The challenge of biodiversity adaptation under climate change

Jonathan T. Overpeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The risk of major biodiversity loss given continued human-driven climate change is real. Species and their genetic flexibility are the foundation of ecosystems that provide many key services to humans ranging from cleaning water and air, to providing renewable natural resources, to making up the composition of valued parks and preserves and much more. A key question for policymakers, conservation managers and humankind more generally is whether nature itself, or nature assisted by humans, can adapt to climate change. Adaptation tools are used for dealing with effects of climate change and other human stressors that are threatening biodiversity. Managing and saving the Earth's biota in the face of rapid large climate change might turn out to be the largest challenge ever faced by humans. The growing multitudes of biodiversity adaptation efforts around the globe should all include the provision for error, as well as the flexibility to face unexpected challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplied Studies in Climate Adaptation
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781118845028
ISBN (Print)9781118845011
StatePublished - Dec 31 2014


  • Adaptation tools
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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