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Climate, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2020) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): An increasing plethora of both meteorological and ancillary data are presently available for climate research and applications in urban areas. The data are often held by local or national institutions (i.e., meteorological services, universities, or environmental agencies). This paper outlines 33 datasets, organized into three main categories of meteorological data resources (14 datasets) and four categories of ancillary data resources (19 datasets), selected for their potential to support urban climate studies but, also, for their free accessibility. Such a collection cannot be exhaustive, but we aim to draw attention to relevant freely available datasets with temporal and spatial resolutions that are appropriate for urban climatology. Each dataset contains information about its availability, limitations, and examples of research in urban areas. View this paper
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Article
Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for Index-Based Livestock Insurance in the North West of South Africa
Climate 2020, 8(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030047 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Rural livelihoods in most developing countries are threatened by climate-related risks such as drought, flood, heat waves, storms, and so on. Although farmers have adopted several adaptation strategies, they have proven less effective than hoped. Hence, index-based livestock insurance, an innovation that significantly [...] Read more.
Rural livelihoods in most developing countries are threatened by climate-related risks such as drought, flood, heat waves, storms, and so on. Although farmers have adopted several adaptation strategies, they have proven less effective than hoped. Hence, index-based livestock insurance, an innovation that significantly assists farmers to acclimatise to climate-related risks, has been proposed; and its adaptability has attracted a notable increase in other African countries. However, the success of its adoption is dependent on the inclination of the farmers to pay for the service. Accordingly, this study investigates their willingness to pay for index-based livestock insurance and its determinants, and the factors influencing the total livestock units to be insured in the North West province of South Africa. Cross-sectional data were obtained from 277 cattle farmers, drawn randomly from the study area. The contingent valuation method was applied to determine the farmers’ willingness to pay; and only 10.8% were willing to pay. Simultaneously, the Heckit sample selection model was used to analyse the data to identify the factors responsible for farmers’ willingness to pay and total livestock units to insure. The findings revealed that farmer’s experience, age, education, marital status, awareness of insurance and household dependents were statistically significant, and influenced the maximum price R600 ($42, max willingness to pay, WTP) of those who accepted index-based livestock insurance. However, by implication, the study concluded that to adopt index-based livestock insurance in the study area among the livestock farmers, there should be policies to cater for the aforementioned factors. Full article
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Article
Sugar Beet Harvests under Modern Climatic Conditions in the Belgorod Region (Southwest Russia)
Climate 2020, 8(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030046 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
The weather and climate conditions contributing to the energy and water availability during the sugar beet vegetation period within the Belgorod Region were studied. It was found that the sugar beet yield in the region currently depends on the climate at the 15% [...] Read more.
The weather and climate conditions contributing to the energy and water availability during the sugar beet vegetation period within the Belgorod Region were studied. It was found that the sugar beet yield in the region currently depends on the climate at the 15% level. The variability and trends of sugar beet yields and sugar content dynamics correlated with that of the observed during a 60-year period are determined using statistical techniques such as correlation, and regression and time series analysis. The variation for the sugar content (or “sugariness”) over this period as related to the regional weather and climate showed a nonlinear relationship. The sugar content is related inversely to the combined (via the Hydrothermal Coefficient—HTC) influence of precipitation and temperature during the warm season (temperatures between 15 and 20 °C). A decrease (increase) in HTC contributes to an increase (decrease) in the beet sugar content. However, it was noted that during sugar content increases, there is a decrease in the regional sugar beet yield. We can conclude that the increased sugar content of beet in relevant years compensates for the decrease in the yield parameter. Finally, there was a correlation between the regional variability in the sugar content of beets with Bruckner solar cycles and atmospheric teleconnections in that during warm and dry periods, the sugar content increases, and for cold and wet periods is reduced. Full article
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Article
The Moist Adiabat, Key of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing
Climate 2020, 8(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030045 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
A straightforward mechanism based on properties of the moist adiabat is proposed to construe the observed latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of the anthropogenic forcing efficiency. Considering precipitation patterns at the planetary scale, idealized environmental adiabats leading to low-pressure systems are deduced. When the [...] Read more.
