- Climate Change Adaptation is a growing field within conservation and natural resource management. Actions taken toward climate change adaptation account for climate impacts and ecological responses, both current and projected into the future. These actions attempt to accomplish a number of goals, including the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems by reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience.
- Climate change adaptation strategies and approaches for natural resources can be thought of as part of a continuum of potential actions ranging from 1) options or goals to 2) strategies, 3) approaches, and 4) tactics.
- There are a range of decision support tools and processes to aid climate change adaptation. This document highlights several including the Adaptation Workbook, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments, Structured Decision Making, Adaptive Resource Management, and Scenario Planning. It will also provide case studies on the application of these tools across the Northeast and Midwest.
- Improved, better-integrated, and increasingly coordinated monitoring systems would be helpful to detect, track, and attribute species and habitat shifts to climate change over spatiotemporal scales. We highlight regional examples of projects and programs addressing these challenges.
- Illustrative case studies of climate change adaptation efforts are presented across landscape/ecoregion, state, and local scales.
- Appendix 4.1 provides a synthesis of over 900 general, species and habitat-specific adaptation strategies and tactics from 9 regional studies being considered or implemented across the region.
The study of climate change adaptation is a relatively new and rapidly growing field focused on preparing for and responding to the current and future impacts of climate change. The goal of this chapter is to highlight different approaches, processes, and tools currently being used across the region through illustrative case studies at varying scales. In addition, we provide a synthesis of numerous species and habitat-specific adaptation strategies and actions from existing assessment reports and management plans, which is intended to showcase a range of possibilities for natural resource management under future global change. This report does not prescribe one specific approach to taking action; instead, we outline a range of adaptation 5 tactics, which will require thoughtful consideration of the needs of the species, habitat, and location, the stakeholders and partners involved, the scale that a decision or policy is being implemented at, and the financial and personnel resources available to managers.