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Climatic Change
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.035
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 72  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0165-0009 - ISSN (Online) 1573-1480
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2468 journals]
  • Challenging the universality of heatwave definitions: gridded temperature
           discrepancies across climate regions

    • Abstract: Abstract As global studies of climate change depict increasingly dire outcomes of extreme heat, there is an urgent need to understand the appropriateness of heatwave definitions and temperature datasets in different parts of the world. We carry out an intercomparison of the CHIRTS gridded station-satellite temperature dataset with three reanalysis products, ERA5, NCEP-DOE Reanalysis 2, and MERRA2, to assess biases in the absolute value of extreme heat events and the distribution of extreme events. We find close agreement between all four datasets in the magnitude and distribution of extreme temperatures, with a cold bias in the reanalyses over mountainous areas. However, there is little to no agreement between datasets on the timing of extreme heat events in the tropics, and the datasets do not even agree on which month is the hottest month climatologically in these regions. Second, we compare how the four datasets represent the frequency and timing of extreme heat events, using two different types of heatwave definitions: 5-day duration-based extremes and extreme temperature-humidity combinations (heat index). In the case of 5-day heatwaves, there are almost zero events recorded historically in tropical regions. In contrast, high absolute values of the heat index are most common in dry climates, likely due to the dominance of high temperature spikes in these regions, and high heat index events also occur in temperate and tropical regions. There is little agreement between datasets, however, on when these extreme heat index events have happened historically in the tropics. Given these results, we highlight the need for locally developed heatwave metrics for different parts of the world, and we urge against the use of a single heatwave definition in global studies. We also recommend that any studies assessing heat-health relationships in tropical regions beware of the lack of agreement between observational and reanalysis datasets and compare results from different gridded dataset products to estimate uncertainty in heat-health relationships.
      PubDate: 2023-11-25
  • Potential impacts of 1.5 °C and 2 °C global warming levels on drought
           modes over Eastern Africa

    • Abstract: Abstract This study examines the impacts of 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming levels on the characteristics of four major drought modes over Eastern Africa in the future under two climate forcing scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The droughts were quantified using two drought indices: the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and the standardized precipitation index (SPI) at 12-month scale. Four major drought modes were identified with the principal component analysis (PCA). Multi-model simulation datasets from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) were analysed for the study. The skill of the models to reproduce the spatial distribution and frequency of past drought modes over Eastern Africa was examined by comparing the simulated results with the Climate Research Unit (CRU) observation. The models give realistic simulations of the historical drought modes over the region. The correlation between the simulated and observed spatial pattern of the drought modes is high (r ≥ 0.7). Over the hotspot of the drought modes, the observed drought frequency is within the simulated values, and the simulations agree with the observation that the frequency of SPI-12 droughts is less than that of SPEI-12 droughts. For both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, the simulation ensemble projects no changes in the spatial structure of the drought modes but suggests an increase in SPEI-12 drought intensity and frequency over the hotspots of the drought modes. The magnitude of the increase, which varies over the drought mode hotspots, is generally higher at 2 °C than at 1.5 °C global warming levels. More than 75% of the simulations agree on these projections. The projections also show that the increase in drought intensity and frequency is more from increased potential evapotranspiration than from reduced precipitation. Hence, the study suggests that to reduce impacts of global warming on future drought, the adaptation activities should focus on reducing evaporative loss surface water.
      PubDate: 2023-11-23
  • Diagnosing the ability of reservoir operations to meet hydropower
           production and fisheries needs under climate change in a western
           cordillera drainage basin