A straightforward mechanism based on properties of the moist adiabat is proposed to construe the observed latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of the anthropogenic forcing efficiency. Considering precipitation patterns at the planetary scale, idealized environmental adiabats leading to low-pressure systems are deduced. When the climate system responds to a small perturbation, which reflects radiative forcing that follows increasing anthropogenic emissions, the dry and moist adiabatic lapse rates move away from each other as the temperature of the moist adiabat at the altitude z = 0 increases. When the atmosphere becomes unstable, under the influence of the perturbation, a positive feedback loop occurs because of a transient change in the emission level height of outgoing longwave radiation in the saturated absorption bands of water vapor. During these periods of instability, the perturbation of the climate system is exerted with the concomitant warming of the surface temperature. In contrast, the return of the surface temperature to its initial value before the development of the cyclonic system is very slow because heat exchanges are mainly ruled by latent and sensible heat fluxes. Consequently, the mean surface temperature turns out to result from successive events with asymmetrical surface–atmosphere heat exchanges. The forcing efficiency differs according to whether atmospheric instability has a continental or oceanic origin. Hence the rendition of the latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of the observed surface temperature response to anthropogenic forcing, which specifies in detail the mechanisms involved in the various climate systems, including the Arctic amplification. Full article
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Article
A Sensitivity Study of High-Resolution Climate Simulations for Greece
Climate 2020, 8(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030044 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
In the present study, the ability of the Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting numerical model (WRF-ARW) to perform climate regionalization studies in the topographically complex region of Greece, was examined in order to explore the possibility of a more reliable selection of physical [...] Read more.
In the present study, the ability of the Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting numerical model (WRF-ARW) to perform climate regionalization studies in the topographically complex region of Greece, was examined in order to explore the possibility of a more reliable selection of physical schemes for the simulation of historical and future high resolution (5 km) climate model experiments to investigate the impact of climate change. This work is directly linked to a previous study investigating the performance of seven different model setups for one year, from which the need was derived for further examination of four different simulations to investigate the model sensitivity on the representation of surface variables statistics during a 5-year period. The results have been compared with observational data for maximum and minimum air temperature and daily precipitation through statistical analysis. Clear similarities were found in precipitation patterns among simulations and observations, yielding smoothly its inter-annual variability, especially during the wettest months and summer periods, with the lowest positive percentage BIAS calculated at about 19% for the selected combination of physics parameterizations (PP3). Regarding the maximum and minimum temperature, statistical analysis showed a high correlation above 0.9, and negative bias around 1−1.5 °C, and positive bias near 2 °C, respectively. Full article
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Review
The Future of Semi-Arid Regions: A Weak Fabric Unravels
Climate 2020, 8(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030043 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
The regions of the world where average precipitation is between one fifth and half of the potential plant water demand are termed ‘semi-arid’. They make up 15.2% of the global land surface, and the approximately 1.1 billion people who live there are among [...] Read more.
The regions of the world where average precipitation is between one fifth and half of the potential plant water demand are termed ‘semi-arid’. They make up 15.2% of the global land surface, and the approximately 1.1 billion people who live there are among the world’s poorest. The inter-annual variability of rainfall in semi-arid regions is exceptionally high, due to intrinsic features of the global atmospheric circulation. The observed and projected climate trends for most semi-arid regions indicate warming at rates above the global mean rate over land, increasing evaporative demand, and reduced and more variable rainfall. Historically, the ecosystems and people coped with the challenges of semi-arid climates using a range of strategies that are now less viable. Semi-arid ecosystems are by definition water limited, generally only suitable for extensive pastoralism and opportunistic cropping, unless irrigation supplementation is available. The characteristics of dryland plant production in semi-arid ecosystems, as they interact with climate change and human systems, provide a conceptual framework for why land degradation is so conspicuous in semi-arid regions. The coupled social-ecological failures are contagious, both within the landscape and at regional and global scales. Thus, semi-arid lands are a likely flashpoint for Earth system changes in the 21st century. Full article
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Article
Ecological Niche Models Reveal Climate Change Effect on Biogeographical Regions: The Iberian Peninsula as a Case Study
Climate 2020, 8(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030042 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3910
Abstract
How species are distributed on Earth depends largely on climate factors. Whenever these environmental conditions change, species tend to shift their distributions to reach more favourable conditions. Distinct sets of species similarly distributed (i.e., chorotypes) occur in biogeographical regions with homogeneous environmental conditions. [...] Read more.
