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Adapting to an uncertain climate on the Great Plains: testing hypotheses on historical populations
Roberta Balstad , Roly Russell, Vladimir Gil and Sabine Marx

Theoretical context We begin this chapter with two questions: first, how do people adapt to climate uncertainty? Second, can the historical past serve as a laboratory for testing and understanding human responses to climate uncertainty? We examine these questions in the context of a study of adaptation to climate variability in a county in the northern Great Plains of the United States during and after its initial agricultural settlement in the late nineteenth century. The purpose of the study is to understand how a newly arrived population of European immigrants and European-origin settlers from the Eastern United States adapted to the harsh and uncertain climate conditions on the Great Plains. But rather than constructing a historical narrative on how climate influenced the settlement experience, we will instead examine current theory on decision-making related to adaptation to climate uncertainty and study how the settlement experience in the Great Plains can illuminate and contribute to this body of theory. There is a large body of research on decision-making that can be related to human adaptation to uncertainty. It deals with such topics as the need for predictability and control, overconfidence in judgements, the role of available or recent and thus easily predictable models in anticipating future events, risk communication and management, and others (Weber, 2006; Marx et al., 2007). Here, however, we will focus specifically on three aspects of the corpus of research on decisionmaking under uncertainty: (a) patterns of information processing; (b) the finite pool of worry; and (c) the bias toward a single action in response to uncertainty. These ideas have been the focus of research by social scientists in the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University, funded by the US National Science Foundation.
Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance, eds. W. Neil Adger, Irene Lorenzoni and Karen L. OBrien. Published by Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press 2009.



Adapting to an uncertain climate on the Great Plains

Research on information processing suggests that individuals tend to process information (and respond to risky situations, including climate uncertainty and change ) via two different parts of the brain. These are the affective processing system, which is the source of emotions and experiences associated with emotions, and the analytic processing system, which is capable of dealing with what is traditionally deemed scientific information abstract, statistical and probabilistic (Marx et al., 2007). Affective or experience-based reasoning is based on ones own experience or that of others. It can involve a strong emotional response to what is often vivid presentation or description. Analytic reasoning involves the evaluation of information obtained from scientists or others who are in positions of authority or hold authoritative credentials, and frequently can be statistically represented. It often has less impact on individual decision-making than experiential or anecdotal information. These two types of information processing often interact in decisions about climate and adaptation to climate. Marx et al. point out that experiential information processing is generally dominant in decision-making under uncertainty because it produces output faster. When the output of the two systems is in conflict, the affective system is more likely to determine the behaviour. However, analytical information processing can often moderate the affective and experiential responses to risk, especially when a problem calling for a decision is discussed in a group. Social scientists have also found that decisions related to risk management are largely driven by worry, and that individuals perceptions of specific problems change as worry about one type of risk increases or decreases (Linville and Fischer, 1991). Linville and Fischer showed that if two negative events occur during the same time period, they must share the loss-buffering resources available during that time period. Although this line of research has been widely applied in organizational psychology, consumer psychology, behavioral decision-making and to some extent in the health sciences, the application of the concept to climaterelated decisions is fairly recent. In their study of Argentine farmers facing climate, political and economic risks, Hanson et al. (2004) found that when individuals are confronted with new worries (or multiple worries simultaneously), there is a tendency to focus on a single area of concern and pay less attention to other worries, even though there has been no change in the risks previously perceived as high and worrisome. The phenomenon is described as the finite pool of worry because they found that a single, significant worry has a tendency to dominate and crowd out other worries in the pool. Because increases in worrying about one problem can lead to diminished concern about other problems, there is a limit to the number of problems related to adaptation to climate variability and uncertainty that individuals will choose to deal with at any point in time (Weber, 2006). It also suggests that by focusing on a single worry, individuals tend to reduce the complexity of the spectrum of problems that they face.

