ADAPTATION: an action taken to prepare for climate change. 

ADAPTIVE CAPACITY: the ability to adjust to climate change in order to minimize potential damages, take advantage of opportunities, or cope with consequences. 

CLIMATE: the average weather conditions over a long period of time (usually 30 years).

CLIMATE CHANGE: the gradual change in average weather conditions over time. 

CLIMATE MODEL: a numerical representation of the climate system. 

CLIMATE SCENARIO: a reasonable, and often simplified, representation of the future climate.

CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO: the difference between a climate scenario and the current climate.

DOWNSCALING: a method that derives local- or regional-scale (10-to-100 km) information from larger-scale models or data analyses.

EMISSIONS SCENARIO: a reasonable representation of the future levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

EROSION: the process where soil or rock is moved or weathered by the action of streams, glaciers, waves, winds, or underground water.

INFRASTRUCTURE: the roads, bridges, buildings, dykes, utilities, or other installations and services essential for the development, operation, and growth of a community, province/territory, or country.

RESILIENCE: the ability to maintain the same structure, function, and capacity to adapt to stress after being impacted by climate change.

SALTWATER INTRUSION: the process by which saltwater enters a coastal aquifer, leading to contamination of groundwater.

SEA LEVEL RISE: an increase in the mean level of the ocean.  Relative sea level rise considers the mean level of the ocean relative to the land.

SENSITIVITY: the degree to which a system is affected, either positively or negatively, by climate change. 

VULNERABILITY:  the degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change.  Vulnerability is a function of a system’s exposure to climate change, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity.

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