Publication Details

De Vet, E. (2017). Experiencing and responding to everyday weather in Darwin, Australia: The important role of tolerance. Weather, Climate and Society, 9 (2), 141-154.


Climates are changing, yet the everyday implications for societies and cultures are unclear. Until recently, weather and climate (change) have been largely represented quantitatively and discussed at broad spatial and social scales. Qualitative weather research is helping to reconnect weather with its diverse local meanings and to explain how climate change may alter future representational and behavioral understands of weather (herein called ''weather-relations'') in the hope of furthering climate change action. Responding to the need for greater research into weather-relations, particularly in industrialized urban areas, this paper examines the role of weather in everyday life in tropical Darwin, Australia. It identifies a willingness among participants to stay ''weather-connected'' despite challenging weather conditions and access to air conditioning. This willingness is driven by desires to remain acclimatized in order to enhance positive weather sensations, retain outdoor lifestyles, and reduce financial and environmental costs associated with resource-intensive technologies. In delving into weather adjustment strategies that facilitate weather-connectedness along with possible climate change implications, greater potential for weather-relations research is recognized. By drawing attention to weather experiences and understandings alongside resource efficient weather responses, this paper uncovered a substantial capacity among participants to respond sustainably to environmental change. These capacities are the outcome of adjustment practices relating to food, clothing, laundering, physical and outdoor activities, and domestic comfort and a previously unrecognized coping strategy expressions of tolerance. Findings suggest that by recognizing and fostering existing adjustment capabilities of societies and cultures and the local values that afford their reproduction, communities would be better placed to adapt to future climate change.

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