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  • 1
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    In:  Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance
    Publication Date: 2020-12-21
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-12-21
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  • 3
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    SPIEGEL-Verlag Rudolf Augstein GmbH & Co. KG
    In:  SPIEGEL Online : Wissenschaft
    Publication Date: 2021-02-01
    Description: Dramatisch übertriebene Berichte über Forschungsergebnisse können Resignation auslösen. Ein aktuelles Beispiel machte wieder Schlagzeilen – dabei war die Methode wenig aussagekräftig.
    Language: German
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: Cap-and-trade programs such as the European Union's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) expose firms to considerable risks, to which the firms can respond with hedging. We develop an intertemporal stochastic equilibrium model to analyze the implications of hedging by risk-averse firms. We show that the resulting time-varying risk premium depends on the size of the permit bank. Applying the model to the EU ETS, we find that hedging can lead to a U-shaped price path, because prices initially fall due to negative risk premiums and then rise as the hedging demand declines. The Market Stability Reserve (MSR) reduces the permit bank and thus, increases the hedging value of the permits. This offers an explanation for the recent price hike, but also implies that prices may decline in the future due to more negative risk premiums. In addition, we find higher permit cancellations through the MSR than previous analyses, which do not account for hedging.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: We analyzed the impacts of drought severity on a variety of sectors in a topographically complex basin (the upper Aragón basin 2181 km2) in the Central Spanish Pyrenees. Using diverse data sources including meteorological and hydrological observations, remote sensing and tree rings, we analyze the possible hydrological implications of drought occurrence and severity on water availability in various sectors, including downstream impacts on irrigation water supply for crop production. Results suggest varying responses in forest activity, secondary growth, plant phenology, and crop yield to drought impacts. Specifically, meteorological droughts have distinct impacts downstream, mainly due to water partitioning between streamflow and irrigation channels that transport water to crop producing areas. This implies that drought severity can extend beyond the physical boundaries of the basin, with impacts on crop productivity. This complex response to drought impacts makes it difficult to develop objective basin-scale operational definitions for monitoring drought severity. Moreover, given the high spatial variability in responses to drought across sectors, it is difficult to establish reliable drought thresholds from indices that are relevant across all socio-economic sectors. The anthropogenic impacts (e.g. water regulation projects, ecosystem services, land cover and land use changes) pose further challenges to assessing the response of different systems to drought severity. This study stresses the need to consider the seasonality of drought impacts and appropriate drought time scales to adequately assess and understand their complexity.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: Limiting global warming to “well below 2°C” as stated in the Paris Agreement requires ambitious emissions reductions from all sectors. Rapid technology cost declines in the energy sector are changing energy investment and emissions, even with the weak climate policies currently in place. We assess how energy supply costs and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) availability affect mitigation by performing a sensitivity analysis with the energy-economy-climate model REMIND. We use new scenarios with carbon price paths that aim to reduce the frequently seen temperature overshoot. Further, we measure the sensitivities of mitigation indicators to the costs of technologies across economic sectors. We assess the sensitivity to nine techno-economic parameters: the costs of wind, solar, biomass, gas, coal, oil, nuclear, and electric/hydrogen vehicles, as well as the injection rate of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). While technology costs play a role in shaping optimal pathways, we find that transport sector costs affect the economics of deep decarbonization, whereas costs of renewables are more important for scenarios under weak climate policies. This further highlights the value of renewable energy deployment as a no-regrets option in climate policy. In terms of the sensitivity of model outputs, economic indicators become more sensitive to costs than emissions, with increasing policy stringency.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: Climate change is threatening the livelihood of tea farmers in Nepal. Simultaneously,the production of tea is becoming an increasingly important economic sector for thecountry. This study aimed to reveal the adaptation behavior towards climate changeamong smallholder tea farmers, particularly which demographic, institutional, andinformation source factors are likely to influence the degree of adaptation. We collectedquantitative data in the district of Ilam via 91 farmers through a questionnaire surveyand applied descriptive statistics, multiple regression, and binary logistic regressionmodels to analyze the collected data. Findings revealed that information sources (peerexchange, internet, and training attendance), as well as institutional factors(cooperative membership and credit access), positively influenced the degree ofclimate change adaptation among the respondents. Easier credit access and joiningcooperatives could enhance the adaptative capacity of smallholder tea farmers.Improving the interaction between the Nepalese government and stakeholdersinvolved in the domestic tea value chain could also increase economic success
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: Adaptive networks change their connectivity with time, depending on their dynamical state. While synchronization in structurally static networks has been studied extensively, this problem is much more challenging for adaptive networks. In this Letter, we develop the master stability approach for a large class of adaptive networks. This approach allows for reducing the synchronization problem for adaptive networks to a low-dimensional system, by decoupling topological and dynamical properties. We show how the interplay between adaptivity and network structure gives rise to the formation of stability islands. Moreover, we report a desynchronization transition and the emergence of complex partial synchronization patterns induced by an increasing overall coupling strength. We illustrate our findings using adaptive networks of coupled phase oscillators and FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons with synaptic plasticity.
