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  Subjects -> METEOROLOGY (Total: 106 journals)
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Climate Change Responses
Number of Followers: 29  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2053-7565
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Impacts of a millennium drought on butterfly faunal dynamics

    • Abstract: Background Climate change is challenging plants and animals not only with increasing temperatures, but also with shortened intervals between extreme weather events. Relatively little is known about diverse assemblages of organisms responding to extreme weather, and even less is known about landscape and life history properties that might mitigate effects of extreme weather. Our aim was to address this knowledge gap using a multi-decadal dataset of 163 butterfly species that recently experienced a millennium-scale drought. To understand faunal dynamics in the context of the millennium drought, we investigated the behavior of phenology (including date of first flight), species richness and diversity indices through time at 10 study sites spanning an elevational gradient. Linear models were developed to understand the differential sensitivity of butterflies to climate at low and high elevations. Results Dates of first flight advanced across the elevational gradient during the drought, leading to an overall expansion of the flight window at low elevations and a compression of the flight window in the mountains. The number of species observed per year increased at lower elevations but decreased at higher elevations, apparently as a consequence of extreme sensitivity to hot and dry conditions. Conclusion Montane populations may be more sensitive to climatic extremes than expected based on availability of microclimates and spatial heterogeneity, while low-elevation populations (despite existing in degraded habitats) are buffered by life history plasticity.
      PubDate: 2018-06-05
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0039-x
  • Associations between changing climate and body condition over decades in
           two southern hemisphere passerine birds

    • Abstract: Background Climate change presents considerable challenges for endotherms because they must maintain high, relatively constant body temperatures across a range of environmental conditions to ensure survival and optimise performance. Individuals exposed to changing weather must manage energy and water allocation to maintain thermal homeostasis, with consequences for body condition, and hence there is potential for selection because body condition is strongly linked to fitness. Understanding how weather drives changes in body condition is therefore fundamental to understanding how fitness is affected by climate change. Here we test for associations between weather and body condition and how this changes over time, in two co-existing species of small insectivorous passerines, the red-winged fairy-wren, Malurus elegans and white-browed scrubwren, Sericornis frontalis, that have been the subject of a ringing study for 39 years in temperate south-western Australia. The study populations have experienced increases in minimum temperatures in winter and summer as well as decreases in the frequencies of days with thermal minima < 5 °C, but the summer climate remains relatively mild with few days experiencing thermal maxima > 35 °C. Although, warming temperatures may reduce thermoregulatory costs, repeated exposure to hot conditions has been shown to have negative effects on body condition. Thus, we predict that the reduction over time in daily minima < 5 °C, along with the influence of increased maximum and minimum temperatures in summer and winter, will have positive effects on body condition. Results In accordance with thermoregulatory predictions, colder daily minima in the range 1–19 °C prior to capture were associated with reduced body condition in winter in both species. Furthermore, in summer, in fairy-wrens but not scrubwrens, warmer daily maxima were associated with increasing body condition, and repeated exposure to temperatures > 30 °C over consecutive days was negatively associated with body condition. Body condition increased over the 39 years of the study for fairy-wrens but there was no change in scrubwrens, which is consistent with observed within-season associations between body condition and weather, and the change in climate over time. Conclusions We show that associations between body condition and weather variables are complex and dynamic, with seasonal trends in body condition resulting from a balance between multiple, competing weather variables. Moreover, temporal trends in body condition over years could be predicted from the relative strength of seasonal trends and the direction and magnitude of changing climate. Because body condition is predicted to be strongly tied to both reproduction and survival, changes in climate may be having complex and far reaching consequences for demography mediated through shifts in body condition. Finally, subtle differences in the sensitivities of the species to weather variables led to different trends in condition over time which may be associated with differences in the capacity for behavioural thermoregulation. Understanding the causes of such sensitivities is vital in improving capacity to predict species responses to climate change.
      PubDate: 2018-03-27
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0038-y
  • Sensitivity analysis of a climate vulnerability index - a case study from
           Indian watershed development programmes

    • Abstract: Background This paper presents a detailed analysis of a composite Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) to examine and compare climate change vulnerability and its dimensions adaptive capacity, sensitivity and exposure. Thereby, we are mainly interested on climate change vulnerability at community-level watershed development programmes and how the different implementing agencies could help to address the problems associated with climate change in future planning and implementation. Method The primary data used for this study was obtained from household surveys (n=215) in three watershed communities of Kerala, India. We use bootstrap sampling and a leave-one-out sensitivity analysis to compare the climate vulnerability of the three examined watersheds in detail. By introducing the bootstrapping method and sensitivity analysis into the research field of climate vulnerability, the paper describes significant differences in CVI values and the influencing indicators to the overall vulnerability at the watershed community level. Results The results show that there are significant differences in the exposure and sensitivity dimensions of vulnerability even if the overall CVI shows less variability and no significant differences among the three watersheds. The sensitivity analysis emphasizes that ‘Livelihood Strategies’ and ‘Social Network’ are the most influencing major components of vulnerability. This suggests that implementing agencies should focus on these two major components in order to improve the watershed development programmes. Conclusion The bootstrapping approach is transferable to evaluate the degree of influence of indicators on a composite index like the CVI. Moreover, it allows us to evaluate the potential effectiveness of various other climate change programmes where the evaluation is commonly done by field surveys. This thereby helps to increase the credibility in the examination of the impacts of climate change at different scales in order to find key areas for better policy planning.
      PubDate: 2018-01-26
      DOI: 10.1186/s40665-018-0037-z
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