Managing the impacts of climate change

Mitigation strategies

Mitigation means to reduce or prevent the effects of something from happening. Mitigation strategies include:

  • Alternative energy - using alternative energy such as solar, wind or tidal can reduce the use of fossil fuels. This will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
  • Carbon capture - this is the removal of carbon dioxide from waste gases from power stations and then storing it in old oil and gas fields or coal mines underground. This reduces the amount of emissions into the atmosphere.
  • Planting trees - encouraging afforestation, means that there will be more trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis.
  • International agreements - in 2005 the Kyoto Protocol became international law. The countries that signed up to the treaty pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 5 per cent. However, this ran out in 2012 and its overall impact has been small. The US refused to join and major developing countries like China and India were not required to make any reductions.

Adaptation strategies

Adaptation strategies do not aim to reduce or stop global warming. Instead they aim to respond to climate change by limiting its negative effects. Strategies include:

  • Agriculture - farmers will have to adapt as some crops may not be able to grow in a warmer climate. However, other crops (eg oranges and grapes) will be able to be planted.
  • Water supply - water transfer schemes could be used. This is where water is transferred from an area of water surplus to an area of water shortage.
  • Reducing risk from sea level rise - areas at risk from sea level rise may use sea defences to protect the land from being eroded away.
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