Bergen Open Research Archive

On the (im-)possibilities of defining human climate thresholds

Bergen Open Research Archive

Show simple item record Meze-Hausken, Elisabeth eng 2007-12-20T10:14:10Z 2007-12-20T10:14:10Z 2007-02-19
dc.identifier.citation Climatic Change 89(3-4): 299-324 en
dc.identifier.issn 0165-0009 eng
dc.description This is the author-created final postprint peer-reviewed version of the article. The original publication is available at en
dc.description.abstract The aim of this study is to explore the way climate creates thresholds within society. Both human physiology and the human mind determine when and where climate can trigger and influence human activities. By presenting a stimulus-response model, deliberate weather- and climate- related decisions (e.g. migration, clothing) and physiological responses in daily life (e.g. sweating) are placed in a broader theoretical context. While physiological thresholds can be described quantitatively to a certain extent, subjective thresholds may be illustrated in a predominantly qualitative manner through surrogates (surveys on wants or needs). Examples from the literature on climate thresholds for humans highlight the complexity of the issue: People have different thresholds, as they do not necessarily respond to the same stimuli in the same way. At the same time, given the same stimulus, an individual may perceive it, and thus react, differently at different times in their life. In many cases, the threshold rather specifies a bandwidth or transition zone than a particular point. The level of acceptance and the cultural, technological and genetic aspects of adaptation will decide how climate may influence human well-being and contribute in setting limits to society, for example where to live, what impacts to expect, and when and what decisions to take. Knowledge of the complexity of human thresholds can be an important supplement to the analysis of peoples’ vulnerability to climate change. When populations are vulnerable and thresholds are exceeded, only then will there be a measurable response. en
dc.language.iso eng eng
dc.publisher Springer Science+Business Media B.V. en
dc.subject Climate change eng
dc.subject Weather eng
dc.subject Threshold eng
dc.subject Stimulus-response model eng
dc.title On the (im-)possibilities of defining human climate thresholds en
dc.type Journal article eng
dc.type Peer reviewed eng
dc.subject.nsi VDP::Matematikk og Naturvitenskap: 400::Geofag: 450::Naturgeografi: 455 nob
bora.peerreviewed Peer reviewed eng
bora.cristinID 360963 eng
bibo.doi eng

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