Nick Brooks

Nick Brooks
University of East Anglia | UEA · Climatic Research Unit

PhD, Climatology; BSc, Geophysics

About

75
Publications
79,945
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9,334
Citations
Introduction
My background is in climate science and adaptation. I divide my time between consulting (as Director of Garama 3C Ltd) and research (as a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia). My consultancy work focuses on climate change adaptation, risk assessment, mainstreaming and monitoring and evaluation. I also run training courses on these topics (http://www.garama.co.uk/training/). My research focuses on human-environment interaction in the Mid-Holocene.
Additional affiliations
February 2010 - present
IIED, International Institute for Environment and Development
Position
  • Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development
Description
  • Development of framework for evaluating the success of adaptation interventions, supported by UK Department for International Development (DFID).
September 2009 - present
University of East Anglia
Position
  • Climate Change and International Development
Description
  • Teaching on range if topics related to climate change and adaptation on annual 2-week course for development professionals.
January 2004 - present
Independent Research and with UEA
Position
  • Climate change and social complexity in the Middle Holocene
Description
  • Examining links between environmental change driven by the Middle Holocene climatic transition, and shift towards more complex human societies, focusing on the northern hemisphere sub-tropics.
Education
October 1995 - September 1999
University of East Anglia
Field of study
  • Climatology
October 1989 - June 1993
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Geophysics

