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Adaptation

The process or outcome of a process that leads to a reduction in harm or risk of harm, or a realisation of benefits associated with climate variability and climate change. 

In detail

The term adaptation is used to describe and categorise responses made to climatic events and their impacts. Adaptation is an adjustment or a change in the way things are done; this could be at the level of an individual, a species, a community, a nation state or a natural system. Adaptation can occur in response to climate variability and its effects or those expected to occur in the future (climate change projections). Adaptation is primarily used to describe adjustments that either reduce the impact of these events or exploits the beneficial opportunities they bring. There are many different ways of categorising adaptation - some of the most common are planned, spontaneous and anticipatory.

An important element of adaptation is that an individual or system needs a degree of capacity to make adjustments. This ability is often termed adaptive capacity.

Some examples of how UKCP09 can be used to help organisations in the processes of adapting to climate change are given in the Case study section.

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