With these ideas in mind, the essays have been organised into two sections. After this introductory essay, the first section focuses on research frontiers in biometeor-ology in the fields of human, animal, and plant biometeorology.
Chapter 2 by Gerd Jendritzky and Richard de Dear begin the exploration with a discussion of the thermal environment, taking a physiological perspective and exploring the problems of developing a Universal Thermal Climate Index.
Chapter 3 by Larry Kalkstein and Scott Sheridan take the heat stress problem one step further, describing their work in developing and deploying heatwave early warning systems in major world cities.
Chapter 4 by Kristie L. Ebi explores the general question of the requirements for developing early warning systems for vectorborne diseases, then surveying the current status of early warning systems for one of the most important vectorborne diseases worldwide, malaria.
Chapter 5 by Mikhail Sofiev and colleagues takes up the issue of pollen, allergies, and adaptation. The basic mechanisms of allergies are presented and the paper describes the risks in terms of pollen ecology, seasonality, and forecasting. The paper concludes with a section on the implications of climate change and deployment of better prevention and treatment (adaptation) techniques.
Chapter 6 by Simone Orlandini and colleagues turn to plant biometeorology, discussing the main impacts and stresses of climate change, and identifying available adaptation options and conditions for their effective deployment. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future directions in plant (agricultural) biometeorol-ogy and research gaps.
Chapter 7 by John Gaughan and colleagues confront the problems of adaptation in domestic (farm) animals. The paper focuses upon the specific climate stresses of heat, heatwaves, and nutrition, and alternative ways in which these can be managed at the farm level. The paper concludes with an assessment of increasing climate stress and suggests some needed policy responses.
Chapter 8 by Daniel Scott and colleagues turn to the questions of the climate change risks and possible adaptation responses in the tourism-recreation sector. This sector is thought to have high adaptive capacity overall, with considerable variation from one part of the industry to another. The paper concludes with observations about the relative lack of attention to climate change, and the need for more consideration of adaptation in the sector.
Chapter 9 by Chris de Freitas turns to the problems of water resources and the need for adaptation in a sector that is being increasingly stressed by climate change, population growth, and infrastructure development.
Chapter 10 by Alan Stewart examines the psychological dimensions of adaptation to weather and climate. Psychological approaches to adaptation are discussed, followed by the presentation of a model that lends itself well to organizing the different psychological variables that can affect adaptation. The model components are discussed along with the cognitive and motivational biases that can affect the adaptive course that people might pursue.
The second and final section of the book provides perspectives on the previous chapters.
Chapter 11 by Andris Auliciems brings us back to some long debated ideas about adaptation and climatic influences on humans and human societies. He points us to a reconsideration of climatic determinism and presents a theoretical construction for thinking about the impacts of climate and human response. Adaptations adopted in the past have been more or less successful, but we are now faced with a new situation in which we know that change will occur, but how, when, and at what rate remains highly uncertain. In these circumstances is it not the well adapted that can expect to thrive best, but the most adaptable.
In the final chapter, Chapter 12, the editors take up the challenge of adaptive capacity. Given what we know and the long-standing perspectives of biometeorol-ogy and its current research directions, what more can be done to promote adaptation and enhance adaptive capacity? Human society now faces a considerable challenge in learning to live successfully with a changing climate. The essays in this book point the way to some of the answers and needed directions.
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