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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
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    Modeling of two different water uptake approaches for mono-and mixed-species forest stands
    (Basel : MDPI, 2015) Gutsch, Martin; Lasch-Born, Petra; Suckow, Felicitas; Reyer, Christopher P.O.
    To assess how the effects of drought could be better captured in process-based models, this study simulated and contrasted two water uptake approaches in Scots pine and Scots pine-Sessile oak stands. The first approach consisted of an empirical function for root water uptake (WU1). The second approach was based on differences of soil water potential along a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (WU2) with total root resistance varying at low, medium and high total root resistance levels. Three data sets on different time scales relevant for tree growth were used for model evaluation: Two short-term datasets on daily transpiration and soil water content as well as a long-term dataset on annual tree ring increments. Except WU2 with high total root resistance, all transpiration outputs exceeded observed values. The strongest correlation between simulated and observed annual tree ring width occurred with WU2 and high total root resistance. The findings highlighted the importance of severe drought as a main reason for small diameter increment. However, if all three data sets were taken into account, no approach was superior to the other. We conclude that accurate projections of future forest productivity depend largely on the realistic representation of root water uptake in forest model simulations.
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    Contrasting and interacting changes in simulated spring and summer carbon cycle extremes in European ecosystems
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Sippel, Sebastian; Forkel, Matthias; Rammig, Anja; Thonicke, Kirsten; Flach, Milan; Heimann, Martin; Otto, Friederike E.L.; Reichstein, Markus; Mahecha, Miguel D.
    Climate extremes have the potential to cause extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystem functioning. However, it is neither straightforward to quantify and predict extreme ecosystem responses, nor to attribute these responses to specific climate drivers. Here, we construct a factorial experiment based on a large ensemble of process-oriented ecosystem model simulations driven by a regional climate model (12 500 model years in 1985–2010) in six European regions. Our aims are to (1) attribute changes in the intensity and frequency of simulated ecosystem productivity extremes (EPEs) to recent changes in climate extremes, CO2 concentration, and land use, and to (2) assess the effect of timing and seasonal interaction on the intensity of EPEs. Evaluating the ensemble simulations reveals that (1) recent trends in EPEs are seasonally contrasting: spring EPEs show consistent trends towards increased carbon uptake, while trends in summer EPEs are predominantly negative in net ecosystem productivity (i.e. higher net carbon release under drought and heat in summer) and close-to-neutral in gross productivity. While changes in climate and its extremes (mainly warming) and changes in CO2 increase spring productivity, changes in climate extremes decrease summer productivity neutralizing positive effects of CO2. Furthermore, we find that (2) drought or heat wave induced carbon losses in summer (i.e. negative EPEs) can be partly compensated by a higher uptake in the preceding spring in temperate regions. Conversely, however, carry-over effects from spring to summer that arise from depleted soil moisture exacerbate the carbon losses caused by climate extremes in summer, and are thus undoing spring compensatory effects. While the spring-compensation effect is increasing over time, the carry-over effect shows no trend between 1985–2010. The ensemble ecosystem model simulations provide a process-based interpretation and generalization for spring-summer interacting carbon cycle effects caused by climate extremes (i.e. compensatory and carry-over effects). In summary, the ensemble ecosystem modelling approach presented in this paper offers a novel route to scrutinize ecosystem responses to changing climate extremes in a probabilistic framework, and to pinpoint the underlying eco-physiological mechanisms.
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    Zero emission targets as long-term global goals for climate protection
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2015) Rogelj, Joeri; Schaeffer, Michiel; Meinshausen, Malte; Knutti, Reto; Alcamo, Joseph; Riahi, Keywan; Hare, William
    Recently, assessments have robustly linked stabilization of global-mean temperature rise to the necessity of limiting the total amount of emitted carbon-dioxide (CO2). Halting global warming thus requires virtually zero annual CO2 emissions at some point. Policymakers have now incorporated this concept in the negotiating text for a new global climate agreement, but confusion remains about concepts like carbon neutrality, climate neutrality, full decarbonization, and net zero carbon or net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Here we clarify these concepts, discuss their appropriateness to serve as a long-term global benchmark for achieving temperature targets, and provide a detailed quantification. We find that with current pledges and for a likely (>66%) chance of staying below 2 °C, the scenario literature suggests net zero CO2 emissions between 2060 and 2070, with net negative CO2 emissions thereafter. Because of residual non-CO2 emissions, net zero is always reached later for total GHG emissions than for CO2. Net zero emissions targets are a useful focal point for policy, linking a global temperature target and socio-economic pathways to a necessary long-term limit on cumulative CO2 emissions.
