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Climate, Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 2019) – 12 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Within this review article, advancement and growth opportunities for the interdisciplinary [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The RainBO Platform for Enhancing Urban Resilience to Floods: An Efficient Tool for Planning and Emergency Phases
Climate 2019, 7(12), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120145 - 17 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Many urban areas face an increasing flood risk, which includes the risk of flash floods. Increasing extreme precipitation events will likely lead to greater human and economic losses unless reliable and efficient early warning systems (EWS) along with other adaptation actions are put [...] Read more.
Many urban areas face an increasing flood risk, which includes the risk of flash floods. Increasing extreme precipitation events will likely lead to greater human and economic losses unless reliable and efficient early warning systems (EWS) along with other adaptation actions are put in place in urban areas. The challenge is in the integration and analysis in time and space of the environmental, meteorological, and territorial data from multiple sources needed to build up EWS able to provide efficient contribution to increase the resilience of vulnerable and exposed urban communities to flooding. Efficient EWS contribute to the preparedness phase of the disaster cycle but could also be relevant in the planning of the emergency phase. The RainBO Life project addressed this matter, focusing on the improvement of knowledge, methods, and tools for the monitoring and forecast of extreme precipitation events and the assessment of the associated flood risk for small and medium watercourses in urban areas. To put this into practice, RainBO developed a webGIS platform, which contributes to the “planning” of the management of river flood events through the use of detailed data and flood risk/vulnerability maps, and the “event management” with real-time monitoring/forecast of the events through the collection of observed data from real sensors, estimated/forecasted data from hydrologic models as well as qualitative data collected through a crowdsourcing app. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Rainfall in Sierra Leone: 1981–2018
Climate 2019, 7(12), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120144 - 16 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa has a monsoon-type climate. Reports by politically influential donors regularly state that Sierra Leone is extremely vulnerable to climate change, but the objective evidence backing these statements is often unreported. Predicting the future climate depends [...] Read more.
Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa has a monsoon-type climate. Reports by politically influential donors regularly state that Sierra Leone is extremely vulnerable to climate change, but the objective evidence backing these statements is often unreported. Predicting the future climate depends on modelling the West African monsoon; unfortunately, current models give conflicting results. Instead, changes in rainfall over the last four decades are examined to see if there are already significant changes. Rainfall records are extremely limited, so the Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station daily data at a spatial resolution of 0.05 degrees was used. In addition to total annual rainfall, the characteristics of the early rainy season (critical for farmers), the length of the rainy season and growing season, and the frequency of extreme events were calculated. There is evidence for a significant reduction in annual rainfall in the northwest. There is only limited support for the widely held belief that the start of the rainy season is becoming more erratic and that extreme events are becoming more common. El-Niño was significant in the southeast. If these trends continue, they will exacerbate the consequences of temperature increases (predicted to be between 1 and 2.6 °C by 2060) and negatively affect the livelihoods and agricultural practices of the rural poor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Environment Design of Outdoor Spaces by Examining Redevelopment Buildings Opposite Central Osaka Station
Climate 2019, 7(12), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120143 - 14 Dec 2019
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Thermal environmental design in an outdoor space is discussed by focusing on the proper selection and arrangement of buildings, trees, and covering materials via the examination of redevelopment buildings in front of Central Osaka Station, where several heat island countermeasure technologies have been [...] Read more.
Thermal environmental design in an outdoor space is discussed by focusing on the proper selection and arrangement of buildings, trees, and covering materials via the examination of redevelopment buildings in front of Central Osaka Station, where several heat island countermeasure technologies have been introduced. Surface temperatures on the ground and wall were calculated based on the surface heat budget equation in each 2 m size mesh of the ground and building wall surface. Incident solar radiation was calculated using ArcGIS and building shape data. Mean radiant temperature (MRT) of the human body was calculated using these results. Distribution of wind velocity was calculated by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) reproducing buildings, obstacles, trees, and the surroundings. The effect of MRT on SET* was greater than that of wind velocity at 13:00 and 17:00 on a typical summer day. SET* reduction was the highest by solar radiation shading, followed by surface material change and ventilation. The largest ratio of the area considered for the thermal environment was 83% on Green Garden, which consists of 44% of building shade, 21% of tree shade, 7% of water surface, and 11% of green cover. It is appropriate to consider the thermal environment design of outdoor space in the order of shade by buildings, shading by trees, and improvement of surface materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Opportunities for Green Energy through Emerging Crops: Biogas Valorization of Cannabis sativa L. Residues
Climate 2019, 7(12), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120142 - 13 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The present work shows the experimental evidence carried out on a pilot scale and demonstrating the potential of Cannabis sativa L. by-products for biogas production through anaerobic digestion. While the current state-of-the-art tests on anaerobic digestion feasibility are carried out at the laboratory [...] Read more.
