ABSTRACT: Iran is experiencing unprecedented climate-related problems such as drying of lakes and rivers, dust storms, record-breaking temperatures, droughts, and floods. Here, we use the ensemble of five high-resolution climate models to project maximum and minimum temperatures and rainfall distribution, calculate occurrences of extreme temperatures (temperatures above and below the historical 95th and 5th percentiles, respectively), analyze compound of precipitation and temperature extremes, and determine flooding frequencies across the country. We found that compared to the period of 1980-2004, in the period of 2025-2049, Iran is likely to experience more extended periods of extreme maximum temperatures in the southern part of the country, more extended periods of dry (for ?120 days: precipitation <2?mm, Tmax ?30?°C) as well as wet (for ?3 days: total precipitation ?110?mm) conditions, and higher frequency of floods. Overall, the combination of these results projects a climate of extended dry periods interrupted by intermittent heavy rainfalls, which is a recipe for increasing the chances of floods. Without thoughtful adaptability measures, some parts of the country may face limited habitability in the future.
Project description:Severe floods triggered by intense precipitation are among the most destructive natural hazards in Alpine environments, frequently causing large financial and societal damage. Potential enhanced flood occurrence due to global climate change would thus increase threat to settlements, infrastructure, and human lives in the affected regions. Yet, projections of intense precipitation exhibit major uncertainties and robust reconstructions of Alpine floods are limited to the instrumental and historical period. Here we present a 2500-year long flood reconstruction for the European Alps, based on dated sedimentary flood deposits from ten lakes in Switzerland. We show that periods with high flood frequency coincide with cool summer temperatures. This wet-cold synchronism suggests enhanced flood occurrence to be triggered by latitudinal shifts of Atlantic and Mediterranean storm tracks. This paleoclimatic perspective reveals natural analogues for varying climate conditions, and thus can contribute to a better understanding and improved projections of weather extremes under climate change.
Project description:Climate change is expected to increase climate variability and the occurrence of extreme climatic events, with potentially devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, little is known about the role of climate extremes in structuring aquatic communities or the interplay between climate and local abiotic and biotic factors. Here, we examine the relative influence of climate and local abiotic and biotic conditions on biodiversity and community structure in lake invertebrates. We sampled aquatic invertebrates and measured environmental variables in 19 lakes throughout California, USA, to test hypotheses of the relationship between climate, local biotic and environmental conditions, and the taxonomic and functional structure of aquatic invertebrate communities. We found that, while local biotic and abiotic factors such as habitat availability and conductivity were the most consistent predictors of alpha diversity, extreme climate conditions such as maximum summer temperature and dry-season precipitation were most often associated with multivariate taxonomic and functional composition. Specifically, sites with high maximum temperatures and low dry-season precipitation housed communities containing high abundances of large predatory taxa. Furthermore, both climate dissimilarity and abiotic dissimilarity determined taxonomic turnover among sites (beta diversity). These findings suggest that while local-scale environmental variables may predict alpha diversity, climatic variability is important to consider when projecting broad-scale aquatic community responses to the extreme temperature and precipitation events that are expected for much of the world during the next century.
Project description:Background: Aquaculture in Ghana is very profitable, but faces sustainability challenges. This paper assessed the impact pathways by which climate change affects the production and profitability of small-scale aquaculture in Ghana. The study analyzed and compared the economic value of smallholder fish farms with and without the incidence of climatic parameters. Methods: Simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the study area and farms. A total of 30 farmers were interviewed using a questionnaire-based interview. Additionally, using document analysis, observation, and data on farms' production input and output values, the economic impact of climate change on fish farms was assessed. Results: Extreme temperatures, erratic rainfall, floods, drought, storm and erosion are prevalent in fish farms. Available data shows a decrease of 53.4% of small-scale revenue, a 6.9% reduction in small-scale aquaculture value from GH¢ 83,000 to GH¢ 120,000 reducing fish supply by 25%. The findings indicate that the profitability, economic value, and livelihoods of the small-scale aquaculture industry is greatly affected by changes in climate. The incidence of floods, drought, erratic rainfall, erosion, and extreme temperature synergistically induce poverty. The implication on the livelihoods of fish farming households is very alarming and poses a serious threat to food security in the country. Conclusion: Based on the findings, this study concludes that; floods, rainfall temperature, and drought are the major climatic factors affecting the profitability and sustainability of the pond aquaculture industry. The preliminary recommendation is that there is an urgent need to map out flood-free zones close to perennial water bodies to overcome floods and droughts. Planting trees around ponds to create a micro-ecologies ideal for fish culture and also the construction of water storage facilities and proper dyke design would overcome drought and erosion issues. The adaptive capacity of fish-farmers must be built.
