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Now showing 1 - 10 of 68
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    On the importance of cascading moisture recycling in South America
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Zemp, D.C.; Schleussner, C.-F.; Barbosa, H.M.J.; van der Ent, R.J.; Donges, J.F.; Heinke, J.; Sampaio, G.; Rammig, A.
    Continental moisture recycling is a crucial process of the South American climate system. In particular, evapotranspiration from the Amazon basin contributes substantially to precipitation regionally as well as over other remote regions such as the La Plata basin. Here we present an in-depth analysis of South American moisture recycling mechanisms. In particular, we quantify the importance of cascading moisture recycling (CMR), which describes moisture transport between two locations on the continent that involves re-evaporation cycles along the way. Using an Eulerian atmospheric moisture tracking model forced by a combination of several historical climate data sets, we were able to construct a complex network of moisture recycling for South America. Our results show that CMR contributes about 9–10% to the total precipitation over South America and 17–18% over the La Plata basin. CMR increases the fraction of total precipitation over the La Plata basin that originates from the Amazon basin from 18–23 to 24–29% during the wet season. We also show that the south-western part of the Amazon basin is not only a direct source of rainfall over the La Plata basin, but also a key intermediary region that distributes moisture originating from the entire Amazon basin towards the La Plata basin during the wet season. Our results suggest that land use change in this region might have a stronger impact on downwind rainfall than previously thought. Using complex network analysis techniques, we find the eastern side of the sub-tropical Andes to be a key region where CMR pathways are channeled. This study offers a better understanding of the interactions between the vegetation and the atmosphere on the water cycle, which is needed in a context of land use and climate change in South America.
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    Coincidences of climate extremes and anomalous vegetation responses: Comparing tree ring patterns to simulated productivity
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rammig, A.; Wiedermann, M.; Donges, J.F.; Babst, F.; von Bloh, W.; Frank, D.; Thonicke, K.; Mahecha, M.D.
    Climate extremes can trigger exceptional responses in terrestrial ecosystems, for instance by altering growth or mortality rates. Such effects are often manifested in reductions in net primary productivity (NPP). Investigating a Europe-wide network of annual radial tree growth records confirms this pattern: we find that 28% of tree ring width (TRW) indices are below two standard deviations in years in which extremely low precipitation, high temperatures or the combination of both noticeably affect tree growth. Based on these findings, we investigate possibilities for detecting climate-driven patterns in long-term TRW data to evaluate state-of-the-art dynamic vegetation models such as the Lund-Potsdam-Jena dynamic global vegetation model for managed land (LPJmL). The major problem in this context is that LPJmL simulates NPP but not explicitly the radial tree growth, and we need to develop a generic method to allow for a comparison between simulated and observed response patterns. We propose an analysis scheme that quantifies the coincidence rate of climate extremes with some biotic responses (here TRW or simulated NPP). We find a relative reduction of 34% in simulated NPP during precipitation, temperature and combined extremes. This reduction is comparable to the TRW response patterns, but the model responds much more sensitively to drought stress. We identify 10 extreme years during the 20th century during which both model and measurements indicate high coincidence rates across Europe. However, we detect substantial regional differences in simulated and observed responses to climatic extreme events. One explanation for this discrepancy could be the tendency of tree ring data to originate from climatically stressed sites. The difference between model and observed data is amplified by the fact that dynamic vegetation models are designed to simulate mean ecosystem responses on landscape or regional scales. We find that both simulation results and measurements display carry-over effects from climate anomalies during the previous year. We conclude that radial tree growth chronologies provide a suitable basis for generic model benchmarks. The broad application of coincidence analysis in generic model benchmarks along with an increased availability of representative long-term measurements and improved process-based models will refine projections of the long-term carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems.
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    Impact of temperature and precipitation extremes on the flowering dates of four German wildlife shrub species
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Siegmund, Jonatan F.; Wiedermann, Marc; Donges, Jonathan F.; Donner, Reik V.
    Ongoing climate change is known to cause an increase in the frequency and amplitude of local temperature and precipitation extremes in many regions of the Earth. While gradual changes in the climatological conditions have already been shown to strongly influence plant flowering dates, the question arises if and how extremes specifically impact the timing of this important phenological phase. Studying this question calls for the application of statistical methods that are tailored to the specific properties of event time series. Here, we employ event coincidence analysis, a novel statistical tool that allows assessing whether or not two types of events exhibit similar sequences of occurrences in order to systematically quantify simultaneities between meteorological extremes and the timing of the flowering of four shrub species across Germany. Our study confirms previous findings of experimental studies by highlighting the impact of early spring temperatures on the flowering of the investigated plants. However, previous studies solely based on correlation analysis do not allow deriving explicit estimates of the strength of such interdependencies without further assumptions, a gap that is closed by our analysis. In addition to direct impacts of extremely warm and cold spring temperatures, our analysis reveals statistically significant indications of an influence of temperature extremes in the autumn preceding the flowering.
