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Climate, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Quantifying Uncertainties in Modeling Climate Change Impacts on Hydropower Production
Climate 2016, 4(3), 34; doi:10.3390/cli4030034
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
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Abstract
Climate change will have large impacts on water resources and its predictions are fraught with uncertainties in West Africa. With the current global drive for renewable energy due to climate change, there is a need for understanding the effects of hydro-climatic changes on
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Climate change will have large impacts on water resources and its predictions are fraught with uncertainties in West Africa. With the current global drive for renewable energy due to climate change, there is a need for understanding the effects of hydro-climatic changes on water resources and hydropower generation. A hydrological model was used to model runoff inflow into the largest hydroelectric dam (Kainji) in the Niger Basin (West Africa) under present and future conditions. Inflow to the reservoir was simulated using hydro-climatic data from a set of dynamically downscaled 8 global climate models (GCM) with two emission scenarios from the CORDEX-Africa regional downscaling experiment, driven with CMIP5 data. Observed records of the Kainji Lake were used to develop a hydroelectricity production model to simulate future energy production for the reservoir. Results indicate an increase in inflow into the reservoir and concurrent increases in hydropower production for the majority of the GCM data under the two scenarios. This analysis helps planning hydropower schemes for sustainable hydropower production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Acclimation Changes of Flavonoids in Needles of Conifers during Heat and Drought Stress 2015
Climate 2016, 4(3), 35; doi:10.3390/cli4030035
Received: 21 May 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
The long-term harsh climate conditions in 2015 distorted already from June up to November in all study trees of Tsuga and Taxus the intracellular organization of the needles. Intimately involved in these repressive processes were the flavanols, a small subgroup of the flavonoids.
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The long-term harsh climate conditions in 2015 distorted already from June up to November in all study trees of Tsuga and Taxus the intracellular organization of the needles. Intimately involved in these repressive processes were the flavanols, a small subgroup of the flavonoids. They were not only deposited in vacuoles of conifer needles but also in the nuclei and chromosomes. Among the many flavonoids the small group of catechin derivatives and polymers named flavanols can exclusively be stained blue with DMACA (dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde). From mid-July onward, the vacuolar flavanols of the epidermal cell layers were gradually diminished as evidenced by decreasing blue staining of nuclei and vacuoles. Subsequently, in August also the large spongy mesophyll cells showed the flavanols decreasing progressively. Apparently, the antioxidant flavanols operate as oxygen radical scavengers. (ROS) were used up during the harsh environmental stress conditions. Both, Tsuga and Taxus reacted in this way. However, it is quite surprising that in all study trees the palisade cells did not contain such vacuolar flavanols. Only these cells were in June the first to show a loss of chlorophyll from chloroplasts as well as an efflux of flavanols from the nuclei. Conversely, from September onward another group of phenols, the yellow-staining flavanols were newly formed in the palisade cells and later on also in the mesophyll cells. Obviously, they were assembled finally to stabilize finally the fragile cell sites. Summing up, the present study shows by cytological studies that the climatic conditions in 2015 produced the worst disturbance of subcellular structures observed since 2000 when our studies on nuclear phenols in needles of conifers were initiated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes: Observations and Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Initiatives towards Carbon Neutrality in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area
Climate 2016, 4(3), 36; doi:10.3390/cli4030036
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract
Carbon neutrality represents one climate strategy adopted by many cities, including the city of Helsinki and the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. This study examines initiatives adopted by the Helsinki metropolitan area aimed at reducing energy-related carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality through
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Carbon neutrality represents one climate strategy adopted by many cities, including the city of Helsinki and the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. This study examines initiatives adopted by the Helsinki metropolitan area aimed at reducing energy-related carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality through future actions. Various sectorial energy consumption rates per year and carbon emissions from various sectors within the city of Helsinki and the metropolitan area were extracted from an online database and re-calculated (in GWh, MWh/inhabitant and MtCO2e, KtCO2e/inhabitant). We employed a backcasting scenario method to explore the various carbon reduction measures in the Helsinki metropolitan area. About 96% of the emissions produced in the Helsinki metropolitan area are energy-based. District heating represents the primary source of emissions, followed by transportation and electricity consumption, respectively. We also found that accomplishing the carbon reduction strategies of the Helsinki metropolitan area by 2050 remains challenging. Technological advancement for clean and renewable energy sources, smart policies and raising awareness resulting in behavioral changes greatly affect carbon reduction actions. Thus, strong political commitments are also required to formulate and implement stringent climate actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring the Impact of Public-Private Governance for Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Trend Analysis for Extreme Rainfall at Sub-Daily and Daily Timescales in Côte d’Ivoire
Climate 2016, 4(3), 37; doi:10.3390/cli4030037
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract
Extreme rainfall events are meteorological hazards that cause great damage and many casualties in the world. This paper examines the trends in extreme rainfall from 10 sub-daily time series and 44 daily time series in Côte d’Ivoire. Rainfall data were converted into indices.
