NCEAS Project 12259

Integrated history and future of people on Earth (IHOPE): Building a community data base and testing the resilience - sustainability hypothesis across scales

  • Robert Costanza
  • Lisa J. Graumlich
  • Sander E. van der Leeuw

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group10th—13th November 2008Participant List  
Working Group23rd—26th September 2009Participant List  
Working Group15th—18th September 2010Participant List  

Abstract
Understanding the reasons for the emergence, sustainability, decline, or collapse of human societies is a key prerequisite for creating a sustainable and desirable future. A central hypothesis is that the probability of societal collapse, or failure increases with loss of resilience in social-ecological systems. The proposed working group will assemble integrated environmental and human historical data at the global scale for comparative analysis and for a few key case study areas for dynamic analysis in order to help build this understanding. We will develop criteria for integrating and analyzing disparate data across scales and disciplines. Key lessons from an ongoing project titled “Integrated Research Information System (IRIS)” using the ARCHAEOMEDES dataset from southern Europe (van der Leeuw, 1998, 2005) will be incorporated. A key component of this activity will be developing better ways to integrate and visualize data from the broad range of relevant sources (i.e. from historical narratives to ice cores) and with a broad range of spatial and temporal resolution and quality. In assembling the integrated data base the working group will also develop meta-variables and indices that can serve as proxies for environmental predictability and system resilience. We can then test the ability of various proxies of system resilience to explain sustainability or breakdown of social structures, relative to alternative hypotheses. A range of modeling approaches will be applied to the problem.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Cornell, Sarah; Costanza, Robert; Sorlin, Sverker; van der Leeuw, Sander E. 2010. Developing a systematic 'science of the past' to create our future. Global Environmental Change. Vol: 20. Pages 426-427.
Report or White Paper Costanza, Robert; van der Leeuw, Sander E.; Hibbard, Kathy A.; Aulenbach, Steve; Brewer, Simon; Burek, Michael; Cornell, Sarah; Crumley, Carole; Dearing, John; Folke, Carl; Graumlich, Lisa J.; Hegmon, Michelle; Heckbert, Scott; Jackson, Stephen; Kubiszewski, Ida; Scarborough, Vernon; Sinclair, Paul; Sorlin, Sverker; Steffen, Will. 2010. Developing an integrated history and future of people on Earth (IHOPE): Research Plan. Pages 1-40.
Journal Article Costanza, Robert; van der Leeuw, Sander E.; Hibbard, Kathy A.; Aulenbach, Steve; Brewer, Simon; Burek, Michael; Cornell, Sarah; Crumley, Carole; Dearing, John; Folke, Carl; Graumlich, Lisa J.; Hegmon, Michelle; Heckbert, Scott; Jackson, Stephen; Kubiszewski, Ida; Scarborough, Vernon; Sinclair, Paul; Sorlin, Sverker; Steffen, Will. 2012. Developing an integrated history and future of people on earth (IHOPE). Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. Vol: 4. Pages 106-114.
Journal Article Kubiszewski, Ida; Cleveland, Cutler. 2007. The encyclopedia of earth. D-Lib Magazine. Vol: 13(7/8).
Journal Article van der Leeuw, Sander E.; Costanza, Robert; Aulenbach, Steve; Brewer, Simon; Burek, Michael; Cornell, Sarah; Crumley, Carole; Dearing, John; Downy, Catherine; Graumlich, Lisa J.; Heckbert, Scott; Hegmon, Michelle; Hibbard, Kathy A.; Jackson, Stephen; Kubiszewski, Ida; Sinclair, Paul; Sorlin, Sverker; Steffen, Will. 2011. Toward an integrated history to guide the future. Ecology and Society. Vol: 16(4). Pages art2-art2. (Online version)