Jon Barnett

Jon Barnett
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of Geography Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

PhD, Australian National University

About

156
Publications
149,195
Reads
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11,343
Citations
Introduction
Jon Barnett currently works at the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Additional affiliations
January 2002 - October 2015
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (156)
Article
Atoll societies have adapted their environments and social systems for thousands of years, but the rapid pace of climate change may bring conditions that exceed their adaptive capacities. There is growing interest in the use of ‘nature-based solutions' to facilitate the continuation of dignified and meaningful lives on atolls through a changing cli...
Article
This progress report reviews research on climate change adaptation through a political economy lens, explaining the way ideas, institutions and interests enable diverse forms of adaptation practice. It reviews research on community-based adaptation, and spatial planning and investments in capital works for the purposes of adaptation. The analysis e...
Article
Sinking atolls are an enduring symbol of the power of climate change to destroy inhabited places. Climate impact science and the media share a panoptic gaze on atoll islands seeing them as being small, inert and passive in the face of rising seas. The focus in these accounts is on the power of water as the agent of destruction, while the agency of...
Article
A R T I C L E I N F O Keywords: Colonialism Historical institutionalism Marine spatial planning Reformasi Sustainability A B S T R A C T Creating more sustainable forms of marine governance is a matter of path creation, and as such is constrained by the historical evolution of institutions. Yet knowledge of the path dependence of contemporary marin...
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Adaptation to climate change is inescapably influenced by processes of social identity – how people perceive themselves, others, and their place in the world around them. Yet there is sparse evidence into the specific ways in which identity processes shape adaptation planning and responses. This paper proposes three key ways to understand the relat...
Article
Research shows that community-based adaptation (CBA) can empower grassroots agents to determine their preferred responses to climate change. After two decades of practice, recent analysis is highlighting that CBA has its limits, which we argue is in part because it is predicated on an idea of ‘the communal’ as being local, static, and spatially dis...
Article
Little is known in the international academic community about Chinese‐language research on water management. To remedy this deficit, this paper reviews current mainland Chinese understandings of the role of large‐scale water infrastructures as tools of water resources management. We reviewed 461 papers published in mainland Chinese journals by Chin...
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Market intermediaries play a crucial role in stitching together necessary actors for effective systems of exchange. However, there is limited understanding of how intermediaries emerge, and contribute to, water market development. This article explains how the China Water Exchange, the country’s first and only national-level water trading platform,...
Article
Environmental peacebuilding is the integration of natural resource management into conflict prevention, resolution and recovery so as to support peace and environmental sustainability. Most studies have been of cases where there is significant involvement of external (usually international) actors. They thus provide implicit support for liberal pea...
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Research on social vulnerability and adaptation to climate change assumes that increasing amounts of adaptive capacity increase the likelihood of actions to adapt to climate change. We test this assumption as it applies at the scale of households, through a study of the relationship between adaptive capacity and household actions to adapt to wildfi...
Article
Background Climate change is anticipated to have profound effects on mental health, particularly among populations that are simultaneously ecologically and economically vulnerable to its impacts. Various pathways through which climate change can impact mental health have been theorised, but the impacts themselves remain understudied. Purpose In th...
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Trust is generally assumed to be an essential precondition for effective water resource management. However, there is piecemeal evidence about the extent to which trust matters for water management and the conditions under which it is more or less important. Moreover, most evidence comes from research in a small number of liberal-democracies. We se...
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Though rarely described as such, vulnerability to climate change is fundamentally a matter of political economy. This progress report provides a reading of contemporary research on vulnerability to climate change through a political economic lens. It interprets the research as explaining the interplay between ideas about vulnerability, the institut...
Article
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The unprecedented global heatwave of 2014–2017 was a defining event for many ecosystems. Widespread degradation caused by coral bleaching, for example, highlighted the vulnerability of hundreds of millions of people dependent on reefs for their livelihoods, well-being, and food security. Scientists and policy makers are now reassessing long-held as...
Chapter
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Climate change poses diverse risks to the food security of individuals and communities in small Pacific Island states and offers a challenge to human rights. Climate change is likely to emphasize contemporary environmental trends and problems, ranging from land degradation, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, to coastal erosion and the poll...
Article
State/market interactions in water governance have long been interpreted in terms of the contradiction between water as a commons and water as a commodity. Recent challenges to this dichotomisation claim that it cannot provide a useful lens through which to interpret the complexity of water resources and their management. This paper provides eviden...
Article
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are the preferred tool for preventing marine biodiversity loss, as reflected in international protected area targets. Although the area covered by MPAs is expanding, there is a concern that opposition from resource users is driving them into already low-use locations, whereas high-pressure areas remain unprotected, whi...
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Shanghai is experiencing drinking water supply problems that are caused by heavy pollution of its raw water supply, deficiencies in its treatment processes, and water quality deterioration in the distribution system. However, little attention has been paid these problems of water quality in raw water, water treatment, and household drinking water....
Article
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China's South–North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) is a vast and still expanding network of infrastructure and institutions that moves water from the Yangtze River and its tributaries to cities in North China. This article aims to assess the SNWTP's impacts by beginning to answer seven questions about the project: How is the management of the SNWTP...
Preprint
Shanghai is experiencing water supply problems caused by heavy pollution of its raw water supply, deficiencies in its treatment processes and water quality deteoriation in the distribution system. However, little attention has been paid these problems of water quality in raw water, water treatment and household drinking water. Based on water qualit...
Article
An approach that tackles the underlying causes of coral-reef decline could be applied to other habitats, argue Tiffany H. Morrison, Terry P. Hughes and colleagues. An approach that tackles the underlying causes of coral-reef decline could be applied to other habitats, argue Tiffany H. Morrison, Terry P. Hughes and colleagues. Turtle swimming over b...
Chapter
This chapter examines the concept of environmental security, focusing on how it has both broadened and deepened the issue of security. It first traces the origins of environmental security, showing that it is the product of a merger of international environmental agreements, efforts by the peace movement to contest the meaning and practice of secur...
Article
China has initiated a new environmental strategy for delimiting “ecological red lines (ERL)” to balance economic growth and ecological and environmental protection in the country. This study uses the Yangtze River Economic Belt as a case study to illustrate the strategy and address the challenges of the implementation of this strategy. The paper id...
Article
Research on environmental change has often focused on changes in population as a significant driver of unsustainability and environmental degradation. Demographic pessimism and limited engagement with demographic realities underpin many arguments concerning limits to growth, environmental refugees, and environment-related conflicts. Re-engagement b...
Article
This report uses a critique of the ontology of research on climate change and armed conflict to advance a positive and performative account of the ways in which peace could be sustained and expanded through a changing climate. Focussing on research into the relationships between climate change and armed conflict and peace, it argues that recent deb...
Article
A social practice approach to household consumption examines socially produced patterns of practice, and understands these to be composed of technology, knowledge and meaning. This approach challenges many of the assumptions made about how consumers who are supposedly economically rational behave in large-scale municipal water supply systems. Yet f...
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Human mobility over different distances and time scales has long been associated with environmental change, and the idea of climate change is now affecting movement in new ways. In this paper, we discuss three cases from the South Pacific to explain the ways anticipated climate futures are changing mobility in the present. First, we examine village...
Article
We clarify three arguments regarding our study (Adams et al. 2018 in Nature Climate Change 8). Sampling bias is a serious issue in climate-conflict research. Criticizing the research field should not be conflated with a critique of individual studies. The sampling biases we uncover pose a problem for sustainable development and climate adaptation.
Article
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Critics have argued that the evidence of an association between climate change and conflict is flawed because the research relies on a dependent variable sampling strategy1–4. Similarly, it has been hypothesized that convenience of access biases the sample of cases studied (the ‘streetlight effect’⁵). This also gives rise to claims that the climate...
Article
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Trust in natural resource managers and planners is recognized as a crucial component of the public’s perception of environmental risks, including the risk of consuming water in cities. Although China is famous for its dubious water quality, public perception of the performance of water suppliers in China has scarcely been considered. Yet this is im...
Article
A key criterion of successful adaptation to climate change is that it avoids potential inequalities arising from climate impacts or from adaptation strategies themselves. Recent research on adaptation in developing and developed countries argues that the measures of such fairness cannot be captured by standard metrics of vulnerability and should be...