The present work shows the experimental evidence carried out on a pilot scale and demonstrating the potential of Cannabis sativa L. by-products for biogas production through anaerobic digestion. While the current state-of-the-art tests on anaerobic digestion feasibility are carried out at the laboratory scale, the here described tests were carried out at a pilot-to-large scale. An experimental campaign was carried out on hemp straw residues to assess the effective performance of this feedstock in biogas production by reproducing the real operating conditions of an industrial plant. An organic loading rate was applied according to two different amounts of hemp straw residues (3% wt/wt and 5% wt/wt). Also, specific bioenhancers were used to maximize biogas production. When an enzymatic treatment was not applied, a higher amount of hemp straw residues determined an increase of the median values of the gas production rate of biogas of 92.1%. This reached 116.6% when bioenhancers were applied. The increase of the specific gas production of biogas due to an increment of the organic loading rate (5% wt/wt) was +77.9% without enzymatic treatment and it was +129.8% when enzymes were used. The best management of the biodigester was found in the combination of higher values of hemp straw residues coupled with the enzymatic treatment, reaching 0.248 Nm3·kgvolatile solids−1 of specific biogas production. Comparisons were made between the biogas performance obtained within the present study and those found in the literature review coming from studies on a laboratory scale, as well as those related to the most common energy crops. The hemp straw performance was similar to those provided by previous studies on a laboratory scale. Values reported in the literature for other lignocellulosic crops are close to those of this work. Based on the findings, biogas production can be improved by using bioenhancers. Results suggest an integration of industrial hemp straw residues as complementary biomass for cleaner production and to contribute to the fight against climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture for Climate Change Adaptation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Climate Change Impacts on Forest Management: A Case of Korean Oak Wilt
Climate 2019, 7(12), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120141 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 255
Abstract
Climate change is expected to affect the occurrence of forest pests. This study depicts a method to measure the impact of damage inflicted by a forest pest like oak wilt as a result of climate change. We determine the damage function considering the [...] Read more.
Climate change is expected to affect the occurrence of forest pests. This study depicts a method to measure the impact of damage inflicted by a forest pest like oak wilt as a result of climate change. We determine the damage function considering the factors related to the pest damage and forecast the future damage rate under future climate change. We estimated the damage rate by using the quasi-maximum likelihood estimation (QMLE) and predicted the future damage rate by using representative concentration pathways (RCP) 8.5 data. We assessed the impact of pests on the management income and the rotation age by using a dynamic optimization model. The results show that the damage rate and the affected area from oak wilt would increase under the climate change. In addition, the economic evaluation indicates that altered climate would reduce the management returns and increase uncertainty. However, these outcomes could be alleviated by carrying out the control and prevention measures after the infection occurs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Grapevine and Ozone: Uptake and Effects
Climate 2019, 7(12), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120140 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 222
Abstract
The grapevine (Vitis vinifera, L.) has been long since recognized as an ozone-sensitive plant. Ozone molecules can penetrate grapevine leaf tissues when the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere is high due to air pollution. This causes cell damage and interferes [...] Read more.
