To kick off 2023, we are excited to run a campaign all about the basics of climate change adaptation. We feel it is important that you can feel comfortable enough to hold climate conversations – but to do so confidently, you must obviously understand the basics and we are here to help!
We want to share everything that we know when it comes to understanding climate change adaptation and why it is important, so this blog post is where you can find a great range of resources that will hopefully provide you with a simple and easy approach to enhance your learning.
More resources will be highlighted as part of our ongoing campaign over on our social media, so check back soon for more!
January 16 | What is climate change adaption?
Resource 1 – Adaptation Scotland – The Concept of Adaptation
Adaptation Scotland have a wide range of information on their website to help give you a full overview of climate change adaptation. The tools and resources available will get you thinking about how we can all work together to get climate ready. But, what does a climate ready Highland look like?
This resource makes clear that adaptation is not a ‘one size fits all’ process. We are able to predict some future changes in the local climate, but there is still some degree of uncertainty about the individual impacts we will experience. Climate impacts will vary based on location, land typography and any wider environmental, economic or social vulnerabilities, so the most relevant way to adapt will vary for each community or organisation.
The Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme aims to increase the resilience of Scotland’s environment, economy and local communities in response to the impacts of climate change by planning and preparing to adapt for the future. This resource will allow you to understand what the Scottish environment is like today and how it is rapidly changing. Notably, this is a lengthy document and one that has a lot of key information to digest, but still very important nonetheless!
Climate change is an ongoing challenge that creates colder and wetter winters and much drier and hotter summers. These seasonal changes will cause more frequent storms, increased flooding, prolonged droughts and more wildfires. We all have a responsibility to limit our actions that contribute to global warming, though it will take years to significantly reduce our emissions and reach Scotland’s net zero target. Therefore, we must adapt to changes in the climate that we face today and nature will play a key role in helping our communities to adjust. Watch this short YouTube video (produced by the Nature Conservancy) to learn how.
January 18 | Scotland’s Adaptation Journey
Resource 4 – Adapting to Change: Scotland’s Climate Stories
Sniffer have created this video to highlight some examples of the challenges Scotland has experienced as a result of climate change. Over the last few decades, our local communities, businesses and organisations have been forced to respond in ways that will increase resilience and allow us to adapt to future changes. One example shown in this film is the climate proofing of the 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes village in Glasgow – have a look to learn more!
January 19 | Communicating Adaptation
Today, we want to share with you two different podcasts that provide an interesting way for you to learn about how we need to help the local environment to adapt. Podcasts are a great starting point to get more involved with climate conversations, as we know talking about the impacts of climate change and the actions we need to take is not always easy!
Resource 5 – Helping Nature to Adapt to Climate Change
Did you know that our partner organisation, NatureScot, have their very own podcast? Titled ‘Make Space for Nature’, this podcast episode provides an explanation of what climate change adaptation is. Nick Everett, Climate Change Adaptation Adviser at NatureScot, also highlights nature-based solutions and some examples of the ways we can all make an effort to support nature to adapt.
Ben Leyshon, NatureScot’s Operations Manager for Central Highland, has shared with us the eight Adaptation Principles developed by NatureScot so that we can help nature adapt to climate change:
- Reduce other pressures on ecosystems, habitats and species – e.g. pollution, unsustainable use, grazing, habitat fragmentation and invasive non-native species.
- Make space for natural processes including land, water and soil processes, and species interactions.
- Enhance opportunities for species to disperse by reducing fragmentation and increasing the amount of habitat available.
- Improve habitat management where activities such as grazing, burning or drainage cause declines in diversity or size of species populations. Or where modifying management or increasing habitat diversity could improve resilience to climate change.
- Enhance habitat diversity – e.g. by varying grazing or plant cutting management on grassland or moorland. Or creating new habitats on farms.
- Take an adaptive approach to land and conservation management e.g. by changing objectives and management measures in response to new information.
- Plan for habit change where assessments indicate losses or habitats, or where species are inevitable. For example, as a result of sea level rise.
- Consider translocation of species in circumstances where assessments indicate the likely loss of a species, despite new management measures and where there are suitable areas for nature to adapt.
Resource 6 – Communicating Climate Risk and Adaptation
In this episode of ‘The adaptation conversation’, Dr Adam Corner from Climate Outreach talks about a research project where he looked into how we now talk about climate change. Public awareness and concern for the climate crisis has increased, so understanding the different audiences across Highland and communicating narratives about adaptation needs to be done clearly. Take a listen for some tips and tricks on how you, or even your business/organisation, can better communicate around the topic of climate change adaptation.
January 19 | Connecting with Children & Young People
“Our climate is changing, and we need to change with it.” – Climate Change Committee
We are all feeling the effects of climate change, but it is our children and young people who are the future generation that will face more frequent and intensified changes in the climate. It is therefore now our responsibility to ensure our children and young people understand how and why the local climate is changing, as well as what can be done to help people, places and nature prepare to adapt.
This is a factsheet created by the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, designed to help children and young people learn more about climate change and how to take action. It is fair to say that climate change can often lead to an overwhelming and upsetting discussion, as there is lots to think about and understand! This factsheet is a good option to share with your kids, as it is a more visually appealing and straightforward resource that will spark creativity in the younger generation.
Lots of additional links are included to encourage children to explore further in the areas that interest them most or get creative and connect with other young folk e.g., through climate friendly activities in the local community.
Resource 8 – Joey and the Heatwave
This short storybook highlights some heat related impacts as a result of climate change, and also promotes important messaging about the need to prepare and protect human health and safety during heatwaves.
Join your little ones and have a read of this book (available as a PDF) which combines use of rhyme, Australian animals as main characters and colourful illustrations.
January 24 | Adaptation Plans
Resource 9 – Historic Environment Scotland Adaptation Plan
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) are responsible for investigating, caring for and promoting Scotland’s historic environment. This leading public body published an Adaptation Plan in November 2021 which will help them get climate ready by identifying their climate risks and plan for the adaptive responses needed. These responses will include practical solutions that HES can implement both now and in upcoming years, so they can better respond to associated risks and future impacts of climate change.
Adaptation Plans are significant for helping organisations like HES to understand how adaptation will allow our business/public sector to continue performing highly, whilst learning how to operate in a new climate. We recommend you have a read of this adaptation plan to understand why adapting to climate change will be beneficial for creating future opportunities related to avoided losses, economic gains, new innovative products and services and so much more!
January 26 | Will adaptation benefit the natural environment?
Climate change adaptation is important to allow local species and ecosystems to continue thriving in a new climate. The natural environment across Highland is already feeling the effects of climate change as we experience increased impacts like flooding, landslips and infrastructure damage, due to more extreme weather events.
Below we have linked a short video for you to watch and reflect how important adaptation is for allowing our natural systems and livelihoods the chance to improve and better cope with the changing climate. We must commit to applying adaptation measures and “when we do it, there can be a future” – David Attenborough.
Resource 10 – The Future of our Frozen World
This powerful video is a short representation of a six part series, #FrozenPlanet2, narrated by David Attenborough.
January 27 | The role of our communities
Resource 12 – UNESCO Designated Sites: A Climate Change Observatory
January 30 | The role of businesses