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Climate CulturesAnthropological Perspectives on Climate Change$
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Jessica Barnes and Michael R Dove

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300198812

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300198812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

Challenges in Integrating the Climate and Social Sciences for Studies of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Challenges in Integrating the Climate and Social Sciences for Studies of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 7 Challenges in Integrating the Climate and Social Sciences for Studies of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
Source:
Climate Cultures
Author(s):

Frances C. Moore

Justin S. Mankin

Austin Becker

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300198812.003.0008

Though predictions regarding the physical impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly detailed and sophisticated, the question of exactly what these physical changes mean for the social, economic and natural systems that humans value cannot be answered by the physical sciences alone. Insights from the social sciences are essential for situating these projections in ways meaningful for people and communities making decisions in the face of a changing climate. However, serious methodological and epistemological challenges make true integration between the climate and social sciences difficult. Here we describe three of these challenges in detail: the long time-scales and large spatial-scales at which climate science typically operates, the tendency to abstract climate-change related impacts from their context, and a strong emphasis on prediction. More generally, the difficulty in combining statistically-defined climate projections, with specific, embedded narratives from the social sciences is discussed, as well as suggestions for ways forward.

Keywords:   Climate projections, Climate change impacts, Climate change adaptation, Interdisciplinary communication in climate change, Scalar problems in climate change discourse

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