The HRD research group co-hosts and supports research events at Bath Spa University and internationally.
Our research events are open to Bath Spa staff and students alike, as well as to the general public.
If you'd like to organise an event with us, please get in touch with our director, Richard Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr George Adamson - The Co-Production of El Niño and Society
13 March 2019
4PM to 5:30PM
The El Niño Southern Oscillation is often described as the most important source of natural climatic variability on decadal timescales. Yet the phenomenon can be somewhat of a contradiction. Apparently successful forecasts of the event up to 6 months in advance have been hailed as a key success of long-range forecasts, yet every El Niño (and La Niña) event produces surprising characteristics and it is apparently become more difficult – not easier – to understand what the phenomenon is. Research over the last decade has suggested that there may be several El Niños, not just one.
This presentation will trace the historical developments that led to the construction of the phenomenon that we now call the El Niño Southern Oscillation. It will argue that our current understanding of the phenomenon is related as much to historical accident as it is to ‘objective’ science. As such it will explore the concept of ‘path dependency’ in earth system science.
George Adamson is a Lecturer in Geography at King’s College London. His research explores the production and use of climate knowledge in a number of different historical and contemporary contexts. Particular foci are the El Niño Southern Oscillation, hazard early warning, and how adaptation options are constrained by historical processes and path dependencies.