Early warning systems: The “last mile” of adaptation



Recent scientific assessment studies of climate change impacts, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, provide evidence of the negative effects of climate variability and change on natural and human systems. For instance, recent climate trends have caused loss in wheat and maize production, negatively affected coral reefs, and changed characteristics of some hazards in high-mountain regions. Assessment studies furthermore suggest that related risks to ecosystems, commerce, and daily life may increase over the coming decades as temperatures warm. Adaptation to climate change is required to reduce the effects of unavoidable changes, especially for the most vulnerable regions and populations.