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Research highlights the 'human face' of climate change
Date:11/29/2010

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Smit's work has involved partnerships not only with researchers from other Arctic countries but also stakeholders in the communities themselves. His team's research, he says, has been incorporated into the communities' day-to-day decision-making in the setting of hunting quotas, for instance, or in the construction of buildings on the melting permafrost.

And he points out that the research isn't just a one-way exchange, one where his team bestows its wisdom upon the Arctic communities. Instead, the Inuit communities have helped refine his own research by pointing out, for example, that it's not so much the warmer temperatures that create the most significant social problems, but the changing winds that move the ice to places it's never been before.

Smit has also been involved with similar research into the relationship between social and environmental outcomes in Chile and Ghana. He adds that he's working on a co-operative project with researchers and community members in the South Pacific and on Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia to study the social impact of rising ocean levels.

All that work, he says, is concerned with bringing about a more "holistic analysis" of climate change.

"The human face of climate change isn't often recognized," he says.


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Contact: Ryan Saxby Hill
media@fedcan.ca
613-894-7635
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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