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    Role of CO2, climate and land use in regulating the seasonal amplitude increase of carbon fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems: A multimodel analysis
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Zhao, Fang; Zeng, Ning; Asrar, Ghassem; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Ito, Akihiko; Jain, Atul; Kalnay, Eugenia; Kato, Etsushi; Koven, Charles D.; Poulter, Ben; Rafique, Rashid; Sitch, Stephen; Shu, Shijie; Stocker, Beni; Viovy, Nicolas; Wiltshire, Andy; Zaehle, Sonke
    We examined the net terrestrial carbon flux to the atmosphere (FTA) simulated by nine models from the TRENDY dynamic global vegetation model project for its seasonal cycle and amplitude trend during 1961–2012. While some models exhibit similar phase and amplitude compared to atmospheric inversions, with spring drawdown and autumn rebound, others tend to rebound early in summer. The model ensemble mean underestimates the magnitude of the seasonal cycle by 40 % compared to atmospheric inversions. Global FTA amplitude increase (19 ± 8 %) and its decadal variability from the model ensemble are generally consistent with constraints from surface atmosphere observations. However, models disagree on attribution of this long-term amplitude increase, with factorial experiments attributing 83 ± 56 %, −3 ± 74 and 20 ± 30 % to rising CO2, climate change and land use/cover change, respectively. Seven out of the nine models suggest that CO2 fertilization is the strongest control – with the notable exception of VEGAS, which attributes approximately equally to the three factors. Generally, all models display an enhanced seasonality over the boreal region in response to high-latitude warming, but a negative climate contribution from part of the Northern Hemisphere temperate region, and the net result is a divergence over climate change effect. Six of the nine models show that land use/cover change amplifies the seasonal cycle of global FTA: some are due to forest regrowth, while others are caused by crop expansion or agricultural intensification, as revealed by their divergent spatial patterns. We also discovered a moderate cross-model correlation between FTA amplitude increase and increase in land carbon sink (R2 =  0.61). Our results suggest that models can show similar results in some benchmarks with different underlying mechanisms; therefore, the spatial traits of CO2 fertilization, climate change and land use/cover changes are crucial in determining the right mechanisms in seasonal carbon cycle change as well as mean sink change.
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    Consecutive extreme flooding and heat wave in Japan: Are they becoming a norm?
    (Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2019) Wang, Simon S.-Y.; Kim, Hyungjun; Coumou, Dim; Yoon, Jin-Ho; Zhao, Lin; Gillies, Robert R.
    [No abstract available]
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    Modeling forest plantations for carbon uptake with the LPJmL dynamic global vegetation model
    (Göttingen : Copernicus Publ., 2019) Braakhekke, Maarten C.; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Baas, Peter; Müller, Christoph; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Stehfest, Elke; van Vuuren, Detlef P.
    We present an extension of the dynamic global vegetation model, Lund-Potsdam-Jena Managed Land (LPJmL), to simulate planted forests intended for carbon (C) sequestration. We implemented three functional types to simulate plantation trees in temperate, tropical, and boreal climates. The parameters of these functional types were optimized to fit target growth curves (TGCs). These curves represent the evolution of stemwood C over time in typical productive plantations and were derived by combining field observations and LPJmL estimates for equivalent natural forests. While the calibrated model underestimates stemwood C growth rates compared to the TGCs, it represents substantial improvement over using natural forests to represent afforestation. Based on a simulation experiment in which we compared global natural forest versus global forest plantation, we found that forest plantations allow for much larger C uptake rates on the timescale of 100 years, with a maximum difference of a factor of 1.9, around 54 years. In subsequent simulations for an ambitious but realistic scenario in which 650Mha (14% of global managed land, 4.5% of global land surface) are converted to forest over 85 years, we found that natural forests take up 37PgC versus 48PgC for forest plantations. Comparing these results to estimations of C sequestration required to achieve the 2°C climate target, we conclude that afforestation can offer a substantial contribution to climate mitigation. Full evaluation of afforestation as a climate change mitigation strategy requires an integrated assessment which considers all relevant aspects, including costs, biodiversity, and trade-offs with other land-use types. Our extended version of LPJmL can contribute to such an assessment by providing improved estimates of C uptake rates by forest plantations. © 2019 American Institute of Physics Inc.. All rights reserved.
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    The economically optimal warming limit of the planet
    (Göttingen : Copernicus Publ., 2019) Ueckerd, Falko; Frieler, Katja; Lange, Stefan; Wenz, Leonie; Luderer, Gunnar; Levermann, Anders
    Both climate-change damages and climate-change mitigation will incur economic costs. While the risk of severe damages increases with the level of global warming (Dell et al., 2014; IPCC, 2014b, 2018; Lenton et al., 2008), mitigating costs increase steeply with more stringent warming limits (IPCC, 2014a; Luderer et al., 2013; Rogelj et al., 2015). Here, we show that the global warming limit that minimizes this century's total economic costs of climate change lies between 1.9 and 2°C, if temperature changes continue to impact national economic growth rates as observed in the past and if instantaneous growth effects are neither compensated nor amplified by additional growth effects in the following years. The result is robust across a wide range of normative assumptions on the valuation of future welfare and inequality aversion. We combine estimates of climate-change impacts on economic growth for 186 countries (applying an empirical damage function from Burke et al., 2015) with mitigation costs derived from a state-of-the-art energy-economy-climate model with a wide range of highly resolved mitigation options (Kriegler et al., 2017; Luderer et al., 2013, 2015). Our purely economic assessment, even though it omits non-market damages, provides support for the international Paris Agreement on climate change. The political goal of limiting global warming to "well below 2 degrees" is thus also an economically optimal goal given above assumptions on adaptation and damage persistence. © 2019 Copernicus GmbH. All rights reserved.