    • Abstract: Abstract Water regulation has contributed to the decline in Pacific salmon in British Columbia (Canada) despite attempts to manage reservoir operations to achieve operational requirements while meeting environmental needs to limit fish thermal stress. The ability of reservoir managers to meet these trade-offs in a changing climate is unknown. Here, we examine the reliability and vulnerability of the Nechako Reservoir to meet hydropower production commitments and fisheries needs under two projected Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios (SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5). While our findings are specific to the operation of the Nechako Reservoir, the issues that emerge are likely common to many reservoirs in areas where reservoir inflow regimes are currently snow-storage dominated. We found that projected changes in the timing of water availability have little to no influence on hydropower generation commitments. However, larger water releases will be required to avoid compromising reservoir safety, possibly endangering downstream fish habitat through scouring. Furthermore, the temperature of water released from the reservoir is projected to more frequently exceed a level, 20°C, that is detrimental to migrating sockeye salmon. Water released is subject to further warming as it travels towards the lower reaches of the Nechako River used by migrating salmon. Hence, there is a need to adapt reservoir operations to ensure reservoir safety and mitigate adverse effects on salmon habitat.
      PubDate: 2023-11-21
  • Global warming vs. climate change frames: revisiting framing effects based
           on new experimental evidence collected in 30 European countries

    • Abstract: Abstract Existing evidence suggests that climate change beliefs can be subject to how the issue is framed. Particularly, the choice between a “global warming” versus a “climate change” framing influenced survey responses in some previous experiments. Furthermore, since the issue of climate change has become strongly polarized politically, framing effects were found to be moderated by political identification. Nevertheless, most of these framing effects were observed in the USA and may not be generalized in other cultures. To contribute to this area of research, we embedded an experiment in nationally representative telephone surveys conducted in 30 European countries in August–September 2021. We manipulated the wording of four climate change-related questions (“global warming” vs. “climate change”) and assessed treatment effects both in the full sample and separately among leftist, rightist, green, and right-wing party voters. Our results regarding climate change existence belief replicated earlier findings since existence belief was significantly higher in the climate change group. We also found that the perceived negative impact was slightly lower when the issue was framed as “climate change.” In contrast, little evidence was found of people being more skeptical or less worried when asked about “global warming” compared to “climate change.” In general, skepticism was higher on the political right; however, leftists, rightists, green, and right-wing voters reacted similarly to the two frames in our European sample. We consider possible explanations for the null findings and argue that the use of “climate change” framing in communication strategies promoting climate action itself will do little to lower skepticism in Europe.
      PubDate: 2023-11-16
  • Stories of loss and healing: connecting non-economic loss and damage,
           gender-based violence and wellbeing erosion in the Asia–Pacific region

    • Abstract: Abstract It is well-known that women, children, and other intersectional and marginalised social groups are disproportionately impacted by ‘non-economic wellbeing loss’ in the context of climatic changes. However, few empirical studies investigate its interrelation with violence against women and children (VAWC). We urgently need to widen our perceptions of what falls under the umbrella term ‘Non-Economic Loss (and Damage)’, NEL(D)s, for societies to appropriately be able to avert, minimise, and address losses and damages among vulnerable people. Through stories of loss and healing, we step into the realities of illustrating how women and children experience non-economic wellbeing loss within a climate-violence nexus in Bangladesh, Fiji, and Vanuatu. A storytelling and systems analysis approach guided the analysis of personal narratives gathered through a secondary data review and empirical field work. The research findings identified different pathways through which women and children’s mental health was compromised in the context of structural violence and climatic risks. In Bangladesh, the narratives described wellbeing erosion in the context of gendered (im)mobility; in Fiji, the findings captured women’s and children’s experiences of sexual violence, domestic abuse, exploitation, and trafficking in the context of natural hazards, while in Vanuatu, hardship, gendered dependence, and healing were narrated by women in their stories surrounding disaster recovery. This article comprehensively lays out the longer-term societal wellbeing consequences of climatic changes and gender-based violence. It also identifies research gaps in need of further attention and proposes policy recommendations as well as methodological and disaster health service solutions to address wellbeing loss in a climate changed future.
      PubDate: 2023-11-14
  • How subjectivities and subject-making influence community participation in
           climate change adaptation: the case of Vietnam

