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Climate, Volume 8, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 11 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) There is considerable concern worldwide over the potential impacts of plant invasions in protected [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Understanding the Knowledge and Data Landscape of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in the Chesapeake Bay Region: A Systematic Review
Climate 2020, 8(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040058 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly threatening coastal communities around the world. This article reviews the literature on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Chesapeake Bay region (USA). We reviewed both climate impacts and adaptation literature (n = 283) published in the period 2007–2018 [...] Read more.
Climate change is increasingly threatening coastal communities around the world. This article reviews the literature on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Chesapeake Bay region (USA). We reviewed both climate impacts and adaptation literature (n = 283) published in the period 2007–2018 to answer the questions: (i) how are indicators of climate impacts measured and reported by different types of authors (e.g., scientists, government, and NGOs), document types (e.g., academic articles or reports), and geographic focus (e.g., State, region, county, or municipal level)? (ii) what are the current approaches for measuring the most pressing climate impacts in the Chesapeake Bay? We found that scientists produce the most amount of data but are increasingly shifting towards engaging with practitioners through reports and online resources. Most indicators focus on the Chesapeake Bay scale, but data is most needed at the local level where adaptive policies are implemented. Our analysis shows emerging approaches to monitoring climate hazards and areas where synergies between types of authors are likely to increase resilience in the 21st century. This review expands the understanding of the information network in the Chesapeake Bay and explores the institutional landscape of stakeholders involved in the production and consumption of environmental and social change data. The analysis and insights of this review may be extended to similar regions around the planet experiencing or anticipating similar climate hazards to the Chesapeake Bay. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Climatic Warming and Wildfires on Recent Vegetation Changes in the Lake Baikal Basin
Climate 2020, 8(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040057 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The vegetation changes in the area of the Russian part of the Lake Baikal water basin for the period 2010–2018 were investigated using MCD12C1 land cover. The decline in swamp systems area began in 2012 and continued until 2015, after which it partially [...] Read more.
The vegetation changes in the area of the Russian part of the Lake Baikal water basin for the period 2010–2018 were investigated using MCD12C1 land cover. The decline in swamp systems area began in 2012 and continued until 2015, after which it partially recovered during the heavy rain season in 2018. During the period of 2010–2018, the area covered by forests did not exceed 20.3% of the Baikal basin of the total portion of the Baikal basin under study. Deforestation began in 2013 and continued until 2017. Over 2013–2018, the forest level decreased by 12.1% compared to the forest state in 2013. The analysis of summer rainfalls and aridity indexes was performed by using CRU TS and GPCC climatic datasets. It is shown that the interannual variations of precipitation and aridity changes are determined by the variability of the global circulation of moist air masses. The MCD64A1 (burned area) and MCD14ML (active fires) MODIS products were used for investigation of the influence of wildfires on vegetation changes. The spatial hotspot distributions and burned areas in general correspond to aridity zones, but they cannot explain the 20-fold increase in the number of wildfires. Most of the hotspot locations are away from settlements, roads, and loggings, in difficult-to-access mountainous areas, as well as in the low-inhabited areas of Siberia. We assume that the nature of such ignitions includes dry thunderstorms, pyrocumulus lightning, or remote impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Climate Change)
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Open AccessCommunication
Environmental Concerns of Russian Businesses: Top Company Missions and Climate Change Agenda
Climate 2020, 8(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040056 - 13 Apr 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Climate change is on the national agenda of Russia due to this country’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the expected degree of warming and precipitation increase in its territory. A content analysis of the mission statements of the 100 biggest Russian companies [...] Read more.
Climate change is on the national agenda of Russia due to this country’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the expected degree of warming and precipitation increase in its territory. A content analysis of the mission statements of the 100 biggest Russian companies shows that 18.5% of them deal with environmental issues. About half of the companies that declare pro-environmental behavior belong to the energy production and transmission industry. It also is found that more than 30% of all leading hydrocarbon, chemical, and mining companies express environmental concerns in their mission statements. The main environmental priorities declared by the top Russian companies include caring for nature, production ecologization, energy efficiency, and ecological standards. These priorities are related to climate-friendly behavior, but the latter is not stated directly. Direct consideration of climate change in the mission statements of Russian companies is recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Anomalies and Trends of Climate Change Indices in Zacatecas, Mexico
Climate 2020, 8(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040055 - 11 Apr 2020
Viewed by 854
Abstract
Sufficient evidence is currently available to demonstrate the reality of the warming of our planet’s climate system. Global warming has different effects on climate at the regional and local levels. The detection of changes in extreme events using instrumental data provides further evidence [...] Read more.
