Special Issue "Climate Change and Geosciences"
A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016)
Dr. Nir Y. Krakauer
Department of Civil Engineering, 193 Steinman Hall, City College of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; water resources planning; groundwater; land-atmosphere interaction; sustainable agriculture; urban ecological design; carbon cycle monitoring; renewable energy resource assessment; probabilistic forecasting; data assimilation; model uncertainty assessment
This special issue of Geosciences examines interactions between the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere from an integrated systems approach. Earth systems are considered from the perspective of ongoing dynamic interactions that culminate in or are driven by climate change. The aim is to include papers (original research articles, review articles, commentary, and case studies) that take a long-term view in investigating climate and environmental (landscape) change. It would be highly suitable for studies to address environmental sustainability.
Human alteration of the land surface, of material and energy flows, and of Earth's climate has led to the proposal to define the Anthropocene as a distinctive geologic period. For this Special Issue, we invite contributions broadly exploring interactions between climate change (including drivers such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use change) and the geosphere. Potential topics include changes in geologic processes, such as erosion, sedimentation, and soil formation; biogeochemical and biogeophysical climate feedbacks; urban processes; and the role of geosciences in climate mitigation and adaptation.
Papers may focus on either climate change causation or effects, and could be from either a shallow surface (physical geography) or Earth history (geology/Earth sciences) viewpoint. The emphasis will be on human interactions with the environment, so that anthropogenic impacts are central as part of an Anthropocene approach that is ideally explored from Earth surface disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Climate change mitigation and/or adaptation studies are welcome. Studies with a field component are preferred, but experimental approaches (laboratory, simulations/models) and remote sensing investigations are also appropriate. Cross-boundary studies, exploring for example land-air, air-water, or land-water interfaces, would be especially relevant to this Special Issue.
It is recommended that authors approach at an early stage the Guest Editors about possible submissions in order to verify the appropriateness of their potential contributions. If appropriate, an abstract will be requested, and the corresponding author required to submit the full manuscript online by the deadline of 31 January 2016.
Dr. Mary J. Thornbush
Dr. Nir Y. Krakauer
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- climate and landscape change
- human impacts
- human-environment interactions
- cross-boundary studies
- longitudinal studies
- environmental sustainability
- interdisciplinary research
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Karstic Sinkholes as a Climate-affected Geohazard
Author: Mary J. Thornbush
Abstract: In this review paper, dissolution dolines (sinkholes) are examined from the perspective of anthropogenic atmospheric acidification and within the context of global warming. As a climate-affected hazard, sinkholes forming in karst regions pose problems for ground stability and are thereby considered to be a geomorphological hazard (geohazard). They are a complex issue of growing concern in Florida and limestone-rich regions around the world. Based on previous work by the author, questions are addressed concerning the potential for this geohazard and its frequency in polluted (acidic) and warming environments. Examples are presented from known affected areas, and human influences on their formation are also considered.
Titile: Screening the Resilience of Short-Rotation Woody Crops to Climate Change
Authors: Sophan Chhin et al.
Abstract: Woody biomass is a renewable resource that can serve as a feedstock to produce electricity and heat (bioenergy), as well as liquid fuels such as ethanol (biofuels) which in turn helps displace fossil fuel use. Sustainable woody biofeedstock production systems require a reliable supply of woody biomass. To be economically feasible, growth and yield of hybrid poplars needs to be accurately accounted for, and possible perturbations in biomass supply due to changes in climate must be accounted for to minimize risk in economic investments. However, there is limited understanding of the climatic sensitivity of short rotation woody crops such as hybrid poplars. The general objectives of this study is to identify climatically resilient hybrid poplar clones for woody biomass feedstock development. Specifically, tree-ring analysis methods (dendrochronology) were used to quantify the influence of climate on stem growth rates of hybrid poplars by measuring year-to-year changes in tree-ring width from different cultivars of hybrid poplar and relating annual growth patterns with past instrumental climate records (i.e., temperature and precipitation). Tree-ring analysis was conducted on a full-sib progeny plantation of different cultivars of hybrid poplars (Populus x smithii derived from different geographical variants of aspen parents: trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata) located on Michigan State University property in the Sandhill Research Area. Climatic sensitivities that were identified in the hybrid poplar cultivars included: the degree of summer moisture stress, the timing of the start of the growing season, the timing of the end of the growing season, and the degree of winter harshness. The results indicated that increased growth vigor is associated with increased resiliency to future climate change.
Title: Evaluation of the Magnitude of Climate-triggered Extreme Load that produces Highway Bridge Structural Failure
Authors: Anthony Ikpong et al.
Title: The Vulnerability of Mass Cargo Affine Companies to Changing Water Levels under Climate Change Conditions - a comparison for three German Rivers
Authors: Anja Scholten et al.
