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Climate Research

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CR 19:91-96 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019091

Anthropological perspectives and policy implications of climate change research

John Magistro1,*, Carla Roncoli2,**

1International Development Enterprises, 10403 West Colfax Avenue, Suite 500, Lakewood, Colorado 80215, USA
2Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

ABSTRACT: This paper highlights the relevance of anthropological research to climate science. It suggests that localized scales of analysis, that have been the hallmark of anthropology, can complement global modeling exercises that cannot fully capture the complexities of real life decisions. Community and culture are key dimensions that mediate the interaction between humans and climate. Anthropology has a long-standing tradition of studying vulnerability and adaptation to environmental stresses. Political economy and political ecology approaches contextualize climate risk, highlighting the need to integrate climate products with policy solutions. Microanalyses of risk management and decision-making strategies can bring science and policy closer to the needs of vulnerable groups. Tools and insights from cognitive anthropology also facilitate communication of climate information by ensuring consistency with local knowledge frameworks.

KEY WORDS: Drought · Vulnerability · Seasonal forecasting

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