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Her postdoc project explores the social-ecological resilience of drylands to changes in rainfall patterns. Currently, her particular focus is on the Sahel, where rainfed agriculture is the main source of food and income for the growing rural population and food security is therefore highly sensitive to precipitation.
In her research, Porkka explores how hydroclimatic characteristics, such as droughts and dry spells, impact rainfed agriculture and societies that depend on it, and whether hydroclimatic changes can cause or contribute to shifts in these societies.
Porkka obtained her doctorate in December 2016 with the Water and Development Research Group at Aalto University, Finland. Her dissertation explored the implications of water scarcity and agricultural trade for global food availability in the 20th century. During her doctoral research she was also involved in a number of other projects and collaborations on global food and water issues, including studies on water scarcity, environmental footprints of food waste and diets, mapping of global irrigation areas and the water-energy-food nexus. Porkka continues to work with sustainability of food systems and food-water interactions through her collaborations within and outside the SRC.
Research news | 2020-05-18
How a modern-day US Dust Bowl event could disrupt global food trade networks
Research news | 2020-03-23
Researchers urge hydrology and water community to join the “Grand Challenge” in establishing safe limits to human interference with the global water cycle
Research news | 2020-03-09
The world is enjoying a richer diet but most countries increasingly depend on food imports. That should worry many of them
Research news | 2020-02-09
A new study harmonizes the water planetary boundary with local boundaries for the La Cienega wetlands in Colombia
2020 - Journal / article
The planetary boundaries framework defines the “safe operating space for humanity” represented by nine global processes that can destabilize the Earth System if perturbed. The water planetary boundary attempts to provide a global limit to anthropogenic water cycle modifications, but it has been challenging to translate and apply it to the regional and local scales at which water problems and management typically occur. We dev...
2020 - Journal / article
Rapidly increasing international food trade has drastically altered the global food system over the past decades. Using national scale indicators, we assess two of the resilience principles that directly reflect the effects of global trade on food systems – namely, maintaining diversity and redundancy, and managing connectivity. We perform our analysis for four nutritional components: dietary energy, proteins, fat, and quanti...
2019 - Journal / article
Water security is key to planetary resilience for human society to flourish in the face of global change. Atmospheric moisture recycling – the process of water evaporating from land, flowing through the atmosphere, and falling out again as precipitation over land – is the invisible mechanism by which water influences resilience, that is the capacity to persist, adapt, and transform. Through land-use change, mainly by agricultu...