Climate2015, 3(3), 715-726; doi:10.3390/cli3030715 - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present study surveys the opinion of the residents of the Athens area in Greece on a wide range of issues related to climate change, such as their environmental consciousness and awareness and their willingness to take action against climate change. This study is performed at a time of a severe economic crisis in Greece. Based on a questionnaire, this study examines the general trends reported on various environmental issues, more particularly concerning climate change. The main results are that Greek citizens are aware of the problems of environmental and of climate change and also believe that the environmental quality of Greece is quite poor. They believe they are fairly well informed about climate change. However, the current economic crisis in Greece has reversed the progress made in the past concerning the awareness of climate change. Also, the citizens have very low confidence in the public authorities and the big enterprises to deal with climate change, while they have high level of trust in scientific and environmental organizations. They agree with public actions, but are against individual actions to protect the environment as they consider the main stakeholders (state, industry) to be mainly responsible for environmental degradation.
Climate2015, 3(3), 697-714; doi:10.3390/cli3030697 - published 25 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Grasslands in the upper Indus basin provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The study presents climate patterns, grassland phenology, productivity and spatio-temporal climate controls on grassland growth using satellite data over the upper Indus basin of the Himalayan region, Pakistan. Phenology and productivity metrics of the grasses were estimated using a combination of derivative and threshold methods applied on fitted seasonal vegetation indices data over the period of 2001–2011. Satellite based rainfall and land surface temperature data are considered as representative explanatory variables to climate variability. The results showed distinct phenology and productivity patterns across four bioclimatic regions: (i) humid subtropical region (HSR)—late start and early end of season with short length of season and low productivity (ii) temperate region (TR)—early start and late end of season with higher length of season and moderate productivity (iii) sub alpine region (SAR)—late start and late end of season with very high length of season and the most productive grasses, and (iv) alpine region (AR)—late start and early end of season with small length of season and least productive grasses. Grassland productivity is constrained by temperature in the alpine region and by rainfall in the humid sub-tropical region. Spring temperature, winter and summer rainfall has shown significant and varied impact on phenology across different altitudes. The productivity is being influenced by summer and annual rainfall in humid subtropical regions, spring temperature in alpine and sub-alpine regions and both temperature and rainfall are contributing in temperate regions. The results revealing a strong relationship between grassland dynamics and climate variability put forth strong signals for drawing more scientific management of rangelands in the area.
Climate2015, 3(3), 689-696; doi:10.3390/cli3030689 - published 19 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Soil water potential (Ψ) controls the dynamics of water in soils and can therefore affect greenhouse gas fluxes. We examined the relationship between soil moisture content (θ) at five different levels of water potential (Ψ = 0, −0.05, −0.1, −0.33 and −15 bar) and greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide, CO2; nitrous oxide, N2O and methane, CH4) fluxes. The study was conducted in 2011 in a silt loam soil at Freeman farm of Lincoln University. Soil samples were collected at two depths: 0–10 and 10–20 cm and their bulk densities were measured. Samples were later saturated then brought into a pressure plate for measurements of Ψ and θ. Soil air samples for greenhouse gas flux analyses were collected using static and vented chambers, 30 cm in height and 20 cm in diameter. Determination of CO2, CH4 and N2O concentrations from soil air samples were done using a Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph (GC-14). Results showed that there were significant correlations between greenhouse gas fluxes and θ held at various Ψ in the 0–10 cm depth of soil group. For instance, θ at Ψ = 0 positively correlated with measured CO2 (p = 0.0043, r = 0.49), N2O (p = 0.0020, r = 0.64) and negatively correlated with CH4 (p = 0.0125, r = −0.44) fluxes. Regression analysis showed that 24%, 41% and 19% of changes in CO2, N2O and CH4 fluxes, respectively, were due to θ at Ψ= 0 (p < 0.05). This study stresses the need to monitor soil water potential when monitoring greenhouse gas fluxes.
