Special Issue "Climate Change and Water Resources"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nir Krakauer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, City College of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
Tel. 1-212-650-8003
Interests: effect of climate on plants, underground water, surface heat, moisture, and carbon exchanges; impact of plants on precipitation and temperature patterns; hydrology and biogeochemistry of sustainable agriculture and building; carbon isotopes as tracers of fossil fuel burning, ocean carbon uptake, and respiration; inferring the effect of past climate on ecology from tree rings and coral records; providing useful climate forecasts through statistical and physical downscaling; distributed sensor networks for environmental monitoring; data assimilation in carbon and hydrology models; parameter estimation and uncertainty assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global warming resulting from elevated greenhouse gas concentrations is creating hydrologic intensification and worsening extreme events in many parts of the world. Linking changes in climate to flows in natural and engineered hydrologic systems and to risk of extremes is difficult, given the spatiotemporal mismatches between watersheds and the processes well resolved by global and regional models. Adaptation to climate change is necessary in the context of high water demand from agriculture, urban, energy, and other economic sectors, as well as of ecologic needs and biodiversity conservation.

This Special Issue invites contributions (including original research, reviews, tutorials, and practice guidelines) in any of the following areas or related ones:

  • Trends in hydroclimate and surface water and groundwater flows and stocks, including for extremes, and their attribution.
  • Climate information for managing risk in water resources, including nowcasting/early warning, forecasting at synoptic, seasonal, and interannual timeframes, and scenario generation for resilience.
  • Impact of climate change on water supplies for human and natural systems.
  • Management strategies for water in a changing climate, including community involvement and justice and equity concerns.

Dr. Nir Krakauer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • water resources
  • global change
  • hydrology
  • ecology
  • food–energy–water system nexus
  • decision support
  • risk management
  • environmental justice

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Environmental Change (Crops and Water) on Population Redistribution in Mexico and Ethiopia
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(23), 5219; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9235219 - 30 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper discusses the effects of long-term environmental change (represented by the abundance or scarcity relative to the long-term average level of crop yield/river flow) and short-term environmental shock (represented by the maximum number of consecutive years below the median crop yield/river flow [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the effects of long-term environmental change (represented by the abundance or scarcity relative to the long-term average level of crop yield/river flow) and short-term environmental shock (represented by the maximum number of consecutive years below the median crop yield/river flow per decade) on population redistribution in Mexico and Ethiopia. Crop production and water resources, which are affected by climate change and influence human survival and activities, were selected as research variables. Two developing countries, namely, Mexico and Ethiopia, were selected as comparison cases. The results showed that short-term environmental shocks had no correlation with population redistribution. Short-term environmental shocks might fail to influence migration decisions or cause only temporary displacements that cannot be detected by demographic statistics. Among the long-term environmental change factors, only crop yield deviation was found to have a significant positive correlation with population redistribution. Based on two different datasets and two different decades, crop yield deviation is positively correlated with population redistribution; the correlation coefficients between crop yield deviation and population redistribution were 0.134 to 0.162 in Mexico and 0.102 to 0.235 in Ethiopia. When urbanization was considered as the control variable, the correlation coefficient between crop yield deviation and population redistribution in Mexico dropped by half, while it was almost the same in Ethiopia. However, Ethiopia’s population redistribution was more clearly influenced by the population itself. Crop yield deviation relative to water flow deviation meant changes in livelihoods. Population redistribution is a possible means of adapting to changes in livelihood. Mexico exhibited high resilience to changes in livelihoods caused by long-term environmental change, especially in its densely populated areas. In contrast, Ethiopia was characterized mainly by high population growth and low population migration. People in some areas of Ethiopia were forced to endure hardship of livelihood deterioration or to stay where they were due to the difficulty of obtaining sufficient resources to afford the cost of migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimated Impacts of Climate Change on Eddy Meridional Moisture Transport in the Atmosphere
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(23), 4992; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9234992 - 20 Nov 2019
Abstract
Research findings suggest that water (hydrological) cycle of the earth intensifies in response to climate change, since the amount of water that evaporates from the ocean and land to the atmosphere and the total water content in the air will increase with temperature. [...] Read more.