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Extreme rainfall events are meteorological hazards that cause great damage and many casualties in the world. This paper examines the trends in extreme rainfall from 10 sub-daily time series and 44 daily time series in Côte d’Ivoire. Rainfall data were converted into indices. In total, six (6) indices were used for daily extreme rainfall and one (1) index for sub-daily extreme rainfall (15 to 240 min). Two statistical tests for trend detection were used to evaluate the possible trend in these precipitation data. The first is a Mann-Kendall non-parametric trend test, used to evaluate the existence of monotonic trends. The second is a linear regression method, based on a parametric approach to trend detection. Results show that very few statistically significant decreasing trends can be detected at the sub-daily and daily timescales. Some decreasing trends in extreme rainfall events were localized in the south and southeast. These results could enhance the implementation of adaptation systems to flood risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes: Observations and Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Natural Resource Professionals in Addressing Climate Change
Climate 2016, 4(3), 38; doi:10.3390/cli4030038
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
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Abstract
Natural resource professionals, ranging from forest managers and educators to floodplain managers, play a critical role in implementing and conducting outreach with regards to climate mitigation and adaptation appropriate to local and regional scales. Natural resource professionals can also pave the way by
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Natural resource professionals, ranging from forest managers and educators to floodplain managers, play a critical role in implementing and conducting outreach with regards to climate mitigation and adaptation appropriate to local and regional scales. Natural resource professionals can also pave the way by adopting actions that serve as demonstrations of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions or adapt natural systems for the future. A web survey of 1488 natural resource professionals across New York State (NYS) was conducted to assess their attitudes toward climate change, views toward climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities, actions taken to address climate change, and barriers faced as they relate to their professional responsibilities. The majority of natural resource professionals believe that climate change is happening, but there was slightly less agreement about human causes of climate change. Most natural resource professionals (69%) see evidence of how climate change is impacting natural resources in NYS, but few (17%) believed that there was sufficient information about how to address climate impacts at the local level. Nearly 60% of natural resources professionals undertook climate mitigation or adaptation actions in their work. Prominent influencing factors for action were proactive leadership and local impacts. Barriers to taking action on climate change were a lack of human and financial resources, the nature of costs relative to benefits, and lack of perceived threat. As managers and educators responsible for local water, land, and wildlife resources, natural resource professionals witness changes resulting from climate change first-hand. This paper will be useful to decision-makers at state and federal government levels regarding policies, incentives, and guidance that can be created with the goal of promoting a sound natural resource strategy in support of climate change readiness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Future Water Availability from Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya upper Indus Basin under Conflicting Climate Change Scenarios
Climate 2016, 4(3), 40; doi:10.3390/cli4030040
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
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Abstract
Future of the crucial Himalayan water supplies has generally been assessed under the anthropogenic warming, typically consistent amid observations and climate model projections. However, conflicting mid-to-late melt-season cooling within the upper Indus basin (UIB) suggests that the future of its melt-dominated hydrological regime
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Future of the crucial Himalayan water supplies has generally been assessed under the anthropogenic warming, typically consistent amid observations and climate model projections. However, conflicting mid-to-late melt-season cooling within the upper Indus basin (UIB) suggests that the future of its melt-dominated hydrological regime and the subsequent water availability under changing climate has yet been understood only indistinctly. Here, the future water availability from the UIB is presented under both observed and projected—though likely but contrasting—climate change scenarios. Continuation of prevailing climatic changes suggests decreased and delayed glacier melt but increased and early snowmelt, leading to reduction in the overall water availability and profound changes in the overall seasonality of the hydrological regime. Hence, initial increases in the water availability due to enhanced glacier melt under typically projected warmer climates, and then abrupt decrease upon vanishing of the glaciers, as reported earlier, is only true given the UIB starts following uniformly the global warming signal. Such discordant future water availability findings caution the impact assessment communities to consider the relevance of likely (near-future) climate change scenarios—consistent to prevalent climatic change patterns—in order to adequately support the water resource planning in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Statistical-Synoptic Analysis of the Atmosphere Thickness Pattern of Iran’s Pervasive Frosts