Project description:Landslides are frequently triggered by extreme meteorological events which has led to concern and debate about their activity in a future greenhouse climate. It is also hypothesized that dry spells preceding triggering rainfall may increase slope predisposition to sliding, especially in the case of clay-rich soils. Here we combined dendrogeomorphic time series of landslides and climatic records to test the possible role of dry spells and extreme downpours on process activity in the Outer Western Carpathians (Central Europe). To this end, we tested time series of past frequencies and return periods of landslide reactivations at the regional scale with a Generalized Linear Mixed (GLM) model to explore linkages between landslide occurrences and triggering climate variables. Results show that landslide reactivations are concentrated during years in which spring and summer precipitation sums were significantly higher than usual, and that triggering mechanisms vary between different types of landslides (i.e. complex, shallow or flow-like). The GLM model also points to the susceptibility of landslide bodies to the combined occurrence of long, dry spells followed by large precipitation. Such situations are likely to increase in frequency in the future as climate models predict an enhancement of heatwaves and dry spells in future summers, that would be interrupted by less frequent, yet more intense storms, especially also in mountain regions.
Project description:Communities worldwide are increasingly affected by natural hazards such as floods, droughts, wildfires and storm-waves. However, the causes of these increases remain underexplored, often attributed to climate changes or changes in the patterns of human exposure. This paper aims to quantify the effect of climate change, as well as land cover change, on a suite of natural hazards. Changes to four natural hazards (floods, droughts, wildfires and storm-waves) were investigated through scenario-based models using land cover and climate change drivers as inputs. Findings showed that human-induced land cover changes are likely to increase natural hazards, in some cases quite substantially. Of the drivers explored, the uncontrolled spread of invasive alien trees was estimated to halve the monthly flows experienced during extremely dry periods, and also to double fire intensities. Changes to plantation forestry management shifted the 1:100 year flood event to a 1:80 year return period in the most extreme scenario. Severe 1:100 year storm-waves were estimated to occur on an annual basis with only modest human-induced coastal hardening, predominantly from removal of coastal foredunes and infrastructure development. This study suggests that through appropriate land use management (e.g. clearing invasive alien trees, re-vegetating clear-felled forests, and restoring coastal foredunes), it would be possible to reduce the impacts of natural hazards to a large degree. It also highlights the value of intact and well-managed landscapes and their role in reducing the probabilities and impacts of extreme climate events.
Project description:Inter-annual crop yield variation is driven in large parts by climate variability, wherein the climate components of temperature and precipitation often play the biggest role. Nonlinear effects of temperature on yield as well as interactions among the climate variables have to be considered. Links between climate and crop yield variability have been previously studied, both globally and at regional scales, but typically with additive models with no interactions, or when interactions were included, with implications not fully explained. In this study yearly country level yields of maize, rice, soybeans, and wheat of the top producing countries were combined with growing season temperature and SPEI (standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index) to determine interaction and intensification effects of climate variability on crop yield variability during 1961-2014. For maize, soybeans, and wheat, heat and dryness significantly reduced yields globally, while global effects for rice were not significant. But because of interactions, heat was more damaging in dry than in normal conditions for maize and wheat, and temperature effects were not significant in wet conditions for maize, soybeans, and wheat. Country yield responses to climate variability naturally differed between the top producing countries, but an accurate description of interaction effects at the country scale required sub-national data (shown only for the USA). Climate intensification, that is consecutive dry or warm years, reduced yields additionally in some cases, however, this might be linked to spillover effects of multiple growing seasons. Consequently, the effect of temperature on yields might be underestimated in dry conditions: While there were no significant global effects of temperature for maize and soybeans yields for average SPEI, the combined effects of high temperatures and drought significantly decreased yields of maize, soybeans, and wheat by 11.6, 12.4, and 9.2%, respectively.