Publications

Publications (75)
Method
Full-text available
Seven years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the world has changed dramatically. Yet methods and approaches for evaluating sustainable development interventions have remained largely unchanged. Monitoring, evaluation and learning systems are failing to provide a basis for understanding how future sustainable developme...
Book
Full-text available
Throughout its history, the Sahara has been a stage for human evolution and cultural development, with human habitation, movement and life ways shaped by a dynamic environment of successive phases of relative humidity and aridity driven by wider global climatic changes. Recently, a large body of archaeological and environmental data has been genera...
Article
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This paper critically reviews the outcomes of internationally-funded interventions aimed at climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction. It highlights how some interventions inadvertently reinforce, redistribute or create new sources of vulnerability. Four mechanisms drive these maladaptive outcomes: (i) shallow understanding of the vulne...
Article
Climate change is a real and present threat to heritage across the world. In Europe and North America, research on the impacts of climate change on heritage, including how to mitigate against more frequent extreme weather events and how to implement efficient sustainable adaptation planning, are now key foci of heritage literature. In contrast, vir...
Research
Full-text available
Current trends suggests global warming is likely to exceed 2°C by mid-century. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 deadline for meeting the SDGs provide a framework for adaptation action in the short term, but beyond that, incremental approaches will need to be complemented by transformational adaptation involving the radical restructuring, replacemen...
Article
Adaptation finance addresses the effects of climate variability and change on development and physical insecurity. Yet, adaptation has proven difficult to systematically measure and assess, resulting in a lack of coherent and comparable evidence to learn about good adaptation practice. Measurement has become even more challenging since the integrat...
Chapter
Full-text available
Burials, Migration and Identity in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond - edited by M. C. Gatto February 2019
Book
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Contrary to much perceived wisdom, the Sahara is a rich and varied tapestry of diverse environments that sustain an array of ecosystems. Throughout its history, the Sahara has been the stage for human evolution, with human habitation, movement and life ways shaped by a dynamic environmental of successive phases of relative humidity and aridity driv...
Article
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Climate-related risks to African agriculture are highly contextual. Climatic conditions are changing in diverse agro-ecological environments throughout Africa, and populations are being affected by, and responding to, these changes. The paper describes how climate change risks in African agriculture are mediated by multiple factors, ranging from th...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years the population of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) has been confronted with rapid social, economic, demographic, and political changes. In addition, the region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. However, there is a scarcity of cohesive information on the state of the environment and on the socio-economic situation of the ap...
Article
In recent years the population of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) has been confronted with rapid social, economic, demographic, and political changes. In addition, the region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. However, there is a scarcity of cohesive information on the state of the environment and on the socio-economic situation of the ap...
Article
Full-text available
Liverani Mario (ed.). Nadharif Aghram : The Barkat Oasis (Sha 'Abiya of Ghat, Libyan Sahara) in Garamantian Times (The Archaeology of Libyan Sahara Volume 2; Arid Zone Archaeology Monograph 5). xxxii+520 pages, 302 illustrations, 196 tables, 16 colour plates. 2005. Firenze: All'Insegna del Giglio; 88-7814-471-1 paperback. - Volume 81 Issue 314 - Ni...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the possible links between rapid climate change (RCC) and social change in the Near East and surrounding regions (Anatolia, central Syria, southern Israel, Mesopotamia, Cyprus and eastern and central Sahara) during the ‘long’ 4th millennium (~4500e3000) BC. Twenty terrestrial and 20 marine climate proxies are used to identify lo...
Book
Full-text available
Tracking adaptation and measuring development (TAMD) is a conceptual framework to monitor and evaluate climate change adaptation. This manual seeks to guide local actors in governments, NGOs and communities to use TAMD in local planning. TAMD evaluates adaptation success as a combination of how well institutions manage climate risks and how success...
Book
Full-text available
Tracking adaptation and measuring development (TAMD) is a conceptual framework to monitor and evaluate climate change adaptation. TAMD can be used by national and local governments, or within a programme or project to assess both institutional climate risk management (CRM) and adaptation and development outcomes. It is designed to promote thinking...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Methodologies for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of adaptation are being developed and tested in a variety of programmes, government systems and climate finance institutions. They face a number of challenges, including: the potentially long timescales over which climate change and adaptation responses may emerge; the lack of clear metrics and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Adaptation is increasingly heralded as the means to securing development in the face of climate change. But how can we be sure that it is effective? One option is to use a range of ‘wellbeing indicators’ alongside climate information to monitor and evaluate adaptation over the short and long term. Wellbeing indicators overlap to a large extent with...
Chapter
In recent years the population of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) has been confronted with rapid social, economic, demographic, and political changes. In addition, the region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. However, there is a scarcity of cohesive information on the state of the environment and on the socioeconomic situation of the app...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines the steps needed to apply the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) framework, providing practical guidance on how to put the concepts outlined in IIED Climate Change Working Paper no. 1 (Brooks et al., 2011) into operation. In its simplest form, the TAMD framework assesses how climate risk management intervention...
Article
Full-text available
The twenty-first century is likely to be characterised by large changes in regional climatic and environmental conditions, with implications for the availability and distribution of key resources such as water and productive land. While the implications of such changes for human societies are potentially profound, the empirical evidence base for und...
Article
Full-text available
Executive Summary THE SCALE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION investments demands robust assessments of the expected and actual returns. We need to know how effectively adaptation keeps development on track and equally importantly how equitably adaptation costs and benefits are distributed. Adaptation initiatives may be placed into three broad categor...
Chapter
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The study of past climatic and environmental changes and human responses to such changes is increasingly relevant today, as societies across the world begin to confront anthropogenic climate change resulting principally from the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting emission of greenhouse gases (Raupach et al. 2007; Somerville et al. 2007). Whi...
Article
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Western Sahara has one of the last remaining unexplored prehistories on the planet. The new research reported here reveals a sequence of Holocene occupation beginning in a humid period around 9000 bp, superceded around 5000 bp by an arid phase in which the land was mainly given over to pastoralism and monumental burial. The authors summarise the fl...
Article
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Climate change poses a challenge to the dominant development paradigm with its concepts of modernisation, economic growth and globalisation which treat the environment as an externality and largely ignore climate variability. This article explores the extent of the challenge, drawing on archaeological evidence showing that adaptation to severe clim...
Article
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The first complex, highly organised, state-level societies emerged in the Afro-Asiatic monsoon belt and northern South America during the 6th and early 5th millennia BP. This was a period of profound climatic and environmental change in these regions and globally, characterised by a weakening of the global monsoon system and widespread aridificatio...
Article
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This paper synthesises the findings of three seasons of fieldwork in Western Sahara, focusing on the funerary and related archaeology of the Polisario-controlled «Free Zone». Building on the results of a reconnaissance survey in the Northern Sector of the Free Zone in 2002, new findings from a reconnaissance survey in the Southern Sector are presen...
Article
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Since iron is an important micronutrient, deposition of iron in mineral aerosols can impact the carbon cycle and atmospheric CO2. This paper reviews our current understanding of the global dust cycle and identifies future research needs. The global distribution of desert dust is estimated from a combination of observations of dust from in situ conc...
Article
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The Sahara is a key region for studies of archaeology, human-environment interaction, global biogeochemical cycles, and global climate change. With a few notable exceptions, the region is the subject of very little international scientific research, a fact that is remarkable given the Sahara's proximity to Europe, the developmental issues facing it...
Article
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Little archaeological research has been conducted in Western Sahara as a result of the territorial conflict between Morocco, which occupies some 80 per cent of the territory, and the Frente Polisario independence movement, which administers the remainder of the territory from the Saharawi refugee camps in southwestern Algeria. While some archaeolog...
Article
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We present a set of indicators of vulnerability and capacity to adapt to climate variability, and by extension climate change, derived using a novel empirical analysis of data aggregated at the national level on a decadal timescale. The analysis is based on a conceptual framework in which risk is viewed in terms of outcome, and is a function of phy...
Article
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The environmental conditions of Earth, including the climate, are determined by physical, chemical, biological, and human interactions that transform and transport materials and energy. This is the "Earth system": a highly complex entity characterized by multiple nonlinear responses and thresholds, with linkages between disparate components. One im...
Article
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The African Sahel experienced a prolonged dry episode in the latter decades of the twentieth century, characterised by years in which annual rainfall totals were consistently below the long term mean for the century, and punctuated by years of severe drought. Since the late 1990s there has been some amelioration of the regional climate, and in 2003...
Article
Full-text available
Extended Abstract The disputed territory of Western Sahara has long been inaccessible to research as a result of the military and political conflict between Morocco, which occupies some eighty per cent of the territory, and the Frente Polisario, the Algeria-based Western Saharan independence movement. This paper presents the findings of a two-week...
Article
Full-text available
The African Sahel experienced a prolonged dry episode in the latter decades of the twentieth century, characterised by years in which annual rainfall totals were consistently below the long term mean for the century, and punctuated by years of severe drought. Since the late 1990s there has been some amelioration of the regional climate, and in 2003...
Book
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Article
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We use data relating to natural disasters for the assessment of recent historical and current risk associated with climatic variability. Several proxies for risk and vulnerability are developed from the available data and discussed in terms of the meaning and implications of risk proxies. The numbers of people killed and otherwise affected by discr...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to present a tentative conceptual framework for studies of vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change, generally applicable to a wide range of contexts, systems and hazards. Social vulnerability is distinguished from biophysical vulnerability, which is broadly equivalent to the natural hazards concep...
Chapter
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The Infra-Red Difference Dust Index (IDDI) is a new dataset that uses reductions in atmospheric brightness temperature (derived from METEOSAT IR-channel measurements) to map the distribution of mineral aerosols over continental Africa. The IDDI dataset is described, and the IDDI data are used to identify the major African dust sources, located in t...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely accepted within the climate change research community that climate change should be addressed through a combination of mitigation and adaptation. However, within government and society at large the costs of mitigation and adaptation, and consequently the extent to which these strategies should be pursued, are hotly contested. The uncer...
Article
Desert oases are undergoing rapid changes in response to environmental, economic and social pressures. The Wādī al-Hayāt, in the Libyan Fazzān, illustrates these changes and exemplifies some of the processes at work. Human activity in the area is dependent on groundwater extraction. Introduction of mechanical pumps and modern irrigation technology...
Article
Full-text available
The Fezzan Project completed its five-year fieldwork cycle in 2001. The geographical research team located numerous additional palaeolake sites within the Edeyen Ubari, using a combination of Remote Sensing technology and field visits. Additional samples were taken for analysis and dating from many lake edge locations, relating to both the large Pl...
Article
The fourth season of the Fezzan Project continued the interdisciplinary approaches of previous seasons. Geographical and environmental work focused principally in sampling sediments for scientific dating and with integrating ground observation with remote sensing data. Excavations continued at Old Germa, where the site has now reached Garamantian l...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Fazzan has evidence for the previous existence of numerous lakes at various times during the Quaternary period; attesting to periods of decreased aridity. These palaeolakes are of importance for two reasons: firstly they provide a focus for prehistoric human activity and possess a rich archaeological record; and secondly, they provide dateable...
Article
Full-text available
Summary This paper details the results of the first Anglo-Italian geoarchaeological expedition in the "liberated zone" of Western Sahara. In cooperation with the SADR (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), and with the support of the Frente POLISARIO, we surveyed the unoccupied zone of Western Sahara, which until late 1991 was inaccessible as a result...
Article
The Wadi al-Ajal, in the hyper-arid Fezzan region of southern Libya, has been a focus for urban and agricultural development over the past half-century, facilitated by modern irrigation technology. Geoarchaeological studies have demonstrated that groundwater levels have fallen over the latter half of the Holocene at this locality as a lagged respon...
Article
Full-text available
Summary Current development planning and practice relating to climate change focus pragmatically on actions within a fairly narrow range of mitigation and adaptation options and opportunities. Climate change is one component of a complex of factors affecting global futures and ideas of 'development'. Futures studies project enormous changes in tech...
Article
Full-text available
The reasons for the increase in dust event frequency, and the nature of the impact of dust on atmospheric dynamics, has important implications for the attribution of regional environmental change in the Sahel. This paper examines the extent to which summer dust loadings over the Sahel and southern Sahara are associated with variations in the region...
Article
Nick Brooks at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia is responsible for these lecture notes that describe research into sediments of the Fezzan, the former site of lake bodies and associated depositional features. Geomorphologically, content of the site aims to provide a palaeoenvironmental context for archaeolog...

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