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Another suboptimal response to risk that is related to the role of affect and which has a similar tendency to focus and simplify individual decision-making and adaptation to climate variability is the single action bias. Weber (1997) found that individuals responding to an external threat tend to respond in terms of a single action, even when it is in their best interest to adopt a more diverse or multifaceted approach. This study of farmers in the Midwest found that they tended to adapt to climate variability in a single way, such as changing production practices, altering pricing practices or seeking government intervention, but never engaged in more than one of these practices. Similarly, Argentine farmers who were able to store grain on their farms did so and as a consequence were less likely to adopt multiple or additional safety measures, such as irrigation or crop insurance, than those who had little or no capacity to store their grain (Hanson et al., 2004). This too suggests that individuals may be satisfied with adapting to climate risks in a narrower and more focused way than the situation warrants. The same phenomenon has been observed in medical diagnostics where radiologists searching x-rays for lesions stopped their search after discovering one lesion, leaving additional abnormalities unnoticed (Berbaum et al., 1991). These examples illustrate the tendency in disparate settings for humans to engage in only one response to threat and then to take no further action because their feeling of worry or vulnerability has been reduced. The rationale for historical research The rationale for conducting historical research on climate impacts and responses to these impacts goes beyond understanding the past for its own sake (Endfield, 2008). Much of the existing social science theory on climate adaptation and decisionmaking under uncertainty , including research on patterns of information processing, the finite pool of worry, and the single action bias, is the product of either laboratory studies or behavioural observation, and sometimes both. What these approaches lack, however, is the perspective that can be obtained through examining adaptive behaviour and linking perceptions, experiences and behaviour over long time periods and in the context of complex and often interacting economic, technological, policy and climate systems. Climate adaptation decisions are always made in a temporal context, as well as in meteorological, political, economic and cultural contexts. The temporal context may influence adaptation decisions in regard to the sequence and timing of influences on decision-making or to variations in lag times between the perception of external problems and individual responses. Although the single action bias and the finite pool of worry are most evident in the immediate context of a specific decision, they are shaped, in part, by the decision-makers previous experiences and assessments of the decision setting.


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Studies of behaviour in contemporary laboratory settings cannot provide the temporal perspective needed to understand the cumulative role of time and experience on decision-making. However, historical studies, because they can focus on behaviour over long time periods, can provide valuable insight into these influences on decision-making . A related but different issue is whether historical data and other records of past behaviour can be analysed in terms of theory developed in the contemporary laboratory. If the goal of research is to identify regular patterns of individual and social behaviour so as to understand, evaluate or even anticipate future behaviour, it is reasonable to test the underlying theory against behaviour at multiple time periods and in multiple places where conditions may be similar or may vary in theoretically useful ways. This type of research follow-up is usually costly, however, and consequently is rarely done. If historical research on real (historical) populations can be combined with, or even substituted for, interviews or experiments using contemporary populations, it could advance decision theory related to climate adaptation and, in Poppers words, help determine whether theory can stand up to the demands of practice. In both cases, the overall cost of research may be reduced and the epistemological benefits increased (Popper, 1934). Historical background The rapid settlement of the trans-Mississippi West after the US Civil War in the 1860s was encouraged by the federal government, which systematically negotiated reductions in the amount of land it had earlier ceded to the Native Americans. It then initiated sweeping new land and transportation policies affecting the use of these lands. As a result, the transformation of this region from a largely uninhabited rangeland to a settled checkerboard of towns, farms and eventually cities was especially rapid and became one of the defining elements of the countrys history (Turner, 1893). Because of its limited rainfall, the Great Plains were characterized by rolling expanses of treeless grasses which had the advantage of not requiring deforestation before the land could be planted in commercial crops. There was from the start some controversy as to whether the Plains were suitable for agriculture. Among the early voices was that of John Wesley Powell, who explored the area for the US Geological Survey and declared that irrigation was necessary if agriculture on the Plains were ever to be productive (Powell, 1878; Morris, 1926). Arrayed against his cautionary advice were the railroad companies, which had been granted land by the government in exchange for extending the railroads and which advertised widely about the benefits of settling in the American West. They sold both town plots and farm land to would-be settlers. Those who wished to obtain their land at lower cost registered claims with the federal land office under