The grapevine (Vitis vinifera, L.) has been long since recognized as an ozone-sensitive plant. Ozone molecules can penetrate grapevine leaf tissues when the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere is high due to air pollution. This causes cell damage and interferes with photosynthetic mechanisms, subsequently slowing down plant growth and resulting in premature leaf senescence. Secondary effects include changes in biochemical processes that affect the chemical composition of the must and are likely to alter the quality of the wine. An experiment was conducted during two grapevine-growing seasons in 2010 and 2011 to gain knowledge of the effect of high ozone levels on the yield and on several biochemical characteristics of the plant which could influence the quality of the final product. These factors are economically important for agricultural production; this is especially true for Italy, which is one of the largest wine producers worldwide. The method used was a facility consisting of open top chambers operated at a vineyard in Angera (northern Italy). This facility permitted the study of the effects of different ozone levels. At the end of the experiment, the grapes were weighed and chemical analyses were carried out in order to understand the effects of ozone on the different characteristics of the grapes and on concentrations of several of its chemical substances. In particular, concentrations of yeast assimilable nitrogen, degrees Brix, pH, tartaric and malic acids, and polyphenols, including resveratrol, were considered, as these influence the quality of the wine. Parameters characterizing the different ozone levels were expressed in terms of ozone exposure (AOT40) and phytotoxic ozone dose (POD). The results showed that high ozone levels affect grapevine weight and thus its yield. In addition, the quality of the wine is affected by reductions of polyphenols which diminish the nutritional benefits of the product. In addition, these reductions cause the wine to have a more aggressive taste. These results emphasize the practical importance of the present study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Plant Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Categorization of South Tyrolean Built Heritage with Consideration of the Impact of Climate
Climate 2019, 7(12), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120139 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of energy inefficiency, indoor overheating, and moisture-related damage to the envelope. Therefore, it is urgent to assess these risks and plan adaptation strategies for historic buildings. These activities must [...] Read more.
Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of energy inefficiency, indoor overheating, and moisture-related damage to the envelope. Therefore, it is urgent to assess these risks and plan adaptation strategies for historic buildings. These activities must be based on a strong knowledge of the main building categories. Moreover, before adapting a historic building to future climate, it is necessary to understand how the past climate influenced its design, construction, and eventual categories. This knowledge will help when estimating the implication of climate change on historic buildings. This study aims at identifying building categories, which will be the basis for further risk assessment and adaptation plans, while at the same time analyzing the historical interaction between climate and human dwelling. The results show some correlations between building categories and climate. Therefore, it is necessary to use different archetypes to represent the typical buildings in different climate zones. Moreover, these correlations imply a need to investigate the capability of the climate-responsive features in future climate scenarios and to explore possible further risks and adaptation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
Indigenous Knowledge and Farmer Perceptions of Climate and Ecological Changes in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon: Insights from the Bui Plateau
Climate 2019, 7(12), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120138 - 08 Dec 2019
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Anticipating seasonal and shorter time scale dynamics to farming practices is primordial for indigenous farmers’ resilience under extreme environmental conditions, where climate change is a menace to agro-hydro-ecological systems. This paper assesses the effectiveness of indigenous farmers’ knowledge and aptitude to read weather [...] Read more.
Anticipating seasonal and shorter time scale dynamics to farming practices is primordial for indigenous farmers’ resilience under extreme environmental conditions, where climate change is a menace to agro-hydro-ecological systems. This paper assesses the effectiveness of indigenous farmers’ knowledge and aptitude to read weather signs for informed decisions on their daily and seasonal activities. Such climate-proof development is anchored on indigenous people’s knowledge and perceptions in circumstances where the dearth of scientific evidence or information exists as in Cameroon. The study is based on eight focus group discussions and a survey of 597 farming households in seven agro-ecological basins on the Bui Plateau of the Bamenda Highlands. The results indicate that indigenous smallholder farmers value their ability to accurately observe and anticipate local conditions in various ways to serve their local realities more aptly than outside forecasts. Such local knowledge should thus exercise a complementary role weave in a local climate information understanding system that replicates ecological variability. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperLetter
Lagrangian Drifter to Identify Ocean Eddy Characteristics
Climate 2019, 7(12), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120137 - 05 Dec 2019
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (non-diffusive; i.e., background velocity) and high-frequency (diffusive; i.e., eddies) components from a Lagrangian drifter‘s trajectory. Eddy characteristics are determined from the time series of eddy trajectories from individual Lagrangian drifters such as eddy [...] Read more.
Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (non-diffusive; i.e., background velocity) and high-frequency (diffusive; i.e., eddies) components from a Lagrangian drifter‘s trajectory. Eddy characteristics are determined from the time series of eddy trajectories from individual Lagrangian drifters such as eddy radius, eddy velocity, eddy Rossby number, and the eddy–current kinetic energy ratio. A long-term dataset of the Sound Fixing and Ranging (RAFOS) float time series obtained near the California coast by the Naval Postgraduate School from 1992 to 2004 at depth between 150 and 600 m is used as an example to demonstrate the capability of the deterministic–stochastic EMD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Climate-Smart Approach to the Implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality within a Water Catchment Area in Kenya
Climate 2019, 7(12), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120136 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 236
Abstract
At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes the analysis and contextualization of land degradation-neutrality (LDN) at a water catchment scale to provide decision support for the formulation of policies and programmes towards transformative LDN interventions. Building on [...] Read more.
