We are not well adapted to current climate variability. We may even be less resilient than in past generations due to our higher expectations of what is needed to have a normal life in the UK in 21st century.
Projected climate changes will affect all sectors of society through both human and natural systems. Effective adaptation builds capacity to respond to this variability and change and is one of two broad and increasingly important strategies (along with mitigation) for climate risk management. Even under the most optimistic mitigation scenarios there is an urgent need to build resilience and accelerate adaptation to climate variability and change. Informing the extensive range of actions needed to manage climate risks, reduce damage without exacerbating existing inequalities, and realise emerging opportunities, is a critical scientific and societal challenge.
It is widely recognised that single disciplinary approaches will not be able to ‘solve’ this complex challenge and that multi- and inter-disciplinary research efforts that include e.g. the arts and humanities, engineering, natural sciences, physical and social sciences are needed. It is also recognised that the engagement and involvement of a wider range of stakeholders comprising practitioners and policy-makers is essential in addressing this challenge.