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the Homestead Act, passed in 1862, which provided up to 160 acres of surveyed, unclaimed land to individuals in exchange for occupying the land for five years, paying minimal registration fees, and making certain improvements on the land (Gates, 1968). Consequently, the cost of entry for farming on the Great Plains was low, and would-be farmers were attracted to the territory from nearby states, from the eastern USA and Canada, and from northern Europe and the British Isles. What they did not know was that although the cost of entry was low, the cost of staying could be high. This study focuses on Kingsbury County in the eastern part of the Dakota Territory an area opened to settlement near the end of the 1870s. This was originally the northernmost part of the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. It was formalized as a territory in 1861 in anticipation of white settlement, and it was subdivided into two states, North and South Dakota, in 1889. Workers on the railroads were the first to arrive in the area that became Kingsbury County, and farmers and merchants followed soon after the railroad tracks were laid. Although the popular image of the frontier settler is that of a farmer engaged in subsistence agriculture, the settlers of eastern South Dakota were often both townspeople and commercial farmers from the start. The railroads were a commercial lifeline, bringing settlers, food and supplies into the towns of the Territory and leaving with the fruits of farmers labour. The settlement of Kingsbury County, like most of the Dakota Territory, was effected by the combined efforts of the territorial government, the railroad companies, and thousands of land-hungry, would-be settlers who were attracted to the newly opened agricultural lands in the west. These settlers obtained much of their information about the area from word of mouth or through publications prepared by the territorial government and the railroads that were designed to attract settlers. The Dakota Territorial government had an active publication program under the supervision of the Commissioner of Immigration that sent documents describing the fertility of Dakota soils and the Territorys benign climate to readers in many countries in the language of that country. These documents obviously were meant to counter what were recognized as negative impressions of the region. In 1887, for example, the Commissioner of Immigration published a statement on the climate of Dakota. It began with the statement: Scarcely anything connected with Dakota is the subject of greater misconception than its climate (Commissioner of Immigration, 1887). The climate of the Territory was described to potential immigrants as the pure, exhilarating, healthful climate of Dakota; readers were told that the visitor who has once drunk deep draughts of this prairie oxygen, is under the charmers spell, and can never again content himself to live without the Territory (Commissioner of Immigration, 1887). By 1880, there were over 1000 new residents in Kingsbury Country, about 30% of whom had been born outside the United States. Many of those who were born


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in the USA, however, were themselves the children of immigrants. A sample of households in Kingsbury County in 1880 shows that roughly 60% of the settlers were born abroad or were raised in a household by parents who were born abroad. This suggests that the cultural background of settler households was more often that of European immigrants than of families who came to the Dakota frontier from other parts of the United States. The previous agricultural experience of these settlers was largely in areas quite different from the Great Plains . Whether or not settlers experienced the exhilaration of the prairie oxygen predicted by official publications selling the Territory, the first white settlers, who generally came from the humid eastern United States or the rainy countries of northern Europe, faced agricultural conditions in the Dakota Territory for which their previous experiences had not prepared them. They had little or no experience farming in areas with rainfall as low or as variable as it was in the eastern part of the Dakota Territory. On average, the annual precipitation was sufficient to support agriculture, particularly in the eastern part of the state. However the precipitation was irregular, both annually and in terms of the distribution of rainfall during the growing season, when it was most needed for agriculture. Not only was the Dakota climate drier than the areas left by the settlers who flocked to the newly opened lands, but it had highly variable precipitation patterns and strong, hot winds that caused what soil moisture there was to evaporate, leaving it even drier than suggested by the annual rainfall levels. In the nineteenth century, the variability in rainfall raised the question of whether the Great Plains could support agriculture, a question that remains controversial today (Riebsame, 1991; Cunfer, 2005; Parton et al., 2007). An example of the extreme variability in precipitation in the region is the rainfall in the James River Valley of what is now South Dakota . In 1881, when the area was first being settled by agriculturalists, there was 40 inches of rain. In 1894, there was only 14 inches (Schell, 2004) . Between these two points, there were years with adequate rainfall and years of drought (and years when the rainfall arrived during critical points in the growing cycle and years in which the seasonal distribution of rainfall hurt crops), but in general, rainfall was high in the early 1880s and low in the late 1880s and early 1890s (Kepfield, 1998). In almost all cases, immigrants to the area had learned to farm in more humid European and eastern North American climates. The winter climate on the plains was also unlike anything most of the settlers had previously experienced. Publications intended for prospective settlers emphasized that Dakota was located on the same latitude as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio, and in Europe it was on the same latitude as France and Austria. The clear implication of this comparison was that the Dakota weather was similar to that of these other places. Government publications also emphasized that there was considerably less snow in Dakota than in the eastern states

