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Cultural dimensions of climate change impacts and adaptation

Abstract

Society's response to every dimension of global climate change is mediated by culture. We analyse new research across the social sciences to show that climate change threatens cultural dimensions of lives and livelihoods that include the material and lived aspects of culture, identity, community cohesion and sense of place. We find, furthermore, that there are important cultural dimensions to how societies respond and adapt to climate-related risks. We demonstrate how culture mediates changes in the environment and changes in societies, and we elucidate shortcomings in contemporary adaptation policy.

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Acknowledgements

Collaboration for this research was supported by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK. J.B. was supported by Australian Research Council project DP0556977 and K.B. was supported through a Professorial Fellowship from UK Economic and Social Research Council (grant RES-051-27-0263).

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W.N.A. and K.B. formulated and planned the paper. All authors undertook the analysis and interpretation and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to W. Neil Adger.

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Adger, W., Barnett, J., Brown, K. et al. Cultural dimensions of climate change impacts and adaptation. Nature Clim Change 3, 112–117 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1666

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