Sufficient evidence is currently available to demonstrate the reality of the warming of our planet’s climate system. Global warming has different effects on climate at the regional and local levels. The detection of changes in extreme events using instrumental data provides further evidence of such warming and allows for the characterization of its local manifestations. The present study analyzes changes in temperature and precipitation extremes in the Mexican state of Zacatecas using climate change indices developed by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI). We studied a 40-year period (1976–2015) using annual and seasonal time series. Maximum and minimum temperature data were used, as well as precipitation statistics from the Mexican climatology database (CLICOM) provided by the Mexican Meteorological Service. Weather stations with at least 80% of data availability for the selected study period were selected; these databases were subjected to quality control, homogenization, and data filling using Climatol, which runs in the R programming language. These homogenized series were used to obtain daily grids of the three variables at a resolution of 1.3 km. Results reveal important changes in temperature-related indices, such as the increase in maximum temperature and the decrease in minimum temperature. Irregular variability was observed in the case of precipitation, which could be associated with low-frequency oscillations such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. The possible impact of these changes in temperature and the increased irregularity of precipitation could have a negative impact on the agricultural sector, especially given that the state of Zacatecas is the largest national bean producer. The most important problems in the short term will be related to the difficulty of adapting to these rapid changes and the new climate scenario, which will pose new challenges in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptation of Mediterranean Olive Groves to Climate Change through Sustainable Cultivation Practices
Climate 2020, 8(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040054 - 11 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 468
Abstract
Olive cultivation is considered as one of the most significant agricultural activities in Greece, from a financial, social, and ecological point of view. Intensive cultivation practices in combination with the Mediterranean climate, lead to depletion of soil organic matter, erosion, desertification, and degradation [...] Read more.
Olive cultivation is considered as one of the most significant agricultural activities in Greece, from a financial, social, and ecological point of view. Intensive cultivation practices in combination with the Mediterranean climate, lead to depletion of soil organic matter, erosion, desertification, and degradation of water resources. This paper describes sustainable olive crop management practices that were comparatively applied in 120 olive groves in Greece for 5 years with the participation of three farmers groups. Organic materials recycled in the olive groves during the present study were valuable sources of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Carbon content was highest in pruning residue (53.8–54.2%) while all materials studied were considered rich in C ranging between 41.9–46.2% (compost) and 34.9–42.5% (three-phase olive mill waste-OMW). The highest content in nitrogen was detected in compost (2–2.45%) followed by pruning residue (0.93–0.99%) and OMW (0.03–0.1%). Compost was considered a good source of phosphorus (0.3–0.6%) followed by pruning residue (0.08–0.13%) and OMW (0.01–0.3%). Potassium was also considerable in the organic materials recycled ranging 0.5–1.5% in compost followed by pruning residue (0.5–0.7%) and OMW (0.3–1.1%). Adoption of modified pruning also had important contribution toward sustainable management of olive trees. Sustainable pruning resulted in a well-balanced ratio between vegetative growth and fruiting (balanced, every year, in order to eradicate biennial bearing). Significant fluctuation in olive yields was observed in the first years of the project while yields were gradually stabilised by applying sustainable crop management. In parallel, yield increase without additional inputs, lowers the carbon—environmental footprint of the product regarding several environmental impact categories. Results can be integrated in the national agricultural and environmental policy in Mediterranean countries toward the achievement of a circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Water Security and Management under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Autumn Precipitation over the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River Basin Based on Climate Indices
Climate 2020, 8(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040053 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Autumn precipitation (AP) has important impacts on agricultural production, water conservation, and water transportation in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin (MLYRB; 25°–35° N and 105°–122° E). We obtain the main empirical orthogonal function (EOF) modes of the interannual [...] Read more.
Autumn precipitation (AP) has important impacts on agricultural production, water conservation, and water transportation in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin (MLYRB; 25°–35° N and 105°–122° E). We obtain the main empirical orthogonal function (EOF) modes of the interannual variation in AP based on daily precipitation data from 97 stations throughout the MLYRB during 1980–2015. The results show that the first leading EOF mode accounts for 30.83% of the total variation. The spatial pattern shows uniform change over the whole region. The variance contribution of the second mode is 16.13%, and its spatial distribution function shows a north-south phase inversion. Based on previous research and the physical considerations discussed herein, we include 13 climate indices to reveal the major predictors. To obtain an acceptable prediction performance, we comprehensively rank the climate indices, which are sorted according to the values of the new standardized algorithm of information flow (NIF, a causality-based approach) and correlation coefficient (a traditional climate diagnostic tool). Finally, Tropical Indian Ocean Dipole (TIOD), Arctic Oscillation (AO), and other four indicators are chosen as the final predictors affecting the first mode of AP over the MLYRB; NINO3.4 SSTA (NINO3.4), Atlantic-European Circulation E Pattern (AECE), and other four indicators are the major predictors for the second mode. In the final prediction experiment, considering the time series prediction of principal components (PCs) to be a small-sample problem, the Bayesian linear regression (BLR) model is used for the prediction. The experimental results reveal that the BLR model can effectively capture the time series trends of the first two modes (the correlation coefficients are greater than 0.5), and the overall performance is significantly better than that of the multiple linear regression (MLR) model. The prediction factors and precipitation prediction results identified in this study can be referenced to rapidly obtain climatological information for AP over the MLYRB and improve the regional prediction of AP elsewhere, which will also help policymakers prepare appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures for future climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation: Forecasting and Climate Projections)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling of Regional Economic Metabolism
Climate 2020, 8(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040052 - 02 Apr 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The current linear economic system has led Europe to unsustainable development, aggravating several issues, such as climate change, limitation of resources, and pollution. As a sustainable alternative, circular economy (CE) has been promoted around the world. This economic system allows for the maximization [...] Read more.
The current linear economic system has led Europe to unsustainable development, aggravating several issues, such as climate change, limitation of resources, and pollution. As a sustainable alternative, circular economy (CE) has been promoted around the world. This economic system allows for the maximization of a product’s life, thus decreasing its environmental impact and increasing its value. The main goal of this work is to scrutinise the concepts of CE over time, from the beginning of the concept, to its implementation in Europe and its application in Portugal. In addition, the requirement for strategies that led to studies on regional urban metabolism are addressed. Another goal is to examine Portugal and see how the country is dealing with the implementation of strategies for CE, moving from concept to practice. This part of the work resulted in the creation of the REMET-UA model, a tool to assess the regional economic metabolism, which also has the potential to evaluate synergies of materials in terms of fluxes between regions, maximizing the amount of information available at this scale for municipalities and enterprises to be used, having taken into account the purpose of circular economy. The results showed that REMET-UA is fully operational and corresponds to the goal for which the model was made. Future developments have been identified and are underway to improve the model and bring it as close to reality as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fighting Climate Change with Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Risks of Plant Invasions in Protected Areas of Sri Lanka under Climate Change with Special Reference to Threatened Vertebrates
Climate 2020, 8(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040051 - 01 Apr 2020
Viewed by 414
Abstract
There is substantial global concern over the potential impacts of plant invasions on native biodiversity in protected areas (PAs). Protected areas in tropical island countries that host rich biodiversity face an imminent risk from the potential spread of invasive alien plant species. Thus, [...] Read more.
