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Temperatures are rising on Earth, which is heating up the debate over global warming and the future of our planet, but what may be needed most to combat global warming is a greater focus on adapting to our changing planet, says a team of science policy experts writing in this week's Nature magazine.
While many consider it taboo, adaptation to global climate change needs to be recognized as just as important as "mitigation," or cutting back, of greenhouse gases humans pump into Earth's atmosphere.
The science policy experts, writing in the Feb. 8, 2007 issue of Nature, say adapting to the changing climate by building resilient societies and fostering sustainable development would go further in securing a future for humans on a warming planet than just cutting gas emissions.
"New ways of thinking about, talking about and acting on climate change are necessary if a changing society is to adapt to a changing climate," the researchers state in "Lifting the Taboo on Adaptation."
"The obsession with researching and reducing the human effects on climate has obscured the more important problems of how to build more resilient and sustainable societies, especially in poor regions and countries," Sarewitz said.