Climate 2016, 4(3), 41; doi:10.3390/cli4030041
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
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Abstract
The present study aimed at analyzing the synoptic pattern of atmospheric thickness of winter pervasive frosts in Iran. To this end, the data related to the daily minimum temperature of a 50-year period (1961–2010) were gathered from 451 synoptic and climatology stations. Then,
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The present study aimed at analyzing the synoptic pattern of atmospheric thickness of winter pervasive frosts in Iran. To this end, the data related to the daily minimum temperature of a 50-year period (1961–2010) were gathered from 451 synoptic and climatology stations. Then, the instances in which the temperature was below 0 °C for at least two consecutive days and this phenomenon covered at least 50% of the entirety of Iran were selected. Subsequently, the atmosphere thickness pattern was extracted for these days, with the representative day being identified and analyzed through cluster analysis. The results showed that the Siberian high pressure plays a significant role in the occurrence of pervasive frosts in Iran. In some other cases, the northeast–southwest direction of this pattern leads to its combination with the East Europe high pressure, causing widespread frosts in Iran. Furthermore, the interaction between counter clockwise currents in this system and the clockwise currents in the Azores high pressure tongue directs cold weather from northern parts of Europe toward Iran. The formation of blocking systems leads to the stagnation of cold weather over Iran, a phenomenon that results in significant reduction of temperature and severe frosts in these areas. In addition, the omega pattern (the fifth pattern) and Deep Eastern European trough and polar low pressure pattern (the fourth pattern) were the most dominant and severe frost patterns in Iran respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diurnal and Seasonal Variation of Surface Urban Cool and Heat Islands in the Semi-Arid City of Erbil, Iraq
Climate 2016, 4(3), 42; doi:10.3390/cli4030042
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
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Abstract
The influence of land surface temperature (LST) makes the near-surface layer of the troposphere a key driver of urban climate. This paper assesses the temporal formation of the daytime Surface Urban Cool Island (SUCI) and night-time Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) effect in
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The influence of land surface temperature (LST) makes the near-surface layer of the troposphere a key driver of urban climate. This paper assesses the temporal formation of the daytime Surface Urban Cool Island (SUCI) and night-time Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) effect in Erbil, Iraq, situated in a semi-arid climate region. LST retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua and Terra and MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from January 2003 to December 2014 are analysed. The relationships of LST with NDVI and the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI) are investigated in order to assess the influence of vegetation and moisture on the observed patterns of LST and the SUCI/SUHI. The results indicate that during the daytime, in summer, autumn and winter, densely built-up areas had lower LST acting as a SUCI compared to the non-urbanised area around the city. In contrast, at night-time, Erbil experienced higher LST and demonstrated a significant SUHI effect. The relationship between LST and NDVI is affected by seasonality and is strongly inverted during spring (r2 = 0.73; p < 0.01). Contrary to previous studies of semi-arid cities, a SUCI was detected, not only in the morning, but also during the afternoon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Polar Cyclone Identification from 4D Climate Data in a Knowledge-Driven Visualization System
Climate 2016, 4(3), 43; doi:10.3390/cli4030043
Received: 2 July 2016 / Revised: 20 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 5 September 2016
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Abstract
Arctic cyclone activity has a significant association with Arctic warming and Arctic ice decline. Cyclones in the North Pole are more complex and less developed than those in tropical regions. Identifying polar cyclones proves to be a task of greater complexity. To tackle
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Arctic cyclone activity has a significant association with Arctic warming and Arctic ice decline. Cyclones in the North Pole are more complex and less developed than those in tropical regions. Identifying polar cyclones proves to be a task of greater complexity. To tackle this challenge, a new method which utilizes pressure level data and velocity field is proposed to improve the identification accuracy. In addition, the dynamic, simulative cyclone visualized with a 4D (four-dimensional) wind field further validated the identification result. A knowledge-driven system is eventually constructed for visualizing and analyzing an atmospheric phenomenon (cyclone) in the North Pole. The cyclone is simulated with WebGL on in a web environment using particle tracing. To achieve interactive frame rates, the graphics processing unit (GPU) is used to accelerate the process of particle advection. It is concluded with the experimental results that: (1) the cyclone identification accuracy of the proposed method is 95.6% when compared with the NCEP/NCAR (National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research) reanalysis data; (2) the integrated knowledge-driven visualization system allows for streaming and rendering of millions of particles with an interactive frame rate to support knowledge discovery in the complex climate system of the Arctic region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trend and Homogeneity Analysis of Precipitation in Iran
