Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

What is climate change?

When we experience changes and variations in wetness and dryness; cold and heat, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness, in a given time : this is weather.

On the other hand the weather occurring over a period of years, in a given place, say the tropics, is called the climate. For example, the climate of Grenada, which is closely located to the equator, is characterized by a rainy season between June and November; a dry season for the rest of the year, a relatively high average annual temperature and hurricanes which occur in the tropical regions of the Atlantic. We have come to know this for over decades.

In recent times significant changes in climate indicators or weather patterns are observed. Climate indicators include such things as precipitation, temperature, storm patterns and intensity. One of the key global indicators of climate change is the rise in the global average temperature. Closer to home, we are seeing patterns of increased intensity in rainfall, hurricanes and even extensive periods of droughts.

Over millennia there have been dramatic changes in the climate, as indicated by the various ice ages. In this regard, the earth has gone through cooling, as temperature dropped due to massive volcano eruptions. Rises in the earth’s temperature have occurred due mainly to sun spots or explosions on the sun, which would heat the earth surface. Climate change therefore is a natural event.

However, in the last hundred centuries or so, earth’s average temperature has been relatively stable allowing human beings to strive and prosper. But in recent times and mainly during the onset of the Industrial Revolution, human action, especially the use of fossil based fuels (coal, oil, gas) to produce energy, has disrupted this stability. The burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Human beings are now the main contributors of climate change as greenhouse gases results in global warming, one of the manifestations of climate change. The scientific evidence has repeatedly confirmed that anthropogenic or human induced climate change is the main threat to our earth as we know it.

There are two main approaches to deal with the threats of climate change: mitigation and adaptation.

This project focuses on integrated adaptation strategies that will reduce the impacts  of climate change. In this regard, the ICCAS project will help the Government of Grenada and stakeholders across various industries and communities prepare for the impacts of climate change using adaptation or planning at both policy and community levels for the changes that are expected to occur.