Wednesday 7
Measuring, assessing, profiling (MAP) community resilience: psychosocial dimensions
Astier Almedom
› 10:25 - 11:20 (55min)
› Antigone 1
Taking it to the extremes: resilience and adaptation to severe heat and cold health risks
Raquel Nunes  1, 2@  , Irene Lorenzoni  1, 2, 3@  , Iain Lake  1@  
1 : School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK
2 : Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK
3 : Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Group, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK

Climate-related health risks are likely to increase in the near future, posing many challenges and opportunities to society on how to adapt and increase resilience. This paper focuses on research that seeks to understand what resources help shape resilience in adapting to extreme temperatures. It is based on combining holistic and social ecological approaches, integrating different social determinants of health to understand the multiple and diverse dimensions of resilience.

This research enables us to identify and explore the connections and relationships between resources, the different dimensions of resilience and adaptation to extreme temperatures. The resources analysed in this research include a range of financial, natural, physical, human and social resources involved in shaping resilience to heat and cold events and used in adaptive behaviours. Using Lisbon, Portugal as a case study, we explore these dimensions in relation to older adults (65 years old and over), whom represent a particularly vulnerable group in society. Here we present the findings from inter-seasonal (summer and winter) semi-structured interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data are used to explore the diversity of resources individuals have access to (i.e. income, housing, healthcare, social networks) and how they make use of those resources when adapting to heat and cold events.

The paper presents findings that reveal an acute underestimation of the significant health risks and impacts posed by heat and cold events. Participants highlight engaging in common sense behaviours and state that are unable to act beyond these. Health and social inequalities, the need to maintain independence, housing characteristics and energy costs for cooling/heating illustrate some emerging themes. Our respondents refer to an array of adaptive behaviours, limits and barriers to resilience and adaptation. Examples that examine the role of different types of resources for resilience and adaptation to extreme temperatures are presented. The role of individuals and communities, health, social and welfare sectors, local authorities and national governments in building resilience will be explored. This paper also discusses these findings in light of innovative policy and practice recommendations to assist and support individuals in developing resources needed for resilience and adaptation. We argue that inequality and justice challenges related to access and use of resources constitute a major threat to human health and well-being under current and future heat and cold events.


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