Around the world, the devastation of climate--‐related impacts has undermined livelihoods, threatened ecosystems, and stretched the capacity of sociopolitical institutions. Droughts, storms, and floods have often caused serious agricultural losses and human suffering: images of famines in Africa, human displacement in the Caribbean, and water--‐covered settlements in Bangladesh illustrate just some of the disastrous impacts of climate on vulnerable populations. In recent years, the possibility of more frequent and extreme events as a result of climate change has fueled new avenues of inquiry to understand and address the vulnerability of human and social systems to these events. As adaptation becomes prominent on the social and governmental agendas of both rich and poor countries, we need to understand better the factors that increase or constrain their adaptive capacity (AC), or the ability of different systems and agents to respond and recover from climate impact. Such an improved understanding is particularly important for less developed regions where these negative impacts will likely interact with and exacerbate other stressors already affecting those most vulnerable (Eakin and Lemos 2006; Wilbanks and Kates 2010).
Format: Digital (Free)