Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Flood-Related Federally Declared Disaster Events and Community Functioning (COPEWELL)
Climate 2022, 10(11), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10110159 - 23 Oct 2022
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Objective: Understanding long-term disaster effects is key to building theories of recovery and informing policymaking. Findings regarding long-term recovery are inconsistent, with some scholars finding that disasters have little long-term impact, and others asserting otherwise. To assist in resolving this discord, we apply [...] Read more.
Objective: Understanding long-term disaster effects is key to building theories of recovery and informing policymaking. Findings regarding long-term recovery are inconsistent, with some scholars finding that disasters have little long-term impact, and others asserting otherwise. To assist in resolving this discord, we apply a conceptual framework and computational model of community resilience (“COPEWELL”) that places community functioning (CF) at the center of evaluating the effects of disaster over time. Using flooding as a disaster type, we hypothesize a change in baseline CF trend when a flood-related federally declared disaster event occurs. Methods: We used county-level flood-related federally declared disaster events (2010–2014) and selected population demographics to study their effects on annual CF trends among United States counties (N = 3141). Results: In multivariate analysis of baseline CF, we found a significant negative relationship of prior five-year flood status, federal regions relative to the Northeast (Region I), lower total earnings, and greater population size. Annual CF trend was 0.09% (95%CI: 0.01%–0.16%). In multivariate analysis, significant predictors included baseline CF (β = −0.0178, −0.0047–−0.0309), any concurrent flood-related federally declared disaster events (−0.0024, −0.0040–−0.0008), ten-year prior flood events (−0.0017, −0.0034–−0.0000) and concurrent population change (−0.0186, −0.0338–−0.0035). Conclusions: Recent floods depress baseline CF, while concurrent and ten-year-ago floods depress trend in CF. Resilience may potentially be modified by raising baseline CF and maintaining population over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Disasters and Extreme Hazards under Changing Climate)
Article
Compound Risk of Air Pollution and Heat Days and the Influence of Wildfire by SES across California, 2018–2020: Implications for Environmental Justice in the Context of Climate Change
Climate 2022, 10(10), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10100145 - 01 Oct 2022
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Major wildfires and heatwaves have begun to increase in frequency throughout much of the United States, particularly in western states such as California, causing increased risk to public health. Air pollution is exacerbated by both wildfires and warmer temperatures, thus adding to such [...] Read more.
Major wildfires and heatwaves have begun to increase in frequency throughout much of the United States, particularly in western states such as California, causing increased risk to public health. Air pollution is exacerbated by both wildfires and warmer temperatures, thus adding to such risk. With climate change and the continued increase in global average temperatures, the frequency of major wildfires, heat days, and unhealthy air pollution episodes is projected to increase, resulting in the potential for compounding risks. Risks will likely vary by region and may disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. In this study, we processed daily particulate matter (PM) data from over 18,000 low-cost PurpleAir sensors, along with gridMET daily maximum temperature data and government-compiled wildfire perimeter data from 2018–2020 in order to examine the occurrence of compound risk (CR) days (characterized by high temperature and high PM2.5) at the census tract level in California, and to understand how such days have been impacted by the occurrence of wildfires. Using American Community Survey data, we also examined the extent to which CR days were correlated with household income, race/ethnicity, education, and other socioeconomic factors at the census tract level. Results showed census tracts with a higher frequency of CR days to have statistically higher rates of poverty and unemployment, along with high proportions of child residents and households without computers. The frequency of CR days and elevated daily PM2.5 concentrations appeared to be strongly related to the occurrence of nearby wildfires, with over 20% of days with sensor-measured average PM2.5 > 35 μg/m3 showing a wildfire within a 100 km radius and over two-thirds of estimated CR days falling on such days with a nearby wildfire. Findings from this study are important to policymakers and government agencies who preside over the allocation of state resources as well as organizations seeking to empower residents and establish climate resilient communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Outdoor-Indoor Air Pollution in Urban Environments)
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Article
A New Way to Obtain Climate Files in Areas with the Presence of Microclimates by Applying the Sandia Method: A Galician Case Study
Climate 2022, 10(10), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10100140 - 25 Sep 2022
Viewed by 760
Abstract
In order to obtain reliable energy simulation results, it is essential to have accurate climate files corresponding to specific geographical locations. The present work describes a selection process of the Typical Meteorological Months (TMM) that will generate the Typical Meteorological Years (TMY) in [...] Read more.
In order to obtain reliable energy simulation results, it is essential to have accurate climate files corresponding to specific geographical locations. The present work describes a selection process of the Typical Meteorological Months (TMM) that will generate the Typical Meteorological Years (TMY) in eight locations of the Community of Galicia for an analysis period between 2008 and 2017 (10 years). The region of Galicia, located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, due to its particular orography, is prone to the generation of differentiated microclimates in relatively close locations. The process of selecting the typical meteorological months has been carried out following the Sandia Laboratories method. In the present work, data from terrestrial meteorological stations have been combined with solar radiation data obtained from satellite images. Finally, for the validation and comparative study of results, files have been generated in Energy Plus Weather (epw) format. Trends have been checked and typical statistics have been used to analyse the correlations between the files generated with the Sandia method, and the usual reference files (LT, WY, BY). It is observed that with the eight files generated, new differentiated climates are detected, which will affect the improvement of the precision of the energy simulations of buildings that are going to be carried out. For example, in the case of the Campus Lugo and Pedro Murias stations, located in the same climatic zone according to Spanish regulations, differences are observed in the annual averages: DTm (13.7%), WV (41%) or GHI (9%). Full article
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Article
Compound Extremes of Air Temperature and Precipitation in Eastern Europe
Climate 2022, 10(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10090133 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
The spatial distribution of compound extremes of air temperature and precipitation was studied over the territory of Eastern Europe for the period 1950–2018. Using daily data on air temperature and precipitation, we calculated the frequency and trends of the four indices—cold/dry (CD), cold/wet [...] Read more.
The spatial distribution of compound extremes of air temperature and precipitation was studied over the territory of Eastern Europe for the period 1950–2018. Using daily data on air temperature and precipitation, we calculated the frequency and trends of the four indices—cold/dry (CD), cold/wet (CW), warm/dry (WD) and warm/wet (WW). The connection between these indices and large-scale patterns in the ocean–atmosphere system, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the East Atlantic (EA) and Scandinavia (SCAND) patterns, was also studied. The positive and statistically significant trends in the region were observed for the warm extremes (especially the WW index) in all seasons, with maximum values in the winter season, while negative trends were obtained for the cold extremes. The NAO index has a strong positive and statistically significant correlation with the warm compound indices (WD and WW) in the northern part of Eastern Europe in winter like the EA pattern, but with smaller values. The spatial distribution of the correlation coefficients between compound extremes and the SCAND index in the winter season is opposite to the correlation coefficients with the NAO index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Disasters and Extreme Hazards under Changing Climate)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Changes in Mean and Extreme Climate: Farmers’ Perception and Its Agricultural Implications in Awash River Basin, Ethiopia
Climate 2022, 10(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10060089 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
The increase in the intensity and frequency of climate extremes threatens socioeconomic development. This study examines variability of mean and extreme climate, farmers’ perception of the changes, and impacts in the Awash River Basin. Daily rainfall and temperature data were used to analyze [...] Read more.
The increase in the intensity and frequency of climate extremes threatens socioeconomic development. This study examines variability of mean and extreme climate, farmers’ perception of the changes, and impacts in the Awash River Basin. Daily rainfall and temperature data were used to analyze 23 extreme climate indices. The Mann–Kendall test was used to assess the magnitude and significance of the changes. Results show an increase in minimum (0.019–0.055 °C/year) and maximum temperatures (0.049–0.09 °C/year), while total rainfall is on a downward trend (from −3.84 mm/year to −10.26 mm/year). Warm extreme temperature indicators, including warmest day (TXx), warmest night (TNx), warm day (TX90p), warm night (TN90p), and warm spell duration indicator (WSDI), show a significant increasing trend (p < 0.05). Nevertheless, except the tepid–cool humid agroecology zone, cold extreme temperature indicators in cool days (TN10p), cool nights (TX10p), and cold spell duration (CSDI) are declining. Extreme precipitation indices, including maximum 1-day precipitation amount (RX1day), count of days when precipitation ≥10 mm (R10 mm), maximum 5-day precipitation amount (RX5day), count of days when precipitation ≥20 mm (R20mm), very wet days (R95p), extreme wet days (R99p), and total precipitation (PRCPTOT), show a decreasing trend. The perception of most farmers’ on climate change and climate extremes agreed with climate records. The major impacts perceived and asserted over all agroecologies are food price inflation, crop productivity decline, crop pests and diseases spread, livestock disease increase, and the emergence of pests and weeds. The increasing trend in extreme warm temperatures, decreasing trend in the cold extreme, and declining trend in precipitation indicators affected agricultural productivity and farmers whose livelihood depends on rainfed agriculture. This agroecology-specific study provides critical information to policymakers, decision makers, and farmers about the potential impacts of climate change and extreme events, leading to the development of agroecology-based adaptation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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Article
Remarkable Resilience of Forest Structure and Biodiversity Following Fire in the Peri-Urban Bushland of Sydney, Australia
Climate 2022, 10(6), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10060086 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1232
Abstract
In rapidly urbanizing areas, natural vegetation becomes fragmented, making conservation planning challenging, particularly as climate change accelerates fire risk. We studied urban forest fragments in two threatened eucalypt-dominated (scribbly gum woodland, SGW, and ironbark forest, IF) communities across ~2000 ha near Sydney, Australia, [...] Read more.
