Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Geographer calls for complexity in sustainability science models

Date:
February 20, 2011
Source:
Arizona State University
Summary:
Tropical deforestation is intimately linked with urban dynamics and needs to be considered along with the role and effect of national and regional policies on land use decisions, and the dynamics of economic globalization in the next generation of sustainability science research, according to geographers.

“The new challenge that we face in sustainability science is understanding more fully the ties between the socioeconomic factors affecting forest change and the environmental feedbacks from decisions we make,” said B.L. Turner II.
Credit: Photo by Tim Trumble

Tropical deforestation is intimately linked with urban dynamics and needs to be considered along with the role and effect of national and regional policies on land use decisions, and the dynamics of economic globalization in the next generation of sustainability science research, according to an Arizona State University geographer.

Related Articles


"You just can't think of isolated farmers operating out there by themselves. They are linked to whatever are the closest urban areas," noted B.L. Turner II, whose research concentrates on human-environment relationships focusing on land-use change. He addressed change in tropical forests and the challenges that address its complexity at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was one of the presenters in a Feb. 19 session on the research frontiers in sustainability science.

"Today, there is a lot of work on ecosystem services related to forest change, yet there really is a paucity of work that says how those ecosystem services come back and affect human outcomes," said Turner, the Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also is a professor in the School of Sustainability.

"We have a lot of work informing us about the environmental impacts of deforestation, but it doesn't tell us how people react to it and deal with it. We only now are beginning to ask how those environmental services link to farm income. How do those factors link to whether people abandon land and go off someplace else or sell their land rights to a cattle farmer. And, how does all this link to changes in rural-urban ties, policy, and global economy changes," he said.

"It's linking the feedback of environmental changes themselves on decisions to cut forest, or not; to expand agricultural land, or not. It isn't just the amount of forests that's cut or the amount of agricultural land lost. It is the spatial and temporal patterns of them," Turner stressed. "It matters whether people are cutting big chunks of land in a uniform pattern or cutting little chunks of land in an ad hoc random pattern."

Turner argued that "all of this matters to biodiversity and rainfall in the tropics. We have the capacity to account for these consequences if we aim our research that way," he said.

What needs to be done now in sustainability science research, according to Turner, is to create models that are fluid and open to the complex changes we observe, full of feedbacks between people and environment.

"Tropical deforestation still remains very high on the sustainability global change/climate change agenda for a variety of reasons that range from it being the lungs of the planet to housing the most terrestrial biodiversity," Turner said. "The new challenge that we face in sustainability science is understanding more fully the ties between the socioeconomic factors affecting forest change and the environmental feedbacks from decisions we make. We can incorporate these types of dynamics directly into how we understand and forecast what's going to fall, where it's going to fall, and what the implications are."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arizona State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Arizona State University. "Geographer calls for complexity in sustainability science models." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110220193025.htm>.
Arizona State University. (2011, February 20). Geographer calls for complexity in sustainability science models. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110220193025.htm
Arizona State University. "Geographer calls for complexity in sustainability science models." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110220193025.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins