This paper is intended as a brief introduction to climate adaptation in a conference devoted otherwise to the physics of sustainable energy. Whereas mitigation involves measures to reduce the probability of a potential event, such as climate change, adaptation refers to actions that lessen the impact of climate change. Mitigation and adaptation differ in other ways as well. Adaptation does not necessarily have to be implemented immediately to be effective; it only needs to be in place before the threat arrives. Also, adaptation does not necessarily require global, coordinated action; many effective adaptation actions can be local. Some urban communities, because of land-use change and the urban heat-island effect, currently face changes similar to some expected under climate change, such as changes in water availability, heat-related morbidity, or changes in disease patterns. Concern over those impacts might motivate the implementation of measures that would also help in climate adaptation, despite skepticism among some policy makers about anthropogenic global warming. Studies of ancient civilizations in the southwestern US lends some insight into factors that may or may not be important to successful adaptation.