In rapidly urbanizing areas, natural vegetation becomes fragmented, making conservation planning challenging, particularly as climate change accelerates fire risk. We studied urban forest fragments in two threatened eucalypt-dominated (scribbly gum woodland, SGW, and ironbark forest, IF) communities across ~2000 ha near Sydney, Australia, to evaluate effects of fire frequency (0–4 in last 25 years) and time since fire (0.5 to >25 years) on canopy structure, habitat quality and biodiversity (e.g., species richness). Airborne lidar was used to assess canopy height and density, and ground-based surveys of 148 (400 m2) plots measured leaf area index (LAI), plant species composition and habitat metrics such as litter cover and hollow-bearing trees. LAI, canopy density, litter, and microbiotic soil crust increased with time since fire in both communities, while tree and mistletoe cover increased in IF. Unexpectedly, plant species richness increased with fire frequency, owing to increased shrub richness which offset decreased tree richness in both communities. These findings indicate biodiversity and canopy structure are generally resilient to a range of times since fire and fire frequencies across this study area. Nevertheless, reduced arboreal habitat quality and subtle shifts in community composition of resprouters and obligate seeders signal early concern for a scenario of increasing fire frequency under climate change. Ongoing assessment of fire responses is needed to ensure that biodiversity, canopy structure and ecosystem function are maintained in the remaining fragments of urban forests under future climate change which will likely drive hotter and more frequent fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate System Uncertainty and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Tipping Points and Changes in Australian Climate and Extremes
Climate 2022, 10(5), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10050073 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 1874
Abstract
Systematic changes, since the beginning of the 20th century, in average and extreme Australian rainfall and temperatures indicate that Southern Australian climate has undergone regime transitions into a drier and warmer state. South-west Western Australia (SWWA) experienced the most dramatic drying trend with [...] Read more.
Systematic changes, since the beginning of the 20th century, in average and extreme Australian rainfall and temperatures indicate that Southern Australian climate has undergone regime transitions into a drier and warmer state. South-west Western Australia (SWWA) experienced the most dramatic drying trend with average streamflow into Perth dams, in the last decade, just 20% of that before the 1960s and extreme, decile 10, rainfall reduced to near zero. In south-eastern Australia (SEA) systematic decreases in average and extreme cool season rainfall became evident in the late 1990s with a halving of the area experiencing average decile 10 rainfall in the early 21st century compared with that for the 20th century. The shift in annual surface temperatures over SWWA and SEA, and indeed for Australia as a whole, has occurred primarily over the last 20 years with the percentage area experiencing extreme maximum temperatures in decile 10 increasing to an average of more than 45% since the start of the 21st century compared with less than 3% for the 20th century mean. Average maximum temperatures have also increased by circa 1 °C for SWWA and SEA over the last 20 years. The climate changes in rainfall an d temperatures are associated with atmospheric circulation shifts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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Article
Climate History of the Principality of Transylvania during the Maunder Minimum (MM) Years (1645–1715 CE) Reconstructed from German Language Sources
Climate 2022, 10(5), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10050066 - 09 May 2022
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
This paper deals with the climate in the former Grand Duchy of Transylvania, now one of the three major geographical provinces of Romania, within the so-called Maunder Minimum (MM) (1645–1715), an astrophysically defined part of the Little Ice Age (LIA), which was characterized [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the climate in the former Grand Duchy of Transylvania, now one of the three major geographical provinces of Romania, within the so-called Maunder Minimum (MM) (1645–1715), an astrophysically defined part of the Little Ice Age (LIA), which was characterized by reduced solar activity. The historical data from Transylvania are compared with that from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This comparison for the period 1645–1715 shows good agreement but also reveals geographic characteristics of the region. For the first time, we present here a comparison between the four geographic areas in text and tabular form. Quotes from mostly German-language sources are reproduced in English translation. The results clearly help to identify regional climatic differences during the MM. Furthermore, we examine for a longer period (1500–1950) the extent to which the climate of Transylvania might have been affected by long-term fluctuations in solar activity, as deduced from isotopic reconstructions from ice cores. This way we compared astrophysical conditions with climatological ones in order to see if any probable relations do indeed show up. This comparison suggests a certain solar influence but the agreement is not very pronounced. Future investigation in a pan-European context is needed to reach reliable statements. Some results are unexpected—such as an unusually small number of severe winters during the last decades of the MM, where extreme cold was restricted to a few years, like the extreme winters 1699/1700 and 1708/1709. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Solar Variability)
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Article
Climate Change, Voluntary Immobility, and Place-Belongingness: Insights from Togoru, Fiji
Climate 2022, 10(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10030046 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1512
Abstract
Many low-lying communities around the world are increasingly experiencing coastal hazard risks. As such, climate-related relocation has received significant global attention as an adaptation response. However, emerging cases of populations resisting relocation in preference for remaining in place are emerging. This paper provides [...] Read more.
Many low-lying communities around the world are increasingly experiencing coastal hazard risks. As such, climate-related relocation has received significant global attention as an adaptation response. However, emerging cases of populations resisting relocation in preference for remaining in place are emerging. This paper provides an account of residents of Togoru, a low-lying coastal settlement on Viti Levu Island, Fiji. Despite facing significant coastal impacts in the form of coastal erosion, tidal inundation, and saltwater intrusion, Togoru residents are opposing plans for relocation; instead opting for in-situ adaptation. We conceptualize place-belongingness to a land and people—through personal, historic and ancestral, relational, cultural, economic, and legal connections—as critical to adaptation and mobility decision-making. We argue that for adaptation strategies to be successful and sustainable, they must acknowledge the values, perspectives, and preferences of local people and account for the tangible and intangible connections to a place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Adaptation and Mitigation Practices and Frameworks)
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Article
Changing Air Quality and the Ozone Weekend Effect during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Climate 2022, 10(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10030041 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Air pollutants, NO, NO2, and O3, were examined from April to June 2020 and compared to a 10-year (2010–2019) climatology of these pollutants for two monitoring sites in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, coinciding with local lockdown measures during the first [...] Read more.
Air pollutants, NO, NO2, and O3, were examined from April to June 2020 and compared to a 10-year (2010–2019) climatology of these pollutants for two monitoring sites in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, coinciding with local lockdown measures during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. NO and NO2 values were lower than any of the preceding 10 years at the two Toronto sites for both weekdays and weekends. Ozone concentrations did not have a corresponding decrease and in fact increased for weekdays, similar to other parts of the world. The well-documented ozone weekend effect was considerably muted during the morning rush hour throughout this pandemic period. A Fisher exact test on hourly averaged data revealed statistically significant record hourly minimums for NO and NO2, but this was not found for ozone, consistent with the aggregate ranking results. These findings are likely the result of considerably reduced vehicular traffic during this time and ozone chemistry in a NOx-saturated (VOC limited) environment. This has important implications for ozone abatement strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air and Water Quality in a Changing World)
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Article
Climate Emergencies in Australian Local Governments: From Symbolic Act to Disrupting the Status Quo?
Climate 2022, 10(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10030038 - 09 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1476
Abstract
This paper examines the emerging phenomenon of climate emergency declarations. We focus on the case of Victoria Australia and the 30 councils who have declared a climate emergency with a particular focus on three councils. We explore the drivers, meanings, and implications and [...] Read more.
This paper examines the emerging phenomenon of climate emergency declarations. We focus on the case of Victoria Australia and the 30 councils who have declared a climate emergency with a particular focus on three councils. We explore the drivers, meanings, and implications and to what extent the subsequent plans reflect a reframing of local government roles and actions. We find the emergency declaration movement is catalysing councils beyond symbolic declarations potentially opening up space for change and disruption. Of interest in this paper is also the principal and theoretical implications for citizens, local government, and for research that is connected with this emerging trend. We highlight conclusions, ideas, and perspectives that can be drawn from this study of the Australian practice of climate emergency declarations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
Article
Air Pollution within Different Urban Forms in Manchester, UK
Climate 2022, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10020026 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Air pollution causes millions of mortalities and morbidities in large cities. Different mitigation strategies are being investigated to alleviate the negative impacts of different pollutants on people. Designing proper urban forms is one of the least studied strategies. In this paper, we modelled [...] Read more.
Air pollution causes millions of mortalities and morbidities in large cities. Different mitigation strategies are being investigated to alleviate the negative impacts of different pollutants on people. Designing proper urban forms is one of the least studied strategies. In this paper, we modelled air pollution (NO2 concentration) within four hypothetical neighbourhoods with different urban forms: single, courtyard, linear east-west, and linear north-south scenarios. We used weather and air pollution data of Manchester as one of the cities with high NO2 levels in the UK. Results show that the pollution level is highly dependent on the air temperature and wind speed. Annually, air pollution is higher in cold months (45% more) compared to summer. Likewise, the results show that during a winter day, the concentration of air pollution reduces during the warm hours. Within the four modelled scenarios, the air pollution level in the centre of the linear north-south model is the lowest. The linear building blocks in this scenario reduce the concentration of the polluted air and keep a large area within the domain cleaner than the other scenarios. Understanding the location of air pollution (sources) and the direction of prevailing wind is key to design/plan for a neighbourhood with cleaner air for pedestrians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air and Water Quality in a Changing World)
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Article
Bioaerosols as Evidence of Atmospheric Circulation Anomalies over the Okhotsk Sea and Shantar Islands in the Late Glacial–Holocene
Climate 2022, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10020024 - 09 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Allochthonous biofossil distribution in the blanket peat bog of Bolshoy Shantar Island was used to analyze atmospheric circulation anomalies in the north-western Okhotsk Sea over the last 12.6 ka. The main aim of this study was to determine periods of intensification of deep [...] Read more.
Allochthonous biofossil distribution in the blanket peat bog of Bolshoy Shantar Island was used to analyze atmospheric circulation anomalies in the north-western Okhotsk Sea over the last 12.6 ka. The main aim of this study was to determine periods of intensification of deep cyclones and extreme storms. The composition of bioaerosols is significantly influenced by atmospheric zonal and meridional transport anomalies associated with anomalies of the monsoon system of Northeast Asia, atmospheric fronts and cyclone trajectories. Marine diatoms enter the peatland from the sea during extreme storms and record the passage of sea cyclones in the autumn-winter, whereas the distribution of allochthonous pollen indicates the intensity of continental cyclones. We used Pinus pumila pollen as an indicator of heavy snowfalls and winter cyclone activity. Fifteen phases of extreme storms were identified. Changes in ice coverage also played an important role in bioaerosol emission. During cold periods, emissions of bioaerosols mainly occurred in the open sea, whereas during warm periods, emissions occurred near the coast. The recurrence and intensity of cyclones during the cold seasons depends on displacement of the Siberian High and Aleutian Low. Periods of continental cyclones intensified in spring-summer and coincided with periods of active winter cyclogenesis. Full article
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Article
Combined Effect of High-Resolution Land Cover and Grid Resolution on Surface NO2 Concentrations
Climate 2022, 10(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10020019 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
High-resolution air quality simulations are often performed using different nested domains and resolutions. In this study, the variability of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations estimated from two nested domains focused on Portugal (D2 and D3), with 5 and 1 km horizontal grid [...] Read more.
High-resolution air quality simulations are often performed using different nested domains and resolutions. In this study, the variability of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations estimated from two nested domains focused on Portugal (D2 and D3), with 5 and 1 km horizontal grid resolutions, respectively, was investigated by applying the WRF-Chem model for the year 2015. The main goal and innovative aspect of this study is the simulation of a whole year with high resolutions to analyse the spatial variability under the simulation grids in conjunction with detailed land cover (LC) data specifically processed for these high-resolution domains. The model evaluation was focused on Portuguese air quality monitoring stations taking into consideration the station typology. As main results, it should be noted that (i) D3 urban LC categories enhanced pollution hotspots; (ii) generally, modelled NO2 was underestimated, except for rural stations; (iii) differences between D2 and D3 estimates were small; (iv) higher resolution did not impact model performance; and (v) hourly D2 estimates presented an acceptable quality level for policy support. These modelled values are based on a detailed LC classification (100 m horizontal resolution) and coarse spatial resolution (approximately 10 km) emission inventory, the latter suitable for portraying background air pollution problems. Thus, if the goal is to characterise urban/local-scale pollution patterns, the use of high grid resolution could be advantageous, as long as the input data are properly represented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air and Water Quality in a Changing World)
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Article
Assessing Changes in 21st Century Mean and Extreme Climate of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta in California
Climate 2022, 10(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10020016 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
This work aims to assess potential changes in the mean and extreme precipitation and temperature across the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta) in California in the 21st century. The study employs operative climate model projections from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). [...] Read more.
This work aims to assess potential changes in the mean and extreme precipitation and temperature across the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta) in California in the 21st century. The study employs operative climate model projections from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Specifically, 64 individual downscaled daily projections (1/16 degree, approximately 6 by 6 km) on precipitation and temperature from 32 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) under two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) from 2020–2099 are utilized for the analysis. The results indicate increasing warming (in mean, minimum, and maximum temperature) further into the future under both emission scenarios. Warming also exhibits a strong seasonality, with winters expecting lower and summers expecting higher increases in temperature. In contrast, for mean annual total precipitation, there is no consistent wetter or drier signal. On average, the changes in annual total precipitation are minimal. However, dry season precipitation is projected to decline. The study also shows that the number of wet days is projected to decrease while the number of very wet (daily precipitation over 10 mm) and extremely wet (daily precipitation over 20 mm) days is projected to increase. Moreover, the study illustrates that only about half of the changes in total annual precipitation are projected to come from changes in the wettest 10% of wet days. In contrast, a majority of changes in variance of the annual precipitation comes from changes in variance of the wettest 10% of the wet days. This suggests that fluctuations in large storms are projected to dictate the variability of precipitation in the Delta. Additionally, a general upward trend in dry conditions measured by the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index is expected during the projection period. The trending signal is stronger at multi-year temporal scales (one to four years) and under the higher emission scenario. These change patterns are generally similar across three sub-regions of the Delta (i.e., North, South, and West), even though some changes in the South Delta are the most pronounced. This study further discusses challenges posed by these changes to the Delta’s water supply and ecosystems, along with the Delta’s resiliency and potential ways to address these challenges. Full article
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Article
Climate Change Impacts on Groundwater Recharge in Cold and Humid Climates: Controlling Processes and Thresholds
Climate 2022, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10010006 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Long-term changes in precipitation and temperature indirectly impact aquifers through groundwater recharge (GWR). Although estimates of future GWR are needed for water resource management, they are uncertain in cold and humid climates due to the wide range in possible future climatic conditions. This [...] Read more.
Long-term changes in precipitation and temperature indirectly impact aquifers through groundwater recharge (GWR). Although estimates of future GWR are needed for water resource management, they are uncertain in cold and humid climates due to the wide range in possible future climatic conditions. This work aims to (1) simulate the impacts of climate change on regional GWR for a cold and humid climate and (2) identify precipitation and temperature changes leading to significant long-term changes in GWR. Spatially distributed GWR is simulated in a case study for the southern Province of Quebec (Canada, 36,000 km2) using a water budget model. Climate scenarios from global climate models indicate warming temperatures and wetter conditions (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5; 1951–2100). The results show that annual precipitation increases of >+150 mm/yr or winter precipitation increases of >+25 mm will lead to significantly higher GWR. GWR is expected to decrease if the precipitation changes are lower than these thresholds. Significant GWR changes are produced only when the temperature change exceeds +2 °C. Temperature changes of >+4.5 °C limit the GWR increase to +30 mm/yr. This work provides useful insights into the regional assessment of future GWR in cold and humid climates, thus helping in planning decisions as climate change unfolds. The results are expected to be comparable to those in other regions with similar climates in post-glacial geological environments and future climate change conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Climatic Data in Hydrologic Models)
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Article
Ambient Air Quality Synergies with a 2050 Carbon Neutrality Pathway in South Korea
Climate 2022, 10(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10010001 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
South Korea is a signatory of the Paris Agreement and has announced its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, South Korea’s current policy trajectory is not compatible with maintaining a global temperature rise below 2 °C. Climate change has not been [...] Read more.
South Korea is a signatory of the Paris Agreement and has announced its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, South Korea’s current policy trajectory is not compatible with maintaining a global temperature rise below 2 °C. Climate change has not been a dominant electoral issue in South Korea, with national concerns being prioritized. A Paris-Agreement-compatible development pathway could synergistically improve ambient air quality in South Korea. This research examines the gains of a climate action pathway that would achieve 2050 carbon neutrality, compared to a business-as-usual (BAU) pathway, in South Korea. The work aims to add further evidence to the potential national gains from strong climate action across all sectors in South Korea. The paper argues that by focusing on and estimating national gains, the momentum for enhanced climate policy action can be intensified by framing robust climate action as an opportunity rather than a cost. Through a climate action pathway, South Korea could avoid 835 years of life lost (YLL) in 2030, 2237 YLL in 2040 and 3389 YLL in 2050. Through this pathway, South Korea could also cumulatively abate 5539 million tons of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) in greenhouse gas emissions over the 2022–2050 period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air and Water Quality in a Changing World)
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Article
Development of a Quality-Controlled and Homogenised Long-Term Daily Maximum and Minimum Air Temperature Network Dataset for Ireland
Climate 2021, 9(11), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9110158 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Accurate long-term daily maximum and minimum air temperature series are needed to assess the frequency, intensity, distribution, and duration of extreme climatic events. However, quality control and homogenisation procedures are required to minimise errors and inhomogeneities in climate series before the commencement of [...] Read more.
Accurate long-term daily maximum and minimum air temperature series are needed to assess the frequency, intensity, distribution, and duration of extreme climatic events. However, quality control and homogenisation procedures are required to minimise errors and inhomogeneities in climate series before the commencement of climate data analysis. A semi-automatic quality control procedure consisting of climate consistency, internal consistency, day-to-day step-change, and persistency tests was applied for 12 long-term series registered in Ireland from 1831–1968, Armagh Observatory (Northern Ireland) from 1844–2018, and for 21 short-term series dating to the mid-19th century. There were 976,786 observations quality-controlled, and 27,854 (2.9%) values flagged. Of the flagged records, 98.5% (n = 27,446) were validated, 1.4% (n = 380) corrected and 0.1% (n = 28) deleted. The historical long-term quality-controlled series were merged with the modern series quality-controlled by Met Éireann and homogenised using the software MASHv3.03 in combination with station metadata for 1885–2018. The series presented better homogenisation outcomes when homogenised as part of smaller regional networks rather than as a national network. The homogenisation of daily, monthly, seasonal, and annual series improved for all stations, and the homogenised records showed stronger correlations with the Central England long-term temperature series. Full article
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Article
Water Sensitive Cities: An Integrated Approach to Enhance Urban Flood Resilience in Parma (Northern Italy)
Climate 2021, 9(10), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9100152 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Climate change is globally causing more intense meteorological phenomena. Our cities experience increased rainfall intensity, more intense heat waves, and prolonged droughts providing economic, social, health and environmental challenges. Combined with population growth and rapid urbanization, the increasing impact of climate change will [...] Read more.