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and implied that summer generally began shortly after the winter broke in March (Commissioner of Immigration, 1887). Not surprisingly, there was no discussion in these publications of the disastrous impact of Dakota blizzards on cattle, humans and even railroads, stopping the settlers access to food and farm implements. In 1880, there was a blizzard that stopped the trains for over six months, leaving the newly arrived settlers in Kingsbury County with shortages of food, firewood and cattle feed . They ground seed, intended for planting in the spring, in coffee grinders to get flour for bread. Another disastrous blizzard took place in 1888. In both years, many settlers were lost in the swirling snow and died of exposure or hunger (Wilder, 1940; Laskin, 2004). In addition to the annual and seasonal variations in the levels of rainfall and the continuing possibility of devastating winter blizzards , the Dakota settlers faced a variety of other unexpected climate-related events in their new homes. There were fires, sparked by dry conditions and spread by high winds, that swept across the plains, destroying crops in their way; tornados or cyclones that were strong enough to destroy buildings, including a brick church in DeSmet, the largest town in Kingsbury County; floods that followed winters with heavy snows; plagues of grasshoppers in the 1870s and as late as 1880 that totally destroyed crops and other vegetation in their path; lightning strikes; and destructive hail (Crothers, no date; Robinson, 1904) . As a settler in a story by Willa Cather, who grew up on the plains, describes the climate, He had seen it smitten by all the plagues of Egypt. He had seen it parched by drought, and sogged by rain, beaten by hail, and swept by fire, and in the grasshopper years he had seen it eaten as bare and clean as bones that the vultures have left . After the great fires he had seen it stretch for miles and miles, black and smoking as the floor of hell (Cather, 1896). The severity of these weather events, combined with the difficulty in predicting them, provides a research setting for looking at behavioural responses to unexpected climate changes. Climate adaptation and decision-making We look at the impact of these weather events on the Great Plains by examining two types of behaviour in the initial settler population: first, residential persistence over time in Kingsbury County, and second, economic investment in the County through land ownership. We have taken a systematic sample of the population of heads of household in the County in 1880, using the manuscript schedules of the Federal Census for that year in order to trace evidence of these individuals in other sources over time to determine who stayed and to infer why. Information on individual land ownership in the nineteenth century is available through the Bureau of Land Management. One of the advantages of focusing on Kingsbury County is


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that the events of the early settlement period, including climate events and their impacts on the settler population, have been chronicled in great detail by observant residents of the county from 1879 to 1894, including Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of ten books on the Great Plains, the best known of which are the Little House on the Prairie books. The basic conditions of settlement were similar for most people, whether they came from a few hundred or many thousand miles away. The commercial foundations for a thriving agricultural area were in place. As mentioned earlier, land for commercial agriculture was available to all essentially for free through homesteading or for purchase at competitive prices, and land in the railroad towns that sprang up as the farmers arrived, was also available for purchase. The climate was a surprise, and variable and extreme weather events were to pose adaptation problems for the settlers. But during the initial years of what was called the Great Dakota Boom (late 1870s), the increase in annual rainfall gave newcomers the impression that this was a fertile land (Schell, 2004). This increase in precipitation in the late 1870s was popularly attributed to the fact that the settlers were beginning to plow the prairies, and the saying Rainfall follows the plow, was heard frequently to explain the rainfall. The availability of sufficient water and land for the taking, and, because of improved economic conditions in the United States, the construction of railroads that provided access to eastern markets made the area attractive to many. The population of eastern Dakota increased rapidly in the decade following 1878 and millions of acres were registered as new homesteads each year, with the number of acres reaching its height in 1883 (Schell, 2004). In short, the result of federal land and transportation policies was to encourage commercial wheat farming in the Dakota Territories. Unfortunately, many of the newly arrived farmers took advantage of these policies to pursue a familiar type of agriculture that was less well suited to the territory than the cattle-grazing culture that preceded them on the land . The decline in precipitation after 1888 created economic hardships for local farmers who saw their yields decline with the rainfall. The impact of lower rainfall was combined with irregular weather events, like hailstorms, that destroyed crops even more rapidly than drought ( Kingsbury County News, 1888). By this time, many of the farmers had already taken out loans or mortgages for farm machinery. This debt intensified the economic impact of the weather events, and farmers were forced to delay payments when they lost their crops. By the late 1880s, local newspapers began to print lists of delinquent tax sales of land (Kingsbury County News, 1888). By the 1890s, the newspapers were printing lists of foreclosures and mortgage sales as well (Kingsbury County Independent, 1893). Almanzo and Laura Wilder provide an illustration of adaptation to climate impacts in Kingsbury County over a long period of time. They had both moved