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    Between Scylla and Charybdis: Delayed mitigation narrows the passage between large-scale CDR and high costs
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2018) Strefler, Jessica; Bauer, Nico; Kriegler, Elmar; Popp, Alexander; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    There are major concerns about the sustainability of large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. It is therefore an urgent question to what extent CDR will be needed to implement the long term ambition of the Paris Agreement. Here we show that ambitious near term mitigation significantly decreases CDR requirements to keep the Paris climate targets within reach. Following the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) until 2030 makes 2 °C unachievable without CDR. Reducing 2030 emissions by 20% below NDC levels alleviates the trade-off between high transitional challenges and high CDR deployment. Nevertheless, transitional challenges increase significantly if CDR is constrained to less than 5 Gt CO2 a−1 in any year. At least 8 Gt CO2 a−1 CDR are necessary in the long term to achieve 1.5 °C and more than 15 Gt CO2 a−1 to keep transitional challenges in bounds.
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    Benchmarking carbon fluxes of the ISIMIP2a biome models
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2017) Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Xuhui; Piao, Shilong; Asrar, Ghassem; Betts, Richard; Chevallier, Frédéric; Dury, Marie; François, Louis; Frieler, Katja; Ros, Anselmo García Cantú; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; Hickler, Thomas; Ito, Akihiko; Morfopoulos, Catherine; Munhoven, Guy; Nishina, Kazuya; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pan, Shufen; Peng, Shushi; Rafique, Rashid; Reyer, Christopher; Rödenbeck, Christian; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Steinkamp, Jörg; Tian, Hanqin; Viovy, Nicolas; Yang, Jia; Zeng, Ning; Zhao, Fang
    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the eight ISIMIP2a biome models against independent estimates of long-term net carbon fluxes (i.e. Net Biome Productivity, NBP) over terrestrial ecosystems for the recent four decades (1971–2010). We evaluate modeled global NBP against 1) the updated global residual land sink (RLS) plus land use emissions (E LUC) from the Global Carbon Project (GCP), presented as R + L in this study by Le Quéré et al (2015), and 2) the land CO2 fluxes from two atmospheric inversion systems: Jena CarboScope s81_v3.8 and CAMS v15r2, referred to as F Jena and F CAMS respectively. The model ensemble-mean NBP (that includes seven models with land-use change) is higher than but within the uncertainty of R + L, while the simulated positive NBP trend over the last 30 yr is lower than that from R + L and from the two inversion systems. ISIMIP2a biome models well capture the interannual variation of global net terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes. Tropical NBP represents 31 ± 17% of global total NBP during the past decades, and the year-to-year variation of tropical NBP contributes most of the interannual variation of global NBP. According to the models, increasing Net Primary Productivity (NPP) was the main cause for the generally increasing NBP. Significant global NBP anomalies from the long-term mean between the two phases of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are simulated by all models (p < 0.05), which is consistent with the R + L estimate (p = 0.06), also mainly attributed to NPP anomalies, rather than to changes in heterotrophic respiration (Rh). The global NPP and NBP anomalies during ENSO events are dominated by their anomalies in tropical regions impacted by tropical climate variability. Multiple regressions between R + L, F Jena and F CAMS interannual variations and tropical climate variations reveal a significant negative response of global net terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes to tropical mean annual temperature variation, and a non-significant response to tropical annual precipitation variation. According to the models, tropical precipitation is a more important driver, suggesting that some models do not capture the roles of precipitation and temperature changes adequately.
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    Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance
    (Washington, DC : American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2016) Stadtherr, Lisa; Coumou, Dim; Petoukhov, Vladimir; Petri, Stefan; Rahmstorf, Stefan
    In May 2014, the Balkans were hit by a Vb-type cyclone that brought disastrous flooding and severe damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. Vb cyclones migrate from the Mediterranean, where they absorb warm and moist air, to the north, often causing flooding in central/eastern Europe. Extreme rainfall events are increasing on a global scale, and both thermodynamic and dynamical mechanisms play a role. Where thermodynamic aspects are generally well understood, there is large uncertainty associated with current and future changes in dynamics. We study the climatic and meteorological factors that influenced the catastrophic flooding in the Balkans, where we focus on large-scale circulation. We show that the Vb cyclone was unusually stationary, bringing extreme rainfall for several consecutive days, and that this situation was likely linked to a quasi-stationary circumglobal Rossby wave train. We provide evidence that this quasi-stationary wave was amplified by wave resonance. Statistical analysis of daily spring rainfall over the Balkan region reveals significant upward trends over 1950–2014, especially in the high quantiles relevant for flooding events. These changes cannot be explained by simple thermodynamic arguments, and we thus argue that dynamical processes likely played a role in increasing flood risks over the Balkans.
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    Impacts devalue the potential of large-scale terrestrial CO2 removal through biomass plantations
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2016) Boysen, L.R.; Lucht, W.; Gerten, D.; Heck, V.
    Large-scale biomass plantations (BPs) are often considered a feasible and safe climate engineering proposal for extracting carbon from the atmosphere and, thereby, reducing global mean temperatures. However, the capacity of such terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) strategies and their larger Earth system impacts remain to be comprehensively studied—even more so under higher carbon emissions and progressing climate change. Here, we use a spatially explicit process-based biosphere model to systematically quantify the potentials and trade-offs of a range of BP scenarios dedicated to tCDR, representing different assumptions about which areas are convertible. Based on a moderate CO2 concentration pathway resulting in a global mean warming of 2.5 °C above preindustrial level by the end of this century—similar to the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5—we assume tCDR to be implemented when a warming of 1.5 °C is reached in year 2038. Our results show that BPs can slow down the progression of increasing cumulative carbon in the atmosphere only sufficiently if emissions are reduced simultaneously like in the underlying RCP4.5 trajectory. The potential of tCDR to balance additional, unabated emissions leading towards a business-as-usual pathway alike RCP8.5 is therefore very limited. Furthermore, in the required large-scale applications, these plantations would induce significant trade-offs with food production and biodiversity and exert impacts on forest extent, biogeochemical cycles and biogeophysical properties.
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    A statistically predictive model for future monsoon failure in India
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2012) Schewe, Jacob; Levermann, Anders
    Indian monsoon rainfall is vital for a large share of the world's population. Both reliably projecting India's future precipitation and unraveling abrupt cessations of monsoon rainfall found in paleorecords require improved understanding of its stability properties. While details of monsoon circulations and the associated rainfall are complex, full-season failure is dominated by large-scale positive feedbacks within the region. Here we find that in a comprehensive climate model, monsoon failure is possible but very rare under pre-industrial conditions, while under future warming it becomes much more frequent. We identify the fundamental intraseasonal feedbacks that are responsible for monsoon failure in the climate model, relate these to observational data, and build a statistically predictive model for such failure. This model provides a simple dynamical explanation for future changes in the frequency distribution of seasonal mean all-Indian rainfall. Forced only by global mean temperature and the strength of the Pacific Walker circulation in spring, it reproduces the trend as well as the multidecadal variability in the mean and skewness of the distribution, as found in the climate model. The approach offers an alternative perspective on large-scale monsoon variability as the result of internal instabilities modulated by pre-seasonal ambient climate conditions.
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    The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) O'Neill, Brian C.; Tebaldi, Claudia; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Eyring, Veronika; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Hurtt, George; Knutti, Reto; Kriegler, Elmar; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Lowe, Jason; Meehl, Gerald A.; Moss, Richard; Riahi, Keywan; Sanderson, Benjamin M.
    Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. In this paper, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. At the same time, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. To serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.
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    Climate impacts on human livelihoods: Where uncertainty matters in projections of water availability
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Lissner, T.K.; Reusser, D.E.; Schewe, J.; Lakes, T.; Kropp, J.P.
    Climate change will have adverse impacts on many different sectors of society, with manifold consequences for human livelihoods and well-being. However, a systematic method to quantify human well-being and livelihoods across sectors is so far unavailable, making it difficult to determine the extent of such impacts. Climate impact analyses are often limited to individual sectors (e.g. food or water) and employ sector-specific target measures, while systematic linkages to general livelihood conditions remain unexplored. Further, recent multi-model assessments have shown that uncertainties in projections of climate impacts deriving from climate and impact models, as well as greenhouse gas scenarios, are substantial, posing an additional challenge in linking climate impacts with livelihood conditions. This article first presents a methodology to consistently measure what is referred to here as AHEAD (Adequate Human livelihood conditions for wEll-being And Development). Based on a trans-disciplinary sample of concepts addressing human well-being and livelihoods, the approach measures the adequacy of conditions of 16 elements. We implement the method at global scale, using results from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) to show how changes in water availability affect the fulfilment of AHEAD at national resolution. In addition, AHEAD allows for the uncertainty of climate and impact model projections to be identified and differentiated. We show how the approach can help to put the substantial inter-model spread into the context of country-specific livelihood conditions by differentiating where the uncertainty about water scarcity is relevant with regard to livelihood conditions – and where it is not. The results indicate that livelihood conditions are compromised by water scarcity in 34 countries. However, more often, AHEAD fulfilment is limited through other elements. The analysis shows that the water-specific uncertainty ranges of the model output are outside relevant thresholds for AHEAD for 65 out of 111 countries, and therefore do not contribute to the overall uncertainty about climate change impacts on livelihoods. In 46 of the countries in the analysis, water-specific uncertainty is relevant to AHEAD. The AHEAD method presented here, together with first results, forms an important step towards making scientific results more applicable for policy decisions.