Human Responses to Climate Change

collapse Topic : Causes of Climate Change ‎(2)
Cyclical and Natural Changes
Human-Caused Changes
collapse Topic : Climate System ‎(12)
Atmospheric Circulation
Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle
Climate Compared to Weather
Climate Feedbacks
Global Energy Balance
Greenhouse Effect
Ocean and Climate
Orbital Cycles
Regional Climates
Solar Radiation
Water Cycle
collapse Topic : Human Responses to Climate Change ‎(3)
Personal Responsibility
Risk Management
Social Values
collapse Topic : Impacts of Climate Change ‎(13)
Agricultural Changes
Economic Impacts
Ecosystem Changes
Extreme Weather
Freshwater Resources
Great Lakes Impacts
Melting Ice and Permafrost
Ocean Warming and Acidification
Plants and Animals
Public Health
Sea Level Rise
Surface Temperature Warming
collapse Topic : Measuring and Modeling Climate ‎(2)
Climate Modeling
Gathering and Measuring Climate Data

Risk Management   

Climate change adaptation can help us to improve the resilience of communities and ecosystems.

  • Climate information can be used to reduce vulnerabilities or enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems affected by climate change.

  • Humans can adapt to climate change by reducing their vulnerability to its impacts. Actions such as moving to higher ground to avoid rising sea levels, planting new crops that will thrive under new climate conditions, or using new building technologies represent adaptation strategies. Adaptation often requires financial investment in new or enhanced research, technology, and infrastructure.


We can take steps to minimize future climate change through mitigation.

  • Humans may be able to mitigate climate change or lessen its severity by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations through processes that move carbon out of the atmosphere or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Although mitigation of climate change is a global process that will take centuries to take effect, it is valuable to take certain mitigation steps now. Reducing the production of greenhouse gases in a region will result in immediate improvements in the regional environment and contribute to better health and well-being and to economic efficiencies in households and businesses. ( 

  • Energy resources may be managed through conservation, which includes reducing wasteful energy use, using energy for a given purpose more efficiently, or reducing energy use altogether. Energy conservation and using renewable energy resources prolongs the availability of nonrenewable energy resources and contributes to the development of a sustainable society. (KEEP Conceptual Framework)

  • Using renewable energy will reduce some personal and community health risks since it generally releases fewer pollutants into the environment than fossil fuels. (KEEP Conceptual Framework)

We will need to be creative and resourceful in our efforts to reduce the risks related to climate change.

  • Achieving the very large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change will require action across all sectors of the economy. A portfolio of technologies exists today for achieving cost-effective emission reductions, and emerging technologies hold promise for delivering even more emission reductions in the future. The successful development of these technologies will require research, incentives for producers and consumers, and emission reduction requirements that drive innovation and guide investments. (

  • A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most immediate strategy is conservation of oil, gas, and coal, which we rely on as fuel for most of our transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, and electricity. Short-term strategies involve switching from carbon-intensive to renewable energy sources, which also requires building new infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Long-term strategies involve innovative research and a fundamental change in the way humans use energy.