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Climate, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): It is imperative to avoid passing the warming threshold of ΔT=1.5–2°C. The scale of anthropogenic climate change is daunting, but our research illustrates that the rapid expansion of wind energy could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and measurably change the trajectory of global temperatures. The levelized cost of energy from wind is competitive. A sizeable fraction of the installed capacity increases may be achieved via repowering or via offshore wind farms requiring no additional land. Increasing the installed wind energy capacity to approximately double current rates and implementing measures consistent with the IPCC RCP 4.5 emissions scenario, the ΔT=2°C threshold can still be avoided. If rapid expansion of the installed wind energy capacity were to be implemented as per the RCP 6.0 or 8.5 scenarios, the global temperature increase by 2100 could be reduced by 0.3–0.8°C. View this paper
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Article
Predicting Water Availability in Water Bodies under the Influence of Precipitation and Water Management Actions Using VAR/VECM/LSTM
Climate 2021, 9(9), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090144 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Recently, awareness about the significance of water management has risen as population growth and global warming increase, and economic activities and land use continue to stress our water resources. In addition, global water sustenance efforts are crippled by capital-intensive water treatments and water [...] Read more.
Recently, awareness about the significance of water management has risen as population growth and global warming increase, and economic activities and land use continue to stress our water resources. In addition, global water sustenance efforts are crippled by capital-intensive water treatments and water reclamation projects. In this paper, a study of water bodies to predict the amount of water in each water body using identifiable unique features and to assess the behavior of these features on others in the event of shock was undertaken. A comparative study, using a parametric model, was conducted among Vector Autoregression (VAR), the Vector Error Correction Model (VECM), and the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model for determining the change in water level and water flow of water bodies. Besides, orthogonalized impulse responses (OIR) and forecast error variance decompositions (FEVD) explaining the evolution of water levels and flow rates, the study shows the significance of VAR/VECM models over LSTM. It was found that on some water bodies, the VAR model gave reliable results. In contrast, water bodies such as water springs gave mixed results of VAR/VECM. Full article
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Article
Distributed Energy Balance Flux Modelling of Mass Balances in the Artesonraju Glacier and Discharge in the Basin of Artesoncocha, Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Climate 2021, 9(9), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090143 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
A distributed energy balance model (DEBAM) is applied to estimate the mass balance of the Artesonraju glacier in the Cordillera Blanca (CB), Peru, and to simulate the ensuing discharge into its respective basin, Artesoncocha. The energy balance model calibrations show that, by using [...] Read more.
A distributed energy balance model (DEBAM) is applied to estimate the mass balance of the Artesonraju glacier in the Cordillera Blanca (CB), Peru, and to simulate the ensuing discharge into its respective basin, Artesoncocha. The energy balance model calibrations show that, by using seasonal albedos, reasonable results for mass balances and discharge can be obtained, as witnessed by annually aggregated Nash Sutcliffe coefficients (E) of 0.60–0.87 for discharge and of 0.58–0.71 for mass measurements carried out in the period 2004–2007. Mass losses between −1.42 and −0.45 m.w.e. are calculated for that period. The elevation line altitudes (ELAs), which lie between 5009 and 5050 m.a.s.l., are also well simulated, compared to those measured by the Unidad Glaciologica de Recursos Hídricos del Perú (UGRH). It is demonstrated that the net radiation which drives the energy balance and melting processes is mainly affected by the amount of reflected shortwave radiation from the different surfaces. Moreover, the longwave radiation sinks between 63 and 73% of solar radiative energy in the dry season. Further sensitivity studies indicate that the assumed threshold temperature T0 is crucial in mass balance simulations, as it determines the extension of areas with different albedos. An optimal T0 between 2.6 and 3.8 °C is deduced from these simulations. Full article
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Article
Effects of Climate Conditions on TP Outsourcing in Lake Kinneret (Israel)
Climate 2021, 9(9), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090142 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 879
Abstract
Since the mid-1980s, significant changes in climate conditions have occurred, and trends of dryness in the Kinneret drainage basin have been documented, including a temperature increase and precipitation decline. The precipitation decline, and consequently the reduction in river discharge, resulted in a decrease [...] Read more.
