Psycho-Social and Health Related Adaptive Responses to Climate Change

S. Subramaniam1 and Seena M.  Mathai2

Department of Psychology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore – 641 046, Tamilnadu, India
1E-mail: subramaniam_psy@buc.edu.in

Abstract

Climate and weather have always had a powerful impact on human health and well-being. Extensive social scientific research into human reactions to threats provides some insights into the psychological strategies humans are likely to adopt in the face of the threat of climate changes. This essay explains the different factors which contribute to better adaptation to climate changes. The degree to which societies are vulnerable to climate change depends on the extent to which parts of the population are dependent on natural resources and ecosystem services; the extent to which the resources and services they rely on are sensitive to climate change, and their capacity to adapt to changes in these resources and services.  Instead of implementing some techniques or tools very selectively, an integrated approach incorporating social, psychological, physical, physiological, and technological elements in the environment need to be undertaken effectively to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with consequences of climate changes. An integrated model consisting of coping and risk management strategies is outlined here which need to be built upon in developing more resilient livelihoods.

Keywords: Adaptive Responses, Climate Change, Psycho-Social Factors, Coping Mechanisms