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Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
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    Towards a comprehensive climate impacts assessment of solar geoengineering
    (Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2016) Irvine, Peter J.; Kravitz, Ben; Lawrence, Mark G.; Gerten, Dieter; Caminade, Cyril; Gosling, Simon N.; Hendy, Erica J.; Kassie, Belay T.; Kissling, W. Daniel; Muri, Helene; Oschlies, Andreas; Smith, Steven J.
    Despite a growing literature on the climate response to solar geoengineering—proposals to cool the planet by increasing the planetary albedo—there has been little published on the impacts of solar geoengineering on natural and human systems such as agriculture, health, water resources, and ecosystems. An understanding of the impacts of different scenarios of solar geoengineering deployment will be crucial for informing decisions on whether and how to deploy it. Here we review the current state of knowledge about impacts of a solar‐geoengineered climate and identify the major research gaps. We suggest that a thorough assessment of the climate impacts of a range of scenarios of solar geoengineering deployment is needed and can be built upon existing frameworks. However, solar geoengineering poses a novel challenge for climate impacts research as the manner of deployment could be tailored to pursue different objectives making possible a wide range of climate outcomes. We present a number of ideas for approaches to extend the survey of climate impacts beyond standard scenarios of solar geoengineering deployment to address this challenge. Reducing the impacts of climate change is the fundamental motivator for emissions reductions and for considering whether and how to deploy solar geoengineering. This means that the active engagement of the climate impacts research community will be important for improving the overall understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and risks presented by solar geoengineering.
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    Modeling the water demand on farms
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Drastig, K.; Prochnow, A.; Kraatz, S.; Libra, J.; Krauß, M.; Döring, K.; Müller, D.; Hunstock, U.
    The decreasing availability of water caused by depletion and climate change combined with a growing world population requires the productive use of water now and in the future. The young researcher group "AgroHyd" at the Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim (ATB) is currently modeling the water demand for agricultural processes at the farm scale and developing indicators to link the hydrological and agricultural perspectives. The aim of the group is to increase productivity in agriculture by raising water productivity in plant production and livestock farming. The effects of various agronomic measures, individual and in combination, on water productivity are assessed using several indicators. Scenarios of agricultural measures, climate and diets are used to test to what extent the water demand for food production will increase due to growing global change in different regions of the world.
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    Global consequences of afforestation and bioenergy cultivation on ecosystem service indicators
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2017) Krause, Andreas; Pugh, Thomas A.M.; Bayer, Anita D.; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Humpenöder, Florian; Anthoni, Peter; Olin, Stefan; Bodirsky, Benjamin L.; Popp, Alexander; Stehfest, Elke; Arneth, Almut
    Land management for carbon storage is discussed as being indispensable for climate change mitigation because of its large potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and to avoid further emissions from deforestation. However, the acceptance and feasibility of land-based mitigation projects depends on potential side effects on other important ecosystem functions and their services. Here, we use projections of future land use and land cover for different land-based mitigation options from two land-use models (IMAGE and MAgPIE) and evaluate their effects with a global dynamic vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS). In the land-use models, carbon removal was achieved either via growth of bioenergy crops combined with carbon capture and storage, via avoided deforestation and afforestation, or via a combination of both. We compare these scenarios to a reference scenario without land-based mitigation and analyse the LPJ-GUESS simulations with the aim of assessing synergies and trade-offs across a range of ecosystem service indicators: carbon storage, surface albedo, evapotranspiration, water runoff, crop production, nitrogen loss, and emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds. In our mitigation simulations cumulative carbon storage by year 2099 ranged between 55 and 89 GtC. Other ecosystem service indicators were influenced heterogeneously both positively and negatively, with large variability across regions and land-use scenarios. Avoided deforestation and afforestation led to an increase in evapotranspiration and enhanced emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds, and to a decrease in albedo, runoff, and nitrogen loss. Crop production could also decrease in the afforestation scenarios as a result of reduced crop area, especially for MAgPIE land-use patterns, if assumed increases in crop yields cannot be realized. Bioenergy-based climate change mitigation was projected to affect less area globally than in the forest expansion scenarios, and resulted in less pronounced changes in most ecosystem service indicators than forest-based mitigation, but included a possible decrease in nitrogen loss, crop production, and biogenic volatile organic compounds emissions.
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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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    The world’s biggest gamble
    (Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2016) Rockström, Johan; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim; Hoskins, Brian; Ramanathan, Veerabhadran; Schlosser, Peter; Brasseur, Guy Pierre; Gaffney, Owen; Nobre, Carlos; Meinshausen, Malte; Rogelj, Joeri; Lucht, Wolfgang
    The scale of the decarbonisation challenge to meet the Paris Agreement is underplayed in the public arena. It will require precipitous emissions reductions within 40 years and a new carbon sink on the scale of the ocean sink. Even then, the world is extremely likely to overshoot. A catastrophic failure of policy, for example, waiting another decade for transformative policy and full commitments to fossil‐free economies, will have irreversible and deleterious repercussions for humanity's remaining time on Earth. Only a global zero carbon roadmap will put the world on a course to phase‐out greenhouse gas emissions and create the essential carbon sinks for Earth‐system stability, without which, world prosperity is not possible.
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    A critical humidity threshold for monsoon transitions
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Schewe, J.; Levermann, A.; Cheng, H.