Climate 2016, 4(3), 44; doi:10.3390/cli4030044
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 21 August 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
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Abstract
The main objective of this study is to examine trend and homogeneity through the analysis of rainfall variability patterns in Iran. The study presents a review on the application of homogeneity and seasonal time series analysis methods for forecasting rainfall variations. Trend and
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The main objective of this study is to examine trend and homogeneity through the analysis of rainfall variability patterns in Iran. The study presents a review on the application of homogeneity and seasonal time series analysis methods for forecasting rainfall variations. Trend and homogeneity methods are applied in the time series analysis from collecting rainfall data to evaluating results in climate studies. For the homogeneity analysis of monthly, seasonal and annual rainfall, homogeneity tests were used in 140 stations in the 1975–2014 period. The homogeneity of the monthly and annual rainfall at each station was studied using the autocorrelation (ACF), and the von Neumann (VN) tests at a significance level of 0.05. In addition, the nature of the monthly and seasonal rainfall series in Iran was studied using the Kruskal-Wallis (KW) test, the Thumb test (TT), and the least squares regression (LSR) test at a significance level of 0.05. The present results indicate that the seasonal patterns of rainfall exhibit considerable diversity across Iran. Rainfall seasonality is generally less spatially coherent than temporal patterns in Iran. The seasonal variations of rainfall decreased significantly throughout eastern and central Iran, but they increased in the west and north of Iran during the studied interval. The present study comparisons among variations of patterns with the seasonal rainfall series reveal that the variability of rainfall can be predicted by the non-trended and trended patterns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Characteristics of Warm-Season Severe Thunderstorms in Central United States from 2010 to 2014
Climate 2016, 4(3), 45; doi:10.3390/cli4030045
Received: 17 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
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Abstract
Weather monitoring systems, such as Doppler radars, collect a high volume of measurements with fine spatial and temporal resolutions that provide opportunities to study many convective weather events. This study examines the spatial and temporal characteristics of severe thunderstorm life cycles in central
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Weather monitoring systems, such as Doppler radars, collect a high volume of measurements with fine spatial and temporal resolutions that provide opportunities to study many convective weather events. This study examines the spatial and temporal characteristics of severe thunderstorm life cycles in central United States mainly covering Kansas, Oklahoma, and northern Texas during the warm seasons from 2010 to 2014. Thunderstorms are identified using radar reflectivity and cloud-to-ground lightning data and are tracked using a directed graph model that can represent the whole life cycle of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms were stored in a GIS database with a number of additional thunderstorm attributes. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the thunderstorms were analyzed, including the yearly total number of thunderstorms, their monthly distribution, durations, initiation time, termination time, movement speed and direction, and the spatial distributions of thunderstorm tracks, initiations, and terminations. Results revealed that thunderstorms were most frequent across the eastern part of the study area, especially at the borders between Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Finally, thunderstorm occurrence is linked to land cover, including a comparison of thunderstorms between urban and surrounding rural areas. Results demonstrated that thunderstorms would favor forests and urban areas. This study demonstrates that advanced GIS representations and analyses for spatiotemporal events provide effective research tools to meteorological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes, the Past and the Future)
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Open AccessArticle A 133-Year Record of Climate Change and Variability from Sheffield, England
Climate 2016, 4(3), 46; doi:10.3390/cli4030046
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
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Abstract
A 133-year length (1883–2015) daily climate record from Sheffield, England (53.38°N, 1.49°W) is analysed. Across the entire length of the record, there are significant warming trends annually and for all seasons, whereas precipitation shows a significant annual increase but the seasonal trends, whilst
