Climate Change Adaptation

There are many design and policy professionals who suspect that it is already impossible to avoid breaching the temperature thresholds and the consequent tipping points associated with climate change. 

As more and more professionals begin to recognize the wide range of Adaptation strategies operating largely within the urban range, there will then emerge an urgent and widespread call for Adaptation to the effects of climate change.

Climate change adaptation helps individuals, communities, organisations and natural systems to deal with those consequences of climate change that cannot be avoided.

Climate change adaptation is the modifications we must make in our world as a result of climate change, from adjusting to sea-level rise to refining agricultural practices in response to higher temperatures and uncertain water supplies to reacting to the reduced availability of regional transportation. Working with respected partners, CNU-California has much to offer in all these areas.

Adaptation solutions vary from place to place, are difficult to predict, and involve many trade-offs. The first step to adapting to climate change is understanding local risks and developing plans to manage them. The next step is taking action—putting systems in place to respond to impacts we are experiencing today as we prepare for an uncertain tomorrow.

These adaptation actions can include diversifying crops that can tolerate warmer and drier or wetter conditions;  ensuring infrastructure can withstand more extreme weather; helping communities reduce their risk from sea level rise and increased floods; and making sure we manage our food, water, and other natural resources wisely in the context of a changing climate.

Large wildfires in the United States burn more than twice the area they did in 1970, and the average wildfire season is 78 days longer.

Research shows that changes in climate, especially earlier snowmelt due to warming in the spring and summer, have led to hot, dry conditions that boost this increase in fire activity in some areas. For much of the U.S. West, projections show that an average annual 1 degree Celsius temperature increase would increase the median burned area per year as much as 600 percent in some types of forests.

Climate Change


Research & Resources

Adaptation Council