All the actions taken to minimize the effects of global warming which result in an evolutionary process of adjustment in response to actual or expected climate change in human and natural systems. Adaptation allows to moderate potential damage, and to guarantee the preservation of species. It can be distinguished between anticipatory or proactive (if it takes place before impacts are observed), autonomous or spontaneous (if natural and human systems change autonomously, not necessarily as a response to climate change), and planned adaptation (if a policy measure has been specifically deliberated because an intervention in the state of ecosystems is required). Assessing adaptation helps identify and evaluate the possible existing alternatives in terms of potential benefits and costs.

Editor: Melania MICHETTI