Climate2014, 2(4), 329-354; doi:10.3390/cli2040329 - published 18 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Lack of attention to spatial and temporal cross-scale dynamics and effects could be understood as one of the lacunas in scholarship on river basin management. Within the water-climate-food-energy nexus, an integrated and inclusive approach that recognizes traditional knowledge about and experiences of climate change and water resource management can provide crucial assistance in confronting problems in megaprojects and multipurpose river basin management projects. The Mahaweli Development Program (MDP), a megaproject and multipurpose river basin management project, is demonstrating substantial failures with regards to the spatial and temporal impacts of climate change and socioeconomic demands for water allocation and distribution for paddy cultivation in the dry zone area, which was one of the driving goals of the project at the initial stage. This interdisciplinary study explores how spatial and temporal climatic changes and uncertainty in weather conditions impact paddy cultivation in dry zonal areas with competing stakeholders’ interest in the Mahaweli River Basin. In the framework of embedded design in the mixed methods research approach, qualitative data is the primary source while quantitative analyses are used as supportive data. The key findings from the research analysis are as follows: close and in-depth consideration of spatial and temporal changes in climate systems and paddy farmers’ socioeconomic demands altered by seasonal changes are important factors. These factors should be considered in the future modification of water allocation, application of distribution technologies, and decision-making with regards to water resource management in the dry zonal paddy cultivation of Sri Lanka.
Climate2014, 2(4), 310-328; doi:10.3390/cli2040310 - published 17 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Climate change is considered to be a significant influence for infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Climatic and non-climatic developments act together resulting in current and future infectious disease risk. This study uses a survey to explore Dutch expert perspectives on climate change induced infectious disease risk. The results show that the experts consider temperature change, precipitation change, humidity change, and climate change induced habitat change to be relatively important for water-related infectious disease risk, vector-borne disease risk excluding zoonoses, and the risk of zoonoses. The climatic drivers are seen as relatively less important for food-related infectious disease risk. The experts rate many non-climatic drivers to be highly important for infectious disease risk. Comparatively, the majority of the non-climatic drivers assessed are seen as more important than climate change drivers. The degree of uncertainty in the future development of climatic drivers is viewed as moderate to high, and for non-climatic drivers mostly as moderate. An analysis of subsamples based on professional backgrounds reveals differences in experts’ opinions for e.g., socio-cultural drivers, and similarities. Diversity and consensus amongst expert perspectives on climate change and infectious diseases can have implications for policy. Further research to uncover and compare prevailing perspectives is necessary.
Climate2014, 2(4), 296-309; doi:10.3390/cli2040296 - published 15 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, the influence of the East Atlantic/Western Russia teleconnection pattern on the hydroclimatology of Europe, from mid-winter to late spring, is investigated. The influence of EAWR on the variability of precipitation (PP), temperature (TT) and standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) is investigated on the base of correlation and stability maps. It is shown that EAWR has a strong impact on the coupling between the sub-tropical Atlantic Jet and the African Jet, which in turn affects the climate variability over Europe from mid-winter to late spring. The strongest impact of the mid-winter EAWR over the European precipitation is found to be in mid-winter and early spring over the northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the central and eastern part of Europe; while the influence of the mid-winter EAWR on European temperature persists from mid-winter to late spring, giving the possibility of a potential predictability for spring temperature over extended European regions.
Climate2014, 2(4), 279-295; doi:10.3390/cli2040279 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Soil temperature, soil moisture, skin temperature and 2-m air temperature are examined from both ground observations and the offline community land model (CLM4). Two-layer soil moisture and three-layer soil temperature observations from six-year (2003–2008) ground measurements at the Lamont, Oklahoma site supported by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement(ARM)Program of the Department of Energy (DOE) show clear vertical and temporal relations between soil temperature and soil moisture with surface skin temperature and 2-m air temperature. First, daily means reveal that all of these variables have clear seasonal variations, with temperatures peaking in summer and minimizing in winter as a result of surface insolation. Nevertheless, the 2-m air temperature and upper soil temperature (−0.05 m) peak at 2 h after that of surface skin temperature because of the lag of transport of heat from the skin level to the 2-m air and to underground respectively. As a result of such lag, at the monthly annual cycle scale, 2-m air temperature has higher correlation with upper soil temperature than skin temperature does. Second, there are little diurnal and annual variations at the lowest soil layer (−0.25 m). Third, a negative correlation (~−0.40) between skin temperature and soil moisture is observed, consistent with the expectation that heat flux and evaporation are competing physical processes for redistributing surface net radiation. Soil moisture, however, minimizes in March and maximizes in winter due to the local rainfall cycle. All of these key observed relations are qualitatively reproduced in the offline CLM4 using the atmosphere forcing derived from ARM observations. Nevertheless, CLM4 is too dry at the upper layer and has less variation at the lower layer than observed. In addition, CLM4 shows stronger correlation between Tsoil and Tskin (r = 0.96) than the observations (r = 0.64), while the predicted nighttime Tskin is 0.5–2 °C higher than the observations.
Climate2014, 2(4), 264-278; doi:10.3390/cli2040264 - published 26 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Based on 56 rainfall stations, which cover the period 1961–2008, we analyzed the presence of trends in the drought-affected area over southern South America (SSA) at different time scales. In order to define drought conditions, we used the standardized precipitation index, which was calculated on time scales of 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The trends were estimated following both a linear and a non-linear approach. The non-linear approach was based on the residual of the empirical mode decomposition, a recently proposed methodology, which is robust in presence of non-stationary data. This assessment indicates the existence of reversals in the trends of the drought affected, area around the 1990s, from decreasing trends during the first period to increasing trends during the recent period. This is indicative of the existence of a low-frequency variability that modulates regional precipitation patterns at different temporal scales, and warns about possible future consequences in the social and economic sectors if trends towards an increase in the drought affected area continue.
Climate2014, 2(4), 242-263; doi:10.3390/cli2040242 - published 26 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Daily rainfall totals are analyzed for the main agro-climatic zones of Sri Lanka for the period 1976–2006. The emphasis is on daily rainfall rather than on longer-period totals, in particular the number of daily falls exceeding given threshold totals. For one station (Mapalana), where a complete daily series is available from 1950, a longer-term perspective on changes over half a century is provided. The focus here is particularly on rainfall in March and April, given the sensitivity of agricultural decisions to early southwest monsoon rainfall at the beginning of the Yala cultivation season but other seasons are also considered, in particular the northeast monsoon. Rainfall across Sri Lanka over three decades is investigated in relation to the main atmospheric drivers known to affect climate in the region: sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, of which the former are shown to be more important. The strong influence of El Niño and La Niña phases on various aspects of the daily rainfall distribution in Sri Lanka is confirmed: positive correlations with Pacific sea-surface temperatures during the north east monsoon and negative correlations at other times. It is emphasized in the discussion that Sri Lanka must be placed in its regional context and it is important to draw on regional-scale research across the Indian subcontinent and the Bay of Bengal.