There is substantial global concern over the potential impacts of plant invasions on native biodiversity in protected areas (PAs). Protected areas in tropical island countries that host rich biodiversity face an imminent risk from the potential spread of invasive alien plant species. Thus, the aim of this study was to gain a general understanding of the potential risks of multiple plant invasions in PAs located in the tropical island of Sri Lanka under projected climate change. We conducted a further analysis of a multi-species climate suitability assessment, based on a previous study using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling approach, and tested how species invasion may change in protected areas under climate change. We evaluated how the climate suitability of 14 nationally recognized invasive alien plant species (IAPS) will vary within PAs and outside PAs by 2050 under two climate change scenarios, representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5. Our findings suggest that there will be increased risks from multiple IAPS inside PAs and outside PAs in Sri Lanka in the future; however, the potential risk is comparatively less in PAs. We provide an overview of the species richness of selected threatened vertebrate groups, which can be potentially impacted by IAPS in PAs. The findings of this study highlight important implications for the strategic management of plant invasions in PAs in order to safeguard native biodiversity, with special reference to vertebrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Sea Surface Temperatures and Sea Level Rise—The Arabian Gulf
Climate 2020, 8(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040050 - 30 Mar 2020
Viewed by 486
Abstract
The Arabian Gulf is one of the regions in the world experiencing major changes due to increased economic growth rates and development practices. As a shallow water body within a hot desert, the Gulf is exposed to obvious warming in the sea surface [...] Read more.
The Arabian Gulf is one of the regions in the world experiencing major changes due to increased economic growth rates and development practices. As a shallow water body within a hot desert, the Gulf is exposed to obvious warming in the sea surface temperatures (SST). Remotely sensed SST data were utilized to estimate decadal change in SST with a focus on coral reef locations. There is a positive trend in monthly time series SSTs, with a maximum value of about 0.7 °C/decade for the western side of the Gulf. This high trend of SST is associated with significant coral reef bleaching and it coincides with major climate/ocean interactions. Most of the Arabian countries along the Gulf have coastal developments at low-land areas of high vulnerability to sea level rise. Digital elevation models showed that there are more than 3100 km2 of coastal areas that occur at 1 m level along the Arabian countries of the Gulf. Coastal protection and conservation measures are crucial to protect low-lying coasts of urban use. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Review of Ocean Dynamics in the North Atlantic: Achievements and Challenges
Climate 2020, 8(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040049 - 30 Mar 2020
Viewed by 382
Abstract
I address 12 issues related to the study of ocean dynamics and its impact on global temperature change, regional and local climate change, and on the North Atlantic ecosystem. I outline the present achievements and challenges that lie ahead. I start with observations [...] Read more.
I address 12 issues related to the study of ocean dynamics and its impact on global temperature change, regional and local climate change, and on the North Atlantic ecosystem. I outline the present achievements and challenges that lie ahead. I start with observations and methods to extend the observations of ocean oscillations over time and end with challenges to find connections between ocean dynamics in the North Atlantic and dynamics in other parts of the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The North Atlantic Ocean Dynamics and Climate Change)
Open AccessReview
Human–Environment Natural Disasters Interconnection in China: A Review
Climate 2020, 8(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8040048 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the interrelationship among extreme natural events and their impacts on environments and humans through a systematic and quantitative review based on the up-to-date scientific literature. Namely, the main goal was to add additional knowledge to the existing evidence [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the interrelationship among extreme natural events and their impacts on environments and humans through a systematic and quantitative review based on the up-to-date scientific literature. Namely, the main goal was to add additional knowledge to the existing evidence of the impacts related to floods, droughts, and landslides on humans and the environment in China; this in order to identify knowledge gaps in research and practice to aid in improving the adaptation and mitigation measures against extreme natural events in China. In this study, 110 documents were analyzed in the evaluation of several impacts triggered by extreme events. Records were obtained from Scopus and Web of Science and examined with a text mining instrument to assess the pattern of publications over the years; the problems linked to extreme weather events were investigated, and the study gaps were discussed. This paper extends work by systematically reviewing recent evidence related to floods, droughts, and landslides in China. We listed the critical studies that focused on the impact of extreme events on both humans and the environment described in current reviews. The findings revealed that goods safety, social safety, and financial losses are of significant concern to the scientific community due to extreme natural events, which from our analysis resulted in being more frequent and intense. It is still underdeveloped to implement distant sensing and imaging methods to monitor and detect the impact of severe weather occurrences. There are still significant study gaps in the fields of the effects of extreme weather events. The analysis result shows that extreme events are increased during the time, so more in-depth investigation and efforts on adaptation, mitigation measures, and strategical governance plans are desperately required. Full article
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