Special Issue "World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Chiara Bertolin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Richard Birkelands vei 2B, Gløshaugen, Trondheim, Norway
Interests: historical climatology; temperature; relative humidity; precipitation; extreme climates; instrumental data; documentary proxy; risk assessment; mechanical decay on materials; materials health monitoring; no-destructive technique; cultural heritage and historical materials; climate change; impact assessment and adaptation planning; resilience
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jim Perry
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota System, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Interests: climate change adaptation; ecosystem management; world heritage; watershed management; decision making
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

World Heritage represents natural and cultural resources so exceptional they should be conserved for all humankind forever. World Heritage sites and objects are the best of the best. Yet, many natural and cultural World Heritage sites are at risk from climate change. There is urgent need to understand the ways climate threatens various sites and artifacts, and to understand what adaptation strategies if any are appropriate for their conservation. The literature over the last 10 years is replete with discussions of risk assessments, planning strategies, and adaptation plans. We are awash with information but impeded by a dearth of understanding. This Special Issue brings together a select group of authors, each of whom brings together the available information on World Heritage in a changing climate. Each invited paper addresses a subset of the natural or built environment and synthesizes what is known and what uncertainties face decision makers.

Assoc. Prof. Chiara Bertolin
Prof. Dr. Jim Perry
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Climate is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • World Heritage
  • natural and built environment
  • decision making
  • climate change
  • climate change reconstruction and scenarios
  • historical city center
  • coastal erosion and sea level rise impacting coastal cities
  • floods and landslides
  • wind storm and heavy rainfall
  • adaptation
  • early warning systems at building, district, and urban scale
  • impact assessment in post-disaster situations

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Monitoring Climate Change in World Heritage Properties: Evaluating Landscape-Based Approach in the State of Conservation System
Climate 2020, 8(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030039 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to natural and cultural World Heritage (WH) sites worldwide. Through its interaction with other stressors, climate change accelerates existing risks while also creating new obstacles. A more considerable focus is needed in both research [...] Read more.
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to natural and cultural World Heritage (WH) sites worldwide. Through its interaction with other stressors, climate change accelerates existing risks while also creating new obstacles. A more considerable focus is needed in both research and practice to explore proactive measures for combatting this issue (e.g., mitigation and actions prior to impacts occurring). World Heritage values in climate change decision-making processes is an important factor in this regard. This paper explores a discussion of climate change within the WH monitoring system. It offers an overview of practice based on the extent to which WH properties (natural, mixed and cultural) implement landscape-based approaches alongside the conservation and management of their outstanding universal value within the context of climate uncertainty and environmental change. Landscape approaches are gaining importance in the WH conservation system, where they aim to provide concepts and tools for managing heritage toward sustainable practices. This research analyses the state of conservation reports and provides an overview of practice across time, categories and geographical regions. Based on a theoretical approach, empirical analyses identify four landscape principles that are increasingly shaping the debate around climate change issues in WH properties. Although these are highly relevant to advancing much-needed collaboration among scientific disciplines and governance sectors, we argue that further understanding is required on the transformational process of heritage values, as well as on the nature–culture relationship, in order to underpin heritage as a source for local resilience and climate mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
An Ecolabel for the World Heritage Brand? Developing a Climate Communication Recognition Scheme for Heritage Sites
Climate 2020, 8(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8030038 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
This study develops a climate communication recognition scheme (CCRS) for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites (WHS), in order to explore the communicative power of heritage to mobilize stakeholders around climate change. We present this scheme with the [...] Read more.
This study develops a climate communication recognition scheme (CCRS) for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites (WHS), in order to explore the communicative power of heritage to mobilize stakeholders around climate change. We present this scheme with the aim to influence site management and tourist decision-making by increasing climate awareness at heritage sites and among visitors and encouraging the incorporation of carbon management into heritage site management. Given the deficits and dysfunction in international governance for climate mitigation and inspired by transnational environmental governance tools such as ecolabels and environmental product information schemes, we offer “climate communication recognition schemes” as a corollary tool for transnational climate governance and communication. We assess and develop four dimensions for the CCRS, featuring 50 WHS: carbon footprint analysis, narrative potential, sustainability practices, and the impacts of climate change on heritage resources. In our development of a CCRS, this study builds on the “branding” value and recognition of UNESCO World Heritage, set against the backdrop of increasing tourism—including the projected doubling of international air travel in the next 15–20 years—and the implications of this growth for climate change. The CCRS, titled Climate Footprints of Heritage Tourism, is available online as an ArcGIS StoryMap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
Preservation of Distemper Painting: Indoor Monitoring Tools for Risk Assessment and Decision Making in Kvernes Stave Church
Climate 2020, 8(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020033 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
During the Medieval period, over 1000 stave churches were thought to have been constructed in Norway. However, currently, only 28 of these churches remain and only 19 still have distemper wall paintings. The cultural significance of these structures, and more specifically their elaborate [...] Read more.
During the Medieval period, over 1000 stave churches were thought to have been constructed in Norway. However, currently, only 28 of these churches remain and only 19 still have distemper wall paintings. The cultural significance of these structures, and more specifically their elaborate distemper wall paintings, has changed over time, as have the means and methods for preserving these monuments. Deeper knowledge of the current state of these structures, along with environmental monitoring and modeling will open the way to a better understanding of preservation. This paper presents a case study for unheated Norwegian wooden churches based on data collected from Kvernes stave church. There are three aims for this paper: (i) to describe the typical indoor conditions similar to the historic climate of stave churches; (ii) determine the common characteristics of distemper paint found within stave churches; (iii) and develop a risk assessment tool to evaluate the climate-induced risk factors in stave churches. The outcome of this work will contribute to research performed within the Sustainable Management of Heritage Buildings in a Long-term Perspective (SyMBoL) project which aims to develop a better understanding of climate induced risks for stave churches, and ultimately to better manage environmental risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
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 12
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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Open AccessArticle
Categorization of South Tyrolean Built Heritage with Consideration of the Impact of Climate
Climate 2019, 7(12), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120139 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of energy inefficiency, indoor overheating, and moisture-related damage to the envelope. Therefore, it is urgent to assess these risks and plan adaptation strategies for historic buildings. These activities must [...] Read more.
Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of energy inefficiency, indoor overheating, and moisture-related damage to the envelope. Therefore, it is urgent to assess these risks and plan adaptation strategies for historic buildings. These activities must be based on a strong knowledge of the main building categories. Moreover, before adapting a historic building to future climate, it is necessary to understand how the past climate influenced its design, construction, and eventual categories. This knowledge will help when estimating the implication of climate change on historic buildings. This study aims at identifying building categories, which will be the basis for further risk assessment and adaptation plans, while at the same time analyzing the historical interaction between climate and human dwelling. The results show some correlations between building categories and climate. Therefore, it is necessary to use different archetypes to represent the typical buildings in different climate zones. Moreover, these correlations imply a need to investigate the capability of the climate-responsive features in future climate scenarios and to explore possible further risks and adaptation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Adaptation in Natural World Heritage Sites: A Triage Approach
Climate 2019, 7(9), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7090105 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Climate change is a certainty, but the degree and rate of change, as well as impacts of those changes are highly site-specific. Natural World Heritage sites represent a treasure to be managed and sustained for all humankind. Each World Heritage site is so [...] Read more.
Climate change is a certainty, but the degree and rate of change, as well as impacts of those changes are highly site-specific. Natural World Heritage sites represent a treasure to be managed and sustained for all humankind. Each World Heritage site is so designated on the basis of one or more Outstanding Universal Values. Because climate change impacts are site-specific, adaptation to sustain Universal Values also must be specific. As such, climate change adaptation is a wicked problem, with no clear action strategies available. Further, adaptation resources are limited at every site. Each site management team must decide which adaptations are appropriate investments. A triage approach guides that evaluation. Some impacts will be so large and/or uncertain that the highest probability of adaptation success comes from a series of uncertain actions that reduce investment risk. Others will be small, certain, comfortable and yet have low probable impact on the Universal Value. A triage approach guides the management team toward highest probable return on investment, involving stakeholders from the surrounding landscape, advancing engagement and communication, and increasing transparency and accountability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on the Use of Passive Microclimate Frames in View of the Climate Change Scenario
Climate 2019, 7(8), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7080098 - 09 Aug 2019
Abstract
Passive microclimate frames are exhibition enclosures able to modify their internal climate in order to comply with paintings’ conservation needs. Due to a growing concern about the effects of climate change, future policies in conservation must move towards affordable and sustainable preservation strategies. [...] Read more.
Passive microclimate frames are exhibition enclosures able to modify their internal climate in order to comply with paintings’ conservation needs. Due to a growing concern about the effects of climate change, future policies in conservation must move towards affordable and sustainable preservation strategies. This study investigated the hygrothermal conditions monitored within a microclimate frame hosting a portrait on cardboard with the aim of discussing its use in view of the climate expected indoors in the period 2041–2070. Its effectiveness in terms of the ASHRAE classification and of the Lifetime Multiplier for chemical deterioration of paper was assessed comparing temperature and relative humidity values simultaneously measured inside the microclimate frame and in its surrounding environment, first in the Pio V Museum and later in a residential building, both located in the area of Valencia (Spain). Moreover, heat and moisture transfer functions were used to derive projections over the future indoor hygrothermal conditions in response to the ENSEMBLES-A1B outdoor scenario. The adoption of microclimate frames proved to be an effective preventive conservation action in current and future conditions but it may not be sufficient to fully avoid the chemical degradation risk without an additional control over temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
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 8
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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