Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018 Source: Weather and Climate Extremes Author(s): Mojtaba Khanian, Nadine Marshall, Kianoosh Zakerhaghighi, Marziyeh Salimi, Asadollah Naghdi When the social, economic, or ecological conditions under which socio-ecological systems are expected to adapt become untenable, a system may transform into a fundamentally new system. Within agricultural systems, farmers have the option of significantly transforming their practices, or migrating elsewhere in the search for a better lifestyle (and exiting the agricultural socio-ecological system). However, if governments, communities and industry leaders are to provide climate change impact support to agricultural regions, then it becomes critical to predict the conditions under which farmers, households and communities will choose to either transform their farming or migrate. We hypothesize that those conditions are likely to reflect environmental, economic and social conditions within a region, where some communities and/or some farmers may respond differently depending on their environmental, economic and social factors. Here, we examine how the perception of farmers to transformational change is influenced by social, environmental and economic factors in six villages within the Famenin County of western Iran, which have experienced a notable recent decrease in groundwater levels, an increase in temperature due to reduced rainfall and no support from government. Results show that environmental, economic and social factors were all important influences on the social transformations that were occurring within each village and across the region. In sum, environmental flexibility and local corporation eased the transformation process. Place attachment and social capital were critical to facilitate transformation during all parts of the transformation process. These results are discussed as two separate scenarios.