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to the County as soon as the lands were opened to homesteading in 1879, and they married in 1885. But after a severe hailstorm destroyed their thriving crops in the summer of 1886, they were forced to rethink their economic plan for the year. Rather than selling their wheat and oats as planned, they took out a mortgage on their homestead, rented their tree claim to another farmer, and harvested and sold wild hay on the Chicago market (Wilder, 1971). The Wilders responded to the destruction caused by the hailstorm with energy, inventiveness and good humour and cited the irony that it reversed the Irish proverb, The rich man gets his ice in summer and the poor man gets his in the winter. The hail, whatever it had done to the crops, provided the poor Plains farmers with ice in summer. The Wilders survived that year to face increasing drought, high winds and cyclones, fires and other difficulties in subsequent years. They diversified their farming, adding sheep, which did better in the dry years than the crops, lowered their living standards and tried various economic remedies. But conditions were difficult. Almanzo Wilders brother and sister each had homesteaded property for nearly a decade, and in 1888 their lands were sold for delinquent taxes (Kingsbury County News, 1888; Anderson, 1985). Laura Wilders parents, who had a homestead and also owned commercial property in the town of DeSmet, kept their land, perhaps because their commercial property provided an income somewhat independent of agriculture and less immediately tied to predictable climate. In 1894, the Wilders decided to leave Kingsbury County . In her diary of the trip to Missouri, where they finally settled permanently, Laura Wilder began: For seven years there had been too little rain. The prairies were dustCrop after crop failedThe agony of hope ended when there was no harvest and no more credit, no money to pay interest and taxes; the banker took the land. Then the bank failed (Wilder, 1962). The Wilders and their neighbours faced a double problem: an inhospitable climate where they lived and a nationwide economic panic that tied their hands economically. On the back of the wagon belonging to the family that accompanied them to Missouri was a hand-lettered notice, Rear Guard of Coxeys Army, linking their pilgrimage to a new home in the milder climate of Missouri to the protest march on Washington of 500 unemployed workers from Ohio (Anonymous, 1999). Despite the difficulties that farmers like the Wilders and their families faced, a large proportion of those who moved to the County when it was first opened to settlement stayed, unlike settlers in western parts of the Dakota Territory where most of the settlers moved away within a few years. The next stage of this project will be to analyse the landowning and agricultural persistence patterns of the sample of settlers in 1880 to determine what might have influenced the decision to stay or to move elsewhere.


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Ties between theory and history We found that the settlers who came to the Great Plains had little or no direct experience with the climate or familiarity with scientific assessments of the land before they moved there. Their information came from the publications of the Territorial government or the railroads, both of which had an economic motive in attracting settlers to the Territory. An even stronger message than the descriptions of the benign climate was the promise of free land, which appealed directly to potential immigrants. Once they were living in the Territory, however, they experienced a climate that belied the milk and honey messages that they had received from formal governmental and corporate sources. It was at this point that the settlers began to have their initial, first-hand experiences with the climate of the Plains. For most people, the climate made life difficult, but they adjusted to its extremes until the climate threatened their ability to make a living. Then the settlers felt they had to decide whether to stay or to leave. The limit to adaptation, then, came when climate uncertainties and disincentives reached a threshold that interfered with critical economic aspects of their lives. In terms of processing information, there were three rather than two patterns that can be observed among the Dakota settlers. Basic analytic information came from publications, laws and advertising about the feasibility of moving to the Territory. Second, experiential information about the value of land ownership and commercial markets for grain provided a critical push to the Plains. In settlers decisions, the emotional desire for land far outweighed both the analytical information that they received on the climate and their own early experience of the harsh and variable climate of the Plains. But we found a third type of information processing that helped the settlers cope with the conditions in which they found themselves . This involved domesticating problems by fitting them into existing frames of reference with sayings or aphorisms. A typical example can be seen in Caroline Ingalls response to her daughters statement that the prairie was beautiful, but it seemed they had to fight it all the time. Ingalls responded, This earthly life is a battle If it isnt one thing to contend with, its another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are (Wilder, 1941). The concept of the finite pool of worry was based on observations of farmers in the North American Midwest and in Argentina. At first glance, it does not seem to apply to farmers in the Dakota Territory. In part, this is because the pool of climate-influenced worries, such as drought, were often inseparable from other worries (mostly socio-economic). But during blizzards, floods or fires, climate events could be directly related to physical survival. The response of the Wilders, their families and friends, to these conditions took place on several levels. We found that their expectations (and worries) were fluid over time and involved both gradual

