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    Ocean warming and acidification may drag down the commercial Arctic cod fishery by 2100
    (San Francisco, California, US : PLOS, 2020) Hänsel, Martin C.; Schmidt, Jörn O.; Stiasny, Martina H.; Stöven, Max T.; Voss, Rudi; Quaas, Martin F.
    The Arctic Ocean is an early warning system for indicators and effects of climate change. We use a novel combination of experimental and time-series data on effects of ocean warming and acidification on the commercially important Northeast Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) to incorporate these physiological processes into the recruitment model of the fish population. By running an ecological-economic optimization model, we investigate how the interaction of ocean warming, acidification and fishing pressure affects the sustainability of the fishery in terms of ecological, economic, social and consumer-related indicators, ranging from present day conditions up to future climate change scenarios. We find that near-term climate change will benefit the fishery, but under likely future warming and acidification this large fishery is at risk of collapse by the end of the century, even with the best adaptation effort in terms of reduced fishing pressure.
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    Impacts of climate change on agro-climatic suitability of major food crops in Ghana
    (San Francisco, California, US : PLOS, 2020) Chemura, Abel; Schauberger, Bernhard; Gornott, Christoph
    Climate change is projected to impact food production stability in many tropical countries through impacts on crop potential. However, without quantitative assessments of where, by how much and to what extent crop production is possible now and under future climatic conditions, efforts to design and implement adaptation strategies under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Action Plans (NAP) are unsystematic. In this study, we used extreme gradient boosting, a machine learning approach to model the current climatic suitability for maize, sorghum, cassava and groundnut in Ghana using yield data and agronomically important variables. We then used multi-model future climate projections for the 2050s and two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5) to predict changes in the suitability range of these crops. We achieved a good model fit in determining suitability classes for all crops (AUC = 0.81–0.87). Precipitation-based factors are suggested as most important in determining crop suitability, though the importance is crop-specific. Under projected climatic conditions, optimal suitability areas will decrease for all crops except for groundnuts under RCP8.5 (no change: 0%), with greatest losses for maize (12% under RCP2.6 and 14% under RCP8.5). Under current climatic conditions, 18% of Ghana has optimal suitability for two crops, 2% for three crops with no area having optimal suitability for all the four crops. Under projected climatic conditions, areas with optimal suitability for two and three crops will decrease by 12% as areas having moderate and marginal conditions for multiple crops increase. We also found that although the distribution of multiple crop suitability is spatially distinct, cassava and groundnut will be more simultaneously suitable for the south while groundnut and sorghum will be more suitable for the northern parts of Ghana under projected climatic conditions.
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    A Gini approach to spatial CO2 emissions
    (San Francisco, California, US : PLOS, 2020) Zhou, Bin; Thies, Stephan; Gudipudi, Ramana; Lüdeke, Matthias K.B.; Kropp, Jürgen P.; Rybski, Diego
    Combining global gridded population and fossil fuel based CO2 emission data at 1 km scale, we investigate the spatial origin of CO2 emissions in relation to the population distribution within countries. We depict the correlations between these two datasets by a quasi-Lorenz curve which enables us to discern the individual contributions of densely and sparsely populated regions to the national CO2 emissions. We observe pronounced country-specific characteristics and quantify them using an indicator resembling the Gini-index. As demonstrated by a robustness test, the Gini-index for each country arise from a compound distribution between the population and emissions which differs among countries. Relating these indices with the degree of socio-economic development measured by per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at purchase power parity, we find a strong negative correlation between the two quantities with a Pearson correlation coefficient of -0.71. More specifically, this implies that in developing countries locations with large population tend to emit relatively more CO2, and in developed countries the opposite tends to be the case. Based on the relation to urban scaling, we discuss the implications for CO2 emissions from cities. Our results show that general statements with regard to the (in)efficiency of large cities should be avoided as it is subject to the socio-economic development of respective countries. Concerning the political relevance, our results suggest a differentiated spatial prioritization in deploying climate change mitigation measures in cities for developed and developing countries.