Climate challenges, vulnerabilities, and food security

Margaret C Nelson, Scott E. Ingram, Andrew J. Dugmore, Richard Thomas Streeter, Matthew A. Peeples, Thomas H McGovern, Michelle Hegmon, Jette Arneborg, Keith W Kintigh, Seth Brewington, Katherine A Spielmann, Ian A Simpson, Colleen Strawhacker, Laura E L Comeau, Andrea Torvinen, Christian K Madsen, George Hambrecht, Konrad Smiarowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


This paper identifies rare climate challenges in the long-term history of seven areas, three in the subpolar North Atlantic Islands and four in the arid-to-semiarid deserts of the US Southwest. For each case, the vulnerability to food shortage before the climate challenge is quantified based on eight variables encompassing both environmental and social domains. These data are used to evaluate the relationship between the "weight" of vulnerability before a climate challenge and the nature of social change and food security following a challenge. The outcome of this work is directly applicable to debates about disaster management policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-303
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
Early online date28 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016


  • Vulnerability
  • Climate change
  • Disaster management
  • Prehistory
  • History


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