How are climate and other environmental changes affecting the vulnerabilities of coupled human-environment systems?

“The biophysical changes unfolding across Earth’s surface are of increasing concern. Yet earth systems have always been changing and life has survived many environmental perturbations, a reflection of both biological adaptation and human ingenuity. It is thus important to view current biophysical changes not so much as raising issues of survival, as of creating differential vulnerabilities. Which life-forms are likely to be most exposed to, and negatively affected by, environmental changes? Are there significant socioeconomic changes unfolding alongside environmental changes that could leave some people or ecosystems with much greater exposure to risk? In such cases, will vulnerabilities associated with socioeconomic changes likely amplify or attenuate the impacts of environmental changes? Do some people or environments cope better with the impacts of changing circumstances than others?” (NRC 2010, p.41)

distress (synonyms - anxiety, commotion, confusion, disorder, disruption, and disturbance)

NPR report

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9162438

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