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Human Interactions

Definition

Society's affect on and response to changes in the environment.

Summary

Humans interact with the environment in a variety of ways, including:

1. Demography (population evolution and change)
2. Economics (e.g., national economic growth, international trade, technology development and diffusion, and economic implications of potential impacts and adaptation or mitigation measures)
3. History and anthropology (e.g., response of societies to past environmental changes)
Political science and sociology (e.g., organizations and their role in the policy process; institutions and their role in shaping decisions and behavior).

The study of how humans contribute and respond to changes in the global environment, why some societies are more resilient and others are more vulnerable to change, and how attributes of social and economic organization is essential to a complete understanding of global environmental change.

Research Questions

1. What are the magnitudes, interrelationships, and significance of the primary human drivers of and their potential impact on global environmental change?

2. What are the current and potential future impacts of global environmental variability and change on human welfare, what factors influence the capacity of human societies to respond to change, and how can resilience be increased and vulnerability reduced?

3. How can the methods and capabilities for societal decision making under conditions of complexity and uncertainty about global environmental variability and change be enhanced?

4. What are the potential human health effects of global environmental change, and what climate, socioeconomic, and environmental information is needed to assess the cumulative risk to health from these effects?

Other Research Areas