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Telecouplings are socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances. They are now increasingly common and more influential across the globe. They occur during trade, water transfer, payments for ecosystem services, foreign investment, migration, and tourism. They also emerge when information flows, species invade, and diseases spread. Even a remote nature reserve has numerous telecouplings with the rest of the world.
Telecouplings have profound positive and negative effects on distant systems. A new integrated telecoupling framework can help reveal hidden patterns and identify crucial knowledge gaps. Telecouplings pose global sustainability challenges, but also offer exciting opportunities for the world.
About Jianguo Liu
Jianguo "Jack" Liu holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability, is University Distinguished Professor, and serves as founding director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University. He also is a guest professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and was a visiting scholar at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford universities.
He serves on many international and national committees, is a reviewing editor for Science magazine, and leads the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net.org). His research interests include global sustainability; systems integration (e.g., integration of ecology with social sciences); telecoupling; ecosystem services; China’s environment; and complex interactions among pandas, people, and policies.
Liu, Jianguo, Harold Mooney, Vanessa Hull, Steven J. Davis, Joanne Gaskell, Thomas Hertel, Jane Lubchenco, Karen C. Seto, Peter Gleick, Claire Kremen, Shuxin Li. 2015. Systems integration for global sustainability. Science 347:1258832. DOI: 10.1126/science.1258832
Liu, Jianguo, Vanessa Hull, Mateus Batistella, Ruth DeFries, Thomas Dietz, Feng Fu, Thomas W. Hertel, Roberto César Izaurralde, Eric F. Lambin, Shuxin Li, Luiz Antonio Martinelli, William McConnell, Emilio F. Moran, Rosamond Naylor, Zhiyun Ouyang, Karen R. Polenske, Anette Reenberg, Gilberto de Miranda Rocha, Cynthia S. Simmons, Peter H. Verburg, Peter M. Vitousek, Fusuo Zhang, Chunquan Zhu. 2013 Framing sustainability in a telecoupled world. Ecology and Society 18 (2): 26. Download the article here