Contribution of anthropology to the study of climate change

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Understanding the challenge that climate change poses and crafting appropriate adaptation and mitigation mechanisms requires input from the breadth of the natural and social sciences. Anthropology's in-depth fieldwork methodology, long engagement in questions of society–environment interactions and broad, holistic view of society yields valuable insights into the science, impacts and policy of climate change. Yet the discipline's voice in climate change debates has remained a relatively marginal one until now. Here, we identify three key ways that anthropological research can enrich and deepen contemporary understandings of climate change.

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Funding for the workshop discussion that informed this Perspective and for the writing of the Perspective was provided by the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund, the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and the Tropical Resources Institute at Yale.

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JB and MD wrote the first draft of this article. ML, AM, PM, RM, FM, JO, BO, RP, HW, and KY contributed extensive comments.

Correspondence to Jessica Barnes.

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