Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the Tropics

Stephen Whitfield*, Emilie Beauchamp, Doreen Boyd, David Burslem, Anja Byg, Francis Colledge, Mark Cutler, Mengistu Didena, Andrew Dougill, Giles Foody, Jasmin Godbold, Mirjam Hazenbosch, Mark Hirons, Chinwe Speranza, Eleanor Jew, Carmen Lacambra, David Mkwambisi, Awdenegest Moges, Alexandra Morel, Rebecca MorrisP Novo, Mario Rueda, Harriet Smith, Martin Solan, Thomas Spencer, Ann Thornton, Julia Touza, Piran White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume55
Early online date23 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Mar 2019

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climate
learning
ecosystem response
historical perspective
vulnerability
income
climate change
ecosystem
history
economics
tropics
trend
product
society
exposure
Africa
Asia
South America
Oceania

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems
  • Perturbations
  • Resistance
  • Societies
  • Temporal dynamics
  • Variability

Cite this

Whitfield, Stephen ; Beauchamp, Emilie ; Boyd, Doreen ; Burslem, David ; Byg, Anja ; Colledge, Francis ; Cutler, Mark ; Didena, Mengistu ; Dougill, Andrew ; Foody, Giles ; Godbold, Jasmin ; Hazenbosch, Mirjam ; Hirons, Mark ; Speranza, Chinwe ; Jew, Eleanor ; Lacambra, Carmen ; Mkwambisi, David ; Moges, Awdenegest ; Morel, Alexandra ; Morris, Rebecca ; Novo, P ; Rueda, Mario ; Smith, Harriet ; Solan, Martin ; Spencer, Thomas ; Thornton, Ann ; Touza, Julia ; White, Piran. / Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the Tropics. In: Global Environmental Change. 2019 ; Vol. 55. pp. 1-14.
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abstract = "In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Ni{\~n}o, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Ni{\~n}o event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.",
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Whitfield, S, Beauchamp, E, Boyd, D, Burslem, D, Byg, A, Colledge, F, Cutler, M, Didena, M, Dougill, A, Foody, G, Godbold, J, Hazenbosch, M, Hirons, M, Speranza, C, Jew, E, Lacambra, C, Mkwambisi, D, Moges, A, Morel, A, Morris, R, Novo, P, Rueda, M, Smith, H, Solan, M, Spencer, T, Thornton, A, Touza, J & White, P 2019, 'Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the Tropics', Global Environmental Change, vol. 55, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004

Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the Tropics. / Whitfield, Stephen; Beauchamp, Emilie; Boyd, Doreen; Burslem, David; Byg, Anja; Colledge, Francis; Cutler, Mark; Didena, Mengistu; Dougill, Andrew; Foody, Giles; Godbold, Jasmin; Hazenbosch, Mirjam; Hirons, Mark; Speranza, Chinwe; Jew, Eleanor; Lacambra, Carmen; Mkwambisi, David; Moges, Awdenegest; Morel, Alexandra; Morris, Rebecca; Novo, P; Rueda, Mario; Smith, Harriet; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Thomas; Thornton, Ann; Touza, Julia; White, Piran.

In: Global Environmental Change, Vol. 55, 01.03.2019, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the Tropics

AU - Whitfield, Stephen

AU - Beauchamp, Emilie

AU - Boyd, Doreen

AU - Burslem, David

AU - Byg, Anja

AU - Colledge, Francis

AU - Cutler, Mark

AU - Didena, Mengistu

AU - Dougill, Andrew

AU - Foody, Giles

AU - Godbold, Jasmin

AU - Hazenbosch, Mirjam

AU - Hirons, Mark

AU - Speranza, Chinwe

AU - Jew, Eleanor

AU - Lacambra, Carmen

AU - Mkwambisi, David

AU - Moges, Awdenegest

AU - Morel, Alexandra

AU - Morris, Rebecca

AU - Novo, P

AU - Rueda, Mario

AU - Smith, Harriet

AU - Solan, Martin

AU - Spencer, Thomas

AU - Thornton, Ann

AU - Touza, Julia

AU - White, Piran

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

AB - In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

KW - Climate change

KW - Ecosystems

KW - Perturbations

KW - Resistance

KW - Societies

KW - Temporal dynamics

KW - Variability

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/exploring-temporality-socioecological-resilience-through-experiences-201516-el-ni%C3%B1o-across-tropics

U2 - 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004

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SP - 1

EP - 14

JO - Global Environmental Change

JF - Global Environmental Change

SN - 0959-3780

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