Research findings suggest that water (hydrological) cycle of the earth intensifies in response to climate change, since the amount of water that evaporates from the ocean and land to the atmosphere and the total water content in the air will increase with temperature. In addition, climate change affects the large-scale atmospheric circulation by, for example, altering the characteristics of extratropical transient eddies (cyclones), which play a dominant role in the meridional transport of heat, moisture, and momentum from tropical to polar latitudes. Thus, climate change also affects the planetary hydrological cycle by redistributing atmospheric moisture around the globe. Baroclinic instability, a specific type of dynamical instability of the zonal atmospheric flow, is the principal mechanism by which extratropical cyclones form and evolve. It is expected that, due to global warming, the two most fundamental dynamical quantities that control the development of baroclinic instability and the overall global atmospheric dynamics—the parameter of static stability and the meridional temperature gradient (MTG)—will undergo certain changes. As a result, climate change can affect the formation and evolution of transient extratropical eddies and, therefore, macro-exchange of heat and moisture between low and high latitudes and the global water cycle as a whole. In this paper, we explore the effect of changes in the static stability parameter and MTG caused by climate change on the annual-mean eddy meridional moisture flux (AMEMF), using the two classical atmospheric models: the mid-latitude f-plane model and the two-layer β-plane model. These models are represented in two versions: “dry,” which considers the static stability of dry air alone, and “moist,” in which effective static stability is considered as a combination of stability of dry and moist air together. Sensitivity functions were derived for these models that enable estimating the influence of infinitesimal perturbations in the parameter of static stability and MTG on the AMEMF and on large-scale eddy dynamics characterized by the growth rate of unstable baroclinic waves of various wavelengths. For the base climate change scenario, in which the surface temperature increases by 1 °C and warming of the upper troposphere outpaces warming of the lower troposphere by 2 °C (this scenario corresponds to the observed warming trend), the response of the mass-weighted vertically averaged annual mean MTG is 0.2   ° C per 1000 km. The dry static stability increases insignificantly relative to the reference climate state, while on the other hand, the effective static stability decreases by more than 5.4%. Assuming that static stability of the atmosphere and the MTG are independent of each other (using One-factor-at-a-time approach), we estimate that the increase in AMEMF caused by change in MTG is about 4%. Change in dry static stability has little effect on AMEMF, while change in effective static stability leads to an increase in AMEMF of about 5%. Thus, neglecting atmospheric moisture in calculations of the atmospheric static stability leads to tangible differences between the results obtained using the dry and moist models. Moist models predict ~9% increase in AMEMF due to global warming. Dry models predict ~4% increase in AMEMF solely because of the change in MTG. For the base climate change scenario, the average temperature of the lower troposphere (up to ~4 km), in which the atmospheric moisture is concentrated, increases by ~ 1.5   ° C . This leads to an increase in specific humidity of about 10.5%. Thus, since both AMEMF and atmospheric water vapor content increase due to the influence of climate change, a rather noticeable restructuring of the global water cycle is expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spatio-Temporal Variability of Drought in Pakistan Using Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4588; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214588 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
Pakistan is among the top ten countries adversely affected by climate change. More specifically, there is concern that climate change may cause longer and severer spells of droughts. To quantify the change in the characteristics of droughts in Pakistan over the years, we [...] Read more.
Pakistan is among the top ten countries adversely affected by climate change. More specifically, there is concern that climate change may cause longer and severer spells of droughts. To quantify the change in the characteristics of droughts in Pakistan over the years, we have evaluated spatio-temporal trends of droughts in Pakistan over the period 1902–2015 using Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Additionally, the Spatial “K” luster Analysis using Tree Edge Removal (SKATER) method was employed to regionalize droughts into five contiguous zones. The run theory was then applied to each zone to identify drought events and characterize them in terms of duration, severity, intensity, and peak. Moreover, the Modified Mann–Kendall trend test was applied to identify statistically significant trends in SPEI and drought characteristics in each zone. It was found that the southern areas of Pakistan, encompassing Sindh and most of Baluchistan, have experienced a decrease in SPEI, indicating a drying trend. Central Pakistan has witnessed a wetting trend as demonstrated by an increase in SPEI over time, whereas no statistically significant trend was observed for the northern areas of Pakistan. On a zonal basis, the longest duration drought to occur in Pakistan lasted 22 months in zone 5 (Sindh) from 1968 to 1970. In addition, the droughts of 1920 and 2000 can be said to be the worst drought in the history of the region as it affected all the zones and lasted for more than 10-months in three zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Flood Vulnerability Indicators by Aggregation Frameworks for the IPCC’s Assessment Components to Climate Change
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(11), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9112321 - 05 Jun 2019
Abstract
As severe flood damages have been increasing due to climate change, the flood vulnerability assessment is needed in the flood mitigation plans to cope with climate-related flood disasters. Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report (IPCC TAR) presented the three [...] Read more.
