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Climate Change and Freshwater Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 1969

Special Issue Editors

MARE—Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente/ARNET—Rede de Investigação Aquática, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: ecological quality; ecological monitoring; hydroecology

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Guest Editor
Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: riparian forests; macrophytes; ecosystem services; biogeography; functional ecology; adaptation to climate change; effects of land-use and stream flow regulation; indicators of ecological quality; weeds; invasive alien plants
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce a new Special Issue “Climate Change and Freshwater Sustainability” of the journal Sustainability.

Climate change is expected to modify temperature and rainfall partterns around the globe. These worldwide detour anomalies from the natural standards will additionally force changes in the interception, evapotranspiration, infiltration and surface runoff of precipitated water in each river basin. Consequently, climate change will intefere with the hydrological regimes of water courses, disrupting the natural flow regimes to which biota have adapted and the way humans relate with it. Furthermore, in many regions of the globe, climate change will increase considerable water stress in aquatic and riparian communities, instilling harsher conditions to ecosystems and biota survival, and arising as one of the most important factors to the sustainability of freshwater ecosystems. All these impacts are known to accelarate the decline of biological diversity worldwide and negatively impact many aspects of life quality.

However, the indirect effects of climate change on freshwater quality resulting from subjacent relationships between biota and ecosystem functions have been seldomly investigated. This could be masking the real dimension of the climate change effects on freshwater systems.

This special topic aims, therefore, to ascertain not only possible effects of climate change on aquatic and riparian communities, but also the interlinkages in underlying drivers and feedbacks between systems and biological communities, working in an ecological network, and resenting to these climate changes as a result of a cascade of effects. This research topic intends to gather papers interconnecting the most various and inovative methods in climate change effects assessment and biota or ecosystem functioning, particularly foccusing on subjacent relationships, in order to provide a broad interdisciplinary approach to disentagle possible ecological and biological issues indirectly affected by climate change on freshwater systems.

This will ultimately bring a more holistic perception of climate change on the sustainability of freshwaters, their ecosystem services lost and consequences to human populations. Freshwater ecology papers using the most varied approaches like, empirical modeling, hydroecology, socio-hydrology and climate change-related in general, are welcome. Proposals of restoration measures, preferably as nature-based solutions addressing the highlighted issues, or to increase freshwaters overall resistance and resilience to climate change, either based on applied or modeled measures are also wanted.

Dr. Rui Rivaes
Prof. Dr. Francisca C. Aguiar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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.


  • climate change
  • freshwater
  • aquatic ecosystem

Published Papers (1 paper)

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22 pages, 2031 KiB  
Impacts of Climate Change on Permafrost and Hydrological Processes in Northeast China
by Wei Shan, Yan Wang, Ying Guo, Chengcheng Zhang, Shuai Liu and Lisha Qiu
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 4974; - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1343
Permafrost is very sensitive to climate change, and the accelerated degradation of permafrost in Northeast China caused by global climate change will change the hydrological and ecological processes in the region and cause significant impacts on natural systems and human activities. In this [...] Read more.
Permafrost is very sensitive to climate change, and the accelerated degradation of permafrost in Northeast China caused by global climate change will change the hydrological and ecological processes in the region and cause significant impacts on natural systems and human activities. In this study, the spatial distribution of permafrost in Northeast China from 2000 to 2020 was simulated using an improved ground freezing number model. The spatial and temporal variations of permafrost thickness and active layer thickness were estimated using the mean ground temperature method based on the obtained permafrost distribution. Based on the above simulation results, the mean annual ground temperature and field monitoring temperature gradient, based on remote sensing estimation and the ice content data of permafrost, were used to calculate the amount of permafrost ice storage in Northeast China for many years and to predict the amount of water released from permafrost in the future to better reveal the influence of permafrost changes on ecohydrological changes in the watershed. The results show that, in the past 20 years, climate warming has led to the degradation of the permafrost area in Northeast China from 3.31 × 105 km2 to 2.70 × 105 km2, with a degradation rate of 18.43%; the stored ice in the permafrost has been released at an accelerated rate. The total ice storage volume in the permafrost of Northeast China is 3.178 × 1011 m3. The amount of ice storage in the permafrost increases with latitude and altitude, and the ice storage volume decreases to 6.641 × 1010 m3 after 100 years, which is a decrease of 2.514 × 1011 m3. The amount of water released due to permafrost degradation accounts for 79.11% of the current total ice storage, and the rate of water release reaches 2.51 × 109 m3/a. The release of water from permafrost has an important impact on river runoff whose source is at high altitudes, such as the Greater and Lesser Khingan Mountains in Northeast China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Freshwater Sustainability)
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