    • Abstract: Abstract Critical scholars on power relations and climate change adaptation have highlighted the lack of community participation as a consequence of unbalanced power operations. Evidence about how unequal power relations and subject formation constrain public participation, however, is under-studied. In this paper, we utilised the intersection between community participation and the subjectivities lens to examine how a hierarchical political structure systematically operates to influence community engagement in adaptation and how and why local communities are included or excluded from adaptation as a result of subject-making, using Vietnam as a case study. Using 66 semi-structured interviews and ten focus group discussions involving policymakers, practitioners, local authorities, and communities, we examined how the key respondents stereotyped local roles and capacity in agricultural adaptation activities. Applying content analysis, we found that the general population in Vietnam is often framed as lacking knowledge and capacity to respond to climate impacts. Reflected through a traditional government-led model in two agricultural adaptation projects, the study showed that subtle but pervasive subjectivities and subject-making processes constrain community participation by affecting perceptions and, subsequently, actions of key stakeholders, undermining local roles and capacity in undertaking adaptation. These perpetuate the power imbalance between local communities and government entities. The findings contribute to the prevailing scholarship of climate change adaptation that, under an authoritarian regime, local capacity is undermined not only by powerholders but also by community members as they consent to government decisions.
      PubDate: 2023-11-11
  • Multiple dimensions of extreme weather events and their impacts on

    • Abstract: Abstract Climate change is a multidimensional phenomenon. As such, no single metric can capture all trajectories of change and associated impacts. While numerous metrics exist to measure climate change, they tend to focus on central tendencies and neglect the multidimensionality of extreme weather events (EWEs). EWEs differ in their frequency, duration, and intensity, and can be described for temperature, precipitation, and wind speed, while considering different thresholds defining “extremeness.” We review existing EWE metrics and outline a framework for classifying and interpreting them in light of their foreseeable impacts on biodiversity. Using an example drawn from the Caribbean and Central America, we show that metrics reflect unequal spatial patterns of exposure across the region. Based on available evidence, we discuss how such patterns relate to threats to biological populations, empirically demonstrating how ecologically informed metrics can help relate EWEs to biological processes such as mangrove recovery. Unveiling the complexity of EWE trajectories affecting biodiversity is only possible through mobilisation of a plethora of climate change metrics. The proposed framework represents a step forward over assessments using single dimensions or averages of highly variable time series.
      PubDate: 2023-11-06
  • Partitioning model uncertainty in multi-model ensemble river flow

    • Abstract: Abstract Floods are the largest natural disaster currently facing the UK, whilst the incidents of droughts have increased in recent years. Floods and droughts can have devastating consequences on society, resulting in significant financial damage to the economy. Climate models suggest that precipitation and temperature changes will exacerbate future hydrological extremes (i.e., floods and droughts). Such events are likely to become more frequent and intense in the future; thus to develop adaptation plans climate model projections feed hydrological models to provide future water resource projections. ‘eFLaG’ is one set of future river flow projections produced for the UK driven by UKCP18 climate projections from the UK Met Office. The UKCP18-derived eFLaG dataset provides state-of-the-art projections for a single GCM driven by RCP 8.5 across the entire UK. A QE-ANOVA approach has been used to partition contributing sources of uncertainty for two flow quantiles (Q5 high flows and Q95 low flows), at near and far future time scales, for each of the 186 GB catchments in the eFLaG dataset. Results suggest a larger hydrological model uncertainty associated with low flows and greater regional climate model uncertainty for high flows which remains stationary between flow indicators. Total uncertainty increases from near to far future and highly uncertain catchments have been identified with a high concentration in South-East England.
      PubDate: 2023-11-02
  • Smallholder farmer resilience to extreme weather events in a global food
           value chain

