The human race can respond to abrupt climate change in three ways: prevention, adaptation, and mitigation.


Dr. Jay Gulledge: "Gulledge points out that greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise for some decades even after emissions continue to drop. "We wouldn't expect concentrations to level off until the middle of the century even with effective policy," he said.

'We can expect continued warming because the heat that has already been trapped has still not all been translated into surface temperatures,' he said."



prevention means to restore the ecological integrity of habitats that consume and store carbon such as forests, wetlands, coastal salt-water and brackish forests, marshes, reefs and shell-fisheries, grasslands and tundra. This may even mean the reintroduction of green-roofs and urban forestation to areas where waste heat and water bodies can be used to reduce electricity demands and air pollution.

adaptation means learning how to survive and prosper in a warmer world.

river flood

Flooding along the Sacramento River during the 2006-2007, strong El Nino winter.


mitigation means the extent of future warming by reducing the net release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

power plant

"Given that rising temperatures are already encroaching on us and that an unstopped increase would be overwhelming, a strong combination of both adaptation and mitigation will be essential."

IPCC Report, AR-4, 2007

August 2007, p. 72.


Growing fears of a record 2015-2016 El Nino event.

El Nino


"Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes" Scientific American

Evidence is mounting that global warming enhances a cyclone's damaging winds and flooding rains
By Kevin E. Trenberth

Siry, Encyclopedia of Earth

Siry, Joseph (Lead Author). 2010. "Climate change mitigation." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [Published in the Encyclopedia of Earth August 5, 2010]. <>

More sources.


A sample of measures:

adapt reduce impact
conserve water farm tillage - no till agriculture drought
expand flood plains runoff by creating on site water harvesting storms


We have the capacity of knowing and the ability of acting to reshape our attitudes and with it a world of suffering and penury can be replaced by stability and comfort.

Flood costs


There are solutions?

Bill McKibben | Sub-Topic index | Greenhouse effect | James Hansen