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WIREs Clim Change
Impact Factor: 6.099

Coping with the immediate experience of climate: regional variations and indoor trajectories

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Abstract This article reviews work from across various disciplines that illuminates the changing ways in which people around the world manage their experience of local climate with particular reference to temperature. This topic is important because it has implications for issues that range from the rising energy demands associated with the spread of air‐conditioning to the idea that future societies may eventually forget about the climates outside the buildings into which they have retreated. My purpose is neither to critique the various ways of conceptualizing the relation between human comfort and thermal environment nor to champion any particular argument about the mechanism that guides its development over time. Rather the aim is to integrate a diverse set of studies into an evaluative account that foregrounds the cultural differences and geographical dynamics now characterizing the ways in which people relate to outdoor temperature. Many of us now spend a great deal of our time surrounded by controlled bodies of ambient air which may superficially seem appropriately civilized. Yet this same situation could easily end up making us less willing to experience our local climates and more reliant on some quite resource hungry technologies. Changing practices of coping with outdoor temperature should be examined further. WIREs Clim Change 2011 2 170–184 DOI: 10.1002/wcc.106 This article is categorized under: Climate, History, Society, Culture > World Historical Perspectives

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