Since the mid-1980s, significant changes in climate conditions have occurred, and trends of dryness in the Kinneret drainage basin have been documented, including a temperature increase and precipitation decline. The precipitation decline, and consequently the reduction in river discharge, resulted in a decrease in TP (total phosphorus) flux into Lake Kinneret. After the drainage of the Hula natural wetlands and old Lake Hula during the 1950s, the ecological characteristics of the Hula Valley were modified. Nutrient fluxes downstream into Lake Kinneret were therefore predicted. The impacts of climate conditions (precipitation and discharge) on TP (total phosphorus) outsourcing through erosive action are significant: higher and lower discharge enhances and reduces TP load, respectively. The total TP flushing range from the Hula Valley peat soil through the subterranean medium and where TP is directed are not precisely known but are probably outside Lake Kinneret. Most runoff water and mediated TP originates from bedrock through erosive action. Long-term records of TP concentrations in headwaters and potential resources in the Hula Valley confirmed the significant influence of climate conditions on the outsourcing of TP capacity. The impacts of agricultural development, external fertilizer loads and migratory cranes in the winter are probably insignificant. Full article
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Perspective
Adaptation to Climate Change by Australian Farmers
Climate 2021, 9(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090141 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Climate change in the form of higher temperatures, changes of rainfall patterns, and for some, more natural disasters will reduce the returns from current farming choices on what to produce and the production methods. Variation of climate change across regions and uncertainty about [...] Read more.
Climate change in the form of higher temperatures, changes of rainfall patterns, and for some, more natural disasters will reduce the returns from current farming choices on what to produce and the production methods. Variation of climate change across regions and uncertainty about the magnitudes of change call for a diverse mix of adaptations to climate change across different regions and individual farms. This paper considers the institutional structure for effective climate change adaptation by Australian farms. It is argued that a rerun of the history of successful adaptation of farms to new technology, changes in output and input prices, natural climate variation, and other circumstances can be repeated for climate change adaptation. Individual farms can benefit from incentives and rewards to revise their decisions, which will combine with better individual outcomes. Complementary support by the government includes the provision of climate change and weather forecast information, support for research into new technology, help to evaluate the pros and cons of alternative choices, and provision of a social safety net for those unable to adapt. Full article
Article
Ensembles for Viticulture Climate Classifications of the Willamette Valley Wine Region
Climate 2021, 9(9), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090140 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Future climate projections provide an opportunity to evaluate cultivar climate classification and preferred styles of wine production for a wine grape growing region. However, ensemble selection must account for downscaled archive model skills and interdependence rather than be arbitrary and subjective. Relatedly, methods [...] Read more.
Future climate projections provide an opportunity to evaluate cultivar climate classification and preferred styles of wine production for a wine grape growing region. However, ensemble selection must account for downscaled archive model skills and interdependence rather than be arbitrary and subjective. Relatedly, methods for generalizing climate model choice remain uncertain, particularly for identifying optimal ensemble subsets. In this study we consider the complete archive of the thirty-two Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) daily Localized Constructed Analogs (LOCA) downscaled historic datasets and their observational data that were used for downscaling and bias corrections. We apply four model averaging methods to determine optimal ensembles for the computation of six common climate classification indices for the Willamette Valley (WV) American Viticultural Area (AVA). Among the four methods evaluated, elastic-net regularization consistently performed best with identifying optimal ensemble subsets. Variation exists among the optimal ensembles computed for each of the six bioclimatic indices. However, a subset of approximately seven to ten climate models were consistently excluded across all six indices’ ensembles. While specific to the archive and wine region, optimal ensemble sizes were noticeably larger than ensemble sizes commonly employed in published studies. Results are reported such that they can be used by researchers to independently perform analyses involving any one of the six bioclimatic indices throughout the WV AVA while using historic and future LOCA CMIP5 climate projections. The data and methods employed herein are applicable for other wine regions. Full article
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Review
Temperature and Precipitation Extremes over the Iberian Peninsula under Climate Change Scenarios: A Review
Climate 2021, 9(9), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090139 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of temperature and precipitation extremes over the Iberian Peninsula, focusing on observed changes in temperature and precipitation during the past years and what are the projected changes by the end of the 21st century. [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of temperature and precipitation extremes over the Iberian Peninsula, focusing on observed changes in temperature and precipitation during the past years and what are the projected changes by the end of the 21st century. The purpose of this review is to assess the current literature about extreme events and their change under global warming. Observational and climate modeling studies from the past decade were considered in this review. Based on observational evidence and in climate modeling experiments, mean and maximum temperatures are projected to increase about 2 °C around the mid-century and up to 4 °C by the end of the century. The more pronounced warming is expected in summer for the central-south region of IP, with temperatures reaching 6 °C to 8 °C around 2100. Days with maximum temperature exceeding 30 °C and 40 °C will become more common (20 to 50 days/year), and the heatwaves will be 7 to 10 times more frequent. Significative reduction in events related to cold extremes. The climate change signal for precipitation in IP shows a considerable decline in precipitation (10–15%) for all seasons except winter. It is predicted that heavy precipitation will increase by 7% to 15%. Extreme precipitation will increase slightly (5%) by mid-century, then decline to 0% by 2100. Significant reduction in wet days (40% to 60%) followed by a dryness trend more pronounced by the end of the century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather Events)
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Article
Drought Coincided with, but Does Not Explain, Late Holocene Megafauna Extinctions in SW Madagascar
Climate 2021, 9(9), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090138 - 01 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Climate drying could have transformed ecosystems in southern Madagascar during recent millennia by contributing to the extinction of endemic megafauna. However, the extent of regional aridification during the past 2000 years is poorly known, as are the responses of endemic animals and economically [...] Read more.
Climate drying could have transformed ecosystems in southern Madagascar during recent millennia by contributing to the extinction of endemic megafauna. However, the extent of regional aridification during the past 2000 years is poorly known, as are the responses of endemic animals and economically important livestock to drying. We inferred ~1600 years of climate change around Lake Ranobe, SW Madagascar, using oxygen isotope analyses of monospecific freshwater ostracods (Bradleystrandesia cf. fuscata) and elemental analyses of lake core sediment. We inferred past changes in habitat and diet of introduced and extinct endemic megaherbivores using bone collagen stable isotope and 14C datasets (n = 63). Extinct pygmy hippos and multiple giant lemur species disappeared from the vicinity of Ranobe during a dry interval ~1000–700 cal yr BP, but the simultaneous appearance of introduced cattle, high charcoal concentrations, and other evidence of human activity confound inference of drought-driven extirpations. Unlike the endemic megafauna, relatively low collagen stable nitrogen isotope values among cattle suggest they survived dry intervals by exploiting patches of wet habitat. Although megafaunal extirpations coincided with drought in SW Madagascar, coupled data from bone and lake sediments do not support the hypothesis that extinct megafauna populations collapsed solely because of drought. Given that the reliance of livestock on mesic patches will become more important in the face of projected climate drying, we argue that sustainable conservation of spiny forests in SW Madagascar should support local livelihoods by ensuring that zebu have access to mesic habitat. Additionally, the current interactions between pastoralism and riparian habitats should be studied to help conserve the island’s biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate System Uncertainty and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Shortwave Irradiance (1950 to 2020): Dimming, Brightening, and Urban Effects in Central Arizona?
Climate 2021, 9(9), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090137 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 746
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate long-term change in shortwave irradiance in central Arizona (1950–2020) and to detect apparent dimming/brightening trends that may relate to many other global studies. Global Energy Budget Archives (GEBA) monthly data were accessed for the available [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate long-term change in shortwave irradiance in central Arizona (1950–2020) and to detect apparent dimming/brightening trends that may relate to many other global studies. Global Energy Budget Archives (GEBA) monthly data were accessed for the available years 1950–1994 for Phoenix, Arizona and other selected sites in the Southwest desert. Monthly data of the database called gridMET were accessed, a 4-km gridded climate data based on NLDAS-2 and available for the years 1979–2020. Three Agricultural Meteorological Network (AZMET) automated weather stations in central Arizona have observed hourly shortwave irradiance over the period 1987–present. Two of the rural AZMET sites are located north and south of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, and another site is in the center of the city of Phoenix. Using a combination of GEBA, gridMET, and AZMET data, annual time series demonstrate dimming up to late 1970s, early 1980s of −30 W/m2 (−13%), with brightening changes in the gridMET data post-1980 of +9 W/m2 (+4.6%). An urban site of the AZMET network showed significant reductions post-1987 up to 2020 of −9 W/m2 (3.8%) with no significant change at the two rural sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Solar Variability)
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Article
Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wind Energy
Climate 2021, 9(9), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090136 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3173
Abstract
Global wind resources greatly exceed current electricity demand and the levelized cost of energy from wind turbines has shown precipitous declines. Accordingly, the installed capacity of wind turbines grew at an annualized rate of about 14% during the last two decades and wind [...] Read more.
Global wind resources greatly exceed current electricity demand and the levelized cost of energy from wind turbines has shown precipitous declines. Accordingly, the installed capacity of wind turbines grew at an annualized rate of about 14% during the last two decades and wind turbines now provide ~6–7% of the global electricity supply. This renewable electricity generation source is thus already playing a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. Here we document trends within the industry, examine projections of future installed capacity increases and compute the associated climate change mitigation potential at the global and regional levels. Key countries (the USA, UK and China) and regions (e.g., EU27) have developed ambitious plans to expand wind energy penetration as core aspects of their net-zero emissions strategies. The projected climate change mitigation from wind energy by 2100 ranges from 0.3–0.8 °C depending on the precise socio-economic pathway and wind energy expansion scenario followed. The rapid expansion of annual increments to wind energy installed capacity by approximately two times current rates can greatly delay the passing of the 2 °C warming threshold relative to pre-industrial levels. To achieve the required expansion of this cost-effective, low-carbon energy source, there is a need for electrification of the energy system and for expansion of manufacturing and installation capacity. Full article
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Article
Orchestrating the Participation of Women Organisations in the UNFCCC Led Climate Finance Decision Making
Climate 2021, 9(9), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090135 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
The study applies orchestration as a conceptual framework to provide early evidence on the engagement of women organisations in UNFCCC-led climate finance governance and reflect on the quality of their mobilisation. Women organisations are one of the non-state stakeholders, whose role is acknowledged [...] Read more.