    • Abstract: Abstract Extreme weather events have severe impacts on food systems, especially for smallholders in global food value chains (GFVCs). There is an urgent need to understand (a) how climate shocks manifest in food systems, and (b) what strategies can enhance food system resilience. Integrating satellite, household and trade data, we investigate the cascading impacts after two consecutive hurricanes on smallholder banana farmers in Dominican Republic, and determinants of their recovery. We found that farmers experienced an ‘all-or-nothing’ pattern of damage, where 75% of flooded farmers lost > 90% of production. Recovery of regional production indicators took ca. 450 days. However, farm-level recovery times were highly variable, with both topographic and human capital factors determining recovery. Utilising this case study, we show that engaging in a GFVC impeded recovery via ‘double exposure’ of production loss and losing market access. Our results suggest that strategies to enhance resilience, with a particular focus on recovery, in GFVCs should promote trader loyalty, facilitate basin-scale collaboration and expand risk-targeted training.
      PubDate: 2023-10-30
  • Attributing historical streamflow changes in the Jhelum River basin to
           climate change

    • Abstract: Abstract Amid a heated debate on what are possible and what are plausible climate futures, ascertaining evident changes that are attributable to historical climate change can provide a clear understanding of how warmer climates will shape our future habitability. Hence, we detect changes in the streamflow simulated using three different datasets for the historical period (1901–2019) and analyze whether these changes can be attributed to observed climate change. For this, we first calibrate and validate the Soil and Water Integrated Model and then force it with factual (observed) and counterfactual (baseline) climates presented in the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3a protocol. We assessed the differences in simulated streamflow driven by the factual and counterfactual climates by comparing their trend changes ascertained using the Modified Mann–Kendall test on monthly, seasonal, and annual timescales. In contrast to no trend for counterfactual climate, our results suggest that mean annual streamflow under factual climate features statistically significant decreasing trends, which are − 5.6, − 3.9, and − 1.9 m3s−1 for the 20CRv3-w5e5, 20CRv3, and GSWP3-w5e5 datasets, respectively. Such trends, which are more pronounced after the 1960s, for summer, and for high flows can be attributed to the weakening of the monsoonal precipitation regime in the factual climate. Further, discharge volumes in the recent factual climate dropped compared to the early twentieth-century climate, especially prominently during summer and mainly for high flows whereas earlier shifts found in the center of volume timings are due to early shifts in the nival regime. These findings clearly suggest a critical role of monsoonal precipitation in disrupting the hydrological regime of the Jhelum River basin in the future.
      PubDate: 2023-10-27
  • Climate-induced shifts in irrigation water demand and supply during
           sensitive crop growth phases in South Asia

    • Abstract: Abstract This study investigated the shifts in irrigation water demand and supply of the major staple and water-intensive crops (wheat and rice) in the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra (IGB) river basins of South Asia under the combined impacts of climate change and socio-economic development during the period 1981–2100. It explores irrigation water usage during climate-sensitive crop growth phases (i.e. vegetative and reproductive which required ~ 60% of the total seasonal (sowing to harvest) water demand), which is supposed to be crucial for long-term integrated crop water management. A hydrology vegetation model Lund Potsdam Jena Managed Land is forced with an ensemble of eight downscaled (5 arc-min) global climate model’s using the RCP (Representative concentration pathways) -SSP (Shared socio-economic pathways) framework, i.e. RCP4.5-SSP1 and RCP8.5-SSP3. To investigate phase-specific crop water projections, trend analysis is performed. It shows a significant (p<0.001) increase in irrigation water demand during the vegetative phase of wheat (6 mm) and reproductive phase of rice (26 mm) and a decrease during the reproductive phase of wheat (13 mm) and vegetative phase of rice (11 mm) in selected study sites. The large decrease in projected irrigation demand for wheat can be explained by a shortening of the growing season length as a result of rising temperatures and increased precipitation. Whereas, an increase in irrigation demand for rice is a combined effect of higher temperatures and less precipitation during the reproductive phase in the region. At the same time, irrigation supply by surface water and groundwater is likely to change in future due to warmer and drier growing periods, causing a significant increase in groundwater irrigation, mainly for rice. Our major research findings show the importance of crop water assessments during the sensitive crop growth phases of wheat and rice which vary in space and time. Including crop phase-specific, climate impact assessments of regional and global projection will help improve the region’s existing crop-water management strategies and adaptation practices.
      PubDate: 2023-10-27
  • Asymmetric business cycle changes in US carbon emissions and oil market

