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    The LEGATO cross-disciplinary integrated ecosystem service research framework: an example of integrating research results from the analysis of global change impacts and the social, cultural and economic system dynamics of irrigated rice production
    (Heidelberg : Springer Verlag, 2017) Spangenberg, J.H.; Beaurepaire, A.L.; Bergmeier, E.; Burkhard, B.; van Chien, H.; Cuong, L.Q.; Görg, C.; Grescho, V.; Hai, L.H.; Heong, K.L.; Horgan, F.G.; Hotes, S.; Klotzbücher, A.; Klotzbücher, T.; Kühn, I.; Langerwisch, F.; Marion, G.; Moritz, R.F.A.; Nguyen, Q.A.; Ott, J.; Sann, C.; Sattler, C.; Schädler, M.; Schmidt, A.; Tekken, V.; Thanh, T.D.; Thonicke, K.; Türke, M.; Václavík, T.; Vetterlein, D.; Westphal, C.; Wiemers, M.; Settele, J.
    In a cross-disciplinary project (LEGATO) combining inter- and transdisciplinary methods, we quantify the dependency of rice-dominated socio-ecological systems on ecosystem functions (ESF) and the ecosystem services (ESS) the integrated system provides. In the collaboration of a large team including geo- and bioscientists, economists, political and cultural scientists, the mutual influences of the biological, climate and soil conditions of the agricultural area and its surrounding natural landscape have been analysed. One focus was on sociocultural and economic backgrounds, another on local as well as regional land use intensity and biodiversity, and the potential impacts of future climate and land use change. LEGATO analysed characteristic elements of three service strands defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA): (a) provisioning services: nutrient cycling and crop production; (b) regulating services: biocontrol and pollination; and (c) cultural services: cultural identity and aesthetics. However, in line with much of the current ESS literature, what the MA called supporting services is treated as ESF within LEGATO. As a core output, LEGATO developed generally applicable principles of ecological engineering (EE), suitable for application in the context of future climate and land use change. EE is an emerging discipline, concerned with the design, monitoring and construction of ecosystems and aims at developing strategies to optimise ecosystem services through exploiting natural regulation mechanisms instead of suppressing them. Along these lines LEGATO also aims to create the knowledge base for decision-making for sustainable land management and livelihoods, including the provision of the corresponding governance and management strategies, technologies and system solutions.
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    Mediterranean irrigation under climate change: More efficient irrigation needed to compensate for increases in irrigation water requirements
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2016) Fader, M.; Shi, S.; Von Bloh, W.; Bondeau, A.; Cramer, W.
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    Potential effects of climate change on inundation patterns in the Amazon Basin
    (Chichester : John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2013) Langerwisch, F.; Rost, S.; Gerten, D.; Poulter, B.; Rammig, A.; Cramer, W.
    Floodplain forests, namely the Várzea and Igapó, cover an area of more than 97 000 km2. A key factor for their function and diversity is annual flooding. Increasing air temperature and higher precipitation variability caused by climate change are expected to shift the flooding regime during this century, and thereby impact floodplain ecosystems, their biodiversity and riverine ecosystem services. To assess the effects of climate change on the flooding regime, we use the Dynamic Global Vegetation and Hydrology Model LPJmL, enhanced by a scheme that realistically simulates monthly flooded area. Simulation results of discharge and inundation under contemporary conditions compare well against site-level measurements and observations. The changes of calculated inundation duration and area under climate change projections from 24 IPCC AR4 climate models differ regionally towards the end of the 21st century. In all, 70% of the 24 climate projections agree on an increase of flooded area in about one third of the basin. Inundation duration increases dramatically by on average three months in western and around one month in eastern Amazonia. The time of high- and low-water peak shifts by up to three months. Additionally, we find a decrease in the number of extremely dry years and in the probability of the occurrence of three consecutive extremely dry years. The total number of extremely wet years does not change drastically but the probability of three consecutive extremely wet years decreases by up to 30% in the east and increases by up to 25% in the west. These changes implicate significant shifts in regional vegetation and climate, and will dramatically alter carbon and water cycles.
