finding 28.5 : key-message-28-5

Integrating climate considerations into existing organizational and sectoral policies and practices provides adaptation benefits. Further reduction of the risks from climate change can be achieved by new approaches that create conditions for altering regulatory and policy environments, cultural and community resources, economic and financial systems, technology applications, and ecosystems. (High Confidence)

This finding is from chapter 28 of Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II.

Process for developing key messages:

The scope for this chapter was determined by the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Federal Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from the U.S. Global Change Research Program member agencies. The scope was also informed by research needs identified in the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3). Authors for this NCA4 chapter were selected to represent a range of public- and private-sector perspectives and experiences relevant to adaptation planning and implementation.

This chapter was developed through technical discussions of relevant evidence and expert deliberation by chapter authors during teleconferences, e-mail exchanges, and a day-long in-person meeting. These discussions were informed by a comprehensive literature review of the evidence base for the current state of adaptation in the United States. The author team obtained input from outside experts in several important areas to supplement its expertise.

Description of evidence base:

There is significant agreement, but only case study evidence, that effective adaptation can be realized by mainstreaming.40cd1072-ac17-4dfa-ba98-a554bf1a0458,c743288d-a07e-4afb-9ad5-09e2ce30d398,7d438221-e513-4fcd-9292-c76c98e51811 Significant evidence exists regarding the scale of longer-term adaptation required in some climate futures based on modeling studies. Significant agreement, but less direct evidence, exists on the scale of organizational and other changes needed to implement these adaptation actions.

New information and remaining uncertainties:

It is not well understood how community acceptance of needed adaptations develops. This presents both a barrier to the implementation of adaptation measures and an opportunity for additional research into ways to close this gap in understanding. Additionally, a need exists to clarify the co-benefits of addressing multiple threats and opportunities. Effective adaptation also depends on networks of collaboration among researchers and practitioners and the long-term support of monitoring networks. The sustainability of both types of networks is a major uncertainty. Their effectiveness is both an uncertainty and major research need.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence:

There is significant agreement that provides high confidence, in at least some cases, that both 1) mainstreaming climate information into existing risk management and 2) creating enabling environments and institutions to improve adaptation capacity, implementation, and evaluation reduce risk, produce co-benefits across communities and sectors, and help secure economic investments into the future.

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