Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Lesson 8: Adaptation


Even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, we're still committed to a certain degree of warming due to our historical emissions and the lag time that the gases remain in the atmosphere.  In short, we can't mitigate our way out of the problem entirely, so in addition to thinking about what it will take to sharply pull down our emissions curve, we also need to be anticipating the impacts to which we're already committed and preparing for them locally to create strong, resilient communities.

What will we learn?

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • understand the differences between reactive and anticipatory adaptation measures and which of those types of adaptation we've historically relied more heavily upon;
  • remember from our mitigation lesson the key differences between mitigation and adaptation;
  • explore some examples from around the world of climate change adaptation in action;
  • articulate the needs for immediate action on adaptation and opportunities to finance these actions.

What is due?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson.

Complete the following steps to complete Lesson 8:

  • Work through the adaptation content on this website.
  • Read the required readings.
  • Take the Lesson 8 content quiz.
  • Write your Write to Learn response.


If you have questions, please feel free to post them to the Ask a Question about the Lesson forum. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate.