Towards an Integrated Adaptive Model

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The envisaged models below are based on Figs. 11.1 and 11.3, the summaries in Tables 11.1 and 11.2, and discussions of the "homeothermic imperative". As discussed in Auliciems (1981, 1983), and Auliciems and de Dear (1997), cognitive-affective-effective control is a main interface between the biological and technological response, and one that should be central to the field of natural hazards risk-management research as defined in Burton et al. (1978), and Whyte (1985), and to coping with natural disasters (Alexander 1993). Indeed, given the earlier listed impacts and adaptations in Table 11.2, and the urban metabolism analogy, it would be surprising if at least temperatures or their thermal equivalents did not feature prominently in most third order systems within the human domain, in addition to the specific attributes of the hazard under consideration. Summaries of the three orders are as follows.

First order adaptation is the initial reduction of hazard impacts (upon specified and definable core parameter/s). Human first order defence mechanisms consist of integrated biological and behavioral adaptive processes as augmented by second order technological mechanisms. These processes may be a mixture of predetermined or probabilistic elements which may have been modified by experiences and decisions as based on perceptions and choices that had resulted from earlier biological and/or techno-cultural adaptations.

The second order is one within which impacts and adaptations are behavioral and technocultural, with responses ranging from routine maintenance of infrastructures, to emergency activation of resources and technologies. Its control may be corporate within the third impact level or the integrated first-second order system itself. The larger adaptation costs are usually transferred to third order socioeconomic systems, and as is the case with atmospheric pollution, to the environment and the future.

The third order of adaptations includes all processes above the integrated first-second order impacts-adaptations, and depending upon the nature and scope of a particular investigation can be conceptualized as a single level or to multiple nth level structures. This level contains socioeconomic systems that variously cope with functions of security, health, education, environmental, amenity and resource availability etc. Depending upon the process or event being investigated, the third order is least deterministic, and presents the widest choice in methodology. Irrespective of the problem, scope or particular methods used in analysis, there needs be a core construct within the decision making module/s.

The form of this construct will depend upon specific requirements or methods used, and may consist of objective criteria, aims, goals or mission statements.

In many cases, the research would be concerned with adaptations and mitigation to some dimension of climate change, especially the assessment of vulnerability of particular populations and environments. In many areas literature search would reveal that core constructs can be expressed as interactions in terms of correlation and regression coefficients, probability and confidence levels, percentages occurring to non occurring, observed to expected ratios. These would permit the definition of functions and interfaces by criteria such as "critical thresholds", "coping ranges", "optima" or "adaptation deficits".

A possible conceptualization of the three order adaptation processes is shown in the Euler - Venn type of representation (Ruskey and Weston 2005) in Fig. 11.5,

Fig. 11.5 A Conceptual Model of Integrated Human Adaptation to Climate Hazards and Change

which is essentially an extension of coping range model in Fig. 3. Ideally this version of the model should be visualized as three and more dimensional Borromean rings anchored in place by a lynch pin - the homeostatic core, and its ever present control of Fig. 1. As in Fig. 3, the core is central and cocooned from the outside world by all level, deterministic and less deterministic adaptations. The inner core and its intelligent control mechanism, is at the centre of all the webs. If valid, such conceptualization must come close to an integration of human adaptive systems.

Whatever the cascading manifestation, the most immediate concern is the impact, or potential threat, to "life and limb", that is the essential homeostatic core. Its defences at the higher orders are coordinated through the corporate decision making control module shown in Fig. 11.6, which in effect is a reinterpretation of the adaptive model as depicted in Fig. 11.1, with the core construct replacing the thermopreferendum entity. Its framework should apply to any hazard or level of impact and adaptation, including its use for linkage to very different systems (in this example referring to Diamond's neighbour and environment concepts).

An alterative representation to Fig. 11.5 is that in Fig. 11.7. Here, the model is conceived as three interrelated adaptation entities through which climate hazard impacts cascade. The three entities are first order adaptations, in which is embedded third order impacts cultural & socioeconomic response t second order impacts behavioral & technocultural adjustment first order impacts biological adaptation

^ Diamond's (friendly - aggressive) neighbor response third order impacts cultural & socioeconomic response second order impacts behavioral & technocultural adjustment

environment condition & resource availability first order impacts biological adaptation environment condition & resource availability information knowledge hazard

Fig. 11.6 Generalized Format of the Control Mechanism for a Model of Integrated Human Adaptation to Climate Hazard

Solar cycles climate change hazard signal pollution ■

first order adaptation

biological process coping range CR

second order adaptation behavior technology capacity maladaptation third order adaptation

economic education health ... nlh adaptation deficit h d g a e o main links a. hazard c. residual impact RI = HS - CR

e. unsustainable temporary responses g. higher order adaptation response i. second-third order adaptation interface k. recovered resource m. investment o. adaptation failure b. adaptation deficit if HS> CR d. techno-cultural intervention f. integrated adaptation interface h. anthropogenic pollution j. techno-cultural-financial intervention - corporate control l. unresolved maladaptation n. sustained deficit, information

integrated first-second order system incidental shelter control: perception, cognition, evaluation, choice, decision, design

¡gn core construct

Fig. 11.7 Integrated Human Adaptation to Climate Hazard the homeostatic core and its attendant control, its cocooning second order techno-cultural adaptations, and third order adaptations that contain the corporate decision making module, as generalized in Fig. 11.6. Depending upon the impact cascade, all components in Fig. 11.7, irrespective of the order, can be at risk. Decision making can be purposeful or ad hoc, coordinated or not, and both first and third order decisions can draw upon the resources of the second order. The incidental shelter, which represents a naturally occurring, but essential defensive mechanism which is employed either spontaneously or by considered selection.

Although mostly responding as an integrated whole, adjustments to the three impact levels shown in Fig. 11.7 could be loosely described as synoptic, seasonal scale and deterministic in the first, deliberate "management" of the physical resource and human technological and strongly probabilistic response systems in the second, and decadal and secular term ranging anywhere from highly deterministic to probabilistic, including climate related lifestyles and social structures within the third.

A simple illustration of the model in Fig. 11.7 may be for assessing the efficacy of proposed heat wave management by provision of public shelters with air cooling facilities. A late summer heat wave hazard (link 'a' - e.g. specify hazard, intensity, duration, thresholds), results in first order impacts (e.g. estimate environmental stress values, identify population at risk, specify vulnerabilities and biological thresholds, determine acclimatization levels and rates of change, estimate coping ranges, expected morbidity and death rates). Information on impacts, absorbed and residual hazard, need for altered behavioural and technological support - emergency services is forwarded (via 'c') to integrated first and second order control and (via 'i') to higher order societal decision making, which responds according to available facilities, alternatives, age needs and medical capabilities and predetermined or ad hoc procedures via 'I', 'f' and 'g'. In the meantime, information on adaptation deficits (morbidity and mortality) has been passed on via 'b' and further advanced for action at the higher levels of response via 'n'. Third order processes (action or deferred response) are initiated via 'm'. This also promotes a greater demand (feedback 'i') for more technological support (space cooling) and thus for fossil burning (second order impact), which in turn, however, may decrease the availability of funds for alternative purposes (and technologies), and over time tend to lower the overall well-being of the whole society (third order impacts via link 'j' to the maladaptation entity, and 'm' to adaptation deficit). In the short term, at least, the second order technological and behavioral adjustments enable increased space cooling and thereby reductions in heat stress impacts (feedback 'g'), but there has been an increased generation of radiative gasses ('h'), which in the long term may contribute to global warming, and also ultimately to warmer summers that may actually tend to increase the heat stimulus (link 'a').

The "adaptation deficit" entity in Fig. 11.7 was suggested by Ian Burton's (2004) concept of a simple tool for estimating investments required to reduce adverse climate impacts. This is a useful concept also to estimate the shortfall in adaptation capacity in individuals and groups. In the present model, the concept would require four estimates:

1. The existing stress demand or residual impact RI (hazard HS via 'a' minus coping range CR of biological adaptations i.e. signal via 'c')

2. Adjustment achieved by techno-cultural adaptations, consisting of (2i) sustainable adaptations via 'f' and (2ii) adaptations which are only temporarily effective and over time become counterproductive, maladaptive or unsustainable adjustments, or stress demand minus sustainable adaptations via 'e'

3. The potential for future sustainable adaptation for specific hazards and climate trends and/or change, or estimated augmentation in RI ('g' and 'd')

4. The remaining amount of the unadaptable residual transferred to entity adaptation deficit via 'b', or new RI minus sustainable adaptation

Pragmatically (4) and (2ii) above would become the potentially unsupportable and predetermined maladaptation "lost cause" cases. Type (4) also allows recognition of the law of diminishing returns-there never was or will be a perfectly adapted society. For funding purposes, such as providing for mitigation of future heat wave impacts, however, (2ii) may provide a useful criteria for action or otherwise for economically developed localities and (3) for less developed. Optimal investment decisions would probably provide for (2i) + (3). The (2ii) category would include poor design (urban morphologies etc.), energy inefficiencies and waste (lack of insulation, misuse of air cooling technologies etc.), lack of provision for enabling physiological adaptations.

The notion of maladaptation is simple enough. An entity within any of the three adaptation levels may with time prove to cause more problems than those it resolves. Its assessment as such becomes a matter of deliberate decision making and in turn the maladaptive nature of the entity may be rectified or not, depending upon control decisions for initiating rectification within higher order processes, depending upon its adaptation deficit classification. Leaving aside issues relating to the needs of special populations such as those in hospitals or the aged, air conditioners are an obvious example. Air cooling has provided comfortable conditions, saved lives and enabled a continuation of cooler-zone behavioural patterns within tropical environments. However, given that this technology has proliferated also within temperate climatic zones, more often than not, as panacea for otherwise poor building design or as a convenient enticement to shoppers. Here, in terms of degradation of the environment, and in loss of acclimatization, the costs are far in excess to benefits of non-essential luxury both at the local and global scales.

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