Climate2015, 3(3), 668-688; doi:10.3390/cli3030668 - published 19 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: One of the most difficult aspects of persuading the public to support climate change policy is the lack of recognition that climate change will likely have a direct impact on an individual’s life. Anecdotal evidence and arguments within the media suggest that those who are skeptical of climate change are more likely to believe that the negative externalities associated with climate change will be experienced by others, and, therefore, are not a concern to that individual. This project examines public perceptions of the health risk posed by climate change. Using a large national public opinion survey of adults in the United States, respondents were asked to evaluate the health risk for themselves, their community, the United States, and the world. The results suggest that individuals evaluate the risk for each of these contexts differently. Statistical analyses are estimated to identify the determinants of each risk perception to identify their respective differences. The implications of these findings on support for climate change policy are discussed.
Climate2015, 3(3), 627-667; doi:10.3390/cli3030627 - published 18 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Online-coupled climate and chemistry models are necessary to realistically represent the interactions between climate variables and chemical species and accurately simulate aerosol direct and indirect effects on cloud, precipitation, and radiation. In this Part I of a two-part paper, simulations from the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with the physics package of Community Atmosphere Model (WRF-CAM5) are conducted with the default heterogeneous ice nucleation parameterization over East Asia for two full years: 2006 and 2011. A comprehensive model evaluation is performed using satellite and surface observations. The model shows an overall acceptable performance for major meteorological variables at the surface and in the boundary layer, as well as column variables (e.g., precipitation, cloud fraction, precipitating water vapor, downward longwave and shortwave radiation). Moderate to large biases exist for cloud condensation nuclei over oceanic areas, cloud variables (e.g., cloud droplet number concentration, cloud liquid and ice water paths, cloud optical depth, longwave and shortwave cloud forcing). These biases indicate a need to improve the model treatments for cloud processes, especially cloud droplets and ice nucleation, as well as to reduce uncertainty in the satellite retrievals. The model simulates well the column abundances of chemical species except for column SO2 but relatively poor for surface concentrations of several species such as CO, NO2, SO2, PM2.5, and PM10. Several reasons could contribute to the underestimation of major chemical species in East Asia including underestimations of anthropogenic emissions and natural dust emissions, uncertainties in the spatial and vertical distributions of the anthropogenic emissions, as well as biases in meteorological, radiative, and cloud predictions. Despite moderate to large biases in the chemical predictions, the model performance is generally consistent with or even better than that reported for East Asia with only a few exceptions. The model generally reproduces the observed seasonal variations and the difference between 2006 and 2011 for most variables or chemical species. Overall, these results demonstrate promising skills of WRF-CAM5 for long-term simulations at a regional scale and suggest several areas of potential improvements.
Climate2015, 3(3), 578-626; doi:10.3390/cli3030578 - published 12 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Saudi Arabia (SA) climate varies greatly, depending on the geography and the season. According to K ppen and Geiger, the climates of SA is “desert climate”. The analysis of the seasonal rainfall detects that spring and winter seasons have the highestrainfall incidence, respectively. Through the summer,small quantities of precipitation are observed, while autumn received more precipitation more than summer season considering the total annual rainfall. In all seasons, the SW area receives rainfall, with a maximum in spring, whereas in the summer season, the NE and NW areas receive very little quantities of precipitation. The Rub Al-Khali (the SE region) is almost totally dry. The maximum amount of annual rainfall does not always happen at the highest elevation. Therefore, the elevation is not the only factor in rainfall distribution.A great inter-annual change in the rainfall over the SA for the period (1978–2009) is observed. In addition, in the same period, a linear decreasing trend is found in the observed rainfall, whilst in the recent past (1994–2009) a statistically significant negative trend is observed. In the Southern part of the Arabian Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of the Red Sea, it is interesting to note that rainfall increased, whilst it decreased over most areas of SA during the 2000–2009 decade, compared to 1980–1989.Statistical and numerical models are used to predict rainfall over Saudi Arabia (SA). The statistical models based on stochastic models of ARIMA and numerical models based on Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies of Hadley Centre (PRECIS). Climate and its qualitative character and quantified range of possible future changes are investigated. The annual total rainfall decreases in most regions of the SA and only increases in the south. The summertime precipitation will be the highest between other seasons over the southern, the southwestern provinces and Asir mountains, while the wintertime rainfall will remain the lowest.The climate in the SA is instructed by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and other circulations such as centers of high and low pressure, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and SOI. Strength and oscillation of subtropical jet stream play a big role in pulling hot, dry air masses of SA.