School of Earth Sciences - Research Publications

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    Commuter lives: a review symposium on David Bissell's Transit Life
    Latham, A ; Edensor, T ; Hopkins, D ; Fitt, H ; Lobo, M ; Mansvelt, J ; McNeill, D ; Bissell, D (WILEY, 2020-02-01)
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    Mining modification of river systems: A case study from the Australian gold rush
    Davies, P ; Lawrence, S ; Turnbull, J ; Rutherfurd, I ; Grove, J ; Silvester, E ; Macklin, M (WILEY, 2020-04-09)
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    Observed and projected intra-seasonal variability of Australian monsoon rainfall
    Moise, A ; Smith, I ; Brown, JR ; Colman, R ; Narsey, S (Wiley, 2020-03-30)
    Indices derived from daily rainfall time series are used to measure “burst” features of the northern Australia monsoon, corresponding to one or more days of heavy rainfall. These indices include number of burst days, numbers and durations of burst events, and average intensity. The results using observational data show how these features can vary from one year to the next, and how they can vary from the station scale (Darwin) to the regional scale (northern Australia). The results from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate model simulations under both historical and future greenhouse gas conditions have also been analysed and indicate how well models can capture these features and how they might change by the end of the 21st century under a high emissions scenario. While most models provide a reasonable simulation of present‐day burst features, there is little consensus for a significant change to seasonal rainfall totals when looking at the full CMIP5 ensemble. A subset of models with detectable skills with respect to the Madden‐Julian Oscillation shows evidence for an increase in the seasonal total rainfall amount and most other monsoon metrics, except a slight decrease in the number of burst events. This is consistent with a basic thermodynamic response to warming and consistent with findings elsewhere. However, the Australian monsoon is strongly influenced by the large‐scale circulation and there remains some doubt about whether we can confidently diagnose all the changes to monsoon bursts that could occur given the limited ability of many of the current generation of models to simulate tropical cyclones, the Madden‐Julian Oscillation and other relevant features.
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    Contingent communality and community-based adaptation to climate change: Insights from a Pacific rural atoll
    Jarillo, S ; Barnett, J (Elsevier BV, 2021-10)
    Research shows that community-based adaptation (CBA) can empower grassroots agents to determine their preferred responses to climate change. After two decades of practice, recent analysis is highlighting that CBA has its limits, which we argue is in part because it is predicated on an idea of ‘the communal’ as being local, static, and spatially distinct. We investigate the relationship between the nature of community and the successful implementation of CBA through an ethnographic longitudinal study in Namdrik in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We show that the Namdrik community is best understood as a spatially dynamic network of actors whose sense of shared purpose and capacity to act varies over time in response to demographic, economic and political circumstances. These processes at times weaken the shared commitment necessary for collective action on adaptation, especially as the material support and leadership that initiated CBA in Namdrik has waned. In such circumstances, the success of CBA is spatiotemporally contingent, and depends heavily on the persistence of factors that sustain shared commitment to the task, which most often means ongoing financial and technical support for activities and for community leaders.
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    To glove or not to glove? Investigations into the potential contamination from handling of paper-based cultural heritage through forensic fingerprinting approaches.
    van der Pal, KJ ; Popelka-Filcoff, RS ; Smith, GD ; van Bronswijk, W ; Lewis, SW (Elsevier BV, 2021)
    The handling of cultural heritage objects has become a highly debated topic in the last decade. The work and outcomes described in this paper are aimed to provide objective data to assist in making appropriate decisions as to whether or not wearing gloves is appropriate in a given situation. The forensic fingermark development techniques of 1,2-indandione and single metal deposition II were used to investigate the efficacy of handwashing and glove use to improve the information available when deciding whether to use gloves when handling paper objects. It was found that fingermarks did not permeate through polymer glove types but could through cotton gloves. It was also shown that the amounts of observable fingermark residues were greater 5 min after handwashing than if handwashing had not occurred, undermining previous arguments for not wearing gloves if hands could be washed before object handling.
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    Corporate land acquisitions at the intersection of lineage and patronage networks in Cameroon.
    Ndi, F ; Batterbury, S ; Wanki, JE (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
    Despite the proliferation of literature on large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) in Africa, few empirical studies exist on how patronage networks combine with socio-cultural stratification to determine the livelihood outcomes for African agrarian-based communities. This article draws from ethnographic research on Cameroon to contribute to bridging this gap. We argue that lineage and patronage considerations intersect to determine beneficiaries and losers during LSLA. Second, we show that LSLA tend to re-entrench existing inequalities in power relations that exist within communities in favour of people with traceable ancestral lineage. Concomitantly, non-indigenous groups especially migrants, bear the brunt of exclusion and are unfortunately exposed to severe livelihood stresses due to their inability to leverage patronage networks and political power to defend their interests. We submit that empirical examination of the impacts of land acquisitions should consider the centrality of power and patronage networks between indigenes and non-indigenes, and how this socio-cultural dichotomy restricts and/or mediates land acquisition outcomes in Cameroon.
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    Evaluating the association between urban green spaces and subjective well-being in Mexico city during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Mayen Huerta, C ; Utomo, A (Elsevier, 2021-06-15)
    This paper examines the association between the frequency of use of urban green spaces (UGS) and the subjective well-being (SWB) of Mexico City's residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted an online survey (N = 1954) regarding individuals' perceptions and use of UGS and their SWB, evaluated through the short version of the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale. Multilevel mixed-effects regression analyses were performed to investigate the association between the frequency of UGS use and SWB, including individual and municipal level characteristics as covariates. Our results suggest that respondents who used UGS once or more per week during the pandemic reported higher SWB scores (8.7%) than those with zero visits. These findings have public policy implications that could enhance the role of UGS in urban environments during times of crisis.
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    Catalytic potential of pollination services to reconcile conservation and agricultural production: a spatial optimization framework
    Lopez-Cubillos, S ; Runting, RK ; Mayfield, MM ; Mcdonald-Madden, E (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2021-06-01)
    Abstract With a global pollinator crisis brewing, it is urgent that we preserve forests supporting wild bees and the services they provide, even in context where agricultural expansion is unavoidable. Though the maintenance of pollination services are known to be synergistic with biodiversity conservation and agricultural economic development, there are few decision support tools that explicitly show how to balance these competing objectives. We developed a novel, spatially explicit method that includes pollination supply, flow, demand, and benefits into an agricultural expansion context to improve land use decisions for agricultural outcomes that minimize environmental impacts. We provide the first study showing the trade-offs between yields and forest retention that uses all the components of pollination services across five planning scenarios (i.e. (a) baseline, (b) absence of pollinators, (c) pollinators present, (d) pollination and non-aggregated forest, (e) pollination and aggregated forest) using data on coffee from Costa Rica. The scenario that showed the highest trade-offs was when pollination services are considered unimportant, which led to a decrease on average yields (∼−23% compared to baseline), whilst also decimating remaining forest (−100% compared to baseline). Better forest retention was achieved in a scenario where pollination services were considered and more forest aggregation was required. In this case, total production incremented by ∼29% while ∼74% of forest patches were preserved. The flexibility of our framework allows adaptation to any crop that benefit from pollination services in different landscape contexts.
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