We must begin the process of adapting to a new normal as the climate continues to shift. There are many steps that we can take to prepare for the amount of warming that is already “baked in” to our atmosphere and lessen the harmful impacts to our way of life.

PREPARING FOR CHANGE

In the last decade, Indiana residents have endured record-breaking heat waves, droughts, cold spells, and a number of floods, including two one-hundred year flood events and one five-hundred year flood event. Obviously, we are already seeing some early impacts of climate change. Most recently, flooding around Indiana shut down several roads and damaged homes and businesses, and volatile weather patterns have made farming much more difficult. Additionally, we are seeing rising incidences of asthma, respiratory illnesses, insect-borne disease, and more.

So what do we do to prepare for this new normal? One over-arching strategy is through ensuring healthy ecosystems. Having healthy ecosystems is vital to increasing our resilience to the worst climate impacts. Healthy forests reduce wildfire risk. Well-managed and protected bodies of freshwater help save water sources during times of drought and can even provide natural defenses to flooding.

Additionally, there are various specific adaptation strategies both at the large-scale and individual-scale. Please use the links below to learn more.