As severe flood damages have been increasing due to climate change, the flood vulnerability assessment is needed in the flood mitigation plans to cope with climate-related flood disasters. Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report (IPCC TAR) presented the three assessment components, such as exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability for the vulnerability to climate change, several aggregation frameworks have been used to compile individual components into the composite indicators to measure the flood vulnerability. It is therefore necessary to select an appropriate aggregation framework for the flood vulnerability assessments because the aggregation frameworks can have a large influence on the composite indicator outcomes. For a comparative analysis of flood vulnerability indicators across different aggregation frameworks for the IPCC’s assessment components, the composite indicators are derived by four representative types of aggregation frameworks with all the same proxy variable set in the Republic of Korea. It is found in the study site that there is a key driver component of the composite indicator outcomes and the flood vulnerability outcomes largely depend on whether the key component is treated independently or dependently in each aggregation framework. It is concluded that the selection of an aggregation framework can be based on the correlation and causality analysis to determine the relative contribution of the assessment components to the overall performance of the composite indicators across different aggregation frameworks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Change Detection and Impact of Climate Changes to Iraqi Southern Marshes Using Landsat 2 MSS, Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel 2 MSI Data and GIS Applications
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(10), 2016; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9102016 - 16 May 2019
Abstract
Marshes represent a unique ecosystem covering a large area of southern Iraq. In a major environmental disaster, the marshes of Iraq were drained, especially during the 1990s. Since then, droughts and the decrease in water imports from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from [...] Read more.
Marshes represent a unique ecosystem covering a large area of southern Iraq. In a major environmental disaster, the marshes of Iraq were drained, especially during the 1990s. Since then, droughts and the decrease in water imports from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from Turkey and Iran have prevented them from regaining their former extent. The aim of this research is to extract the values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the period 1977–2017 from Landsat 2 MSS (multispectral scanner), Landsat 8 OLI (operational land imager) and Sentinel 2 MSI (multi-spectral imaging mission) satellite images and use supervised classification to quantify land and water cover change. The results from the two satellites (Landsat 2 and Landsat 8) are compared with Sentinel 2 to determine the best tool for detecting changes in land and water cover. We also assess the potential impacts of climate change through the study of the annual average maximum temperature and precipitation in different areas in the marshes for the period 1981–2016. The NDVI analysis and image classification showed the degradation of vegetation and water bodies in the marshes, as vast areas of natural vegetation and agricultural lands disappeared and were replaced with barren areas. The marshes were influenced by climatic change, including rising temperature and the diminishing amount of precipitation during 1981–2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Design Criteria for Planning the Agricultural Rainwater Harvesting Systems: A Review
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5298; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245298 - 05 Dec 2019
Abstract
The growth in world population demands greater food production. Meanwhile, rainwater-harvesting systems (RWHS) have been used since ancient times to guarantee water supply for agriculture. Therefore, this research study reviews the conditions related to RWHS, focusing on rural communities. In this review, the [...] Read more.
The growth in world population demands greater food production. Meanwhile, rainwater-harvesting systems (RWHS) have been used since ancient times to guarantee water supply for agriculture. Therefore, this research study reviews the conditions related to RWHS, focusing on rural communities. In this review, the methodologies used for rainwater harvesting (RWH) were determined, considering the characteristics for each of the hydraulic structures to guarantee runoff collection according to the basin area. Finally, the most relevant design parameters that should be considered in the planning and integral water resource management (IWRM) are identified, such as the soil type, average rainfall, and physiographic characteristics of the basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Resources)
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