IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

14.5 Adaptation: practices, options and constraints

The U.S. and Canada are developed economies with extensive infrastructure and mature institutions, with important regional and socio-economic variations (NAST, 2000; Lemmen and Warren, 2004). These capabilities have led to adaptation and coping strategies across a wide range of historic conditions, with both successes and failures. Most studies on adaptive strategies consider implementation based on past experiences (Paavola and Adger, 2002). Examples of adaptation based on future projections are rare (Smit and Wall, 2003; Devon, 2005). Expanding beyond reactive adaptation to proactive, anticipatory adaptive strategies presents many challenges. Progress toward meeting these challenges is just beginning in North America.