How species are distributed on Earth depends largely on climate factors. Whenever these environmental conditions change, species tend to shift their distributions to reach more favourable conditions. Distinct sets of species similarly distributed (i.e., chorotypes) occur in biogeographical regions with homogeneous environmental conditions. Here, we analysed whether biogeographical regions are unstable over time (from the past to the future). We modelled the realised niche of amphibians and reptiles in the Iberian Peninsula in the present, and several past and future climate scenarios. Then, we used Jaccard’s index and the unweighted pair group method (UPGMA) to define the biogeographical regions. Our results suggest that the biogeographical regions of Iberian amphibians and reptiles changed greatly over time, due to the climatic changes between periods. Biogeographical regions composed of species with Atlantic affinities changed particularly, overall gaining suitable areas in past colder periods and losing suitable areas in warmer periods. The areas of refugia for amphibians over time corresponded to the most humid regions (north-west of the peninsula), while the most important areas for reptiles occur in the south and on the Atlantic coast. The identification of biogeographical patterns considering past climate changes is essential to better apply conservation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts at Various Geographical Scales)
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Article
A Subregional Model of System Dynamics Research on Surface Water Resource Assessment for Paddy Rice Production under Climate Change in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta
Climate 2020, 8(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030041 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
Effective water management plays an important role in socioeconomic development in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD). The impacts of climate change and human activities (that is, domestic consumption and industrial and agricultural activities) vary in different subregions of the delta. In order to [...] Read more.
Effective water management plays an important role in socioeconomic development in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD). The impacts of climate change and human activities (that is, domestic consumption and industrial and agricultural activities) vary in different subregions of the delta. In order to provide intersectoral data for determining the significantly impacted subregions of the VMD, the present study simulated interactions between local climatic patterns, human activities, and water resources using a system dynamics modeling (SDM) approach with each subregion as an agent of the developed model. The average rainfall and temperature of 121 subregions in the VMD were collected during 1982–2012, and the future changes of climate by provinces were based on the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) by the end of 21st century. The assessment was based on the levels of impact of various factors, including (1) water consumption, (2) differences between evapotranspiration and rainfall, and (3) spatial distribution of salinity intrusion over the delta scale. In the coastal areas, as well as the central and upstream areas, water resources were projected to be affected by environmental changes, whereas the former, characterized by the lack of surface freshwater, would be affected at a greater scale during the dry season. Besides, the sea level rise would lead to an increase in negative impacts in the eastern coastal areas, suggesting that water-saving techniques should be applied not only for agriculture, but also for industry and domestic water consumption during the dry season. In addition, the south subregions (that is, the western subregions of the Hau River except for An Giang) were likely to be flooded due to the simulated high rainfall and seasonal rises of sea level during the wet season. Therefore, the alternative forms of settlement and livelihood should be considered toward balance management with changing delta dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Local to Global Precipitation Dynamics and Climate Interaction)
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Article
Probability Risk of Heat- and Cold-Related Mortality to Temperature, Gender, and Age Using GAM Regression Analysis
Climate 2020, 8(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030040 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
We have examined the heat and cold-related mortality risk subject to cold and heat extremes by using a generalized additive model (GAM) regression technique to quantify the effect of the stimulus of mortality in the presence of covariate data for 2007–2014 in Nicosia, [...] Read more.
