Home
This Title All WIREs
WIREs RSS Feed
How to cite this WIREs title:
WIREs Clim Change
Impact Factor: 5.124

Explaining differential vulnerability to climate change: A social science review

Full article on Wiley Online Library:   HTML PDF

Can't access this content? Tell your librarian.

The varied effects of recent extreme weather events around the world exemplify the uneven impacts of climate change on populations, even within relatively small geographic regions. Differential human vulnerability to environmental hazards results from a range of social, economic, historical, and political factors, all of which operate at multiple scales. While adaptation to climate change has been the dominant focus of policy and research agendas, it is essential to ask as well why some communities and peoples are disproportionately exposed to and affected by climate threats. The cases and synthesis presented here are organized around four key themes (resource access, governance, culture, and knowledge), which we approach from four social science fields (cultural anthropology, archaeology, human geography, and sociology). Social scientific approaches to human vulnerability draw vital attention to the root causes of climate change threats and the reasons that people are forced to adapt to them. Because vulnerability is a multidimensional process rather than an unchanging state, a dynamic social approach to vulnerability is most likely to improve mitigation and adaptation planning efforts. This article is categorized under: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change > Values‐Based Approach to Vulnerability and Adaptation
Vulnerability is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity that is low, relative to exposure and sensitivity, contributes to high vulnerability (top). By contrast, higher adaptive capacity helps reduce the effects of exposure and sensitivity, and in turn reduces vulnerability (bottom). (Reprinted with permission from Engle (). Copyright 2011 Elsevier Science)
[ Normal View | Magnified View ]

Browse by Topic

Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change > Values-Based Approach to Vulnerability and Adaptation

Access to this WIREs title is by subscription only.

Recommend to Your
Librarian Now!

The latest WIREs articles in your inbox

Sign Up for Article Alerts