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Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance

Edited By: Neil Adger, Irene Lorenzoni and Karen O'Brien

530 pages, 38 figs, 28 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2011 | #189953 | ISBN-13: 9780521182515
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £50.99 $67/€58 approx
Hardback | Jun 2009 | #181273 | ISBN-13: 9780521764858
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NHBS Price: £113.00 $148/€129 approx

About this book

Adapting to climate change is a critical problem facing humanity. This involves reconsidering our lifestyles, and is linked to our actions as individuals, societies and governments. This book presents the latest science and social science research on whether the world can adapt to climate change.

Written by experts, both academics and practitioners, it examines the risks to ecosystems, demonstrating how values, culture and the constraining forces of governance act as barriers to action. As a state-of-the-art review of science and a holistic assessment of adaptation options, it is essential reading for those concerned with responses to climate change, especially researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and graduate students.

Significant features include historical, contemporary, and future insights into adaptation to climate change; coverage of adaptation issues from different perspectives: climate science, hydrology, engineering, ecology, economics, human geography, anthropology and political science; and contributions from leading researchers and practitioners from around the world.

'This book is a major contribution to a subject that has hitherto been far too little studied and commented on. 'Adaptation' to climate change sounds a simple idea, but turns out to be a complex and problematic one. Everyone involved in the debate about how to cope with global warming will profit by studying the diverse contributions this volume contains.' Professor Lord Tony Giddens, London School of Economics and Political Science, author of The Politics of Climate Change 'A fascinating collection of papers addressing adaptation to climate change in all its complexity, ranging geographicaly from the Inuit of Arctic Canada to the African Sahel via the inhabitants of Boscastle in Cornwall. On the way, it explores from the perspectives of many different writers the factors that enable and encourage communities to adapt, and the factors that hold them back. The book has a richness and depth of thinking that makes it required reading for all who seek to understand why some communities live in harmony with their climatic environment whilst others fail, and what this means for the future of society as a whole as it seeks to come to terms with climate change.' Professor Jean Palutikof, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Griffith University


Introduction; 1. Adaptation now W. Neil Adger, Irene Lorenzoni and Karen O'Brien; Part I. Adapting to Thresholds in Physical and Ecological Systems: 2. Ecological limits of adaptation to climate change Garry Peterson; 3. Adapting to the effects of climate change on water supply reliability Nigel W. Arnell and Matt Charlton; 4. Protecting London from tidal flooding: limits to engineering adaptation Tim Reeder, Jon Wicks, Luke Lovell and Owen Tarrant; 5. Climate prediction: a limit to adaptation? Suraje Dessai, Mike Hulme, Robert Lempert and Roger Pielke, Jr.; 6. Learning to crawl: how to use seasonal climate forecasts to build adaptive capacity Anthony G. Patt; 7. Norse Greenland settlement and limits to adaptation Andrew J. Dugmore, Christian Keller, Thomas H. McGovern, Andrew F. Casely and Konrad Smiarowski; 8. Sea ice change in Arctic Canada: are there limits to Inuit adaptation? James D. Ford; Part II. The Role of Value and Culture in Adaptation: 9. The past, present and some possible futures of adaptation Ben Orlove; 10. Do values subjectively define the limits to climate change adaptation? Karen O'Brien; 11. Conceptual and practical barriers to adaptation: vulnerability and responses to heat waves in the UK Johanna Wolf, Irene Lorenzoni, Roger Few, Vanessa Abrahamson and Rosalind Raine; 12. Values and cost-benefit analysis: economic efficiency criteria in adaptation Alistair Hunt and Tim Taylor; 13. Hidden costs and disparate uncertainties: trade-offs in approaches to climate policy Hallie Eakin, Emma L. Tompkins, Donald R. Nelson and John M. Anderies; 14. Community based adaptation and culture in theory and practice Jonathan Ensor and Rachel Berger; 15. Exploring the invisibility of local knowledge in decision-making: the Boscastle harbour flood disaster Tori L. Jennings; 16. Adaptation and conflict within fisheries: insights for living with climate change Sarah Coulthard; 17. Exploring cultural dimensions of adaptation to climate change Thomas Heyd and Nick Brooks; 18. Adapting to an uncertain climate on the great plains: testing hypotheses on historical populations Roberta Balstad, Roly Russell, Vladimir Gil and Sabine Marx; 19. Climate change and adaptive human migration: lessons from rural North America Robert McLeman; Part III. Governance, Knowledge and Technologies for Adaptation: 20. Are our levers long and our fulcra strong enough? Exploring the soft underbelly of adaptation decisions and actions Susanne C. Moser; 21. Decentralized planning and climate adaptation: toward transparent governance Timothy J. Finan and Donald R. Nelson; 22. Climate adaptation, local institutions and rural livelihoods Arun Agrawal and Nicolas Perrin; 23. Adaptive governance for a changing coastline: science, policy and publics in search of a sustainable future Sophie Nicholson-Cole and Tim O'Riordan; 24. Climate change, international cooperation and adaptation in transboundary water management Alena Drieschova, Mark Giordano and Itay Fischhendler; 25. Decentralization: a window of opportunity for successful adaptation to climate change? Maria Brockhaus and Hermann Kambire; 26. Adapting to climate change: the nation-state as problem and solution Erik S. Reinert, Iulie Aslaksen, Inger Marie G. Eira, Svein D. Mathiesen, Hugo Reinert and Ellen Inga Turi; 27. Limits to adaptation: analysing institutional constraints Tor Hakon Inderberg and Per Ove Eikeland; 28. Accessing diversification, networks and traditional resource management as adaptations to climate extremes Marisa Goulden, Lars Otto N'ss, Katharine Vincent and W. Neil Adger; 29. Governance limits to effective global financial support for adaptation Richard J. T. Klein and Annett Mohner; 30. Organizational learning and governance in adaptation in urban development Marte Winsvold, Knut Bjorn Stokke, Jan Erling Klausen and Inger Lise Saglie; 31. Conclusions: transforming the world Donald R. Nelson; Index.

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W. Neil Adger is Professor of Environmental Economics in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He has led the programme on adaptation in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia since its inception in 2000. He served as a Lead Author in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and as a Convening Lead Author for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. He is a co-recipient as a member of the IPCC of the Nobel Peace Prize 2007. He was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust in 2001 for his research achievements. Irene Lorenzoni is Lecturer in Environmental Politics and Governance at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Her interest is in the understanding of, and engagement with, climate change and energy. She is deputy leader of the adaptation programme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and a contributing author for the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC on barriers to adaptation, which was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Karen L. O'Brien is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway and Scientific Chair of the Global Environmental Change and Human Security (GECHS) project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). Her current research focuses on climate change adaptation as a social process, and on the role that values and worldviews play in responding to environmental change. She was a lead author on the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.

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