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2021-02-26
    Description: We present results from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison (GGCMI) Phase I, which aligned 14 global gridded crop models (GGCMs) and 11 climatic forcing datasets (CFDs) in order to understand how the selection of climate data affects simulated historical crop productivity of maize, wheat, rice and soybean. Results show that CFDs demonstrate mean biases and differences in the probability of extreme events, with larger uncertainty around extreme precipitation and in regions where observational data for climate and crop systems are scarce. Countries where simulations correlate highly with reported FAO national production anomalies tend to have high correlations across most CFDs, whose influence we isolate using multi-GGCM ensembles for each CFD. Correlations compare favorably with the climate signal detected in other studies, although production in many countries is not primarily climate-limited (particularly for rice). Bias-adjusted CFDs most often were among the highest model-observation correlations, although all CFDs produced the highest correlation in at least one top-producing country. Analysis of larger multi-CFD-multi-GGCM ensembles (up to 91 members) shows benefits over the use of smaller subset of models in some regions and farming systems, although bigger is not always better. Our analysis suggests that global assessments should prioritize ensembles based on multiple crop models over multiple CFDs as long as a top-performing CFD is utilized for the focus region.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2021-02-26
    Language: English
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  • 11
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    In:  International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control
    Publication Date: 2021-02-26
    Description: This paper considers the mean‐square bounded consensus of heterogeneous discrete‐time multi‐agent systems with noise over fixed and Markov switching topologies. Firstly, a protocol is designed based on the agents' neighbor information with noise. Secondly, by using the Lyapunov function method, matrix analysis and probability theory, sufficient conditions for the mean‐square bounded consensus are given. Finally, several simulations are presented to illustrate the potential correctness of the results.
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2021-02-26
    Description: There is an increasing interest to study the interactions between atmospheric electrical parameters and living organisms at multiple scales. So far, relatively few studies have been published that focus on possible biological effects of atmospheric electric and magnetic fields. To foster future work in this area of multidisciplinary research, here we present a glossary of relevant terms. Its main purpose is to facilitate the process of learning and communication among the different scientific disciplines working on this topic. While some definitions come from existing sources, other concepts have been re-defined to better reflect the existing and emerging scientific needs of this multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary area of research.
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  • 13
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    In:  International Migration Review
    Publication Date: 2021-02-26
    Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global human mobility dynamics. This IMR Dispatch examines the historical, bidirectional links between pandemics and mobility and provides an early analysis of how they unfolded during the first nine months of the COVID-19 emergency. Results show, first, that international travel restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus are not a panacea in and of themselves. Second, our analysis demonstrates that the pandemic, government responses, and resulting economic impacts can lead to the involuntary immobility of at-risk populations, such as aspiring asylum-seekers or survival migrants. In a similar fashion, stay-at-home measures have posed dire challenges for those workers who lack options to work from home, as well as for migrants living in precarious, crowded circumstances. Moreover, global economic contraction has increased involuntary immobility by reducing both people’s resources to move and the demand for labor. Third, we show that people’s attempts to protect themselves from the virus can result in shifting patterns of mobility, such as increases in cross-border return migration and urban-to-rural movements. Drawing on international guidance for measures to combat pandemics and relevant frameworks on mobility, we propose approaches to alleviate the burden of travel restrictions on migrants and people aspiring to move, while still addressing the need to contain the pandemic and lessen its repercussions.
    Language: English
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: Open quantum systems with Markovian dynamics can be described by the Lindblad equation. The quantity governing the dynamics is the Lindblad superoperator. We apply random-matrix theory to this superoperator to elucidate its spectral properties. The distribution of eigenvalues and the correlations of neighboring eigenvalues are obtained for the cases of purely unitary dynamics, pure dissipation, and the physically realistic combination of unitary and dissipative dynamics. The theory of ensembles of random matrices has proved useful in understanding the energy spectra of complex closed quantum systems, such as heavy atomic nuclei and classically chaotic billiards. In these cases, the Hamiltonian describing the system is drawn from a suitable random-matrix ensemble. More recently, it has been realized that random-matrix theory can also shed light on open quantum systems. Their dynamics is not described by a Hamiltonian but by a so-called Lindblad generator. Using random-matrix ensembles suitable for the Lindblad generator, we study its spectral properties, which are important for the dynamics of open quantum systems.