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A 133-year length (1883–2015) daily climate record from Sheffield, England (53.38°N, 1.49°W) is analysed. Across the entire length of the record, there are significant warming trends annually and for all seasons, whereas precipitation shows a significant annual increase but the seasonal trends, whilst all positive, are not significant. Trends in extreme indices mirror the mean long-term warming and wetting signal. Record hot and cold daily temperatures and precipitation amounts are associated with summer anticyclonic conditions, an anomalous easterly winter jet stream and summer cyclonic activity, respectively. Whilst there are large uncertainties surrounding the calculation of return periods for the daily maximum, minimum and precipitation records from a single record, our best estimates suggest that in the current climate (2015), the existing records have return periods of 38, 529 and 252 years, respectively. The influence of several climate indices on mean and extreme indices are considered on seasonal scales, with the North Atlantic Oscillation displaying the strongest relationship. Future mean maximum temperature and precipitation alongside extreme indices representing the warmest and wettest day of the year are analysed from two downscaled climate model output archives under analysis periods of a 1.5 and 2 degree warmer world and the 2080–2099 end of 21st century period. For this mid-latitude location, there is minimal difference in model projections between a 1.5 and 2 degree world, but a significant difference between the 1.5/2 degree world and the end of century 2080–2099 period under the most severe climate warming scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes: Observations and Impacts)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Hydrological Climate Change Impact Assessment at Small and Large Scales: Key Messages from Recent Progress in Sweden
Climate 2016, 4(3), 39; doi:10.3390/cli4030039
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
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Abstract
Hydrological climate change impact assessment is generally performed by following a sequence of steps from global and regional climate modelling, through data tailoring (bias-adjustment and downscaling) and hydrological modelling, to analysis and impact assessment. This “climate-hydrology-assessment chain” has been developed with a primary
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Hydrological climate change impact assessment is generally performed by following a sequence of steps from global and regional climate modelling, through data tailoring (bias-adjustment and downscaling) and hydrological modelling, to analysis and impact assessment. This “climate-hydrology-assessment chain” has been developed with a primary focus on applicability to a medium-sized rural basin, which has been and still is the main type of domain investigated in this context. However, impact assessment is to an increasing degree being performed at scales smaller or larger than the medium-sized rural basin. Small-scale assessment includes e.g., impacts on solute transport and urban hydrology and large-scale assessment includes e.g., climate teleconnections and continental modelling. In both cases, additional complexity is introduced in the process and additional demands are placed on all components involved, i.e., climate and hydrology models, tailoring methods, assessment principles, and tools. In this paper we provide an overview of recent progress with respect to small- and large-scale hydrological climate change impact assessment. In addition, we wish to highlight some key issues that emerged as a consequence of the scale and that need further attention from now on. While we mainly use examples from work performed in Europe for illustration, the progress generally reflects the overall state of the art and the issues considered are of a generic character. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessReview The Vulnerability of Rice Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review
Climate 2016, 4(3), 47; doi:10.3390/cli4030047
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
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Abstract
Rice is one of the most important food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, variability, and economic globalization threatens to disrupt rice value chains across the subcontinent, undermining their important role in economic development, food security, and poverty reduction. This paper maps existing
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Rice is one of the most important food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, variability, and economic globalization threatens to disrupt rice value chains across the subcontinent, undermining their important role in economic development, food security, and poverty reduction. This paper maps existing research on the vulnerability of rice value chains, synthesizes the evidence and the risks posed by climate change and economic globalization, and discusses agriculture and rural development policies and their relevance for the vulnerability of rice value chains in sub-Saharan Africa. Important avenues for future research are identified. These include the impacts of multiple, simultaneous pressures on rice value chains, the effects of climate change and variability on parts of the value chain other than production, and the forms and extent to which different development policies hinder or enhance the resilience of rice value chains in the face of climatic and other pressures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Impacts and Resilience in the Developing World)

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