Research Topic

Climate Change and Society

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Climate change represents the greatest challenge of the 21st Century and will affect human societies in multiple ways.

Our knowledge about the nature and physics of climate change, its causes and its consequences, is far greater than our understanding of the societal changes it poses. Climate change ...

Climate change represents the greatest challenge of the 21st Century and will affect human societies in multiple ways.

Our knowledge about the nature and physics of climate change, its causes and its consequences, is far greater than our understanding of the societal changes it poses. Climate change is a social production, a complex process of societal transformations, which we all need to understand to better cope with the challenge it presents.

Climatic conditions play a significant role in people's lives and can interfere with lives in multiple ways. The causes are known, and they put human action at the center of the debate. The consequences of climate change to ways of life are complex, diversified, inevitable, and will likely become worse over time. The nations that contributed most to the problem are often those that least suffer the consequences while those who contributed the least are often the most affected, vulnerable and unprepared.

In addition to the expected impacts in the most diverse economic and environmental sectors, human health has emerged as an important area associated with climate change. Although not frequently mentioned or targeted as a key political concern, it is expected that the impact of climate change on human health will be severe, both in the distribution and incidence of diseases. Moreover, climate change will have extensive implications to human well-being, which will reflect on social structures and ways of life.

The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight and share knowledge on the social, economic, political and cultural implications of climate change, as well as reflect upon the required transformations in policy, governance and social-cultural strategies to mitigation, adaptation and prevention. To understand the multiple dimensions of climate change and their interdependencies, we need to bring together various sciences, knowledges and powers.

The social sciences, and sociology, play a central role in analyzing the effects of human activities on natural systems. Social Sciences can scrutinize those phenomena and relations that, within human societies, produce social structures that ultimately have negative impacts on the environment.

This Research Topic also aims to provide an overview of social sciences literature and research on climate change, identifying key areas for further research and development. We therefore welcome both literature reviews and empirical papers, with emphasis for those resulting from interdisciplinary research.

We welcome papers on the following and other related topics:

• Risks, social vulnerabilities and climate change;
• People and society’s comprehension and response to environmental changes;
• Adaptation processes and public involvement;
• Mitigation processes and public involvement;
• Gender and climate change;
• Vulnerable groups and climate change;
• Social inequalities and climate change;
• Impacts of climate change in health and in mental health;
• Perceptions of climate change;
• Socio-Psychological impacts of climate change;
• Climate refugees;
• Climate change poverty, inequalities and equalities;
• Climate change public policies and agendas;
• Climate change impacts on social systems;
• Environmental, social and demographic disruption;
• Climate change vulnerability in traditional communities;
• Climate mitigation and adaptation;
• Climate justice;
• Civil society engagement;
• Social Theory and climate;
• Role of social movements.


Keywords: Climate Change, Social Sciences, Perceptions, Public Policy, Interdisciplinarity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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