Climate change will require Floridians to adapt, but we shouldn’t shy away from taking bold actions to reduce the impact on the economy, the environment and our health.

Climate change is already causing problems for the environment, the economy and public health, which will only worsen unless aggressive measures are taken.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on Floridians to confront the challenge of climate change, but downplaying the problem as manageable.

“Americans, particularly Floridians, are right to be concerned about the changing climate,” Rubio wrote in a USA Today column published this week. “But they are also right to be concerned about a regressive overreaction.”

Rubio only needs to look around the state he represents to see how climate change is already causing problems for the environment, the economy and public health, which will only worsen unless aggressive measures are taken.

Wildlife is already on the move from its historical breeding grounds in the state, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Florida researcher.

That doesn’t sound so bad when it causes Paynes Prairie to experience its first sighting of the endangered Everglades snail kite in 100 years. It’s more troubling when warmer temperatures have caused invasive green iguana to explode in numbers in South Florida neighborhoods, destroying infrastructure and yards.

Given Florida’s reliance on tourism, the effects of climate change on the state’s coasts and waterways is even more worrisome.

Warmer weather and increasing rainfall due to a changing climate also mean longer lasting and more widespread algae blooms. Algae blooms were recently found in 44 percent of water bodies tested by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, a problem fueled by runoff from agricultural operations and other sources of fertilizer and waste.

Agriculture is also being affected in other ways by climate change. A lack of freezes allows insect pests to flourish, while warmer waters combined with changing salinity and sea levels pose problems for oyster harvesting in areas such as Cedar Key.

Rubio acknowledged in the USA Today column that Florida is also likely to see increasing sunny-day flooding and other consequences of sea-level rise. But he suggested that “adaptive solutions” will be enough to limit the impact.

Certainly having Rubio highlight the need to address climate change represents progress, given that his fellow Republicans too often deny the problem even exists. The term “climate change” wasn’t even allowed to be used in the administration of former Gov. Rick Scott, now the state’s other U.S. senator.

Current Gov. Ron DeSantis, in contrast, recently named Julia Nesheiwat as the state’s first chief resilience officer. She told the Tampa Bay Times that climate change will likely cause the need for new restrictions on building in flood-prone areas.

While Rubio is right that innovative ideas are required to address climate change, he rejects a carbon tax or the Green New Deal as possible solutions. But climate experts have warned that significant reductions in carbon emissions are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet.

Climate change will require Floridians to adapt, but we shouldn’t shy away from taking bold actions to reduce the impact on the economy, the environment and our health.

This editorial first appeared in The Gainesville Sun.