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Title: Hell and High Water: Practice-Relevant Adaptation Science

Recent extreme weather such as Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 drought demonstrate the vulnerability of the United States to climate extremes in the present and point to the potential for increased future damages under a changing climate. They also provide lessons for reducing harm and realizing any potential benefits. Preparedness measures – also referred to as adaptation – can cost-effectively increase resilience today and in the future. The upfront costs will be more than offset by reductions in property damage, lives and livelihoods lost, and expensive post-disaster recovery processes. While others have addressed use of science for adaptation in specific sectors including biodiversity (Heller and Zavaleta, 2009) and freshwater ecosystem management (Wilby et al., 2010), or by simply taking a more pragmatic approach to adaptation under uncertainty (Hallegatte, 2009), here the authors make the case that a new, comprehensive approach is needed to create and use science to inform adaptations with applicable and sound knowledge (Kerr et al., 2011).
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science, 342(6159):696-698
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States