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adaptation to extreme conditions and rejection of living under these conditions at different times. The change from acceptance to rejection could be related to the successive impacts of climate events or to the timing and linkage of climate problems with economic problems. A third element we examine is the existence of a single action bias in adaptation to the climate variability on the Great Plains. Looking at the experiences of specific individuals in Kingsbury County in the face of periodic, unexpected and previously unexperienced climate-related crises, we find that the impact of climate events had the power to affect multiple aspects of the settlers lives, including their financial security, their homes, their safety and their immediate economic livelihood. Observing the experiences of specific settlers on the Plains suggests that they responded to climate-induced problems with multiple strategies. This included strategies related to improving yields through mechanization and plowing more acres and improving profitability by shifting to new crops and markets. They also rented land to others and started new businesses in the railroad towns to supplement their income. In large part, this flexibility may be the result of their responses , not to climate events alone, but to climate events in the context of a complex and expanding economic system.

Conclusions We began with two questions: how people adapt to climate uncertainty, and whether the historical past can serve as a laboratory for testing and understanding human responses to climate uncertainty. We have found that adaptation strategies tend to be closely related to economic conditions and opportunities and to the context framed by government policies. For the settlers of eastern Dakota Territory, the physical climate they experienced was a surprise, one with which they had little or no previous experience. Their adaptation to that climate was moulded by the availability of fungible resources and opportunities in other areas human resilience, policy support, access to technology and the state of the larger economy. Because climate is rarely isolated from socio-economic phenomena, adaptation to climate extremes is generally mediated and interpreted through the lens of economic, policy and technological resources and perceived opportunities. In essence, adaptation to climate impacts is influenced as much by social, economic and technological policies and possibilities as by the climate events themselves. Cultural backgrounds may also influence adaptation, but because of the levelling effects of social and economic opportunities and technology, culture does not appear to be the most important influence on adaptation in this system. The second issue in this paper is whether historical analysis can provide a useful approach to understanding adaptive behaviour. The answer, we believe, is yes, but


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it is most useful as one of several analytical approaches to understanding climate adaptation. We conclude that historical data can be used to analyse adaptive strategies under specified conditions. They can also be used to compare behaviour observed in laboratory studies with that in real situations, and the findings can be used to feed ideas back into laboratory experiments. However, the lack of interactive data, and the impossibility of interacting directly with historic populations, makes it impossible to test specific experiments at the microscale in a way that parallels laboratory experiments. In the end, it is necessary to understand both individual behaviour and broad community response patterns if we are to understand adaptation to climate change . Historical approaches to climate adaptation can help us to do so. References
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Parton, W. J., Gutmann, M. P. and Ojima, D. 2007. Long-term trends in population, farm income, and crop production in the Great Plains, BioScience 57: 737747. Popper, K. 1934. Scientific method, in Miller, D. (ed.) 1985. Popper Selections. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Powell, J. W. 1878. Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States. Washington, DC: US Geological Survey. Riebsame, W. E. 1991. Sustainability of the Great Plains in an uncertain climate, Great Plains Research 1: 133 151. Robinson, D. 1904. History of South Dakota, vol. 1. DeSmet: B.F. Bowen. Schell, H. S. 2004. History of South Dakota. Pierre: South Dakota State Historical Society Press. Turner, F. J. 1893. The significance of the frontier in American History, American Historical Association, Annual Report for 1893: 199 227. Weber, E. U. 1997. The utility of measuring and modeling perceived risk, in Marley, A. A. J. (ed.) Choice, Decision, and Measurement: Essays in Honor of R. Duncan Luce. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 4557. Weber, E. U. 2006. Experience-based and description-based perceptions of long-term risk: why global warming does not scare us (yet), Climatic Change 77: 103 120. Wilder, L. I. 1940. The Long Winter. New York: Harper Collins. Wilder, L. I. 1941. Little Town on the Prairie. New York: Harper Collins. Wilder, L. I. 1962. On the Way Home. New York: Harper Trophy.