CaN: Carbon Reduction

Climate Change Adaptation

What is Climate Change Adaptation?

Climate change adaptation are the strategies developed by governments, organizations, and people to anticipate the climate changes that will occur, manage the threats of climate change, and also take advantage of potential opportunities. For example, rising temperatures will lead to hotter summers and so actions like planting shade trees now can reduce the impact of increased heat later. More severe weather events will call for emergency plans to reduce the threats that they present. More frequent and longer droughts will demand water conservation. All of us will have to make changes to ensure that we adapt safely to the coming changes.

What are some things I can do today to prepare?

  • Climate change is leading to more severe weather events. One the the most effective things you can do is to create an emergency plan and kit in the event you must suddenly leave your home. This is a great guide from FEMA.

  • Drought and heat will make water scarce. Start today to take action to conserve water in your home and yard.

  • Migrate to using native plants in your yards. They require less water and are more resistant to pests. As average temperatures increase you may have to incorporate plants from a warmer planting zone. Ardsley is in plant hardiness zone 7a, but as temperatures increase we may move to zone 7.

  • Plan now for adding shade to your yard as a respite to longer and hotter summers. With the increase in wilder and more severe storms you may be reluctant to plant trees near your house, however many native trees are of medium height and can provide the same shade and eco-system benefit of a larger tree. Don't neglect planting bushes - they will also shade the ground.

  • Severe storms can also bring flooding. Build up your soil with organic matter and native plants/shrubs and trees to absorb an enormous amount of water, reducing the threat of runoff and flooding. Also consider permeable paving material to prevent runoff. Building up your soil with organic matter will also mitigate the effects of droughts. Decrease the area of your lawn - lawn grass is a shallow rooted plant that reduces the ability of the ground to absorb water. Plant a meadow instead.

  • Plant densely and don't leave any bare earth to maximize the ground's water absorption.

  • Consider moving to efficient heat pump technology for heating and cooling your home. As temperatures rise cooling will become critical.

  • Be prepared for service outages like electricity. Rather than purchasing a generator for outages consider a solar system with a battery backup to keep you going even if the grid is down.