Adapting to a Changing Climate
As the scientific consensus concerning climate change is widely understood, there is an increased awareness of the impacts communities need to prepare for. Extreme precipitation events, flooding, drought, and warmer temperatures are the “new normal”. These new normal conditions affect important public infrastructure, local economies, public health, and natural resources and will continue to do so throughout New Hampshire. Communities need to plan and prepare for these impacts while we all continue our work to decrease our contribution to a changing climate.
New Hampshire’s climate has already changed, and will continue to change over the next several decades. Communities in our state have experienced losses and damages from extreme weather events. Many communities have already begun to adapt to these changing climatic conditions and we all need to continue to do so to ensure that the current and future impacts of climate change do not significantly impact the health of our residents, the strength of our economy, and the character of our natural environment. Adaptation actions need to be evaluated and implemented as necessary. Remember that actions can be implemented in a phased approach; addressing the most vulnerable areas first and planning for future needs.
By preparing for climate change early, communities can avoid significant costs, whether economic, social or ecological. In an effort to plan for future events and develop strategies for adapting to our changing climate, communities are incorporating climate change into their existing planning efforts. A Workgroup of the NH Energy & Climate Collaborative has developed this Adaptation Toolkit that provides communities with a path to take in planning for future extreme weather events.