Climate change is globally causing more intense meteorological phenomena. Our cities experience increased rainfall intensity, more intense heat waves, and prolonged droughts providing economic, social, health and environmental challenges. Combined with population growth and rapid urbanization, the increasing impact of climate change will make our cities more and more vulnerable, especially to urban flooding. In order to adapt our urban water systems to these challenges, the adoption of newly emerging water management strategies is required. The complexity and scale of this challenge calls for the integration of knowledge from different disciplines and collaborative approaches. The water sensitive cities principles provide guidance for developing new techniques, strategies, policies, and tools to improve the livability, sustainability, and resilience of cities. In this study, the DAnCE4Water modeling approach promoting the development of water sensitive cities was applied to Parma, an Italian town that has faced serious water issues in the last few years. The city, indeed, had to face the consequences of flooding several times, caused by the inadequacy of both the network of open channels and the sewerage network due to the urban expansion and climate change of the last 30 years. Through the model, the efficiency of decentralized technologies, such as green roofs and porous pavement, and their integration with the existing centralized combined sewer system was assessed under a range of urban development scenarios. The obtained results show that the adoption of an integrated approach, including soft engineering hydraulic strategies, consisting in the use of natural and sustainable solutions, can increase resilience to urban flooding. Further, the study shows that there is a critical need for strategic investment in solutions that will deliver long-term sustainable outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Adaptation and Mitigation Practices and Frameworks)
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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 1012
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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Article
Plant Species Richness in Multiyear Wet and Dry Periods in the Chihuahuan Desert
Climate 2021, 9(8), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9080130 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
In drylands, most studies of extreme precipitation events examine effects of individual years or short-term events, yet multiyear periods (>3 y) are expected to have larger impacts on ecosystem dynamics. Our goal was to take advantage of a sequence of multiple long-term (4-y) [...] Read more.
In drylands, most studies of extreme precipitation events examine effects of individual years or short-term events, yet multiyear periods (>3 y) are expected to have larger impacts on ecosystem dynamics. Our goal was to take advantage of a sequence of multiple long-term (4-y) periods (dry, wet, average) that occurred naturally within a 26-y time frame to examine responses of plant species richness to extreme rainfall in grasslands and shrublands of the Chihuahuan Desert. Our hypothesis was that richness would be related to rainfall amount, and similar in periods with similar amounts of rainfall. Breakpoint analyses of water-year precipitation showed five sequential periods (1993–2018): AVG1 (mean = 22 cm/y), DRY1 (mean = 18 cm/y), WET (mean = 30 cm/y), DRY2 (mean = 18 cm/y), and AVG2 (mean = 24 cm/y). Detailed analyses revealed changes in daily and seasonal metrics of precipitation over the course of the study: the amount of nongrowing season precipitation decreased since 1993, and summer growing season precipitation increased through time with a corresponding increase in frequency of extreme rainfall events. This increase in summer rainfall could explain the general loss in C3 species after the wet period at most locations through time. Total species richness in the wet period was among the highest in the five periods, with the deepest average storm depth in the summer and the fewest long duration (>45 day) dry intervals across all seasons. For other species-ecosystem combinations, two richness patterns were observed. Compared to AVG2, AVG1 had lower water-year precipitation yet more C3 species in upland grasslands, creosotebush, and mesquite shrublands, and more C4 perennial grasses in tarbush shrublands. AVG1 also had larger amounts of rainfall and more large storms in fall and spring with higher mean depths of storm and lower mean dry-day interval compared with AVG2. While DRY1 and DRY2 had the same amount of precipitation, DRY2 had more C4 species than DRY1 in creosote bush shrublands, and DRY1 had more C3 species than DRY2 in upland grasslands. Most differences in rainfall between these periods occurred in the summer. Legacy effects were observed for C3 species in upland grasslands where no significant change in richness occurred from DRY1 to WET compared with a 41% loss of species from the WET to DRY2 period. The opposite asymmetry pattern was found for C4 subdominant species in creosote bush and mesquite shrublands, where an increase in richness occurred from DRY1 to WET followed by no change in richness from WET to DRY2. Our results show that understanding plant biodiversity of Chihuahuan Desert landscapes as precipitation continues to change will require daily and seasonal metrics of rainfall within a wet-dry period paradigm, as well as a consideration of species traits (photosynthetic pathways, lifespan, morphologies). Understanding these relationships can provide insights into predicting species-level dynamics in drylands under a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate System Uncertainty and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Flood Risk Assessment under Climate Change: The Petite Nation River Watershed
Climate 2021, 9(8), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9080125 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
In Canada, climate change is expected to increase the extreme precipitation events by magnitude and frequency, leading to more intense and frequent river flooding. In this study, we attempt to map the flood hazard and damage under projected climate scenarios (2050 and 2080). [...] Read more.
In Canada, climate change is expected to increase the extreme precipitation events by magnitude and frequency, leading to more intense and frequent river flooding. In this study, we attempt to map the flood hazard and damage under projected climate scenarios (2050 and 2080). The study was performed in the two most populated municipalities of the Petite Nation River Watershed, located in southern Quebec (Canada). The methodology follows a modelling approach, in which climate projections are derived from the Hydroclimatic Atlas of Southern Quebec following two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) scenarios, i.e., RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. These projections are used to predict future river flows. A frequency analysis was carried out with historical data of the peak flow (period 1969–2018) to derive different return periods (2, 20, and 100 years), which were then fed into the GARI tool (Gestion et Analyse du Risque d’Inondation). This tool is used to simulate flood hazard maps and to quantify future flood risk changes. Projected flood hazard (extent and depth) and damage maps were produced for the two municipalities under current and for future scenarios. The results indicate that the flood frequencies are expected to show a minor decrease in peak flows in the basin at the time horizons, 2050 and 2080. In addition, the depth and inundation areas will not significantly change for two time horizons, but instead show a minor decrease. Similarly, the projected flood damage changes in monetary losses are projected to decrease in the future. The results of this study allow one to identify present and future flood hazards and vulnerabilities, and should help decision-makers and the public to better understand the significance of climate change on flood risk in the Petite Nation River watershed. Full article
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Article
A Long-Term Spatiotemporal Analysis of Vegetation Greenness over the Himalayan Region Using Google Earth Engine
Climate 2021, 9(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9070109 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 3166
Abstract
The Himalayas constitute one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the Indian sub-continent. Vegetation greenness driven by climate in the Himalayan region is often overlooked as field-based studies are challenging due to high altitude and complex topography. Although the basic information [...] Read more.
The Himalayas constitute one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the Indian sub-continent. Vegetation greenness driven by climate in the Himalayan region is often overlooked as field-based studies are challenging due to high altitude and complex topography. Although the basic information about vegetation cover and its interactions with different hydroclimatic factors is vital, limited attention has been given to understanding the response of vegetation to different climatic factors. The main aim of the present study is to analyse the relationship between the spatiotemporal variability of vegetation greenness and associated climatic and hydrological drivers within the Upper Khoh River (UKR) Basin of the Himalayas at annual and seasonal scales. We analysed two vegetation indices, namely, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) time-series data, for the last 20 years (2001–2020) using Google Earth Engine. We found that both the NDVI and EVI showed increasing trends in the vegetation greening during the period under consideration, with the NDVI being consistently higher than the EVI. The mean NDVI and EVI increased from 0.54 and 0.31 (2001), respectively, to 0.65 and 0.36 (2020). Further, the EVI tends to correlate better with the different hydroclimatic factors in comparison to the NDVI. The EVI is strongly correlated with ET with r2 = 0.73 whereas the NDVI showed satisfactory performance with r2 = 0.45. On the other hand, the relationship between the EVI and precipitation yielded r2 = 0.34, whereas there was no relationship was observed between the NDVI and precipitation. These findings show that there exists a strong correlation between the EVI and hydroclimatic factors, which shows that changes in vegetation phenology can be better captured using the EVI than the NDVI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions)
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Article
Integrated Water Vapor during Rain and Rain-Free Conditions above the Swiss Plateau
Climate 2021, 9(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9070105 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Water vapor column density, or vertically-integrated water vapor (IWV), is monitored by ground-based microwave radiometers (MWR) and ground-based receivers of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). For rain periods, the retrieval of IWV from GNSS Zenith Wet Delay (ZWD) neglects the atmospheric propagation [...] Read more.