    Language: English
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  • 15
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    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and International Organization for Migration (IOM)
    Publication Date: 2021-02-22
    Description: People across Peru are vulnerable and exposed to a wide range of hazards, and studies demonstrate that these hazards are key drivers of migration in the country. Hydrometeorological hazards resulting in excessive amounts of water (in such forms as torrential rainfalls and floods) – or the lack thereof (in the form of, for example, drought or glacier retreat) – are particularly salient to migration. Climate change has intensified these hazards and will continue to do so, possibly resulting in new and unparalleled impacts on migration. IOM and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have partnered to produce this report, which seeks to shed light on the available evidence on the environment, climate change and migration nexus in Peru. The study puts into perspective various climate risks and hazards that affect communities in the country’s main topographical zones: the coast, the highlands, and the rainforest or jungle. The report provides a systematic review of the complex interaction between climate and other factors driving migration in the country. It discusses the necessity to understand climate migration patterns and improve planning and policies in the short term to the mid-term, in view of several “no-analog threats” – that is, those with unprecedented, large impacts – that could occur towards the end of the century.
    Language: English
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2021-02-22
    Description: Too Much, Too Little Water (policy brief) People across Peru are vulnerable and exposed to a wide range of hazards, and studies demonstrate that these hazards are key drivers of migration in the country. Hydrometeorological hazards resulting in excessive amounts of water (in such forms as torrential rainfalls and floods) – or the lack thereof (such as drought or glacier retreat) – are particularly salient to migration. Climate change has intensified these hazards and will continue to do so, possibly resulting in new and unparalleled impacts on migration. This policy brief, based on a systematic review of the literature and expert interviews, assesses available scientific evidence on the nexus between climate risks and migration in Peru. It discusses the necessity to understand climate migration patterns and improve planning and policies in the short term to the mid-term, in view of several “no-analog threats” – that is, those with unprecedented, large impacts – that could occur towards the end of the century. Recent policy developments in the country, such as the National Plan of Action on Climate Migration and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), can break new ground in addressing these challenges.
    Language: english
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2021-02-25
    Description: This paper studies the delay-dependent consensus problem of heterogeneous multi-agent systems over directed topology. The heterogeneous dynamics consisting of both first-order and second-order agents with random time delay are considered. New distributed control protocols based on the probability distribution of time delay are proposed for the leader-following and leaderless systems. By adopting matrix theory, Lyapunov-Krasovskii function and stochastic analysis, some less conservative conditions for the mean-square consensus are established over directed fixed topology and switching topologies. Moreover, the larger upper bounds of time delay are obtained. Finally, several simulations are presented to illustrate the obtained results.
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2021-03-02
    Description: Agricultural insurance is considered a promising instrument to manage climate risks and to enhance the food security of smallholder farmers. However, despite some positive evidence that insurance positively affects farmers' production strategies, consumption smoothing, asset protection, and asset recovery, the specific effect of insurance on farm households' dietary diversity is largely unexplored. Often, positive effects on dietary diversity are presumed through income gains that might arise from investment returns of profitable production activities and cash gains from payouts. We argue that there exist multiple other causal mechanisms through which insurance may even negatively influence farm households’ dietary diversity. The current article elaborates these mechanisms and provides recommendations on ways to avoid unintended negative effects on dietary diversity which should be taken into account by governments and donors if they continue to further promote insurance.
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  • 19
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    In:  Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
    Publication Date: 2021-03-04
    Description: Urban growth can take different forms, such as infill, expansion, and leapfrog development. Here we focus on leapfrogging, which is characterised as new urban development bypassing vacant land. Analysing a sample of 100 global locations, we study the probability that land cover is converted from non-urban to urban as a function of the minimum distance to existing urban cells. The probability decreases with the distance but in many of the considered real-world samples it increases again just before the maximum possible distance. Comparing these empirical findings with numerical ones from a gravitational model, we discover that the characteristic increase can be found in both. Our results indicate that the conversion probability as a function of the distance to urban land cover includes three urban growth domains. (i) Expansion of existing settlements, (ii) discontinuous development of coincidental new settlements rather close to existing ones, and (iii) leapfrogging of new settlements far away from existing ones. We conclude that gravitational effects can explain discontinuous development but leapfrogging can be attributed to a scarcity of developable land at long distances to settlements.