Project description:Responses of extreme precipitation to global warming are of great importance to society and ecosystems. Although observations and climate projections indicate a general intensification of extreme precipitation with warming on global scale, there are significant variations on the regional scale, mainly due to changes in the vertical motion associated with extreme precipitation. Here, we apply quasigeostrophic diagnostics on climate-model simulations to understand the changes in vertical motion, quantifying the roles of dry (large-scale adiabatic flow) and moist (small-scale convection) dynamics in shaping the regional patterns of extreme precipitation sensitivity (EPS). The dry component weakens in the subtropics but strengthens in the middle and high latitudes; the moist component accounts for the positive centers of EPS in the low latitudes and also contributes to the negative centers in the subtropics. A theoretical model depicts a nonlinear relationship between the diabatic heating feedback (?) and precipitable water, indicating high sensitivity of ? (thus, EPS) over climatological moist regions. The model also captures the change of ? due to competing effects of increases in precipitable water and dry static stability under global warming. Thus, the dry/moist decomposition provides a quantitive and intuitive explanation of the main regional features of EPS.
Project description:The last extended time period when climate may have been warmer than today was during the Last Interglacial (LIG; ca. 129 to 120 thousand years ago). However, a global view of LIG precipitation is lacking. Here, seven new LIG climate models are compared to the first global database of proxies for LIG precipitation. In this way, models are assessed in their ability to capture important hydroclimatic processes during a different climate. The models can reproduce the proxy-based positive precipitation anomalies from the preindustrial period over much of the boreal continents. Over the Southern Hemisphere, proxy-model agreement is partial. In models, LIG boreal monsoons have 42% wider area than in the preindustrial and produce 55% more precipitation and 50% more extreme precipitation. Austral monsoons are weaker. The mechanisms behind these changes are consistent with stronger summer radiative forcing over boreal high latitudes and with the associated higher temperatures during the LIG.
Project description:Recent studies concerning the possible relationship between climate trends and the risks of violent conflict have yielded contradictory results, partly because of choices of conflict measures and modeling design. In this study, we examine climate-conflict relationships using a geographically disaggregated approach. We consider the effects of climate change to be both local and national in character, and we use a conflict database that contains 16,359 individual geolocated violent events for East Africa from 1990 to 2009. Unlike previous studies that relied exclusively on political and economic controls, we analyze the many geographical factors that have been shown to be important in understanding the distribution and causes of violence while also considering yearly and country fixed effects. For our main climate indicators at gridded 1° resolution (~100 km), wetter deviations from the precipitation norms decrease the risk of violence, whereas drier and normal periods show no effects. The relationship between temperature and conflict shows that much warmer than normal temperatures raise the risk of violence, whereas average and cooler temperatures have no effect. These precipitation and temperature effects are statistically significant but have modest influence in terms of predictive power in a model with political, economic, and physical geographic predictors. Large variations in the climate-conflict relationships are evident between the nine countries of the study region and across time periods.
Project description:Rainfall exerts a controlling influence on the availability and quality of vegetation and surface water for herbivores in African terrestrial ecosystems. We analyse temporal trends and variation in rainfall in the Maasai Mara ecosystem of East Africa and infer their implications for animal population and biodiversity dynamics. The data originated from 15 rain gauges in the Mara region (1965-2015) and one station in Narok Town (1913-2015), in Kenya's Narok County. This is the first comprehensive and most detailed analysis of changes in rainfall in the region of its kind. Our results do not support the current predictions of the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) of very likely increases of rainfall over parts of Eastern Africa. The dry season rainfall component increased during 1935-2015 but annual rainfall decreased during 1962-2015 in Narok Town. Monthly rainfall was more stable and higher in the Mara than in Narok Town, likely because the Mara lies closer to the high-precipitation areas along the shores of Lake Victoria. Predominantly deterministic and persistent inter-annual cycles and extremely stable seasonal rainfall oscillations characterize rainfall in the Mara and Narok regions. The frequency of severe droughts increased and floods intensified in the Mara but droughts became less frequent and less severe in Narok Town. The timings of extreme droughts and floods coincided with significant periodicity in rainfall oscillations, implicating strong influences of global atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns on regional rainfall variability. These changing rainfall patterns have implications for animal population dynamics. The increase in dry season rainfall during 1935-2015 possibly counterbalanced the impacts of resource scarcity generated by the declining annual rainfall during 1965-2015 in Narok Town. However, the increasing rainfall extremes in the Mara can be expected to create conditions conducive to outbreaks of infectious animal diseases and reduced vegetation quality for herbivores, particularly when droughts and floods persist over multiple years. The more extreme wet season rainfall may also alter herbivore space use, including migration patterns.