Living with climate change: How to cope in a warmer world


Coco Robicheaux / Alamy Stock Photo By Michael Le Page HITTING the agreed limit for global warming set in Paris is undoubtedly a tough ask, and it seems likely that the world will be 3 to 4°C warmer by the end of the century (see “Living with climate change: Can we limit global warming to 2°C?”). That means loss and disruption. But starting to prepare now could mean that many people, perhaps even most, can thrive despite the rising temperature. That means more than building a few flood defences, however. Take the challenge of feeding a growing population in a world where fertile land has been lost to sea level rise, extreme weather events are more common and vast tracts of land may be needed to grow biomass to burn as fuel. Perhaps the highest priority here is to develop better crops that could feed more people using less land and fewer resources. Biologists are already developing crop plants that can capture more of the sun’s energy, make their own nitrogen fertiliser and resist droughts, floods, salt, pests and diseases. But much more effort and money is needed. It’s a similar story with protecting our homes, businesses, roads and railways from extreme weather. In many cases we know what needs to be done,
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