Water vapor column density, or vertically-integrated water vapor (IWV), is monitored by ground-based microwave radiometers (MWR) and ground-based receivers of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). For rain periods, the retrieval of IWV from GNSS Zenith Wet Delay (ZWD) neglects the atmospheric propagation delay of the GNSS signal by rain droplets. Similarly, it is difficult for ground-based dual-frequency single-polarisation microwave radiometers to separate the microwave emission of water vapor and cloud droplets from the rather strong microwave emission of rain. For ground-based microwave radiometry at Bern (Switzerland), we take the approach that IWV during rain is derived from linearly interpolated opacities before and after the rain period. The intermittent rain periods often appear as spikes in the time series of integrated liquid water (ILW) and are indicated by ILW ≥ 0.4 mm. In the present study, we assume that IWV measurements from radiosondes are not affected by rain. We intercompare the climatologies of IWV(rain), IWV(no rain), and IWV(all) obtained by radiosonde, ground-based GNSS atmosphere sounding, ground-based MWR, and ECMWF reanalysis (ERA5) at Payerne and Bern in Switzerland. In all seasons, IWV(rain) is 3.75 to 5.94 mm greater than IWV(no rain). The mean IWV differences between GNSS and radiosonde at Payerne are less than 0.26 mm. The datasets at Payerne show a better agreement than the datasets at Bern. However, the MWR at Bern agrees with the radiosonde at Payerne within 0.41 mm for IWV(rain) and 0.02 mm for IWV(no rain). Using the GNSS and rain gauge measurements at Payerne, we find that IWV(rain) increases with increase of the precipitation rate during summer as well as during winter. IWV(rain) above the Swiss Plateau is quite well estimated by GNSS and MWR though the standard retrievals are limited or hampered during rain periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts at Various Geographical Scales)
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Article
A Simple Theoretical Model for Lags and Asymmetries of Surface Temperature
Climate 2021, 9(5), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9050078 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Here, we study three fundamental climatic phenomena: The seasonal lag, the diurnal lag, and the asymmetry of daily temperature variation. We write a nonlinear ODE based on an energy balance for surface temperature and humidity. The model focuses on small regions of the [...] Read more.
Here, we study three fundamental climatic phenomena: The seasonal lag, the diurnal lag, and the asymmetry of daily temperature variation. We write a nonlinear ODE based on an energy balance for surface temperature and humidity. The model focuses on small regions of the Earth’s surface; it reproduces the three phenomena with a reasonable accuracy if a few parameters are chosen according to the climatic type of the regions. The plots in this manuscript compare real climatic data with numerical solutions of the model we propose. The model takes into account the doubly periodic forcing of the solar radiation (annual and daily), IR radiation, the existence of thermodynamic bodies with different thermal inertia (land and oceans), and the effect of humidity on the thermal inertia of the air. We write the equations using astronomical parameters with the possibility of applications to exoplanets in mind. We conclude this article investigating the evolution of temperatures in Catania and Sydney if the Earth was on an orbit around the Sun with the same mean distance but greater eccentricity. Full article
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Article
Mapping Vulnerability of Cotton to Climate Change in West Africa: Challenges for Sustainable Development
Climate 2021, 9(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9040068 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Climate models project vulnerability to global warming in low-income regions, with important implications for sustainable development. While food crops are the priority, smallholder cash crops support food security, education, and other priorities. Despite its importance as a populous region subject to substantial climate [...] Read more.
Climate models project vulnerability to global warming in low-income regions, with important implications for sustainable development. While food crops are the priority, smallholder cash crops support food security, education, and other priorities. Despite its importance as a populous region subject to substantial climate change, West Africa has received relatively slight attention in spatial assessments of climate impacts. In this region, rainfed cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) provides essential smallholder income. We used a spatially explicit species distribution model to project likely changes in the spatial distribution of suitable climates for rainfed cotton in West Africa. We modeled suitable climate conditions from the recent past (1970–2000) and projected the range of those conditions in 2050 (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5). The suitable area declined by 60 percent under RCP4.5 and by 80 percent under RCP8.5. Of 15 countries in the study area, all but two declined to less than ten percent suitable under RCP8.5. The annual precipitation was the most influential factor in explaining baseline cotton distribution, but 2050 temperatures appear to become the limiting factor, rising beyond the range in which rainfed cotton has historically been grown. Adaptation to these changes and progress on sustainable development goals will depend on responses at multiple scales of governance, including global support and cooperation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Adaptation and Mitigation Practices and Frameworks)
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Article
On the Breaking of the Milankovitch Cycles Triggered by Temperature Increase: The Stochastic Resonance Response
Climate 2021, 9(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9040067 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1657
Abstract
Recent decades have registered the hottest temperature variation in instrumentally recorded data history. The registered temperature rise is particularly significant in the so-called hot spot or sentinel regions, characterized by higher temperature increases in respect to the planet average value and by more [...] Read more.
Recent decades have registered the hottest temperature variation in instrumentally recorded data history. The registered temperature rise is particularly significant in the so-called hot spot or sentinel regions, characterized by higher temperature increases in respect to the planet average value and by more marked connected effects. In this framework, in the present work, following the climate stochastic resonance model, the effects, due to a temperature increase independently from a specific trend, connected to the 105 year Milankovitch cycle were tested. As a result, a breaking scenario induced by global warming is forecasted. More specifically, a wavelet analysis, innovatively performed with different sampling times, allowed us, besides to fully characterize the cycles periodicities, to quantitatively determine the stochastic resonance conditions by optimizing the noise level. Starting from these system resonance conditions, numerical simulations for increasing planet temperatures have been performed. The obtained results show that an increase of the Earth temperature boosts a transition towards a chaotic regime where the Milankovitch cycle effects disappear. These results put into evidence the so-called threshold effect, namely the fact that also a small temperature increase can give rise to great effects above a given threshold, furnish a perspective point of view of a possible future climate scenario, and provide an account of the ongoing registered intensity increase of extreme meteorological events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Dynamics and Modeling: Future Perspectives)
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Article
Climate Aridity and the Geographical Shift of Olive Trees in a Mediterranean Northern Region
Climate 2021, 9(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9040064 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
Climate change leverages landscape transformations and exerts variable pressure on natural environments and rural systems. Earlier studies outlined how Mediterranean Europe has become a global hotspot of climate warming and land use change. The present work assumes the olive tree, a typical Mediterranean [...] Read more.
Climate change leverages landscape transformations and exerts variable pressure on natural environments and rural systems. Earlier studies outlined how Mediterranean Europe has become a global hotspot of climate warming and land use change. The present work assumes the olive tree, a typical Mediterranean crop, as a candidate bioclimatic indicator, delineating the latent impact of climate aridity on traditional cropping systems at the northern range of the biogeographical distribution of the olive tree. Since the olive tree follows a well-defined latitude gradient with a progressive decline in both frequency and density moving toward the north, we considered Italy as an appropriate case to investigate how climate change may (directly or indirectly) influence the spatial distribution of this crop. By adopting an exploratory approach grounded in the quali-quantitative analysis of official statistics, the present study investigates long-term changes over time in the spatial distribution of the olive tree surface area in Northern Italy, a region traditionally considered outside the ecological range of the species because of unsuitable climate conditions. Olive tree cultivated areas increased in Northern Italy, especially in flat districts and upland areas, while they decreased in Central and Southern Italy under optimal climate conditions, mostly because of land abandonment. The most intense expansion of the olive tree surface area in Italy was observed in the northern region between 1992 and 2000 and corresponded with the intensification of winter droughts during the late 1980s and the early 1990s and local warming since the mid-1980s. Assuming the intrinsic role of farmers in the expansion of the olive tree into the suboptimal land of Northern Italy, the empirical results of our study suggest how climate aridity and local warming may underlie the shift toward the north in the geographical range of the olive tree in the Mediterranean Basin. We finally discussed the implications of the olive range shift as a part of a possible landscape scenario for a more arid future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Land)
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Article
Synoptic Climatology of Lake-Effect Snow Events off the Western Great Lakes
Climate 2021, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030043 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
As the mesoscale dynamics of lake-effect snow (LES) are becoming better understood, recent and ongoing research is beginning to focus on the large-scale environments conducive to LES. Synoptic-scale composites are constructed for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior LES events by employing an LES [...] Read more.
As the mesoscale dynamics of lake-effect snow (LES) are becoming better understood, recent and ongoing research is beginning to focus on the large-scale environments conducive to LES. Synoptic-scale composites are constructed for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior LES events by employing an LES case repository for these regions within the U.S. North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) data for each LES event were used to construct synoptic maps of dominant LES patterns for each lake. These maps were formulated using a previously implemented composite technique that blends principal component analysis with a k-means cluster analysis. A sample case from each resulting cluster was also selected and simulated using the Advanced Weather Research and Forecast model to obtain an example mesoscale depiction of the LES environment. The study revealed four synoptic setups for Lake Michigan and three for Lake Superior whose primary differences were discrepancies in a surface pressure dipole structure previously linked with Great Lakes LES. These subtle synoptic-scale differences suggested that while overall LES impacts were driven more by the mesoscale conditions for these lakes, synoptic-scale conditions still provided important insight into the character of LES forcing mechanisms, primarily the steering flow and air–lake thermodynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather Events)
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Article
Ecoenergetic Comparison of HVAC Systems in Data Centers
Climate 2021, 9(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9030042 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
The topic of sustainability is of high importance today. Global efforts such as the Montreal Protocol (1987) and the Kigali Amendment (2016) are examples of joint work by countries to reduce environmental impacts and improve the level of the ozone layer, the choice [...] Read more.