    Monsoon systems around the world are governed by the so-called moisture-advection feedback. Here we show that, in a minimal conceptual model, this feedback implies a critical threshold with respect to the atmospheric specific humidity qo over the ocean adjacent to the monsoon region. If qo falls short of this critical value qoc, monsoon rainfall over land cannot be sustained. Such a case could occur if evaporation from the ocean was reduced, e.g. due to low sea surface temperatures. Within the restrictions of the conceptual model, we estimate qoc from present-day reanalysis data for four major monsoon systems, and demonstrate how this concept can help understand abrupt variations in monsoon strength on orbital timescales as found in proxy records.
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    Management scenarios of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and their impacts under recent and future climates
    (Basel : MDPI, 2017) Liersch, Stefan; Koch, Hagen; Hattermann, Fred Fokko
    Close to the border with Sudan, Ethiopia is currently building the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa with a storage volume corresponding to approximately 1.5 years of the mean discharges of the Blue Nile. This endeavor is controversially debated in the public and the scientific literature. Contributing to this discussion, by shading some light on climate change issues, an eco-hydrological model, equipped with a reservoir module, was applied to investigate downstream hydrological impacts during filling and regular operation, the latter considering climate change projected by an ensemble of 10 global and regional climate models. Our results show that at the earliest after 20 months, the dam could produce hydroelectric power. Full supply level may be reached after four years or not at all, depending on filling policies and assumptions of seepage rates. Under recent hydro-climatic conditions, the dam may produce 13 TWh −a , which is below the envisaged target of 15.7 TWh −a . The ensemble mean suggests slightly increasing hydropower production in the future. Almost independently of the operation rules, the highly variable discharge regime will be significantly altered to a regime with almost equal flows each month. Achieving a win-win situation for all riparian countries requires a high level of cooperation in managing the Eastern Nile water resources.
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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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    Non-linear regime shifts in Holocene Asian monsoon variability: Potential impacts on cultural change and migratory patterns
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Donges, J.F.; Donner, R.V.; Marwan, N.; Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Rehfeld, K.; Kurths, J.
    The Asian monsoon system is an important tipping element in Earth's climate with a large impact on human societies in the past and present. In light of the potentially severe impacts of present and future anthropogenic climate change on Asian hydrology, it is vital to understand the forcing mechanisms of past climatic regime shifts in the Asian monsoon domain. Here we use novel recurrence network analysis techniques for detecting episodes with pronounced non-linear changes in Holocene Asian monsoon dynamics recorded in speleothems from caves distributed throughout the major branches of the Asian monsoon system. A newly developed multi-proxy methodology explicitly considers dating uncertainties with the COPRA (COnstructing Proxy Records from Age models) approach and allows for detection of continental-scale regime shifts in the complexity of monsoon dynamics. Several epochs are characterised by non-linear regime shifts in Asian monsoon variability, including the periods around 8.5–7.9, 5.7–5.0, 4.1–3.7, and 3.0–2.4 ka BP. The timing of these regime shifts is consistent with known episodes of Holocene rapid climate change (RCC) and high-latitude Bond events. Additionally, we observe a previously rarely reported non-linear regime shift around 7.3 ka BP, a timing that matches the typical 1.0–1.5 ky return intervals of Bond events. A detailed review of previously suggested links between Holocene climatic changes in the Asian monsoon domain and the archaeological record indicates that, in addition to previously considered longer-term changes in mean monsoon intensity and other climatic parameters, regime shifts in monsoon complexity might have played an important role as drivers of migration, pronounced cultural changes, and the collapse of ancient human societies.
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    Impact of droughts on the carbon cycle in European vegetation: A probabilistic risk analysis using six vegetation models
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Van Oijen, M.; Balkovi, J.; Beer, C.; Cameron, D.R.; Ciais, P.; Cramer, W.; Kato, T.; Kuhnert, M.; Martin, R.; Myneni, R.; Rammig, A.; Rolinski, S.; Soussana, J.-F.; Thonicke, K.; Van der Velde, M.; Xu, L.
    We analyse how climate change may alter risks posed by droughts to carbon fluxes in European ecosystems. The approach follows a recently proposed framework for risk analysis based on probability theory. In this approach, risk is quantified as the product of hazard probability and ecosystem vulnerability. The probability of a drought hazard is calculated here from the Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Vulnerability is calculated from the response to drought simulated by process-based vegetation models. We use six different models: three for generic vegetation (JSBACH, LPJmL, ORCHIDEE) and three for specific ecosystems (Scots pine forests: BASFOR; winter wheat fields: EPIC; grasslands: PASIM). The periods 1971–2000 and 2071–2100 are compared. Climate data are based on gridded observations and on output from the regional climate model REMO using the SRES A1B scenario. The risk analysis is carried out for ~ 18 000 grid cells of 0.25 × 0.25° across Europe. For each grid cell, drought vulnerability and risk are quantified for five seasonal variables: net primary and ecosystem productivity (NPP, NEP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh), soil water content and evapotranspiration. In this analysis, climate change leads to increased drought risks for net primary productivity in the Mediterranean area: five of the models estimate that risk will exceed 15%. The risks increase mainly because of greater drought probability; ecosystem vulnerability will increase to a lesser extent. Because NPP will be affected more than Rh, future carbon sequestration (NEP) will also be at risk predominantly in southern Europe, with risks exceeding 0.25 g C m−2 d−1 according to most models, amounting to reductions in carbon sequestration of 20 to 80%.