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Tipping from the Holocene to the Anthropocene: How threatened are major worl deltas?

Renaud, Fabrice and Syvitski, James and Sebesvari, Zita and Werners, Saski and Kremer, Hartwig and Künzer, Claudia and Ramesh, Ramachandran and Jeuken, Ad and Friedrich, Jana (2013) Tipping from the Holocene to the Anthropocene: How threatened are major worl deltas? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5 (6), pp. 644-654. Elsevier. ISSN 1877-3435

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343513001553

Abstract

Coastal deltas are landforms that typically offer a wide variety of benefits to society including highly fertile soils for agricultural development, freshwater resources, and rich biodiversity. For these reasons, many deltas are densely populated, are important economic hubs, and have been transformed by human interventions such as agricultural intensification, modification of water and sediment fluxes, as well as urbanization and industrialization. Additionally, deltas are increasingly affected by the consequences of climate change including sea level rise, and by other natural hazards such as cyclones and storm surges. Five examples of major deltas (Rhine-Meuse, Ganges, Indus, Mekong, and Danube) illustrate the force of human interventions in shaping and transforming deltas and in inducing shifts between four different social-ecological system (SES) states: Holocene, modified Holocene, Anthropocene and ‘collapsed’. The three Asian deltas are rapidly changing but whereas SES in the Ganges and Indus deltas are in danger of tipping into a ‘collapsed’ state, SES in the Mekong delta, which is at the crossroads of various development pathways, could increase in resilience in the future. The Rhine-Meuse and Danube delta examples show that highly managed states may allow, under specific conditions, for interventions leading to increasingly resilient systems. However, little is known about the long-term effects of rapid human interventions in deltas. It is therefore critical to increase the knowledge-base related to SES dynamics and to better characterize social tipping points or turning points in order to avoid unacceptable changes.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/87116/
Document Type:Article
Title:Tipping from the Holocene to the Anthropocene: How threatened are major worl deltas?
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Renaud, FabriceUNU-EHSUNSPECIFIED
Syvitski, JamesUniversity of ColoradoUNSPECIFIED
Sebesvari, ZitaUNU-EHSUNSPECIFIED
Werners, SaskiWageningen University and Research CenterUNSPECIFIED
Kremer, HartwigHelmholz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materias and Coastal ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Künzer, ClaudiaDLR-DFDUNSPECIFIED
Ramesh, RamachandranNational Centre for Sustainable Coasteal MAnagementUNSPECIFIED
Jeuken, AdDeltaresUNSPECIFIED
Friedrich, JanaHelmholz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materias and Coastal ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Date:2013
Journal or Publication Title:Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:5
Page Range:pp. 644-654
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1877-3435
Status:Published
Keywords:coastal delta; social-ecological system
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Fernerkundung der Landoberfläche (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
Deposited By: Funkenberg, Tim
Deposited On:14 Jan 2014 14:26
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:33

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