The study applies orchestration as a conceptual framework to provide early evidence on the engagement of women organisations in UNFCCC-led climate finance governance and reflect on the quality of their mobilisation. Women organisations are one of the non-state stakeholders, whose role is acknowledged in the UNFCCC Decision 3/CP.25 for improving gender-responsiveness of climate finance. Within the UNFCCC, orchestration is used as a governance approach to enhance the mobilisation of non-state actors for facilitating the implementation of policy goals. The study utilises mixed methods including document review and interviews with key informants. The findings of the study indicate that the quality of orchestration has been low, i.e., the engagement of women organisations in the UNFCCC-led climate finance decision making has, so far, been limited. This is due to the lack of policy convergence on the purposes of orchestration, as well as the newness, and complexity of the issues at the intersection of climate finance and gender. While the concept of orchestration is intended to enhance decision making practices, the study suggests that in the case of the engagement of women organisations in the UNFCCC-led climate finance governance, orchestration is used only for symbolic purposes. To make the engagement of women organisations more meaningful, there is a need to diversify the existing orchestration practices and improve consistency in policy framing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Review
Drought Early Warning in Agri-Food Systems
Climate 2021, 9(9), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090134 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Droughts will increase in frequency, intensity, duration, and spread under climate change. Drought affects numerous sectors in society and the natural environment, including short-term reduced crop production, social conflict over water allocation, severe outmigration, and eventual famine. Early action can prevent escalation of [...] Read more.
Droughts will increase in frequency, intensity, duration, and spread under climate change. Drought affects numerous sectors in society and the natural environment, including short-term reduced crop production, social conflict over water allocation, severe outmigration, and eventual famine. Early action can prevent escalation of impacts, requiring drought early warning systems (DEWSs) that give current assessments and sufficient notice for active risk management. While most droughts are relatively slow in onset, often resulting in late responses, flash droughts are becoming more frequent, and their sudden onset poses challenging demands on DEWSs for timely communication. We examine several DEWSs at global, regional, and national scales, with a special emphasis on agri-food systems. Many of these have been successful, such as some of the responses to 2015–2017 droughts in Africa and Latin America. Successful examples show that early involvement of stakeholders, from DEWS development to implementation, is crucial. In addition, regional and global cooperation can cross-fertilize with new ideas, reduce reaction time, and raise efficiency. Broadening partnerships also includes recruiting citizen science and including seemingly subjective indigenous knowledge that can improve monitoring, data collection, and uptake of response measures. More precise and more useful DEWSs in agri-food systems will prove even more cost-effective in averting the need for emergency responses, improving global food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Early Warning)
Article
Extreme Ground Snow Loads in Europe from 1951 to 2100
Climate 2021, 9(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090133 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
Lightweight roofs are extremely sensitive to extreme snow loads, as confirmed by recently occurring failures all over Europe. Obviously, the problem is further emphasized in warmer climatic areas, where low design values are generally foreseen for snow loads. Like other climatic actions, representative [...] Read more.
Lightweight roofs are extremely sensitive to extreme snow loads, as confirmed by recently occurring failures all over Europe. Obviously, the problem is further emphasized in warmer climatic areas, where low design values are generally foreseen for snow loads. Like other climatic actions, representative values of snow loads provided in structural codes are usually derived by means of suitable elaborations of extreme statistics, assuming climate stationarity over time. As climate change impacts are becoming more and more evident over time, that hypothesis is becoming controversial, so that suitable adaptation strategies aiming to define climate resilient design loads need to be implemented. In the paper, past and future trends of ground snow load in Europe are assessed for the period 1950–2100, starting from high-resolution climate simulations, recently issued by the CORDEX program. Maps of representative values of snow loads adopted for structural design, associated with an annual probability of exceedance p = 2%, are elaborated for Europe. Referring to the historical period, the obtained maps are critically compared with the current European maps based on observations. Factors of change maps, referred to subsequent time windows are presented considering RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission trajectories, corresponding to medium and maximum greenhouse gas concentration scenarios. Factors of change are thus evaluated considering suitably selected weather stations in Switzerland and Germany, for which high quality point measurements, sufficiently extended over time are available. Focusing on the investigated weather stations, the study demonstrates that climate models can appropriately reproduce historical trends and that a decrease of characteristic values of the snow loads is expected over time. However, it must be remarked that, if on one hand the mean value of the annual maxima tends to reduce, on the other hand, its standard deviation tends to increase, locally leading to an increase of the extreme values, which should be duly considered in the evaluation of structural reliability over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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