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Working on climate change adaptation requires understanding of a broad range of key concepts in a field of knowledge and practise that is in continuous development. The breadth, focus and meaning of some of the special terms associated to climate change adaptation can differ between organisations and policy processes and can evolve reflecting progress in science. That is the reason why, for example, some terms included in consecutive Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports differ in their definitions in the respective glossaries.

This page gathers a set of key references glossaries with the specialized terminology on climate change and adaptation.


IPCC SR 1.5ºC 

IPCC Special Report 2018: Impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty



Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) with contributions by its three Working Groups and a Synthesis Report, three Special Reports, and a refinement to its latest Methodology Report.



Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2012: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation


EEA glossary

On-line glossary of environmental terms used by the European Environment Agency