This is four-part work providing an international view of climate change which is designed to complement the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Second Assessment report. The complete work is a benchmark document summarising current understanding of of the contributions of the social sciences to the interdisciplinary issues of global climate change. It brings together widely scattered information and highlights both current research strengths and key areas for further research. The books survey the state of the art of the social sciences with regard to global climate change research; recognise global climate change research as policy relevant; review what is currently known, uncertain, and unknown in the social science areas relevant to global change; assemble and summarise findings from the international research community; report these findings within behavioural and interpretive frameworks as appropriate; and assemble this information to enlighten the future formulation and conduct of policy-relevant scientific research. The volumes in this four-part work cover resources and technology (Volume 2); tools for policy analysis (Volume 3); and, in Volume 1, begin with the societal framework. Volume 4 is presented as a readable summary for non-professionals. The first chapter of Volume 4 comprises the introductory section of each of the three more specialist volumes.