At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes the analysis and contextualization of land degradation-neutrality (LDN) at a water catchment scale to provide decision support for the formulation of policies and programmes towards transformative LDN interventions. Building on a number of national LDN studies in Kenya, an approach for the implementation of LDN that is based on the spatial and temporal characterization of key land degradation and climate change variables was defined. For a selected water catchment area, the LDN baseline was computed, the drivers that affect land degradation and regeneration trends within the main land cover types were identified and described, the trends of key climate change variables were described, and appropriate sustainable land management interventions for the main land cover types were identified. A climate-smart landscape approach that delineated the catchment area into zones focused on adaptation, and both adaptation and mitigation objectives was then proposed. The operationalization of a climate-smart landscape will require significant investment to not only provide an understanding of the bio-physical processes and interactions occurring at the catchment level but also to develop the institutional and technical capacities of relevant actors. The landscape approach proposed for the catchment area has the potential to improve livelihoods and the productivity of ecosystems while concurrently facilitating synergies between land degradation, climate change, and other development objectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deciphering Active Wildfires in the Southwestern USA Using Topological Data Analysis
Climate 2019, 7(12), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120135 - 27 Nov 2019
Viewed by 269
Abstract
The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose multiple threats to the regional and national economy and security. Wildfires cause serious air quality issues during dry seasons and can increase the number of mud and [...] Read more.
The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose multiple threats to the regional and national economy and security. Wildfires cause serious air quality issues during dry seasons and can increase the number of mud and landslides in any subsequent rainy seasons. However, while wildfires are often correlated with warm and dry climates, this relationship is not linear, implying that there may be other factors influencing these fires. The objective of this study was to detect and classify any nonlinear patterns in weather data by applying Topological Data Analysis (TDA) to various weather variables, such as temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation, and the five most and least intense summer fire seasons as determined by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire products. In addition to TDA, persistence diagrams and frequency plots were also used to compare fire seasons and regions in the American Southwest. Active fire seasons were more likely to have a significant correlation between the weather variables and wildfires, the Fire Weather Index (FWI) alone was not an accurate predictor for wildfires in California and Nevada, and fire weather is highly dependent upon the region and season. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Maturing Interdisciplinary Relationship between Human Biometeorological Aspects and Local Adaptation Processes: An Encompassing Overview
Climate 2019, 7(12), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120134 - 25 Nov 2019
Viewed by 368
Abstract
To date, top-down approaches have played a fundamental role in expanding the comprehension of both existing, and future, climatological patterns. In liaison, the focus attributed to climatic mitigation has shifted towards the identification of how climatic adaptation can specifically prepare for an era [...] Read more.
To date, top-down approaches have played a fundamental role in expanding the comprehension of both existing, and future, climatological patterns. In liaison, the focus attributed to climatic mitigation has shifted towards the identification of how climatic adaptation can specifically prepare for an era prone to further climatological aggravations. Within this review study, the progress and growing opportunities for the interdisciplinary integration of human biometeorological aspects within existing and future local adaptation efforts are assessed. This encompassing assessment of the existing literature likewise scrutinises existing scientific hurdles in approaching existing/future human thermal wellbeing in local urban contexts. The respective hurdles are subsequently framed into new research opportunities concerning human biometeorology and its increasing interdisciplinary significance in multifaceted urban thermal adaptation processes. It is here where the assembly and solidification of ‘scientific bridges’ are acknowledged within the multifaceted ambition to ensuring a responsive, safe and thermally comfortable urban environment. Amongst other aspects, this review study deliberates upon numerous scientific interferences that must be strengthened, inclusively between the: (i) climatic assessments of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to local human thermal wellbeing; (ii) rooted associations between qualitative and quantitative aspects of thermal comfort in both outdoor and indoor environments; and (iii) efficiency and easy-to-understand communication with non-climatic experts that play an equally fundamental role in consolidating effective adaptation responses in an era of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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