Article
While there is a growing literature on the institutional and scalar aspects of governance for adaptation, there remain very few studies that seek to explain how the public imagines the governance of adaptation across scales. Knowing public imaginaries of adaptation governance is important for the legitimacy and efficacy of adaptation processes. In...
Article
Please find the full article through the link: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/SQvCbjZZuHXJEIr59gxb/full It is commonly understood that political trust reduces public perceptions of various kinds of risk. However, this knowledge largely comes from research conducted in liberal democratic states, and so may have little explanatory power in China....
Article
In the past 15 years there has been rapid growth in research on adaptive capacity. This article critically reviews this literature, describing changes in the field over time, and highlighting the new frontiers in research. It explains how research on adaptive capacity began and remains heavily influenced by a one-size-fits-all assets-based theory t...
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Many of the world’s major cities are expected to face significant water shortages in coming decades, largely due to increased demand arising from economic and population growth. In this paper, we estimate the effects of economic and population growth on future public water needs in Shanghai, one of the world’s megacities. Despite significant invest...
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Many of the world’s major cities are expected to face significant water shortages in coming decades, largely due to increased demand arising from economic and population growth. In this paper, we estimate the effects of economic and population growth on future public water needs in Shanghai, one of the world’s megacities. Despite significant invest...
Article
The idea that climate change may cause the loss of atoll countries is now taken for granted in much of climate change science, policy and media coverage. This normalisation of loss means atoll countries now face a future that is apparently finite, which is a grievous situation no other country has to contend with. This paper explains the dilemmas t...
Article
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is seeking to prepare for losses arising from climate change. This is an emerging issue that challenges climate science and policy to engage more deeply with values, places, and people’s experiences. We first provide insight into the UNFCCC framing of loss and damage and current app...
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Avoiding losses from climate change requires socially engaged research that explains what people value highly, how climate change imperils these phenomena, and strategies for embracing and managing grief.
Article
Governmentality is a way of thinking about dispersed practices of governing, including attempts to render space governable. China's South–North Water Transfer (SNWT) project, the world's largest interbasin water transfer project, is a programme of government that attempts to render the distribution of water across space more governable and administ...
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Adaptation, as a strategy to respond to climate change, has limits: there are conditions under which adaptation strategies fail to alleviate impacts from climate change. Research has primarily focused on identifying absolute bio-physical limits. This paper contributes empirical insight to an emerging literature on the social limits to adaptation. S...
Data
List of organisations invited to participate in this research. Respondents either attended a workshop in Townsville on 25th March 2011 or Cairns on 01 April 2011, or were interviewed before the end of April 2011. (DOCX)
Chapter
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Small island developing states (SIDS) are often described as ‘vulnerable’ to large-scale economic and environmental forces, explained as a function of their geography and size which is said to make them highly exposed and sensitive to these exogenous stressors, and with little capacity to respond. However, this application of standard development t...
Article
Better local water management is the way to keep pace with escalating demands, not pumping water across the country, warn Jon Barnett and colleagues.
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This paper assesses the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam, the South–North Water Transfer Project and other water abstractions on the probability of long-duration salt intrusions into the Yangtze River estuary. Studies of in- trusions of saltwater into estuaries are typically constrained by both the short duration of discharge records and the paucity...
Article
Research on the barriers and limits to climate change adaptation identifies many factors, but describes few processes whereby adaptation is constrained or may indeed fail to avoid catastrophic losses. It often assumes that barriers are by and large distinct from limits to adaptation. We respond to recent calls for comparative studies that are able...
Article
Shanghai is located on the world’s third largest river (by volume). Yet it faces the risk of shortages of drinking water. Many decisions and environmental characteristics have contributed to this threat. First, Shanghai has become dependent on water brought into the municipality by rivers. Second, it has become increasingly reliant on water from th...
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Studies of intrusions of salt water into estuaries are typically constrained by both the short duration of discharge records and the paucity of observations of discharge and salinity. Thus studies of intrusions of salt water into estuaries typically seek to identify the conditions under which intrusions occur, using detailed observations for period...
Article
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Local residents, businesspeople, and policymakers engaged in climate change adaptation often think differently of the time available for action. Their understandings of time, and their practices that invoke time, form the complex and sometimes conflicting temporalities of adaptation to environmental change. They link the conditions of the past to t...
