What's Climate Change Adaptation?

About Climate Change- Changes the World Faces -

In recent years, extreme weather and climate events, such as strong storms and hurricanes, extreme precipitation, drought, and heat waves, have become more frequent and severe around the world. These extreme events resulted in significant loss of life and serious damages to crops.

Furthermore, sea level rise has recently accelerated with glaciers continuing to shrink worldwide as a result of global warming. The mean rate of sea level rise was approximately 1.7 mm per year between 1901 and 2010 and increased to approximately 3.2 mm per year between 1993 and 2010. The main contributor to increased rates of sea level rise is thermal expansion of the oceans.

Increases in air and ocean temperatures caused by climate change have severe impacts on terrestrial, ocean, and open-water ecosystems.

Reality of Climate Change- What science has revealed -

[Increasing Global Mean Temperature]
The year 2015 was the hottest year since records began in 1981; the global mean temperature for 2015, estimated as the average of air temperatures near earth's surface and sea surface, was 0.42 ℃ higher than the average value for 1981- 2010. The global annual mean temperature has been increasing at the rate of 0.71 ℃ for the last 100 years.
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency "Climate and Global Environmental Issues"
[Human Activities]
Concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols such as mineral dust and sulfur dioxide and changes in characteristics of earth’s surface have negative impacts on climate change. Human activities have significantly contributed to the changes in climate systems since the industrial revolution, in particular to increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Source: arranged based on Ministry of the Environment, "STOP GLOBAL WARMING 2015", Chapter 2, New evidence of Climate Change

Observed Effects and Future Forecast- What Risks are we Facing? -

Climate change has already been affecting many aspects of human life and transforming natural ecosystems. In order to take appropriate measures, it is important to understand and accurately predict how ecosystems are affected by climate change.

Various Effects Observed Around the World
Climate change has had effects on natural ecosystems most intensely and comprehensively over the last few decades. There is a concern that progress in global warming will continue to increase the impacts of climate change.

Current Conditions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Adaptation to the Risks

"Mitigation", a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases, is necessary to avoid risks from climate change to the society and natural ecosystems with coordination and cooperation among countries all over the world. "Adaptation" efforts to the emerging effects of climate change across the world are also very important and urgently needed.

Adaptation to Climate Change

Adaptation is the process of adjusting natural systems and human society to actual or expected climate change effects in case the climate impacts are inevitable despite taking mitigation actions.

Risks of climate-related impacts result from the interaction of climate-related hazards (including disasters and hazardous events) with the vulnerability (propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected) and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes including adaptation and mitigation are the drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability.

Since there are various kinds of risks originated from climate change, adaptation measures appropriate for each region, such as improvement of legal and social systems, are required. Moreover, it is important to exploit beneficial opportunities of climate change.

Efforts Toward Adaptation in Japan
In Japan, the "National Plan for Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change" was developed in 2015. Since the effects of climate change vary by region, local governments have a significant role in developing and implementing adaptation measures.
Development of Heat-tolerant Chickens
Birds are inherently not tolerant to heat because they have no sweat glands and their body is covered with feathers. In hens, as the summer heat intensifies, a decline in the egg-laying rate, a deterioration in the egg quality, and an increase in the number of sudden deaths have been reported. In order to develop heat-tolerant chickens, some tests were conducted on hens fed with high-antioxidant food. The results showed productivity improvement by with mitigating the decline in the egg-laying rates, daily egg production, and quality of eggs.
Cultivation of Citrus in Tohoku Region
An experiment to grow eight kinds of citrus plants including Citrus sudachi, Citrus sphaerocarpa, Citrus junos, and Citrus unshiu in the open field was conducted. Five of the plants survived the winter in relatively good condition under the non-woven cloth covers. This result suggests that those citrus fruit plants can be grown successfully in the cold Tohoku region. In the future, investigation on consistent cultivation methods will be promoted.

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