    • Abstract: Abstract Previous research shows that, in the USA, the elasticity of carbon emissions with respect to GDP is greater when GDP declines than when GDP increases. Using monthly US data, we examine each individual recession since 1973. We find asymmetric changes in carbon emissions in the 1973–1975, 1980, 1990–1991, and 2020 recessions but not in the 1981–1982, 2001, or 2008–2009 recessions. The former four recessions are associated with negative oil market shocks. In the first three, there was a supply shock and in 2020, a demand shock. Changes in oil consumption that are not explained by changes in GDP explain these asymmetries. Furthermore, the asymmetries are due to emissions in the transport and industrial sectors, which are the main consumers of oil. We conclude that emissions behaved similarly in 2020 to the way they did in recessions associated with oil supply shocks, but, actually, this pattern is not inherent to the business cycle itself.
      PubDate: 2023-10-24
  • Cross-border impacts of climate change affect the energy transition:
           Insights from the Finnish energy sector

    • Abstract: Abstract The world is currently in the midst of an energy transition, in which renewable and low-carbon energy is replacing the use of fossil fuels. Along the way, however, planning for and adapting to impacts of climate change is urgently needed, as these are projected to intensify in the future, despite ambitious mitigation efforts. Since the low-carbon energy transition is likely to involve many international interdependencies and connections between countries and regions, assessments of cross-border impacts of climate change, i.e., consequences of climate change that occur remotely from the location of their initial impact, are of utmost importance to ensure the decarbonisation of society is safe and sustainable. This paper utilises expert interviews and a general morphological analysis with the shared socioeconomic pathways to situate national decarbonisation efforts within a global context and identify cross-border impacts of climate change that may affect the energy transition, using the Finnish energy sector as a case study. Interestingly, many of the global development trends that were found to have a boosting effect on the Finnish energy transition, also increased the risk from cross-border climate change impacts, stressing the importance of rigorous adaptation planning. The findings affirm the need for studying national energy transitions from a global perspective and highlight the tendency of climate change impacts to be transmitted across borders via complex pathways. The study offers valuable insights into the importance of cross-border impacts for adaptation planning pertinent to any country or region currently engaged, or planning to engage, in the global low-carbon transition.
      PubDate: 2023-10-19
  • What climate' The different meaning of climate indicators in violent
           conflict studies

    • Abstract: Abstract This paper explores the operationalization of climate-related indicators in violent conflict research. The climate-conflict narrative gained traction in recent decades and climate change is often referred to as a ‘threat multiplier’ by both policy makers and scholars. Yet, the relationships between climate-related phenomena and violent conflict are complex and context-specific. However, limited attention has been given to the climatic indicators applied in climate-conflict research. This paper addresses that gap by analyzing 32 studies published from 2004 to 2020 on the operationalization of climatic indicators and their relationship with violent conflict. It first categorizes climate indicators operationalization into five clusters: natural disasters, basic climate variability, advanced climate variability, freshwater availability, and the ENSO. The study evaluates the climate indicators for each cluster and shows that at an aggregate level these clusters examine 68 different climate representations. When paired with their respective conflict types, it finds a total of 113 climate-conflict combinations. Most operationalizations represent various forms of climate-related phenomena and variability rather than climate change. Some indicators are advancements over time, for example moving from changes in average rainfall to standardized precipitation indices. However, other indicators refer to various natural processes, making it challenging to determine whether climatic variability impacts conflict. The paper then demonstrates a discrepancy between the pathways through which climate may affect violent conflict and the representation of these pathways in the selected climate indicators. It discusses how the selection and operationalization of climate indicators requires careful consideration, and the phenomena researched should be well-specified in research findings.
      PubDate: 2023-10-17
  • Ground-based climate data show evidence of warming and intensification of
           the seasonal rainfall cycle during the 1960–2020 period in Yangambi,
           central Congo Basin