The topic of sustainability is of high importance today. Global efforts such as the Montreal Protocol (1987) and the Kigali Amendment (2016) are examples of joint work by countries to reduce environmental impacts and improve the level of the ozone layer, the choice of refrigerants and air conditioning systems, which is essential for this purpose. But what indicators are to be used to measure something so necessary? In this article, the types of air conditioning and GWP (Global Warming Potential) levels of equipment in the project phase were discussed, the issue of TEWI (Total Equivalent Warming Impact) that measures the direct and indirect environmental impacts of refrigeration equipment and air conditioning and a new methodology for the indicator was developed, the TEWI DC (DC is the direct application for Data Center), and using the formulas of this new adapted indicator it was demonstrated that the TEWI DC for Chicago (USA) was 2,784,102,640 kg CO2/10 years and Curitiba (Brazil) is 1,252,409,640 kg CO2/10 years. This difference in value corresponds to 222.30% higher annual emissions in Chicago than in Curitiba, showing that it is much more advantageous to install a Data Center in Curitiba than in Chicago in terms of environmental impact. The TEWI indicator provides a more holistic view, helping to combine energy and emissions into the same indicator. Full article
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Article
A Comparative Analysis of Different Future Weather Data for Building Energy Performance Simulation
Climate 2021, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020037 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
The building energy performance pattern is predicted to be shifted in the future due to climate change. To analyze this phenomenon, there is an urgent need for reliable and robust future weather datasets. Several ways for estimating future climate projection and creating weather [...] Read more.
The building energy performance pattern is predicted to be shifted in the future due to climate change. To analyze this phenomenon, there is an urgent need for reliable and robust future weather datasets. Several ways for estimating future climate projection and creating weather files exist. This paper attempts to comparatively analyze three tools for generating future weather datasets based on statistical downscaling (WeatherShift, Meteonorm, and CCWorldWeatherGen) with one based on dynamical downscaling (a future-typical meteorological year, created using a high-quality reginal climate model). Four weather datasets for the city of Rome are generated and applied to the energy simulation of a mono family house and an apartment block as representative building types of Italian residential building stock. The results show that morphed weather files have a relatively similar operation in predicting the future comfort and energy performance of the buildings. In addition, discrepancy between them and the dynamical downscaled weather file is revealed. The analysis shows that this comes not only from using different approaches for creating future weather datasets but also by the building type. Therefore, for finding climate resilient solutions for buildings, care should be taken in using different methods for developing future weather datasets, and regional and localized analysis becomes vital. Full article
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Article
Improving the Indoor Air Quality of Residential Buildings during Bushfire Smoke Events
Climate 2021, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020032 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2092
Abstract
Exposure to bushfire smoke is associated with acute and chronic health effects such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Residential buildings are important places of refuge from bushfire smoke, however the air quality within these locations can become heavily polluted by smoke infiltration. Consequently, [...] Read more.
Exposure to bushfire smoke is associated with acute and chronic health effects such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Residential buildings are important places of refuge from bushfire smoke, however the air quality within these locations can become heavily polluted by smoke infiltration. Consequently, some residential buildings may offer limited protection from exposure to poor air quality, especially during extended smoke events. This paper evaluates the impact of bushfire smoke on indoor air quality within residential buildings and proposes strategies and guidance to reduce indoor levels of particulates and other pollutants. The paper explores the different monitoring techniques used to measure air pollutants and assesses the influence of the building envelope, filtration technologies, and portable air cleaners used to improve indoor air quality. The evaluation found that bushfire smoke can substantially increase the levels of pollutants within residential buildings. Notably, some studies reported indoor levels of PM2.5 of approximately 500µg/m3 during bushfire smoke events. Many Australian homes are very leaky (i.e., >15 ACH) compared to those in countries such as the USA. Strategies such as improving the building envelope will help reduce smoke infiltration, however even in airtight homes pollutant levels will eventually increase over time. Therefore, the appropriate design, selection, and operation of household ventilation systems that include particle filtration will be critical to reduce indoor exposures during prolonged smoke events. Future studies of bushfire smoke intrusion in residences could also focus on filtration technologies that can remove gaseous pollutants. Full article
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Article
Impact of the Strong Downwelling (Upwelling) on Small Pelagic Fish Production during the 2016 (2019) Negative (Positive) Indian Ocean Dipole Events in the Eastern Indian Ocean off Java
Climate 2021, 9(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020029 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2381
Abstract
Although researchers have investigated the impact of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phases on human lives, only a few have examined such impacts on fisheries. In this study, we analyzed the influence of negative (positive) IOD phases on chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentrations as an [...] Read more.
Although researchers have investigated the impact of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phases on human lives, only a few have examined such impacts on fisheries. In this study, we analyzed the influence of negative (positive) IOD phases on chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentrations as an indicator of phytoplankton biomass and small pelagic fish production in the eastern Indian Ocean (EIO) off Java. We also conducted field surveys in the EIO off Palabuhanratu Bay at the peak (October) and the end (December) of the 2019 positive IOD phase. Our findings show that the Chl-a concentration had a strong and robust association with the 2016 (2019) negative (positive) IOD phases. The negative (positive) anomalous Chl-a concentration in the EIO off Java associated with the negative (positive) IOD phase induced strong downwelling (upwelling), leading to the preponderant decrease (increase) in small pelagic fish production in the EIO off Java. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts at Various Geographical Scales)
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Article
A Survey Instrument to Measure Skeptics’ (Dis)Trust in Climate Science
Climate 2021, 9(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020018 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
Existing survey instruments of trust in science and scientists that focus on the general public are potentially insufficient to assess climate skeptics’ perspectives towards climate science. They may miss important aspects of climate science about which skeptics raise concerns, and may not accurately [...] Read more.
Existing survey instruments of trust in science and scientists that focus on the general public are potentially insufficient to assess climate skeptics’ perspectives towards climate science. They may miss important aspects of climate science about which skeptics raise concerns, and may not accurately measure climate skeptics’ distrust in climatology. We introduce a new survey instrument developed using data gathered from interviewing 33 self-identified climate change skeptics in Idaho. The survey items capture skeptics’ beliefs regarding climate scientists’ trustworthiness and credibility, their deference to scientific authority, and their perceptions of alienation from the climate science community. We validate our survey instrument using data from an online survey administered to 1000 residents in the U.S. Pacific Northwest who are skeptical of climate change. By employing standard survey design principles, we demonstrate how our new (dis)trust in climate science instrument performs in tandem with well-known predictors of science attitudes and pro-environmentalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Induced Climate Change: Truths and Controversies)
Article
The Effect of Statistical Downscaling on the Weighting of Multi-Model Ensembles of Precipitation
Climate 2020, 8(12), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8120138 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
Recently, assessments of global climate model (GCM) ensembles have transitioned from using unweighted means to weighted means designed to account for skill and interdependence among models. Although ensemble-weighting schemes are typically derived using a GCM ensemble, statistically downscaled projections are used in climate [...] Read more.
Recently, assessments of global climate model (GCM) ensembles have transitioned from using unweighted means to weighted means designed to account for skill and interdependence among models. Although ensemble-weighting schemes are typically derived using a GCM ensemble, statistically downscaled projections are used in climate change assessments. This study applies four ensemble-weighting schemes for model averaging to precipitation projections in the south-central United States. The weighting schemes are applied to (1) a 26-member GCM ensemble and (2) those 26 members downscaled using Localized Canonical Analogs (LOCA). This study is distinct from prior research because it compares the interactions of ensemble-weighting schemes with GCMs and statistical downscaling to produce summarized climate projection products. The analysis indicates that statistical downscaling improves the ensemble accuracy (LOCA average root mean square error is 100 mm less than the CMIP5 average root mean square error) and reduces the uncertainty of the projected ensemble-mean change. Furthermore, averaging the LOCA ensemble using Bayesian Model Averaging reduces the uncertainty beyond any other combination of weighting schemes and ensemble (standard deviation of the mean projected change in the domain is reduced by 40–50 mm). The results also indicate that it is inappropriate to assume that a weighting scheme derived from a GCM ensemble matches the same weights derived using a downscaled ensemble. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Dynamics and Modelling)
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Article
Assessing Property Level Economic Impacts of Climate in the US, New Insights and Evidence from a Comprehensive Flood Risk Assessment Tool
Climate 2020, 8(10), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8100116 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4307
Abstract
Hurricanes and flood-related events cause more direct economic damage than any other type of natural disaster. In the United States, that damage totals more than USD 1 trillion in damages since 1980. On average, direct flood losses have risen from USD 4 billion [...] Read more.
Hurricanes and flood-related events cause more direct economic damage than any other type of natural disaster. In the United States, that damage totals more than USD 1 trillion in damages since 1980. On average, direct flood losses have risen from USD 4 billion annually in the 1980s to roughly USD 17 billion annually from 2010 to 2018. Despite flooding’s tremendous economic impact on US properties and communities, current estimates of expected damages are lacking due to the fact that flood risk in many parts of the US is unidentified, underestimated, or available models associated with high quality assessment tools are proprietary. This study introduces an economic-focused Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approach that builds upon an our existing understanding of prior assessment methods by taking advantage of a newly available, climate adjusted, parcel-level flood risk assessment model (First Street Foundation, 2020a and 2020b) in order to quantify property level economic impacts today, and into the climate adjusted future, using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and NASA’s Global Climate Model ensemble (CMIP5). This approach represents a first of its kind—a publicly available high precision flood risk assessment tool at the property level developed completely with open data sources and open methods. The economic impact assessment presented here has been carried out using residential buildings in New Jersey as a testbed; however, the environmental assessment tool on which it is based is a national scale property level flood assessment model at a 3 m resolution. As evidence of the reliability of the EIA tool, the 2020 estimated economic impact (USD 5481 annual expectation) was compared to actual average per claim-year NFIP payouts from flooding and found an average of USD 5540 over the life of the program (difference of less than USD 100). Additionally, the tool finds a 41.4% increase in average economic flood damage through the year 2050 when environmental change is included in the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate and Economics)
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Article
Expected Impacts of Mixing European Beech with Silver Fir on Regional Air Quality and Radiation Balance
Climate 2020, 8(10), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8100105 - 26 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
The anticipated climate change during the next decades is posing crucial challenges to ecosystems. In order to decrease the vulnerability of forests, introducing tree species’ mixtures are a viable strategy, with deep-rooting native Silver fir (Abies alba) being a primary candidate [...] Read more.
