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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Caribbean
  • paleotempestology
  • archaeology
  • Cuba
  • ecological knowledge
  • disaster management

Index Terms

  • 1637 Global Change: Regional climate change
  • 0468 Biogeosciences: Natural hazards
  • 1616 Global Change: Climate variability
  • 3344 Atmospheric Processes: Paleoclimatology



Building Resilience in Island Communities: A Paleotempestological Perspective

J. Cooper

A review of past hurricane activity over the past 8000 years in the Caribbean has been correlated with a comparative study of changing settlement locations, food procurement strategies, and household architecture traditions over time. The framework for human decision making is evaluated, and the multitemporal and multispatial complexity of social change is put into a regional context. This study highlights the conceptual friction between linking thresholds in climate change, tipping points of sudden environmental change, and divergent pathways through societal progression. The relative resilience of different community lifeways is assessed in light of known climatic and environmental hazards in the region, and key lessons about threat and mitigation are learned that have important implications for modern-day communities living in the Caribbean.

Citation: Cooper, J. (2012), Building resilience in island communities: A paleotempestological perspective, in Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 198, edited by L. Giosan et al., 43–49, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2012GM001212.

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