Title: Combined Climate Change & Direct Anthropic Impacts on the Landscapes of the South-Island of New Zealand - Lessons from the Retreating Glaciers, “over-irrigation” of Agricultural Land and t 80 years Equivalent of Sea-level Rise in Christchurch
Authors: Christopher Gomez, Heather Purdie and Deirdre Hart
Abstract: New Zealand’s economy relies principally on the dairy industry and some small communities have bet on the tourism fueled by the great vistas the country still has on offer. On the West Coast of New Zealand, glaciers are becoming harder to access, and both Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers have reached minimum stages that have never been reached before. The recession is not only limiting the access to the ice for tourists, it is also freeing huge amount of sediments that poses threats to the downstream infrastructures. While the West Coast sees its glaciers retreat, the East Coast and the Canterbury plains critically lack rainfall to recharge the aquifers that are being plundered by an agriculture, which has massively turned towards dairy farming, requesting intense irrigation. The NDVI mapping of the Canterbury plain shows that an increasing proportion of the plains are being kept green through the dry seasons since the 1970s, generating groundwater depletion issues, water shortages in the main waterways and subsequent coastal sedimentation issues at the river mouth. This is a perfect example of the combination of a non-sustainable strategy, especially because the Canterbury plains are dominated by gravel outwashes from the Quaternary period, and they are therefore poorly retaining the groundwater. This double-effects has also been experienced in Christchurch City, the main City of the South Island, where the February 2011 Earthquake generated the equivalent of 80 years of sea-level rise by subsidence. This situation is generating a series of issues from increased flooding due to rivers with lower energy and lower stopbanks, but also horizontal infrastructures not being able to cope with extreme events, especially gravity-driven waters in pipes. These three examples are the premises of what is to be expected in numerous island and coastal nations.
Title: Examining 10 Years of Zero-Curtain Effect at Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada
Author: Andrew Leung
Abstract: Zero-curtain effect is often observed in the active layer of discontinuous permafrost soil in spring and fall, when the soil temperature crosses the 0oC boundary. In this study, 1 year and 10 years of air temperature, soil temperature, and snow on ground data were collected in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Zero curtain effect was found in all 10 years of observed data. Three criteria to measure the number of zero curtain days were developed in this study to determine the trend over a 10-year period. Regardless of the criteria used, the number of days with zero curtains appeared to be on the rise, though none of the change showed strong correlation. Number of zero curtain days below 0oC was diminishing while number of zero curtain days above 0oC was increasing. Several implications related to the melting of the active layer in the permafrost were also examined.
Title: Processes, Mechanisms and Volumes of Dust Generated from the Little Colorado River Basin during Regional Synoptic Wind Events: Another climate feedback?
Author: Margaret Hiza Redsteer
Abstract: The Little Colorado River (LCR) in northeastern Arizona is an important source of wind-blown sediment. Intensive water use, combined with decreasing annual snowpack, have reduced discharge and perennial flow. Transport of sand across adjacent overbank LCR flood deposits is now likely to be a significant source of “dust-on-snow” events in the southern Colorado Rockies. We estimate potential volumes of dust from this source area by measuring deflation at three LCR overbank playas during the spring of 2010. Measurements provide an estimate of the volume of silt and clay-sized particles that were transported by wind during five major, well-documented dust events.
Title: Using Paleolimnology to Determine the Magnitude and Direction of Change in Lakes and their Catchments across Latitudinal Gradients during the Anthropocene
Author: Émilie Saulnier-Talbot
Affiliation: Laboratoire de Paléoécologie Aquatique, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada
Abstract: This review paper highlights the usefulness of the paleolimnological approach in evaluating the magnitude and direction of change in lakes and their catchments in the Anthropocene period. Because of the services they provide, freshwater ecosystems have always been significantly affected by human activities. However, the rate and magnitude of human-induced change in continental freshwaters and their catchments has considerably increased over the course of the Anthropocene (since the 17th century), and are even more pronounced since the advent of the “Great Acceleration” (since the mid-20th century). Long-term data is indispensable to the development of sound environmental conservation and management. However, in many regions, there is a paucity of direct long-term measurements, which are most often rare or altogether lacking. Global change, including climate and landscape changes, species introductions and the spread of pollutants, leave traces in lake sediment archives that provide valuable historical information with which to evaluate and quantify past environmental changes. This paper will examine how the interdisciplinary paleolimnological approach can benefit the development of mitigation and adaptation measures to current global change at different latitudes.