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  • 20
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    Capitol Hill Publishing Group
    In:  The Hill | Opinion : Energy & Evironment
    Publication Date: 2021-03-03
    Language: English
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2021-03-08
    Language: English
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2021-03-08
    Description: How Global Gridded Crop Models (GGCMs) differ in their simulation of potential yield and reasons for those differences have never been assessed. The GGCM Inter-comparison (GGCMI) offers a good framework for this assessment. Here, we built an emulator (called SMM for Simple Mechanistic Model) of GGCMs based on generic and simplified formalism. The SMM equations describe crop phenology by a sum of growing degree days, canopy radiation absorption by the Beer-Lambert law, and its conversion into aboveground biomass by a radiation use efficiency (RUE). We fitted the parameters of this emulator against gridded aboveground maize biomass at the end of the growing season simulated by eight different GGCMs in a given year (2000). Our assumption is that the simple set of equations of SMM, after calibration, could reproduce the response of most GGCMs, so that differences between GGCMs can be attributed to the parameters related to processes captured by the emulator. Despite huge differences between GGCMs, we show that if we fit both a parameter describing the thermal requirement for leaf emergence by adjusting its value to each grid-point in space, as done by GGCM modellers following the GGCMI protocol, and a GGCM-dependent globally uniform RUE, then the simple set of equations of the SMM emulator is sufficient to reproduce the spatial distribution of the original aboveground biomass simulated by most GGCMs. The grain filling is simulated in SMM by considering a fixed in time fraction of net primary productivity allocated to the grain (frac) once a threshold in leaves number (nthresh) is reached. Once calibrated, these two parameters allow to capture the relationship between potential yield and final aboveground biomass of each GGCM. It is particularly important as the divergence among GGCMs is larger for yield than for aboveground biomass. Thus, we showed that the divergence between GGCMs can be summarized by the differences in few parameters. Our simple but mechanistic model could also be an interesting tool to test new developments in order to improve the simulation of potential yield at the global scale.
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  • 23
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    Bruegel Think Tank
    In:  Policy Contribution
    Publication Date: 2021-03-11
    Description: Putting carbon pricing at the centre of the EU climate policy architecture would provide major benefits. Obtaining these benefits requires a uniform, credible and durable carbon price – the economic first-best solution, however, several preconditions required to attain this solution are not yet met. This paper proposes a sequenced approach to ensure convergence of the policy mix on the first-best in the long run.
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2021-03-11
    Description: Stalagmites are an extraordinarily powerful resource for the reconstruction of climatological palaeoseasonality. Here, we provide a review of different types of seasonality preserved by stalagmites and methods for extracting this information. A new drip classification scheme is introduced, which facilitates the identification of stalagmites fed by seasonally responsive drips and which highlights the wide variability in drip types feeding stalagmites. This hydrological variability, combined with seasonality in Earth atmospheric processes, meteoric precipitation, biological processes within the soil, and cave atmosphere composition means that every stalagmite retains a different and distinct (but correct) record of environmental conditions. Replication of a record is extremely useful but should not be expected unless comparing stalagmites affected by the same processes in the same proportion. A short overview of common microanalytical techniques is presented, and suggested best practice discussed. In addition to geochemical methods, a new modelling technique for extracting meteoric precipitation and temperature palaeoseasonality from stalagmite δ18O data is discussed and tested with both synthetic and real-world datasets. Finally, world maps of temperature, meteoric precipitation amount, and meteoric precipitation oxygen isotope ratio seasonality are presented and discussed, with an aim of helping to identify regions most sensitive to shifts in seasonality.
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2021-03-16
    Description: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to strongly affect global energy systems. Global power sector CO2 emissions have shown a substantial decline, thanks to (a) the COVID-19-induced economic downturn and resulting reduction of electricity demand and (b) a decrease of carbon intensity of power generation as coal generation is decreased most strongly. These effects illustrate the opportunity for different policies to support a structural and accelerating decline of power sector emissions.
    Language: English
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  • 26
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    In:  American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
    Publication Date: 2021-03-16
    Description: Climate change not only impacts production and market consumption but also the relative scarcity of nonmarket goods, such as environmen-tal amenities. We study fundamental drivers of the resulting relative price changes, their potential magnitude, and their implications for climate policy in Nordhaus’s Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy (DICE) model, thereby addressing one of its key criticisms. We pro-pose plausible ranges for these relative prices changes based on best available evidence. Our central calibration reveals that accounting for relative prices is equivalent to decreasing pure time preference by 0.6 percentage points and leads to a more than 50 percent higher social cost of carbon.