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    ICDP workshop on the Lake Tanganyika Scientific Drilling Project: a late Miocene–present record of climate, rifting, and ecosystem evolution from the world's oldest tropical lake
    (Sapporo : IODP, 2020) Russell, James M.; Barker, Philip; Cohen, Andrew; Ivory, Sarah; Kimirei, Ishmael; Lane, Christine; Leng, Melanie; Maganza, Neema; McGlue, Michael; Msaky, Emma; Noren, Anders; Park Boush, Lisa; Salzburger, Walter; Scholz, Christopher; Tiedemann, Ralph; Nuru, Shaidu
    The Neogene and Quaternary are characterized by enormous changes in global climate and environments, including global cooling and the establishment of northern high-latitude glaciers. These changes reshaped global ecosystems, including the emergence of tropical dry forests and savannahs that are found in Africa today, which in turn may have influenced the evolution of humans and their ancestors. However, despite decades of research we lack long, continuous, well-resolved records of tropical climate, ecosystem changes, and surface processes necessary to understand their interactions and influences on evolutionary processes. Lake Tanganyika, Africa, contains the most continuous, long continental climate record from the mid-Miocene (∼10 Ma) to the present anywhere in the tropics and has long been recognized as a top-priority site for scientific drilling. The lake is surrounded by the Miombo woodlands, part of the largest dry tropical biome on Earth. Lake Tanganyika also harbors incredibly diverse endemic biota and an entirely unexplored deep microbial biosphere, and it provides textbook examples of rift segmentation, fault behavior, and associated surface processes. To evaluate the interdisciplinary scientific opportunities that an ICDP drilling program at Lake Tanganyika could offer, more than 70 scientists representing 12 countries and a variety of scientific disciplines met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in June 2019. The team developed key research objectives in basin evolution, source-to-sink sedimentology, organismal evolution, geomicrobiology, paleoclimatology, paleolimnology, terrestrial paleoecology, paleoanthropology, and geochronology to be addressed through scientific drilling on Lake Tanganyika. They also identified drilling targets and strategies, logistical challenges, and education and capacity building programs to be carried out through the project. Participants concluded that a drilling program at Lake Tanganyika would produce the first continuous Miocene–present record from the tropics, transforming our understanding of global environmental change, the environmental context of human origins in Africa, and providing a detailed window into the dynamics, tempo and mode of biological diversification and adaptive radiations.
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    Hydrological extremes and security
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2015) Kundzewicz, Z.W.; Matczak, P.
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    Decomposing uncertainties in the future terrestrial carbon budget associated with emission scenarios, climate projections, and ecosystem simulations using the ISI-MIP results
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Nishina, K.; Ito, A.; Falloon, P.; Friend, A.D.; Beerling, D.J.; Ciais, P.; Clark, D.B.; Kahana, R.; Kato, E.; Lucht, W.; Lomas, M.; Pavlick, R.; Schaphoff, S.; Warszawaski, L.; Yokohata, T.
    We examined the changes to global net primary production (NPP), vegetation biomass carbon (VegC), and soil organic carbon (SOC) estimated by six global vegetation models (GVMs) obtained from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Simulation results were obtained using five global climate models (GCMs) forced with four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. To clarify which component (i.e., emission scenarios, climate projections, or global vegetation models) contributes the most to uncertainties in projected global terrestrial C cycling by 2100, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and wavelet clustering were applied to 70 projected simulation sets. At the end of the simulation period, changes from the year 2000 in all three variables varied considerably from net negative to positive values. ANOVA revealed that the main sources of uncertainty are different among variables and depend on the projection period. We determined that in the global VegC and SOC projections, GVMs are the main influence on uncertainties (60 % and 90 %, respectively) rather than climate-driving scenarios (RCPs and GCMs). Moreover, the divergence of changes in vegetation carbon residence times is dominated by GVM uncertainty, particularly in the latter half of the 21st century. In addition, we found that the contribution of each uncertainty source is spatiotemporally heterogeneous and it differs among the GVM variables. The dominant uncertainty source for changes in NPP and VegC varies along the climatic gradient. The contribution of GVM to the uncertainty decreases as the climate division becomes cooler (from ca. 80 % in the equatorial division to 40 % in the snow division). Our results suggest that to assess climate change impacts on global ecosystem C cycling among each RCP scenario, the long-term C dynamics within the ecosystems (i.e., vegetation turnover and soil decomposition) are more critical factors than photosynthetic processes. The different trends in the contribution of uncertainty sources in each variable among climate divisions indicate that improvement of GVMs based on climate division or biome type will be effective. On the other hand, in dry regions, GCMs are the dominant uncertainty source in climate impact assessments of vegetation and soil C dynamics.