    • Abstract: Abstract  Meteorological stations are rare in central Africa, which leads to uncertainty in regional climatic trends. This is particularly problematic for the Congo Basin, where station coverage decreased significantly during the last few decades. Here, we present a digitized dataset of daily temperature and precipitation from the Yangambi biosphere reserve, covering the period 1960–2020 (61 years) and located in the heart of the Congo Basin. Our results confirm a long-term increase in temperature and temperature extremes since the 1960s, with strong upward trends since the early 1990s. Our results also indicate a drying trend for the dry season and intensification of the wet season since the early 2000s. Ongoing warming and increasing precipitation seasonality and intensity already have a significant impact on crop yields in Yangambi. This calls for urgent development of climate-smart and dynamic agriculture and agroforestry systems. We conclude that systematic digitization and climate recording in the Congo Basin will be critical to improve much-needed gridded benchmark datasets of climatic variables.
      PubDate: 2023-10-05
  • SRM on the table: the role of geoengineering for the stability and
           effectiveness of climate coalitions

    • Abstract: Abstract Geoengineering, including solar radiation management (SRM), has received increasing scrutiny due to the rise of climate extremes and slow progress in mitigating global carbon emissions. This climate policy option, even as a possibility, can have consequential implications for international climate governance. Here, we study how solar engineering affects the effectiveness and stability of a large set of regional coalitions through numerical simulations. We posit a requirement in terms of global political or economic power and analyze the exclusive membership coalition formation process when coalitions jointly decide on geoengineering and mitigation. We show that geoengineering can provide incentives for cooperation and partially solve the typical trade-off between stability and effectiveness of climate coalitions. However, temperature reduction mostly comes from deploying SRM within the coalition rather than from further emission reductions, thus exposing the world to relatively large-scale deployment of SRM with as of today uncertain potential side effects and risks.
      PubDate: 2023-10-05
  • Attribution assessment of hydrological trends and extremes to climate
           change for Northern high latitude catchments in Norway

    • Abstract: Abstract The northern high latitudes have experienced the strongest warming in the world and substantial changes in streamflow and hydrological extremes. However, there have been limited attribution studies of changes in streamflow and hydrological extremes in this region. This study provides the first trend detection and attribution assessment on 33 hydrological variables for 50 Norwegian catchments in the period 1961–2019, using observed and simulated runoff data from four hydrological models driven by factual (observed) and counterfactual forcing data. Significant increasing trends are detected in observed annual, spring and winter runoff in most catchments and significant trends towards earlier spring floods are found in 40% of catchments. The four hydrological models show similarly good performance in terms of daily discharge in both calibration and validation periods, and they can reproduce 62% of the observed significant trends considering both trend direction and significance. The counterfactual forcing data were generated by the ATTRICI model, which removed all warming trends and most significant trends in precipitation in the factual time series. Ninety-four percent of the simulated significant trends driven by the factual forcing data are insignificant under counterfactual conditions, with trend slopes approaching zero. Thus, based on the model performance in trend reproduction and the difference of significant trends under factual and counterfactual conditions, we conclude that about 58% of the observed significant trends in Norwegian catchments can be attributed mainly to climate change. The comparisons of the historical extreme events under factual and counterfactual conditions show that more than 65% of floods and droughts in the 2010s could have been magnified by climate change.
      PubDate: 2023-10-03
  • How many people will live in poverty because of climate change' A
           macro-level projection analysis to 2070

