Adapting to Climate Change: The Global Adaptation Atlas

hotspots…from Resources for the Future

“Threats posed by climate change bring current development challenges into sharper focus. Even if we successfully avert the most severe predicted impacts, local changes will complicate the already-demanding tasks of finding clean water, combating disease, and sustaining livelihoods around the world. Successfully prioritizing, implementing, tracking, and evaluating such projects will require extraordinary new ways of coordinating and disseminating data to understand: What are the critical impacts we need to address? What are our options for responding? Have our efforts been effectively targeted over time?

“To answer these questions, this initiative is creating a dynamic new online tool: The Global Adaptation Atlas*. This project, building on RFF’s long history and expertise in environmental research, policy evaluation, and spatial analysis, will employ mapping software including ArcGIS Server and Google Earth to capture ever-evolving information on both climate impacts and adaptation activities. The Atlas will enable a global community of scientists, policymakers, and citizens to visualize what impacts are likely to affect their regions, what responses are underway, and what gaps need to be filled.

“Successful adaptation depends on site-specific attention and effective large-scale coordination. Without both we run the risk of investing in adaptation measures that could undercut one another. Decision makers require information not only on how their local climate could change, but also on what all parties in the area are doing in response. Right now, no central clearinghouse exists to accessibly and comprehensively combine these data. With the Atlas, RFF aims to bridge this gap.

“We gratefully acknowledge funding and support from the Mistra Foundation Climate Policy Research Program (Clipore), Resources for the Future, Goldman Sachs, and ESRI.”

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