation, types of adaptation, measurement of adaptation and determinants of adaptive capacity. It also highlights on sustainable development and shows possible future directions of adaptation and limitations.
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2. Climate Change

Climate change is real, and the causal link to increased greenhouse gas emissions that is now well established (Coondoo and Dinda 2002). Globally, the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 1991, and in the past century, temperatures have risen by about 0.60 C (See, IPCC reports for details). In the same period, global sea level has risen by about 20 cm – it is partly due to melting of mountain ice and partly due to thermal expansion of the oceans. Scientific research finds evidences that in last two centuries anthropogenic activities have increased atmospheric greenhouse gases concentration that is more than pre-industrial levels. Only increasing pressure of greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol concentrations in atmosphere could explain the rising trend in temperature in last 100 years (IPCC reports).

Recent climate change is the result of human actions and specially from the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes. Development activities increase the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) – mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The GHGs are accumulated in the upper level of atmosphere and acts like the roof of GHG that is tapping solar long-wave radiation which raises temperature. It also provokes other forms of climate disruption and accelerates the process. This depends on a complex interplay of many factors, including rates of population expansion, economic growth and patterns of consumption. The effects are not uniform. The changes differ from one location to another. There are different weather consequences, while some regions have intense rainfall, others have more prolonged dry period and few areas have both.

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