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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 10700-10722;

A Conceptual Framework for Planning Systemic Human Adaptation to Global Warming

National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health. Australian National University, Mills St. Acton, ACT 0200, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jan C. Semenza
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 15 August 2015 / Accepted: 24 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Human activity is having multiple, inter-related effects on ecosystems. Greenhouse gas emissions persisting along current trajectories threaten to significantly alter human society. At 0.85 °C of anthropogenic warming, deleterious human impacts are acutely evident. Additional warming of 0.5 °C–1.0 °C from already emitted CO2 will further intensify extreme heat and damaging storm events. Failing to sufficiently address this trend will have a heavy human toll directly and indirectly on health. Along with mitigation efforts, societal adaptation to a warmer world is imperative. Adaptation efforts need to be significantly upscaled to prepare society to lessen the public health effects of rising temperatures. Modifying societal behaviour is inherently complex and presents a major policy challenge. We propose a social systems framework for conceptualizing adaptation that maps out three domains within the adaptation policy landscape: acclimatisation, behavioural adaptation and technological adaptation, which operate at societal and personal levels. We propose that overlaying this framework on a systems approach to societal change planning methods will enhance governments’ capacity and efficacy in strategic planning for adaptation. This conceptual framework provides a policy oriented planning assessment tool that will help planners match interventions to the behaviours being targeted for change. We provide illustrative examples to demonstrate the framework’s application as a planning tool. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; heat exposure; health; policy; behaviour change; planning climate change; adaptation; heat exposure; health; policy; behaviour change; planning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tait, P.W.; Hanna, E.G. A Conceptual Framework for Planning Systemic Human Adaptation to Global Warming. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 10700-10722.

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