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"Climate Adaptation" has been defined as, "Actions by individuals or systems to avoid, withstand, or take advantage of current and

projected climate changes and impacts. Adaptation decreases a system's vulnerability, or increases its resilience to impacts." Adaptation contrasts with the other main climate change emphasis area - greenhouse gas mitigation - which entails reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce, or "mitigate," the impact of climate change. Among climate scientists, there is overwhelming evidence and consensus that climate change is already occurring and that it will intensify in coming decades, even if significant steps are taken to reduce GHG emissions. Current and future climate impacts include higher temperatures, rising sea levels, more severe storms, increased precipitation in some areas and decreased precipitation in other areas, higher risk of drought and wildfires in the West, stress on ecosystems, acidification of the ocean, damage to coral reefs, impacts on agriculture, and greater risk of flooding. While the most obvious risks are to coastal areas, there are also significant climate risks and changes for inland areas. In 2008, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the evidence on climate change and issued Special Report 290, "Potential Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation," with the following key findings and conclusions:

Climate change will affect every mode of transportation and every region in the United States, and the challenges to infrastructure providers will be new and often unfamiliar. State and local governments and private infrastructure providers will need to incorporate adjustments for climate change into long-term capital improvement plans, facility designs, maintenance practices, operations, and emergency response plans. Design standards will need to be re-evaluated and new standards developed as progress is made in understanding future climate conditions and the options for addressing them. Transportation planners will need to consider climate change and its effects on infrastructure investments. Planning timeframes may need to extend beyond the next 20 or 30 years. Institutional arrangements for transportation planning and operations will need to be changed to incorporate cross-jurisdictional and regional cooperation.

For state DOTs, adaptation planning is in the early stages, with much more research and work to be done. Many state and federal agencies are conducting research on climate change to identify local and regional vulnerabilities in facilities and systems, ascertain risks, and prioritize adaptation efforts. Some state DOTs are engaged in adaptation planning, and others are planning to focus on adaptation needs, including the need for design changes, retrofit of vulnerable facilities, revision of drainage systems, and revisiting emergency evacuation planning. It is likely that the understanding of climate risks and risk-based adaptation planning will evolve significantly over time. For those seeking a better understanding of climate adaptation for the transportation sector, the 2008 TRB Special Report 290, Potential Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation is an excellent starting point. This section of the AASHTO Transportation and Climate Change Resource Center website provides links to a wide range of international, national, regional, and state reports and resources on climate adaptation for transportation. Reference:

Over the past decade, substantial evidence has accumulated that climate change is happening and that it is largely attributable to human activity burning of fossil fuels, removal of rain forests and other vegetation, and increased release of methane and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Americas Climate Choices, a suite of reports issued by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences in 2010 concluded that there is a compelling case that climate change is occurring, is due to human activity, and poses severe risks. Many other national and international scientific organizations have reached the same conclusions. There also is growing evidence that climate change is accelerating, with impacts occurring sooner than scientific organizations had earlier projected based on GHG trends and climate science. The 2010 NAS reports noted that the scientific process is never closed, and there is always more to learn, but that multiple lines of evidence point to climate change as already occurring and largely linked to human activity. NAS also examined climate science issues that arose in 2009-2010 (often referred to as Climategate), and concluded that the evidence of climate change has stood firm. Climate science is especially important to transportation because transportation facilities and systems are vulnerable to climate changes, such as rising sea level, storm surges, more severe storms, changes in precipitation that affect soils and hydrology, severe heat, etc. For that reason, transportation systems will need to take actions to adapt to climate change. Because transportation is the source of 29 percent of GHG emissions in the United States, the transportation sector will be expected or required to contribute significantly to GHG emissions in order to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Below is a list of indicators of climate change and its link to human activity from the May 2010 EPA report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States: A 14 percent increase in human GHG has occurred since 1990 in the United States. A 26 percent increase in human GHG has occurred since 1990 worldwide. GHG levels are at the highest in thousands of years. 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record worldwide. Arctic sea ice in 2009 was 24 percent below the 1979-2000 historical average. Glaciers in the United States and around the world have generally shrunk since the 1960s and the rate at which glaciers are melting appears to have accelerated over the last decade. Glaciers worldwide have lost more than 2,000 cubic miles of water since 1960. Heat stored in oceans has increased substantially. Sea surface temperatures have been higher during the past three decades than at any other time since large-scale measurement began in the late1800s. In recent years, a higher percentage of precipitation in the United States has come in the form of intense single-day events. Eight of the top 10 years for extreme one-day precipitation events occurred since 1990. The occurrence of abnormally high annual precipitation totals has increased. The intensity of tropical storms in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico has risen noticeably over the past 20 years. Six of the 10 most active hurricane seasons have occurred since the mid-1990s. Sea level worldwide has increased at roughly 0.6 inches per decade since 1870. Sea level increase has accelerated to more than 1 inch per decade in recent years. Oceans have become more acidic over the past 20 years, and studies suggest that oceans are substantially more acidic now than a few centuries ago. Rising acidity is associated with increased levels of carbon dioxide dissolved in the water, and it affects sensitive organisms such as corals. The average length of the growing season in the lower 48 states has increased by about two weeks the since beginning of the 20th century. North American bird species have shifted their wintering grounds northward by an average of 35 miles since 1966, with a few species shifting by several hundred miles. Reference: -PPT PPT -REPORT Globally, the Philippines is a minor emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), but cost-effective mitigation present opportunities that should be captured, noting that the country is one of the signatory member states to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. The country accounts for less than 0.3 percent of global GHG emissions in 2004.4 However, emissions are on the rise from both energy-use and land-use changes. Even if the absolute scale will remain small, there are increasing number of development projects under preparation, which offers opportunities for cost-effective mitigation and adaptation measures. The Philippine Government's response to the climate change challenge has been active institutionally noting the recent restructuring of the Presidential task force on climate change. However, a clear strategy and action plan are still lacking. The international donor community, including development partners such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is actively engaged in addressing climate change in the Philippines. There are several initiatives on capacity building for GHG accounting, monitoring and reporting, for preparation of a second National Communication to the UNFCCC, governance, renewable energy, urban air quality management, and forest management. There are likewise several World Bank supported climate changerelated activities, with nine active operations. These encompass primarily energy sector operations. Reference: