Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Brazil.


According to its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Brazil considers adaptation to be a fundamental element of the global effort to tackle climate change and its effects. The implementation of policies and measures to adapt to climate change contributes to building resilience of populations, ecosystems, infrastructure and production systems, by reducing vulnerability and through the provision of ecosystem services. Brazil is working on the design of new public policies, through its National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The NAP aims to implement knowledge management systems, to promote research and technology development for adaptation, to develop processes and tools in support of adaptation actions and strategies, at different levels of government. Brazil is a developing country that experienced a fast urbanization process. In this context, risk areas, housing, basic infrastructure, especially in the areas of health, sanitation and transportation, constitute key areas for adaptation policies. (NDC, 2016)

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Reclaiming degraded areas for cultivation rather than using natural forests and grasslands.
  • Planting shady trees (arborization) so as to minimize the impact of future warming on crops.
  • Increasing the use of agroforestry in areas of southern Brazil that experience a high frequency of frost.
  • Phasing out of slash-and-burn type agriculture, particularly with respect to sugarcane plantations.
  • Switching to crop varieties that are drought- and heat-resistant.
  • Constructing small-scale banks to protect crops from flooding, and to prevent soil carbon and nutrients from being washed away.
  • Practicing crop rotations on permanent pastures as opposed to cultivating on new land, which will improve the levels of soil carbon.
  • Protecting natural plantations, such as mangroves.
  • Promoting the re-growth of native species in recently deforested lands. Avoid planting exotic species wherever reforestation with natural vegetation is more useful.
  • Reducing deforestation rates and practice sustainable forest management.
  • Identifying public forests/ecosystems that need to be protected, preserved and managed.
  • Classifying regions within these forests/ecosystems as those that need to be conserved and those that may be used for forestation/reforestation purposes.
  • Identifying the variability of the hydrological cycle in different ecosystems and investigate its sensitivity to the underlying vegetation.
  • High-precision monitoring of land-use/land-cover changes in all forested areas.
  • Prohibiting illegal logging of timber and other forest products.
  • Introducing alternative construction material to reduce the demand for timber in the local market.
  • Addressing research questions regarding decadal/interannual variability in the precipitation characteristics of the rainforest and other forests/ecosystems.
  • Protecting native species of vegetation especially those that may be exploited due to their economic value.
  • Regulating the exploitation of forests and other forms of tree vegetation for alternative land use in the Amazon.
  • Development of a more effective enforcement system for deforestation in the Amazonian region that involve actions seeking to guide the exploitation and use of natural resources towards a basis of legality.
  • Create geological and geomorphological information for identifying areas subject to flooding.
  • Using physical and biological models to study and analyze the impact of human activity along the coastline on mangrove swamps.
  • Adopting of legislation for the protection and study of changes taking place in and around the coastlines.
  • Implementation of laws that protect the mangroves.
  • Adopting of enhanced energy-efficient technologies. Replacing fossil fuel-based energy sources, with high carbon content.

Gaps and Needs

  • It is important to promote technical and institutional capacity and environmental education through training, integral educational programs and awareness campaigns, aimed at developing in-depth knowledge on possible impacts and adaptation responses.
  • Scientific investigation need to be supported with the integration and participation of government entities, productive sectors, scientific entities and civil society representatives with the objective of identifying vulnerabilities, constructing Brazilian impact scenarios and formulating strategies and policies for adaptation over coming decades.
  • Implementing research and monitoring, through cooperation between Brazilian and international institutions, is essential to improve the climatic projects on a regional scale, and take into account the response of natural and socioeconomic systems to climatic variations and improve the knowledge of the effectiveness, costs and benefits of strategies for adapting to climatic changes.
  • Current knowledge of the regional dimensions of global climate change is still very fragmented. There is need for research to improve on the current knowledge base.
  • To carry out vulnerability and impact studies, it is essential to developed long term climate change models with sufficient spatial resolution for regional analysis.
  • Due to lack of future climate scenarios in the country, current knowledge of the regional dimensions of global climate change is still very fragmented. There is need to develop long term climate change models with sufficient spatial resolution for regional analysis, which will enable the creation of scenarios of possible future climate change with different concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and analysis the impacts of this change in Brazil.
  • There is need to begin a broad study of the potential impacts of an increase in sea level in Brazil.
  • Current knowledge of the regional dimensions of global climate change is still very fragmented. There is need for research to improve on the current knowledge base.
  • It is necessary to disseminate global climate change information in a language that is accessible by the public through different networks.
  • There is need to put in place tools that can produce reliable projections of the possible future climates in the country, over a 100-year horizon.
  • There is a need to improve and increase the availability of information and databases, especially historical data on rains and sea levels.
  • The absence of measurements of sea level over a longer time horizon and of topographic and cartographic records makes it difficult to situate current changes of a coastline in a long term perspective.
  • The continuous monitoring of weather conditions by radar, satellites, telemetric stations and lighting detectors is essential to be able to issue alerts, involving various meteorological phenomena such as heavy rainfall, high winds and lightening.