Adaptation will be needed along with mitigation. Because impacts are already being observed and because the ocean takes a long time to heat up, mitigation - although crucial - will not be enough. Adaptation unfortunately will not be a simple matter. The human race is no longer composed of small groups of hunter-gatherers, but billions of people generally living in highly arranged societies with limited mobility. The worse the impacts of global warming, the more difficult adaptation will be.
We should start planning for adaptation now, along with mitigation to try to lessen the impact of global warming. Adaptation should not be used as an excuse not to mitigate global warming.
The most complete compendium of research on adaptation is the 2007 IPCC Report, Vol. II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), content outline is BELOW.
IPCC Report Vol. II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds.
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