Seasonal Variability: Impacts, Adaptations and the Sustainability Challenge

Pardoe, Joanna, Kloos, Julia and Assogba, Noël P., "Seasonal Variability: Impacts, Adaptations and the Sustainability Challenge" in Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability in Rural West Africa ed. Yaro, Joseph Awetori and Hesselberg, Jan (Geneva: Springer International Publishing, 2016), 41-57.

Document type:
Book Chapter

  • Author Pardoe, Joanna
    Kloos, Julia
    Assogba, Noël P.
    Book Editor Yaro, Joseph Awetori
    Hesselberg, Jan
    Chapter Title Seasonal Variability: Impacts, Adaptations and the Sustainability Challenge
    Book Title Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability in Rural West Africa
    Publication Date 2016-04-13
    Place of Publication Geneva
    Publisher Springer International Publishing
    Start page 41
    End page 57
    Language eng
    Abstract The reality of having to live with some degree of anthropogenic global warming provides a strong impetus for the development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. Humans are credited with the ability to foresee and thus to selectively introduce adaptation strategies in anticipation of and response to the challenges of global warming (Gallopín in Glob Environ Change 16(3):293–303, 2006; Gunderson in Ecol Soc 15(2):1–11, 2010). However, these strategies of deliberate change have to be considered in the context of closely coupled social-ecological systems (SES). Adaptations introduced must therefore be compatible with the social-ecological system in its entirety (Berkes et al. in Navigating social-ecological systems. Building resilience for complexity and change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003) and that requires a holistic, systems approach. Using two case studies from West Africa, this chapter presents examples of prominent adaptation strategies that have been introduced in an attempt to adjust to the already evolving climatic conditions. However, through these examples, this chapter demonstrates that a lack of whole systems thinking is at the heart of the limited sustainability of promising strategies. The chapter will examine where the obstacles to sustained implementation arise, concluding with recommendations to address the limitations. To examine limitations to adaptation in the case study communities, this chapter will aim to answer the following three key questions: 1. What are the impacts of climatic variability, changing rainfall patterns and natural hazards such as floods, dry spells and droughts on rural livelihoods? 2. Which adaptation strategies have been introduced to or evolved within the case study areas in order to respond to climate changes? 3. What limitations and barriers restrict sustained adaptation in promising strategies?
    Keyword Seasonal variability
    Climate change adaptation
    Copyright Holder Springer International Publishing Switzerland
    Copyright Year 2016
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9783319314976
    DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-31499-0
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    Created: Mon, 02 May 2016, 23:45:39 JST