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Open AccessArticle

How Can Climate Change Affect the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites in Panama?

1
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Italian National Research Council, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
2
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Italian National Research Council, Corso Fiume 4, 10133 Turin, Italy
3
Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via Giuseppe Saragat, 1, 44124 Ferrara, Italy
4
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning—SIMAU, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131 Ancona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(8), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8080296
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
This work investigates the impact of long-term climate change on heritage sites in Latin America, focusing on two important sites in the Panamanian isthmus included in the World Heritage List: the monumental site of Panamá Viejo (16th century) and the Fortresses of Portobelo and San Lorenzo (17th to 18th centuries). First of all, in order to support the conservation and valorisation of these sites, a characterisation of the main construction materials utilized in the building masonries was performed together with an analysis of the meteoclimatic conditions in their vicinity as provided by monitoring stations recording near-surface air temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall amounts. Secondly, the same climate variables were analysed in the historical and future simulations of a state-of-the-art global climate model, EC-Earth, run at high horizontal resolution, and then used with damage functions to make projections of deterioration phenomena on the Panamanian heritage sites. In particular, we performed an evaluation of the possible surface recession, biomass accumulation, and deterioration due to salt crystallisation cycles on these sites in the future (by midcentury, 2039–2068) compared to the recent past (1979–2008), considering a future scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions. View Full-Text
Keywords: built heritage; environmental impact; damage functions; Central America; surface recession; biomass accumulation; salt crystallisation built heritage; environmental impact; damage functions; Central America; surface recession; biomass accumulation; salt crystallisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ciantelli, C.; Palazzi, E.; Von Hardenberg, J.; Vaccaro, C.; Tittarelli, F.; Bonazza, A. How Can Climate Change Affect the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites in Panama? Geosciences 2018, 8, 296.

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