The anticipated climate change during the next decades is posing crucial challenges to ecosystems. In order to decrease the vulnerability of forests, introducing tree species’ mixtures are a viable strategy, with deep-rooting native Silver fir (Abies alba) being a primary candidate for admixture into current pure stands of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) especially in mountainous areas. Such a change in forest structure also has effects on the regional scale, which, however, have been seldomly quantified. Therefore, we measured and modeled radiative balance and air chemistry impacts of admixing Silver fir to European beech stands, including changes in biogenic volatile organic compound emissions. An increased fraction of Silver fir caused a smaller albedo and a (simulated) larger evapotranspiration, leading to a dryer and warmer forest. While isoprene emission was negligible for both species, sesquiterpene and monoterpene emissions were larger for fir than for beech. From these differences, we derived that ozone concentration as well as secondary organic aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei would increase regionally. Overall, we demonstrated that even a relatively mild scenario of tree species change will alter the energy balance and air quality in a way that could potentially influence the climate on a landscape scale. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Analysis of Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Tehran
Climate 2020, 8(10), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8100104 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1918
Abstract
Since the impacts of climate change will last for many years, adaptation to this phenomenon should be prioritized in urban management plans. Although Tehran, the capital of Iran, has been subject to a variety of climate change impacts in recent years, appropriate adaptation [...] Read more.
Since the impacts of climate change will last for many years, adaptation to this phenomenon should be prioritized in urban management plans. Although Tehran, the capital of Iran, has been subject to a variety of climate change impacts in recent years, appropriate adaptation measures to address them are yet to be taken. This study primarily aims to categorize the barriers to climate change adaptation in Tehran and analyze the way they interact with each other. The study was done in three steps: first, the focus group discussion (FGD) method was used to identify the barriers; next, the survey and the structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to validate the barriers, identify their importance, and examine their possible inter-relationships; and finally, the interpretive structural modeling (ISM) was applied to categorize and visualize the relationships between the barriers. Results show that barriers related to the ‘structure and culture of research’, ‘laws and regulations’, and ‘planning’ belong to the cluster of independent barriers and are of greater significance. The ‘social’ barrier and barriers related to ‘resources and resource management’ are identified as dependent barriers and are of lesser importance. Barriers related to ‘governance’, ‘awareness’, ‘education and knowledge’, ‘communication and interaction’, and ‘economy’ are identified at the intermediate cluster. The findings of this study can provide planners and decision makers with invaluable insights as to how to develop strategies for climate change adaptation in Tehran. Despite the scope of the study being confined to Tehran, its implications go far beyond this metropolis. Full article
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Article
Ranchers Adapting to Climate Variability in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Utah
Climate 2020, 8(9), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8090096 - 21 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1730
Abstract
In the Upper Colorado River Basin, agriculture is a major contributor to Utah’s economy, which may be stressed due to the changing climate. In this study, two data-mining techniques and interview data are used to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and [...] Read more.
In the Upper Colorado River Basin, agriculture is a major contributor to Utah’s economy, which may be stressed due to the changing climate. In this study, two data-mining techniques and interview data are used to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and the way the farmers have been adapting their practices to these changes. In the first part of the study, we used multilinear regression and random forest regression to understand the relationship between climate and agricultural production using temperature, precipitation, water availability, hay production, and cattle herd size. The quantitative results showed weak relations among variables. In the second part of the study, we interviewed ranchers to fill the gaps in the quantitative analysis. Over the 35 years (1981–2015), the quantitative analysis shows that temperature has affected cattle and hay production more than precipitation. Among non-climatic variables, resource availability and commodity prices are the most important factors that influence year-to-year production. Farmers are well-aware of these effects and have adapted accordingly. They have changed irrigation practices, cropping patterns, and are experimenting to produce a hybrid species of cattle, that are resilient to a hotter temperature and can use a wider variety of forage. Full article
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Article
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
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1984
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
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Article
The Role of Individual and Small-Area Social and Environmental Factors on Heat Vulnerability to Mortality Within and Outside of the Home in Boston, MA
Climate 2020, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020029 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Climate change is resulting in heatwaves that are more frequent, severe, and longer lasting, which is projected to double-to-triple the heat-related mortality in Boston, MA if adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are not implemented. A case-only analysis was used to examine [...] Read more.
Climate change is resulting in heatwaves that are more frequent, severe, and longer lasting, which is projected to double-to-triple the heat-related mortality in Boston, MA if adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are not implemented. A case-only analysis was used to examine subject and small-area neighborhood characteristics that modified the association between hot days and mortality. Deaths of Boston, Massachusetts residents that occurred from 2000–2015 were analyzed in relation to the daily temperature and heat index during the warm season as part of the case-only analysis. The modification by small-area (census tract, CT) social, and environmental (natural and built) factors was assessed. At-home mortality on hot days was driven by both social and environmental factors, differentially across the City of Boston census tracts, with a greater proportion of low-to-no income individuals or those with limited English proficiency being more highly represented among those who died during the study period; but small-area built environment features, like street trees and enhanced energy efficiency, were able to reduce the relative odds of death within and outside the home. At temperatures below current local thresholds used for heat warnings and advisories, there was increased relative odds of death from substance abuse and assault-related altercations. Geographic weighted regression analyses were used to examine these relationships spatially within a subset of at-home deaths with high-resolution temperature and humidity data. This revealed spatially heterogeneous associations between at-home mortality and social and environmental vulnerability factors. Full article
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Article
Climate Change and Sustaining Heritage Resources: A Framework for Boosting Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation in Central Italy
Climate 2020, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020026 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4497
Abstract
Climate change has dramatically affected the rainfall patterns and water systems in Central Italy. The vulnerability of this area to climate change and natural hazards necessitates that appropriate adaptation policies be put in place to protect heritage sites. This study aims to develop [...] Read more.
Climate change has dramatically affected the rainfall patterns and water systems in Central Italy. The vulnerability of this area to climate change and natural hazards necessitates that appropriate adaptation policies be put in place to protect heritage sites. This study aims to develop a cultural and natural heritage conservation framework for Central Italy that enhances the capacity of climate change adaptation for heritage resources. For this purpose, a comparison was made between the UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Convention of 1972 and the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe to achieve a coherent vision for the protection of heritage resources in Europe. After describing the impacts of climate change on heritage resources in Central Italy, we analyze and suggest improvements to the conservation framework for wisely protecting heritage resources in a changing climate. The findings reveal that conservation sectors require assessments of the value of heritage resources at the territorial scale to effectively define conservation priorities, assess the vulnerabilities, and more precisely direct funding. In this respect, the integration of the European Landscape Convention with territorial planning may boost the unity of a conservation framework in terms of climate change while providing new opportunities for conservation authorities to develop adaptation policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Article
Mitigating Climate Change in the Cultural Built Heritage Sector
Climate 2019, 7(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7070090 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3669
Abstract
Climate change mitigation targets have put pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings. Commonly adopted measures to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of historical buildings are targeted at improving their energy efficiency through insulating the building envelope, and upgrading [...] Read more.
Climate change mitigation targets have put pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings. Commonly adopted measures to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of historical buildings are targeted at improving their energy efficiency through insulating the building envelope, and upgrading their heating, cooling and lighting systems. However, there are complex issues that arise when mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. For instance, preserving the authenticity of heritage buildings, maintaining their traditional passive behaviours, and choosing adaptive solutions compatible with the characteristics of heritage materials to avoid an acceleration of decay processes. It is thus important to understand what the enablers, or the barriers, are to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings to meet climate change mitigation targets. This paper investigates how climate change mitigation is considered in the management and preservation of the built heritage through semi-structured interviews with cultural heritage experts from the UK, Italy and Norway. Best-practice approaches for the refurbishment of historical buildings with the aim of decreasing their energy consumption are presented, as perceived by the interviewees, as well as the identification of the enablers and barriers in mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. The findings emphasise that adapting the cultural built heritage to reduce GHG emissions is challenging, but possible if strong and concerted action involving research and government can be undertaken to overcome the barriers identified in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Article
FCVLP: A Fuzzy Random Conditional Value-at-Risk-Based Linear Programming Model for Municipal Solid Waste Management
Climate 2019, 7(6), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7060080 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this study for dealing with municipal solid waste (MSW) management problems under uncertainty. FCVLP improves upon the existing fuzzy linear programming and fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk methods by allowing analysis of [...] Read more.
A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this study for dealing with municipal solid waste (MSW) management problems under uncertainty. FCVLP improves upon the existing fuzzy linear programming and fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk methods by allowing analysis of the risks of violating constraints that contain fuzzy parameters. A long-term MSW management problem was used to illustrate the applicability of FCVLP. The optimal feasibility solutions under various significance risk levels could be generated in order to analysis the trade-offs among the system cost, the feasibility degree of capacity constraints, and the risk level of waste-disposal-demand constraints. The results demonstrated that (1) a lower system cost may lead to a lower feasibility of waste-facility-capacity constraint and a higher risk of waste-disposal-demand constraint; (2) effects on system cost from vague information in incinerator capacity inputs would be greater than those in landfill capacity inputs; (3) the total allowable waste allocation would vary significantly because of the variations of risk levels and feasibility degrees. The proposed FCVLP method could be used to identify optimal waste allocation scenarios associated with a variety of complexities in MSW management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment Pollution and Climate Change)
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Article
Green Infrastructure Financing as an Imperative to Achieve Green Goals
Climate 2019, 7(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7030039 - 09 Mar 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3778
Abstract
Green infrastructure (GI) has increasingly gained popularity for achieving adaptation and mitigation goals associated with climate change and extreme weather events. To continue implementing GI, financial tools are needed for upfront project capital or development costs and later for maintenance. This study’s purpose [...] Read more.
Green infrastructure (GI) has increasingly gained popularity for achieving adaptation and mitigation goals associated with climate change and extreme weather events. To continue implementing GI, financial tools are needed for upfront project capital or development costs and later for maintenance. This study’s purpose is to evaluate financing tools used in a selected GI dataset and to assess how those tools are linked to various GI technologies and other GI project characteristics like cost and size. The dataset includes over 400 GI U.S. projects, comprising a convenience sample, from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). GI project characteristics were organized to answer a number of research questions using descriptive statistics. Results indicated that the number of projects and overall cost shares were mostly located in a few states. Grants were the most common financial tool with about two-thirds of the projects reporting information on financial tools receiving grant funding. Most projects reported financing from only one tool with a maximum of three tools. Projects primarily included multiple GI technologies averaging three and a maximum of nine. The most common GI technologies were bioswales, retention, rain gardens, and porous pavements. These findings are useful for decision-makers evaluating funding support for GI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Resilience and Urban Sustainability)
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Article
Constraints to Vegetation Growth Reduced by Region-Specific Changes in Seasonal Climate
Climate 2019, 7(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7020027 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2521
Abstract
We qualitatively and quantitatively assessed the factors related to vegetation growth using Earth system models and corroborated the results with historical climate observations. The Earth system models showed a systematic greening by the late 21st century, including increases of up to 100% in [...] Read more.
We qualitatively and quantitatively assessed the factors related to vegetation growth using Earth system models and corroborated the results with historical climate observations. The Earth system models showed a systematic greening by the late 21st century, including increases of up to 100% in Gross Primary Production (GPP) and 60% in Leaf Area Index (LAI). A subset of models revealed that the radiative effects of CO2 largely control changes in climate, but that the CO2 fertilization effect dominates the greening. The ensemble of Earth system model experiments revealed that the feedback of surface temperature contributed to 17% of GPP increase in temperature-limited regions, and radiation increase accounted for a 7% increase of GPP in radiation-limited areas. These effects are corroborated by historical observations. For example, observations confirm that cloud cover has decreased over most land areas in the last three decades, consistent with a CO2-induced reduction in transpiration. Our results suggest that vegetation may thrive in the starkly different climate expected over the coming decades, but only if plants harvest the sort of hypothesized physiological benefits of higher CO2 depicted by current Earth system models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Change in the 21th Century)
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Article
What Can Policy-Makers Do to Increase the Effectiveness of Building Renovation Subsidies?
Climate 2019, 7(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7020028 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
Heating is responsible for a substantial share of global energy consumption and still relies strongly on fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy consumption for heating, subsidies for building renovations are a common policy measure in Europe. Policy makers often combine them with [...] Read more.
Heating is responsible for a substantial share of global energy consumption and still relies strongly on fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy consumption for heating, subsidies for building renovations are a common policy measure in Europe. Policy makers often combine them with information and advice measures. Policy mixes of this kind have been acknowledged widely in the literature, but their effectiveness needs further empirical examination. Based on a survey of the recipients of renovation subsidies and on four focus groups, we examine the (cost) effectiveness of subsidies, as follows: The effectiveness of renovation subsidies was measured by the extent to which receiving subsidies contributed either to the decision to renovate at all, or to the decision to enhance the quality or scope of the renovation. Fifty percent of the recipients surveyed reported that the subsidies contributed to a more energy-efficient renovation than was initially intended. The other fifty percent must be considered as free riders. Multivariate analyses further show that homeowners who used advice services and attributed outstandingly positive characteristics to the policy implementer were more likely to spend subsidies to improve energy efficiency. The findings demonstrate the importance of applying a combination of financial and persuasive policy measures. Additionally, they illustrate the importance of non-financial and non-technical factors, such as the communication competencies of the implementer, when designing policy measures. Full article
Article
Statistical Analysis of Recent and Future Rainfall and Temperature Variability in the Mono River Watershed (Benin, Togo)
Climate 2019, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7010008 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2782
Abstract
This paper assessed the current and mid-century trends in rainfall and temperature over the Mono River watershed. It considered observation data for the period 1981–2010 and projection data from the regional climate model (RCM), REMO, for the period 2018–2050 under emission scenarios RCP4.5 [...] Read more.
This paper assessed the current and mid-century trends in rainfall and temperature over the Mono River watershed. It considered observation data for the period 1981–2010 and projection data from the regional climate model (RCM), REMO, for the period 2018–2050 under emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Rainfall data were interpolated using ordinary kriging. Mann-Kendall, Pettitt and Standardized Normal Homogeneity (SNH) tests were used for trends and break-points detection. Rainfall interannual variability analysis was based on standardized precipitation index (SPI), whereas anomalies indices were considered for temperature. Results revealed that on an annual scale and all over the watershed, temperature and rainfall showed an increasing trend during the observation period. By 2050, both scenarios projected an increase in temperature compared to the baseline period 1981–2010, whereas annual rainfall will be characterized by high variabilities. Rainfall seasonal cycle is expected to change in the watershed: In the south, the second rainfall peak, which usually occurs in September, will be extended to October with a higher value. In the central and northern parts, rainfall regime is projected to be characterized by late onsets, a peak in September and lower precipitation until June and higher thereafter. The highest increase and decrease in monthly precipitation are expected in the northern part of the watershed. Therefore, identifying relevant adaptation strategies is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Change in the 21th Century)
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Article
Decadal Ocean Heat Redistribution Since the Late 1990s and Its Association with Key Climate Modes
Climate 2018, 6(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040091 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5767
Abstract
Ocean heat content (OHC) is the major component of the earth’s energy imbalance. Its decadal scale variability has been heavily debated in the research interest of the so-called “surface warming slowdown” (SWS) that occurred during the 1998–2013 period. Here, we first clarify that [...] Read more.
Ocean heat content (OHC) is the major component of the earth’s energy imbalance. Its decadal scale variability has been heavily debated in the research interest of the so-called “surface warming slowdown” (SWS) that occurred during the 1998–2013 period. Here, we first clarify that OHC has accelerated since the late 1990s. This finding refutes the concept of a slowdown of the human-induced global warming. This study also addresses the question of how heat is redistributed within the global ocean and provides some explanation of the underlying physical phenomena. Previous efforts to answer this question end with contradictory conclusions; we show that the systematic errors in some OHC datasets are partly responsible for these contradictions. Using an improved OHC product, the three-dimensional OHC changes during the SWS period are depicted, related to a reference period of 1982–1997. Several “hot spots” and “cold spots” are identified, showing a significant decadal-scale redistribution of ocean heat, which is distinct from the long-term ocean-warming pattern. To provide clues for the potential drivers of the OHC changes during the SWS period, we examine the OHC changes related to the key climate modes by regressing the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) indices onto the de-trended gridded OHC anomalies. We find that no single mode can fully explain the OHC change patterns during the SWS period, suggesting that there is not a single “pacemaker” for the recent SWS. Our observation-based analyses provide a basis for further understanding the mechanisms of the decadal ocean heat uptake and evaluating the climate models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postmortem of the Global Warming Hiatus)
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Article
Changes in Earth’s Energy Budget during and after the “Pause” in Global Warming: An Observational Perspective
Climate 2018, 6(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6030062 - 11 Jul 2018
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 11690
Abstract
This study examines changes in Earth’s energy budget during and after the global warming “pause” (or “hiatus”) using observations from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System. We find a marked 0.83 ± 0.41 Wm−2 reduction in global mean reflected shortwave [...] Read more.
This study examines changes in Earth’s energy budget during and after the global warming “pause” (or “hiatus”) using observations from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System. We find a marked 0.83 ± 0.41 Wm−2 reduction in global mean reflected shortwave (SW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux during the three years following the hiatus that results in an increase in net energy into the climate system. A partial radiative perturbation analysis reveals that decreases in low cloud cover are the primary driver of the decrease in SW TOA flux. The regional distribution of the SW TOA flux changes associated with the decreases in low cloud cover closely matches that of sea-surface temperature warming, which shows a pattern typical of the positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Large reductions in clear-sky SW TOA flux are also found over much of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in the northern hemisphere. These are associated with a reduction in aerosol optical depth consistent with stricter pollution controls in China and North America. A simple energy budget framework is used to show that TOA radiation (particularly in the SW) likely played a dominant role in driving the marked increase in temperature tendency during the post-hiatus period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postmortem of the Global Warming Hiatus)
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