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    Overview: The Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEAR)
    (Göttingen : Copernicus Publ., 2023) Meier, H. E. Markus; Reckermann, Marcus; Langner, Joakim; Smith, Ben; Didenkulova, Ira
    Baltic Earth is an independent research network of scientists from all Baltic Sea countries that promotes regional Earth system research. Within the framework of this network, the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEARs) were produced in the period 2019-2022. These are a collection of 10 review articles summarising current knowledge on the environmental and climatic state of the Earth system in the Baltic Sea region and its changes in the past (palaeoclimate), present (historical period with instrumental observations) and prospective future (until 2100) caused by natural variability, climate change and other human activities. The division of topics among articles follows the grand challenges and selected themes of the Baltic Earth Science Plan, such as the regional water, biogeochemical and carbon cycles; extremes and natural hazards; sea-level dynamics and coastal erosion; marine ecosystems; coupled Earth system models; scenario simulations for the regional atmosphere and the Baltic Sea; and climate change and impacts of human use. Each review article contains an introduction, the current state of knowledge, knowledge gaps, conclusions and key messages; the latter are the bases on which recommendations for future research are made. Based on the BEARs, Baltic Earth has published an information leaflet on climate change in the Baltic Sea as part of its outreach work, which has been published in two languages so far, and organised conferences and workshops for stakeholders, in collaboration with the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission, HELCOM).
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    Sustainable management of river oases along the Tarim River (SuMaRiO) in Northwest China under conditions of climate change
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rumbaur, C.; Thevs, N.; Disse, M.; Ahlheim, M.; Brieden, A.; Cyffka, B.; Duethmann, D.; Feike, T.; Frör, O.; Gärtner, P.; Halik, Ü.; Hill, J.; Hinnenthal, M.; Keilholz, P.; Kleinschmit, B.; Krysanova, V.; Kuba, M.; Mader, S.; Menz, C.; Othmanli, H.; Pelz, S.; Schroeder, M.; Siew, T.F.; Stender, V.; Stahr, K.; Thomas, F.M.; Welp, M.; Wortmann, M.; Zhao, X.; Chen, X.; Jiang, T.; Luo, J.; Yimit, H.; Yu, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, C.
    The Tarim River basin, located in Xinjiang, NW China, is the largest endorheic river basin in China and one of the largest in all of Central Asia. Due to the extremely arid climate, with an annual precipitation of less than 100 mm, the water supply along the Aksu and Tarim rivers solely depends on river water. This is linked to anthropogenic activities (e.g., agriculture) and natural and semi-natural ecosystems as both compete for water. The ongoing increase in water consumption by agriculture and other human activities in this region has been enhancing the competition for water between human needs and nature. Against this background, 11 German and 6 Chinese universities and research institutes have formed the consortium SuMaRiO (Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River;, which aims to create a holistic picture of the availability of water resources in the Tarim River basin and the impacts on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems caused by the water distribution within the Tarim River basin. On the basis of the results from field studies and modeling approaches as well as from suggestions by the relevant regional stakeholders, a decision support tool (DST) will be implemented that will then assist stakeholders in balancing the competition for water, acknowledging the major external effects of water allocation to agriculture and to natural ecosystems. This consortium was formed in 2011 and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As the data collection phase was finished this year, the paper presented here brings together the results from the fields from the disciplines of climate modeling, cryology, hydrology, agricultural sciences, ecology, geoinformatics, and social sciences in order to present a comprehensive picture of the effects of different water availability schemes on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems along the Tarim River. The second objective is to present the project structure of the whole consortium, the current status of work (i.e., major new results and findings), explain the foundation of the decision support tool as a key product of this project, and conclude with application recommendations for the region. The discharge of the Aksu River, which is the major tributary of the Tarim, has been increasing over the past 6 decades. From 1989 to 2011, agricultural area more than doubled: cotton became the major crop and there was a shift from small-scale to large-scale intensive farming. The ongoing increase in irrigated agricultural land leads to the increased threat of salinization and soil degradation caused by increased evapotranspiration. Aside from agricultural land, the major natural and semi-natural ecosystems are riparian (Tugai) forests, shrub vegetation, reed beds, and other grassland, as well as urban and peri-urban vegetation. Within the SuMaRiO cluster, focus has been set on the Tugai forests, with Populus euphratica as the dominant tree species, because these forests belong to the most productive and species-rich natural ecosystems of the Tarim River basin. At sites close to the groundwater, the annual stem diameter increments of Populus euphratica correlated with the river runoffs of the previous year. However, the natural river dynamics cease along the downstream course and thus hamper the recruitment of Populus euphratica. A study on the willingness to pay for the conservation of the natural ecosystems was conducted to estimate the concern of the people in the region and in China's capital. These household surveys revealed that there is a considerable willingness to pay for conservation of the natural ecosystems, with mitigation of dust and sandstorms considered the most important ecosystem service. Stakeholder dialogues contributed to creating a scientific basis for a sustainable management in the future.