Title: Groundwater exploration for rural water-supply in an arid region of southern Argentina
Author: Adrian H. Gallardo
Abstract: Climate change has led to an increase in extreme weather events and further aridification of vast areas of southern Argentina. Water shortage is an increasing concern, and the problem is expected to exacerbate in the future. In this context, an exploration program was undertaken to investigate the groundwater occurrence within the Chubut River basin, to provide new supply options for livestock farming in the region. The investigation involved the drilling of exploration holes along with the construction of bores for long-term monitoring. Water quality and hydraulic test data were also collected. Findings from the study indicate that alluvial sediments extend approximately 30 metres below the ground level, and are underlain by a clayey sequence with a thickness that exceeds 100 metres. In this context, the bulk of groundwater lies within the shallow sediments, which act as an unconfined aquifer. Transmissivity values up to 90 m2/day were estimated during pumping test operations. Chemical characterisation indicate that waters are typically fresh, and of the type alkaline. Anomalous salinity values were recorded in one of the bores, possibly due to the effects of a nearby quarry. Even though further work is required, the study contributes to better understand the dynamics of the hydrogeological system in the basin under a warming climate, and provides useful information for the expansion of economic activities in remote communities of Argentina.
Keywords: Groundwater; exploration; climate change; Argentina
Title: Global Warming and Future Fire Regimes
Authors: Jon E. Keeley 1,2 and Alexandra D. Syphard 3
Affiliation: 1 U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Sequoia–Kings Canyon Field Station, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271, USA
2 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3 Conservation Biology Institute, 10423 Sierra Vista Avenue, La Mesa, CA, 91941, USA.
Abstract: Climate and weather have long been noted as playing key roles in wildfire activity. Global warming is generally expected to exacerbate fire problems. This review examines the published literature on fire-climate models and shows that there are few broad generalizations to be made about how future climates will impact fire regimes. Much of what we know is applicable at regional levels but making broader generalizations encounters a multitude of complications. Drought is a substantial factor in driving fires and the anthropogenic role in drought cycles remains unclear as the feedback processes between drought and temperature are not thoroughly elucidated. It is apparent that global warming may exacerbate droughts but droughts are driven by a multitude of factors and parsing out their impact on recent global warming is needed for predicting future fire patterns. Much of the research on fire-climate relationships is based on historical data and there is evidence that the fire-climate relationship may change over time. Research to date has focused on mountainous landscapes, and the topographic variation on such landscapes produces complicated climatic patterns further adding to the difficulty of making future fire forecasts. Fire activity in lower elevation non-forested landscapes appears to be more strongly controlled by other global changes as climate signals are relatively weakly related to fire activity. Global warming is occurring along with a number of other global changes that may have greater influences on future fire regimes, including population growth, changes in land management policy, shifts in vegetation types and patterns of fire ignitions.
Title: Motivated for Action: The Abrahamic Religions and Climate Change
Author: Jame Schaefer
Affiliation: Department of Theology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
Abstract: Leaders and followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have rallied intensively to advocate national and international action aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of human-forced climate change. Particularly prominent prior to, during, and after the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change were efforts by Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and a consortium of Islamic imams and scholars. They and advocacy groups grounded in their religious faiths can serve as energetic and reliable collaborators with geoscientists when striving to achieve mutual goals.
Title: Prediction of Ground Movements in Clayey Soils Driven by Climate
Authors: Elodie Rodney, Myriam Chaplain, Denys Breysse and Alain Denis
Abstract: Synthetic signals reproducing the main patterns of air temperature, precipitation and air humidity have been elaborated after a careful analysis of long term real records in several sites covering a variety of French temperate climates. The synthetic signals, based on a geostatistical modelling approach, are validated regarding their ability to correctly reproduce the temporal variations of each variable and the cross-correlation between variables. A specific attention has been paid to the ability of simulating extreme events. The advantage of synthetic signals is that they can easily be used, with Monte Carlo simulations, to analyse the effect of climate change in terms of reliability, since a very large number of synthetic signals can easily be generated.
These tools are used to analyze the ground movements due to shrinking and swelling of clays. An experimental site has been monitored for five years at a hourly-scale for which the ground movements have been correlated with meteorological input. The identified relationship is finally used to estimate the possible effect of climate change in terms of ground movements.
Title: Climate Change and Watershed Hydrology—Modeling Impact of Precipitation and Land Use on Stormwater Runoff: A Case Study
Authors: Anne Blair 1, Denise Sanger 2, et al.
Affiliation: 1 JHT, Inc., NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
2 South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Research Institute, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
Abstract: Stormwater runoff is a global problem with impacts experienced at local scales. In the U.S., it is a leading cause of non-point source pollution in urbanizing areas. Beaufort County, South Carolina, U.S., is a rapidly developing coastal community very concerned about the threat of stormwater degrading its estuarine environment. As a result, research recently was conducted to address their two main interests: (1) identifying waterways most sensitive to runoff in order to strengthen regulations for those areas, and (2) determining how these critical waterways would respond to changes in land use and climate in order to implement appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs). This paper presents a case study which focuses on the second concern. We applied the Stormwater Runoff Modeling System (SWARM) to watersheds of the six waterways identified as critical and used the output to present combinations of development and climate change scenarios for each. Results will help the community decide where limited resources should be placed for mitigating the impacts from current and other development levels and also to understand what they might expect in the future.