Glossary


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 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.
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.

Date modified: 2022-12-06