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Now showing 1 - 10 of 40
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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 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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    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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    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.