Climate change - what is it?
Climate change is considered one of the most important global issues. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been responsible for a rampant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and land use changes. These modifications cause deep changes in the atmosphere and trigger changes in the climatic patterns, contributing to the worsening of extreme climate events all over the world.
The Mediterranean is the European region that is facing the largest number of impacts. The Iberian Peninsula in particular has suffered the highest temperature increases in Europe, and those tendencies are projected to worsen in the future.
The Algarve (the most southern region in mainland Portugal) is no exception. This region is exposed to several climate vulnerabilities, and in recent years it has tackled issues resulting from climate events related to heat waves, forest fires, floods, storm surge, and coastal erosion. These vulnerabilities are foreseen to continue to worsen due to climate change, which will impact different areas and socioeconomic sectors in the region.
Given this trend, it is urgent to act on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation). However, even if emissions are drastically reduced worldwide, the complexity of the atmosphere means that the changes caused by those emissions will be felt for generations to come. Therefore, to complement mitigation, it is essential to implement adaptation, thus avoiding and/or reducing damage and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from climate change.
Therefore, mitigation and adaptation are both essential to deal with climate change and preserve the future of ecosystems, populations and economic activities.
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