    • Abstract: Abstract Fossil fuel-based economic development both causes climate change and contributes to poverty alleviation, creating tensions across societal efforts to maintain growth, limit climate damage, and improve human development. While many studies explore key aspects of this dilemma, few direct attention to the pathways from climate change through socioeconomic development to the future of poverty. We build on projections of global temperature change (representative concentration pathways) and country-specific economic development (economic growth and income distribution across the shared socioeconomic pathways) to model how climate change may affect future poverty with the International Futures (IFs) model, projecting poverty across income thresholds for 175 countries through 2070. Central tendency scenarios with climate effects compared with scenarios that do not model climate change show that climate change-attributable extreme poverty will grow to 25 million people by 2030 (range: 18 to 30), 40 million by 2050 (range: 9 to 78), and 32 million by 2070 (range: 4 to 130) though overall levels of global poverty decline. If climatic tipping points are passed, the climate-attributable extreme poverty grows to 57 million people by 2030 (range: 40–72), 78 million by 2050 (range: 18–193), and 56 million by 2070 (range: 7–306). To mitigate baseline effects of climate change on extreme poverty, an improvement of global income inequality of 10% is required (range: 5–15%).
      PubDate: 2023-10-02
  • Climate change information tailored to the agricultural sector in Central
           Europe, exemplified on the region of Lower Franconia

    • Abstract: Abstract There is a growing societal, economic, and political demand to translate available data on regional climate change into sector-specific, practice-oriented, and user-friendly information. The study presents a demand-driven approach to specify the impacts of regional climate change on agriculture, viticulture, and fruit and vegetable growing in Lower Franconia, southern Germany, a region with heterogeneous topography, diversified land use patterns, and intense activities in the sectors specified above. The approach is based on an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate model projections, a bias correction tool, and a large spectrum of meteorological (extreme) indicators that are crucial to the agricultural sector in Central Europe, as inferred from a stakeholder survey. For several decades, Lower Franconia represents a hotspot region of climate change with enhanced heat waves, prolonged droughts, and intermittent local flooding by heavy rainfall events. Results of the high-resolution regional climate model projections indicate an increase of hot days and tropical nights by a factor of 5 and 12, respectively, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow until 2100 according to the RCP8.5 emission scenario. At the same time, droughts will occur more frequently and last longer while rainfall intensity enhances. A longer growing period starting more than 40 days earlier (compared to the reference period 1970 to 1999) implies a higher risk of late frost damage for crops, fruits, grapes, and even some tree species. In contrast, the thermal prerequisites for viticulture will be satisfied across the entire region, even at higher-elevation sites. These facets of regional climate change are made accessible to users and the public via an interactive field-resolving web portal. Altogether, they gravely challenge the historically developed land use systems in Lower Franconia and require timely adaptation and mitigation strategies.
      PubDate: 2023-09-29
  • Establishing resilience in times of climate change—a perspective on
           humans and buildings

    • Abstract: Abstract With a contribution of 40% to the annual global CO2-emissions, the built environment needs to drastically reduce its impact, while also providing pleasant and healthy indoor spaces and protecting people from weather extremes. Over time, particularly in western and industrialized countries, buildings have evolved to shield occupants almost completely from outdoor conditions. As a consequence, humans have become so used to a constant, comfortable indoor environment that we struggle to cope with thermal fluctuations. The time has come to shift perspective, as the very protective character of buildings and provision of omnipresent comfort are neither feasible nor desirable any longer. An enormous amount of energy and resources are spent to provide tightly controlled thermal environments, often with the same target temperature all year round. However, being mostly exposed to constant, comfortable indoor temperatures can have negative impacts on health and deteriorate our human capability to deal with thermal challenges. Importantly, spending time outside the thermal comfort zone is known to enhance human thermoregulatory capacities and thermal resilience, while also improving metabolic and cardiovascular health. This perspective essay aims to draw attention to novel and yet underrepresented avenues of coping with climate challenges, both with respect to the built environment and humans. Allowing more thermal variation indoors will save precious resources, decrease the negative impact of building CO2-footprints, and stimulate physiological and psychological adaptation in humans, which can lead to improved resilience and health.
      PubDate: 2023-09-28
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