We have examined the heat and cold-related mortality risk subject to cold and heat extremes by using a generalized additive model (GAM) regression technique to quantify the effect of the stimulus of mortality in the presence of covariate data for 2007–2014 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The use of the GAM technique with multiple linear regression allowed for the continuous covariates of temperature and diurnal temperature range (DTR) to be modeled as smooth functions and the lag period was considered to relate mortality to lagged values of temperature. Our findings indicate that the previous three days’ temperatures were strongly predictive of mortality. The mortality risk decreased as the minimum temperature (Tmin) increased from the coldest days to a certain threshold temperature about 20–21°C (different for each age group and gender), above which the mortality risk increased as Tmin increased. The investigated fixed factors analysis showed an insignificant association of gender-mortality, whereas the age-mortality association showed that the population over 80 was more vulnerable to temperature variations. It was recommended that the minimum mortality temperature is calculated using the minimum daily temperatures because it has a stronger correlation to the probability for risk of mortality. It is still undetermined as to what degree a change in existing climatic conditions will increase the environmental stress to humans as the population is acclimatized to different climates with different threshold temperatures and minimum mortality temperatures. Full article
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Article
Monitoring Climate Change in World Heritage Properties: Evaluating Landscape-Based Approach in the State of Conservation System
Climate 2020, 8(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030039 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2588
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to natural and cultural World Heritage (WH) sites worldwide. Through its interaction with other stressors, climate change accelerates existing risks while also creating new obstacles. A more considerable focus is needed in both research [...] Read more.
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to natural and cultural World Heritage (WH) sites worldwide. Through its interaction with other stressors, climate change accelerates existing risks while also creating new obstacles. A more considerable focus is needed in both research and practice to explore proactive measures for combatting this issue (e.g., mitigation and actions prior to impacts occurring). World Heritage values in climate change decision-making processes is an important factor in this regard. This paper explores a discussion of climate change within the WH monitoring system. It offers an overview of practice based on the extent to which WH properties (natural, mixed and cultural) implement landscape-based approaches alongside the conservation and management of their outstanding universal value within the context of climate uncertainty and environmental change. Landscape approaches are gaining importance in the WH conservation system, where they aim to provide concepts and tools for managing heritage toward sustainable practices. This research analyses the state of conservation reports and provides an overview of practice across time, categories and geographical regions. Based on a theoretical approach, empirical analyses identify four landscape principles that are increasingly shaping the debate around climate change issues in WH properties. Although these are highly relevant to advancing much-needed collaboration among scientific disciplines and governance sectors, we argue that further understanding is required on the transformational process of heritage values, as well as on the nature–culture relationship, in order to underpin heritage as a source for local resilience and climate mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Article
An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites
Climate 2020, 8(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2710
Abstract
This study develops a climate communication recognition scheme (CCRS) for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites (WHS), in order to explore the communicative power of heritage to mobilize stakeholders around climate change. We present this scheme with the [...] Read more.
This study develops a climate communication recognition scheme (CCRS) for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites (WHS), in order to explore the communicative power of heritage to mobilize stakeholders around climate change. We present this scheme with the aim to influence site management and tourist decision-making by increasing climate awareness at heritage sites and among visitors and encouraging the incorporation of carbon management into heritage site management. Given the deficits and dysfunction in international governance for climate mitigation and inspired by transnational environmental governance tools such as ecolabels and environmental product information schemes, we offer “climate communication recognition schemes” as a corollary tool for transnational climate governance and communication. We assess and develop four dimensions for the CCRS, featuring 50 WHS: carbon footprint analysis, narrative potential, sustainability practices, and the impacts of climate change on heritage resources. In our development of a CCRS, this study builds on the “branding” value and recognition of UNESCO World Heritage, set against the backdrop of increasing tourism—including the projected doubling of international air travel in the next 15–20 years—and the implications of this growth for climate change. The CCRS, titled Climate Footprints of Heritage Tourism, is available online as an ArcGIS StoryMap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Review
Meteorological and Ancillary Data Resources for Climate Research in Urban Areas
Climate 2020, 8(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030037 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2035
Abstract
An increasing plethora of both meteorological and ancillary data are presently available for climate research and applications in urban areas. The data are often held by local or national institutions (i.e., meteorological services, universities or environmental agencies). This paper outlines a total number [...] Read more.
An increasing plethora of both meteorological and ancillary data are presently available for climate research and applications in urban areas. The data are often held by local or national institutions (i.e., meteorological services, universities or environmental agencies). This paper outlines a total number of 33 datasets, organized into three main categories of meteorological data resources (14 datasets) and four categories of ancillary data resources (19 datasets), selected for their potential to support urban climate studies, but also for their free accessibility. Such a collection cannot be exhaustive, but we aim to draw the attention of the scientific community to relevant datasets, freely available at temporal and spatial resolutions appropriate for urban climatology. Each dataset contains information about its availability, limitations, and examples of research in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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