Social scientists are ready to work as full partners with physicists and ecologists on climate-change assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), government agencies and other organizations (D. Victor Nature 520, 27–29; 2015).
Social scientists are already involved in climate discussions to some extent through societies of various disciplines (see, for example, go.nature.com/cixl9y). For more than 20 years, the US Board on Environmental Change and Society and the former International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change have been examining the implications of social-science research for global environmental change — and vice versa (see, for example, go.nature.com/24t7mf).
However, social scientists can do more to engage with climate change by applying their disciplines and investigating human–environmental interactions that have their own dynamics. Further investment will help to develop integrated social and environmental data sets to support these analyses. These efforts will allow social scientists to test and expand the scope of their concepts and methods to contribute important insight into such relatively new issues.
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