"Given that our climate has already changed and that further change seems inevitable, it is important to take a pro-active stance to assess adaptation options, their benefits and costs, and how to alter policy and investment environments to facilitate their uptake," says lead author Dr Mark Howden of CSIRO.
Climate adaptation analyses can reward early adopters of climate information, build the capacity for effective climate risk management, inform infrastructure investment decisions and help inform international discussions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as those happening in Bali this week.
"Practical adaptations such as changing timing of plantings or the varieties or species of crops grown might avoid the damage caused by 1 to 2 degree changes in temperature - those expected over the next few decades," he says.
"However, their effectiveness declines with higher temperature increases. Consequently, the damages from climate change will increase unless a whole new array of adaptations are developed and used. These adaptations may need to include diversification of production systems and livelihoodsand would need supporting policies and programs in addition to soundly based research and development."