Nielsen, Jonas Østergaard4; D'haen, Sarah Ann Lise5
1 Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet4 Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
reflections on methodology in qualitative climate change research published in Global Environmental Change since 2000
There is increasing evidence that climate change will strongly affect people across the globe. Likely impacts of and adaptations to climate change are drawing the attention of researchers from many disciplines. In adaptation research focus is often on perceptions of climate change and on vulnerability and adaptation strategies in a particular region or community. But how do we research the ways in which people experience changing climatic conditions, the processes of decision-making, the actual adaptation strategies carried out and the consequences of these for actors living and dealing with climate change? On the basis of a literature review of all articles published in Global Environmental Change between 2000 and 2012 that deal with human dimensions of climate change using qualitative methods this paper provides some answers but also raises some concerns. The period and length of fieldwork and the number and types of interviews conducted are, for example, not always clear. Information on crucial aspects of qualitative research like researcher positionality, social positions of key informants, the use of field assistants, language issues and post-fieldwork treatment of data is also lacking in many articles. We argue that this lack of methodological information and reflections is particularly problematic in an interdisciplinary field such as climate change research and journals such as Global Environmental Change and that clearer communication is key to facilitate truly interdisciplinary dialogue.