Book
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) research program was constructed around groups of sectors, namely: marine biodiversity and resources; terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity; primary industries; human health. A notable feature of the research program was the involvement of end-users. As emphasized by the title of t...
Chapter
This chapter seeks to draw together the overarching themes from the contributions to this book, and does so through the development of four arguments. The first argument is that the Australian experience with adaptation policy and research is of global relevance. The second argument is that adaptation to climate change is not happening, even if one...
Chapter
As adaptation theory and practice evolve it is becoming clear that a key barrier to adaptation is a lack of clarity, at all scales, on the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government, public and private institutions and individuals. This chapter reports some key findings of a project that investigated community preferences for the...
Chapter
Adaptation to climate change is work in progress. The focus of much adaptation research, policy, and practice is on reducing the “adaptation deficit” of the highly vulnerable in the developing world (Moser and Ekstrom 2010). Nevertheless, developed countries, although assumed to have a high adaptive capacity, are still evolving the institutions to...
Article
Understanding the values and socio-economic characteristics of people at risk from climate change will inform how people feel about the likely distribution of impacts, as well as adaptation responses. This knowledge is necessary if adaptation is to achieve distributive fairness now and into the future. This study advances methods and analyses used...
Chapter
This chapter explores six case studies of climate change impacts in Australia, the scope and opportunity for adaptation, the possibility that limits to adaptation exist and their nature and causes. It reports on a series of six linked research projects which investigated the possibilities of, and limits to, adaptation. The six case studies were sel...
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Local governments are not adapting to sea-level rise because it is difficult to build consensus on the need for change and the best way to implement it. In theory, adaptation pathways can resolve this impasse. Adaptation pathways are a sequence of linked strategies that are triggered by a change in environmental conditions, and in which initial dec...
Article
Adjustment to predicted environmental change in a place requires people in that place to consider short- and long-term futures there. These futures are imagined with reference to pasts and presents, remembered and lived. This paper presents the stories relating possible futures to pasts and presents of residents in tiny, low-lying coastal communiti...
Article
Sea-level rise poses major challenges to coastal land uses, and therefore to urban planning processes. In theory, if done well, urban planning can lead to responses to sea-level rise that are socially and environmentally sustainable. In practice, urban planning processes may fall short of this ideal. We use multiple methods to describe and analyse...
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Barriers to adaptation have emerged as key concerns in climate change theory and practice, however there remains little consensus about which barriers are the most significant to different groups and how competing concerns may be addressed. We investigate the significance of different barriers to adaptation for governments, the private sector, and...
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Arguments that fairness should be a guiding principle of climate change adaptation have been primarily concerned with distributive and procedural aspects of fairness, with far less attention paid to the temporal, spatial and interactional dimensions of fairness. This paper presents the results of a study that sought to understand the multiple dimen...
Chapter
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Human interference with the climate system is occurring. [WGI AR5 2.2, 6.3, 10.3-6, 10.9] Climate change poses risks for human and natural systems (Figure TS.1). The assessment of impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) evaluates how patterns of risks and potential...
Article
Next year Global Environmental Change will have been in existence for 25 years. This year sees a major change in the journal's editors, as Neil Adger and Kate Brown depart after a decade of leadership. As of January, four individuals have joined Declan Conway (London School of Economics, UK) as the new editorial team: Jon Barnett (University of Mel...
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There are diverse linkages between climate change and security including risks of conflict, national security concerns, critical national infrastructure, geo-political rivalries and threats to human security. We review analysis of these domains from primary research and from policy prescriptive and advocacy sources. We conclude that much analysis o...
Chapter
Climate change-induced sea-level rise, sea-surface warming, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events puts the long-term ability of humans to inhabit atolls at risk. We argue that this risk constitutes a dangerous level of climatic change to atoll countries by potentially undermining their national sovereignty. We outline the...
Chapter
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Definition and Scope of Human Security There are many definitions of human security, which vary according to discipline. This chapter defines human security, in the context of climate change, as a condition that exists when the vital core of human lives is protected, and when people have the freedom and capacity to live with dignity. In this assess...
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This article reviews research on global environmental change and human security, providing retrospective and tentative prospective views of this field. It explains the roles that the concept of human security has played in research on environmental change, as well as the knowledge that it has contributed. It then discusses the Global Environmental...