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

Stephen Whitfield (Lead / Corresponding author), Emilie Beauchamp, Doreen S. Boyd, David Burslem, Anja Byg, Francis Colledge, Mark Cutler, Mengitsu Didena, Andrew Dougill, Giles Foody, Jasmin A. Godbold, Mirjam Hazenbosch, Mark Hirons, Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Eleanor Jew, Carmen Lacambra, David Mkwambisi, Awdenegest Moges, Alexandra Morel, Rebecca Morris & 8 others Paula Novo, Mario Enrique Rueda Hernández, Harriet Smith, Martin Solan, Thomas Spencer, Anne Thornton, Julia Touza, Piran C. L. White

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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 Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socioecological 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 longterm historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lockins 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: Human and Policy Dimensions
Volume55
Early online date23 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

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tropics
resilience
ecological system
climate
learning
fluctuation
experience
ecosystem response
historical perspective
Oceania
event
vulnerability
social learning
trend
income
climate change
low income
ecosystem
determinants
history

Keywords

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

Cite this

Whitfield, Stephen ; Beauchamp, Emilie ; Boyd, Doreen S. ; Burslem, David ; Byg, Anja ; Colledge, Francis ; Cutler, Mark ; Didena, Mengitsu ; Dougill, Andrew ; Foody, Giles ; Godbold, Jasmin A. ; Hazenbosch, Mirjam ; Hirons, Mark ; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika ; Jew, Eleanor ; Lacambra, Carmen ; Mkwambisi, David ; Moges, Awdenegest ; Morel, Alexandra ; Morris, Rebecca ; Novo, Paula ; Hernández, Mario Enrique Rueda ; Smith, Harriet ; Solan, Martin ; Spencer, Thomas ; Thornton, Anne ; Touza, Julia ; White, Piran C. L. / Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics. In: Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions. 2019 ; Vol. 55. pp. 1-14.
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keywords = "Climate change, Ecosystems, Perturbations, Resistance, Societies, Temporal dynamics, Variability",
author = "Stephen Whitfield and Emilie Beauchamp and Boyd, {Doreen S.} and David Burslem and Anja Byg and Francis Colledge and Mark Cutler and Mengitsu Didena and Andrew Dougill and Giles Foody and Godbold, {Jasmin A.} and Mirjam Hazenbosch and Mark Hirons and Speranza, {Chinwe Ifejika} and Eleanor Jew and Carmen Lacambra and David Mkwambisi and Awdenegest Moges and Alexandra Morel and Rebecca Morris and Paula Novo and Hern{\'a}ndez, {Mario Enrique Rueda} and Harriet Smith and Martin Solan and Thomas Spencer and Anne Thornton and Julia Touza and White, {Piran C. L.}",
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Whitfield, S, Beauchamp, E, Boyd, DS, Burslem, D, Byg, A, Colledge, F, Cutler, M, Didena, M, Dougill, A, Foody, G, Godbold, JA, Hazenbosch, M, Hirons, M, Speranza, CI, Jew, E, Lacambra, C, Mkwambisi, D, Moges, A, Morel, A, Morris, R, Novo, P, Hernández, MER, Smith, H, Solan, M, Spencer, T, Thornton, A, Touza, J & White, PCL 2019, 'Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics', Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, 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 (Lead / Corresponding author); Beauchamp, Emilie; Boyd, Doreen S.; Burslem, David; Byg, Anja; Colledge, Francis; Cutler, Mark; Didena, Mengitsu; Dougill, Andrew; Foody, Giles; Godbold, Jasmin A.; Hazenbosch, Mirjam; Hirons, Mark; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika; Jew, Eleanor; Lacambra, Carmen; Mkwambisi, David; Moges, Awdenegest; Morel, Alexandra; Morris, Rebecca; Novo, Paula; Hernández, Mario Enrique Rueda; Smith, Harriet; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Thomas; Thornton, Anne; Touza, Julia; White, Piran C. L.

In: Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions, Vol. 55, 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 S.

AU - Burslem, David

AU - Byg, Anja

AU - Colledge, Francis

AU - Cutler, Mark

AU - Didena, Mengitsu

AU - Dougill, Andrew

AU - Foody, Giles

AU - Godbold, Jasmin A.

AU - Hazenbosch, Mirjam

AU - Hirons, Mark

AU - Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika

AU - Jew, Eleanor

AU - Lacambra, Carmen

AU - Mkwambisi, David

AU - Moges, Awdenegest

AU - Morel, Alexandra

AU - Morris, Rebecca

AU - Novo, Paula

AU - Hernández, Mario Enrique Rueda

AU - Smith, Harriet

AU - Solan, Martin

AU - Spencer, Thomas

AU - Thornton, Anne

AU - Touza, Julia

AU - White, Piran C. L.

PY - 2019/3

Y1 - 2019/3

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KW - Climate change

KW - Ecosystems

KW - Perturbations

KW - Resistance

KW - Societies

KW - Temporal dynamics

KW - Variability

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