Adaptation: it refers to the adaptation to coexistence with a natural hazard.
Adaptation to climate-changing: It implies adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change, such as coastal flooding, extreme weather events or food security. It also includes the possibility of making the most of all the beneficial opportunities associated with climate change such as, for example, in some regions of the world longer seasons for growing crops or higher yields.
Climate Change: it is a long-term change in average weather patterns defining the Earth's local, regional and global climates. Earth's climate changes in response to natural astronomical causes that, in past geological time, have led to ice ages and warm interglacial periods. However the changes observed in the Earth's climate since the beginning of the 20th century are mainly caused by human activities, in particular by fossil fuels, which by producing large quantities of greenhouse gases cause an anomalous warming of the Earth's atmosphere.
Coastal Plains: Flat, low-lying land next to the sea. They are highly vulnerable to Sea Level Rise.
Coastal zone: The interface between the land and the sea.
Delta of a River: It is a flat fan-shaped area that is formed by the deposition of sediments at the mouth of a river.
Disaster impacts: It is the set of physical and social effects of a hazard on a community. Physical impacts include casualties (deaths, injuries and diseases), damage to the anthropogenic environment (agriculture, buildings, infrastructure) and the natural environment.
Exposure: The situation of people, infrastructure, housing, production capacities, and other tangible human assets located in hazard-prone areas.
Exposed value: it is a measure of the exposure. It can include the number of people, specific assessments of the resources within an area (eg strategic value) and exposed to any particular danger. The exposed value is used to estimate the quantitative risks associated with this hazard in the area of interest.
Flood hazard: the possibility of a flood to occur. In coastal areas, the hazard of flooding is linked to extreme weather events combined with sea level rise
Flood Risk: The possibility of loss or injury in response to floods. Risk is the product between the flood hazard, the land’s or assets’ vulnerability and the exposed value at stake.
Global Warming: it is the long-term warming of the Earth's climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) and caused mainly by human activities. The term is often mistakenly used as a synonym for climate change, although the latter refers to both the warming and cooling of global temperatures that have led to the alternation of glacial and interglecial periods over the course of geological eras. It represents the measure of the average temperature increase of the global surface of the Earth.
Greenhouse effect: it is a phenomenon of regulation of the temperature of a planet that has an atmosphere. In the case of the Earth, some gases present in the atmosphere allow some of the energy from the Sun to be retained as heat. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that causes the average temperature on the earth's surface to be 15 ° C and favors life ; without it, the average temperature of the earth's surface would be around -18 ° C.
However, the excess of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes an anomalous increase in average global temperatures. Today the greenhouse effect is in fact the main responsible for the melting of polar ice caps and mountain glaciers, extreme weather phenomena, floods, fires and droughts.
Greenhouse gases: They are gases that absorb infrared radiation emitted from the earth's surface and radiate a part of it back into the earth's atmosphere. The earth's atmosphere is therefore heated by two distinct phenomena: (1) the sun's rays absorbed by the earth's surface are re-emitted in the form of infrared (thermal) radiation; (2) some of this thermal radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-emitted again as infrared (thermal) radiation.
The greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3).
Hazard: a human process, phenomenon or activity that can cause death, injury or other health impacts, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation. Hazards can be natural, technological, socio-natural, or any combination of them originally.
ICCP: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
Lagoon: Area of shallow water separated from the sea by low sandy dunes
Land Subsidence: the sinking of the ground surface with little or no horizontal movement. It can be caused by natural processes or by human activities. The former include various karst phenomena, permafrost thaw, consolidation, oxidation of organic soils, slow crustal deformation (isostatic adjustment), tectonics, caldera subsidence, and withdrawal of fluid lava from below the solid surface. Human activities include underground mining or the extraction of underground fluids, such as oil, natural gas or groundwater.
Land subsidence locally produces a rise in sea level even beyond the global mean values.
Maladaptation: Actions that may lead to increased risk of adverse climate-related outcomes or increased vulnerability to climate change.
Mitigation: Actions devoted to reducing the impact of hazards.
Mitigation of climate change: actions that involve the reduction of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The goal of mitigation is to curb the increase in greenhouse gas levels in a fast enough time to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened and allow economic development to proceed in a sustainable way (from the 2014 report on Mitigation of Climate Change by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, page 4). These actions include the reduction of sources that produce these gases and the construction of so-called "sinks" that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests, and soil).
Nature-based solutions: Refers to an umbrella concept for various ecosystem-related approaches. It covers actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems. Nature-based solutions aim to achieve resilience in ways that enhance the resilience of ecosystems, their capacity for renewal, and the provision of services.
Preparedness: The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from the impacts of likely, imminent or current disasters.
Prevention: Activities and measures to reduce vulnerability and exposure to mitigate disaster risks.
Reclamation area: Land that has been made suitable for building or farming. These areas, being low-lying, are naturally vulnerable to floods. When they are located along the coast they can be flooded by river overflow and by the incoming sea.
Resilience: The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, while positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term stresses, change, and uncertainty.
Risk: The possibility of a hazard to cause loss or injury. Risk is computed by the probability of occurrence of hazardous events multiplied by the vulnerability to them and by the exposed value at stake.
Relative Sea Level Rise (RSLR): Changes in local sea level with respect to global mean sea level caused by local natural and/or anthropogenic factors (e.g. tectonics, volcanism, soil compaction, fluid withdrawal, etc.). Relative Sea Level Rise can be significantly larger than the global mean.
Sea Level Changes (SLC): Global changes (increase and decrease) in the average sea level. They are caused by long term changes of mass and density of the oceans as a consequence of astronomical (e.g. variation in Earth’s orbits and axis inclination), climatic (e.g.: thermal expansion of the ocean, melting glaciers and polar ice caps), and tectonic effects (e.g: plate tectonics)
Sea Level Rise (SLR): Global increase of the average sea level. The Sea Level Rise observed since the mid-19th century is primarily caused by Global Warming (see Global Warming).
Vulnerability: The conditions determined by physical, social, economic, and environmental factors or processes which increase the susceptibility of an individual, a community, assets or systems to the impacts of hazards.