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    Projections of global warming-induced impacts on winter storm losses in the German private household sector
    (Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer, 2013) Held, H.; Gerstengarbe, F.-W.; Pardowitz, T.; Pinto, J.G.; Ulbrich, U.; Born, K.; Donat, M.G.; Karremann, M.K.; Leckebusch, G.C.; Ludwig, P.; Nissen, K.M.; Österle, H.; Prahl, B.F.; Werner, P.C.; Befort, D.J.; Burghoff, O.
    We present projections of winter storm-induced insured losses in the German residential building sector for the 21st century. With this aim, two structurally most independent downscaling methods and one hybrid downscaling method are applied to a 3-member ensemble of ECHAM5/MPI-OM1 A1B scenario simulations. One method uses dynamical downscaling of intense winter storm events in the global model, and a transfer function to relate regional wind speeds to losses. The second method is based on a reshuffling of present day weather situations and sequences taking into account the change of their frequencies according to the linear temperature trends of the global runs. The third method uses statistical-dynamical downscaling, considering frequency changes of the occurrence of storm-prone weather patterns, and translation into loss by using empirical statistical distributions. The A1B scenario ensemble was downscaled by all three methods until 2070, and by the (statistical-) dynamical methods until 2100. Furthermore, all methods assume a constant statistical relationship between meteorology and insured losses and no developments other than climate change, such as in constructions or claims management. The study utilizes data provided by the German Insurance Association encompassing 24 years and with district-scale resolution. Compared to 1971-2000, the downscaling methods indicate an increase of 10-year return values (i.e. loss ratios per return period) of 6-35 % for 2011-2040, of 20-30 % for 2041-2070, and of 40-55 % for 2071-2100, respectively. Convolving various sources of uncertainty in one confidence statement (data-, loss model-, storm realization-, and Pareto fit-uncertainty), the return-level confidence interval for a return period of 15 years expands by more than a factor of two. Finally, we suggest how practitioners can deal with alternative scenarios or possible natural excursions of observed losses.
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    The challenge to detect and attribute effects of climate change on human and natural systems
    (Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer, 2013) Stone, D.; Auffhammer, M.; Carey, M.; Hansen, G.; Huggel, C.; Cramer, W.; Lobell, D.; Molau, U.; Solow, A.; Tibig, L.; Yohe, G.
    Anthropogenic climate change has triggered impacts on natural and human systems world-wide, yet the formal scientific method of detection and attribution has been only insufficiently described. Detection and attribution of impacts of climate change is a fundamentally cross-disciplinary issue, involving concepts, terms, and standards spanning the varied requirements of the various disciplines. Key problems for current assessments include the limited availability of long-term observations, the limited knowledge on processes and mechanisms involved in changing environmental systems, and the widely different concepts applied in the scientific literature. In order to facilitate current and future assessments, this paper describes the current conceptual framework of the field and outlines a number of conceptual challenges. Based on this, it proposes workable cross-disciplinary definitions, concepts, and standards. The paper is specifically intended to serve as a baseline for continued development of a consistent cross-disciplinary framework that will facilitate integrated assessment of the detection and attribution of climate change impacts.
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    Freshwater resources under success and failure of the Paris climate agreement
    (Göttingen : Copernicus Publ., 2019) Heinke, Jens; Müller, Christoph; Lannerstad, Mats; Gerten, Dieter; Lucht, Wolfgang
    Population growth will in many regions increase the pressure on water resources and likely increase the number of people affected by water scarcity. In parallel, global warming causes hydrological changes which will affect freshwater supply for human use in many regions. This study estimates the exposure of future population to severe hydrological changes relevant from a freshwater resource perspective at different levels of global mean temperature rise above pre-industrial level (ΔTglob). The analysis is complemented by an assessment of water scarcity that would occur without additional climate change due to population change alone; this is done to identify the population groups that are faced with particularly high adaptation challenges. The results are analysed in the context of success and failure of implementing the Paris Agreement to evaluate how climate mitigation can reduce the future number of people exposed to severe hydrological change. The results show that without climate mitigation efforts, in the year 2100 about 4.9 billion people in the SSP2 population scenario would more likely than not be exposed to severe hydrological change, and about 2.1 billion of them would be faced with particularly high adaptation challenges due to already prevailing water scarcity. Limiting warming to 2 °C by a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement would strongly reduce these numbers to 615 million and 290 million, respectively. At the regional scale, substantial water-related risks remain at 2 °C, with more than 12% of the population exposed to severe hydrological change and high adaptation challenges in Latin America and the Middle East and north Africa region. Constraining δTglob to 1.5 °C would limit this share to about 5% in these regions. ©2019 Author(s).