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Changing countries, changing climates: achieving thermal comfort through adaptation in everyday activities



Whilst increasing mobility leads to people regularly experiencing new climatic conditions, understanding how people actually adapt to new regimes of heat in their everyday lives is currently under researched. It is often assumed that increased demand for air conditioning will be an automatic response to heat, but widespread international variation in the current use of cooling technologies suggests a more complex situation. As one means of exploring how thermal comfort is achieved under different climatic conditions, this paper reports on the findings of a pilot study exploring adaptive practices in relation to heat with people who have recently migrated to Spain. The paper explores how thermal comfort is accomplished through adaptation in everyday activities including cooling technologies, clothing and routines and rhythms. The paper emphasises the importance of attending to how new routines emerge in the context of relocation and highlights a need for further research to understand how changing climatic conditions may serve to reconfigure the production of comfort.