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Climate Adaptation

Climate Responses That Backfire Are a Growing Problem, IPCC Says

Scientists warn of “maladaptation” to effects of global warming such as flooding and drought.

An abandoned mosque stands beyond a sea wall in the Muara Baru area of Jakarta, Indonesia, May 10, 2019.

An abandoned mosque stands beyond a sea wall in the Muara Baru area of Jakarta, Indonesia, May 10, 2019.

Photographer: Muhammad Fadli/Bloomberg

Not only are humans not adapting fast enough to hazards created by climate change, many of the relatively limited dollars they are putting toward preparing for a warmer future are being misspent, according to the world’s leading scientists. 

The term “maladaptation” runs throughout the report put out Monday by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — a notable shift from the last such report to evaluate human responses to climate change, released in 2014.