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2021-03-23
    Description: We develop a model of optimal carbon taxation and redistribution taking into account horizontal equity concerns by considering heterogeneous energy efficiencies. By deriving first- and second-best rules for policy instruments including carbon taxes, transfers and energy subsidies, we then investigate analytically how horizontal equity is considered in the social welfare maximizing tax structure. We calibrate the model to German household data and a 30 percent emission reduction goal. Our results show that energy-intensive households should receive more redistributive resources than energy-efficient households if and only if social inequality aversion is sufficiently high. We further find that redistribution of carbon tax revenue via household-specific transfers is the first-best policy. Equal per-capita transfers do not suffer from informational problems, but increase mitigation costs by around 15 percent compared to the first-best for unity inequality aversion. Adding renewable energy subsidies or non-linear energy subsidies, reduces mitigation costs further without relying on observability of households’ energy efficiency.
    Language: English
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2021-03-23
    Description: We develop a model of optimal carbon taxation and redistribution taking into account horizontal equity concerns by considering heterogeneous energy efficiencies. By deriving first- and second-best rules for policy instruments including carbon taxes, transfers and energy subsidies, we then investigate analytically how horizontal equity is considered in the social welfare maximizing tax structure. We calibrate the model to German household data and a 30 percent emission reduction goal. Our results show that energy-intensive households should receive more redistributive resources than energy-efficient households if and only if social inequality aversion is sufficiently high. We further find that redistribution of carbon tax revenue via household-specific transfers is the first-best policy. Equal per-capita transfers do not suffer from informational problems, but increase mitigation costs by around 15 percent compared to the first- best for unity inequality aversion. Adding renewable energy subsidies or non-linear energy subsidies, reduces mitigation costs further without relying on observability of households’ energy efficiency.
    Language: English
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2021-03-25
    Description: Terrestrial water storage (TWS) modulates the hydrological cycle and is a key determinant of water availability and an indicator of drought. While historical TWS variations have been increasingly studied, future changes in TWS and the linkages to droughts remain unexamined. Here, using ensemble hydrological simulations, we show that climate change could reduce TWS in many regions, especially those in the Southern Hemisphere. Strong inter-ensemble agreement indicates high confidence in the projected changes that are driven primarily by climate forcing rather than land and water management activities. Declines in TWS translate to increases in future droughts. By the late twenty-first century, the global land area and population in extreme-to-exceptional TWS drought could more than double, each increasing from 3% during 1976–2005 to 7% and 8%, respectively. Our findings highlight the importance of climate change mitigation to avoid adverse TWS impacts and increased droughts, and the need for improved water resource management and adaptation.
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  • 30
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    In:  Energy Economics
    Publication Date: 2021-03-25
    Description: Well-intended preannounced carbon mitigation policies can lead to adverse impacts such as the green paradox. This paper examines conditions impacting the prevalence of this phenomenon, when suppliers of carbon-free energy, similarly to carbon suppliers, can anticipate the implementation of preannounced carbon regulation. Neglecting the interim build-up of carbon-free capacity that responds to preannounced climate policies over-estimates the green paradox. For EU-2020 and US-2022 calibrated biofuel mandating targets, simulations point to a robust 0.4–0.6% decline in premandate global crude oil supply, suggesting that concerns over the green paradox may have been overstated. Mandate designs to mitigate the green paradox are also examined. Initially mild targets that are complemented by increasingly stringent ones are more effective at curbing the green paradox than ambitious but delayed targets.
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  • 31
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    In:  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
    Publication Date: 2021-03-25
    Description: Many biological systems possess confined structures, which produce novel influences on the dynamics. Here, stochastic resonance (SR) in a triple cavity that consists of three units and is subjected to noise, periodic force and vertical constance force is studied, by calculating the spectral amplification η numerically. Meanwhile, SR in the given triple cavity and differences from other structures are explored. First, it is found that the cavity parameters can eliminate or regulate the maximum of η and the noise intensity that induces this maximum. Second, compared to a double cavity with similar maximum/minimum widths and distances between two maximum widths as the triple cavity, η in the triple one shows a larger maximum. Next, the conversion of the natural boundary in the pure potential to the reflection boundary in the triple cavity will create the necessity of a vertical force to induce SR and lead to a decrease in the maximum of η. In addition, η monotonically decreases with the increase of the vertical force and frequency of the periodic force, while it presents several trends when increasing the periodic force’s amplitude for different noise intensities. Finally, our studies are extended to the impact of fractional Gaussian noise excitations. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Vibrational and stochastic resonance in driven nonlinear systems (part 2)’.
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2021-04-01
    Description: In this paper, synchronization of coupled memristive competitive bidirectional associative memory (BAM) neural networks with different time scales is discussed. Two kinds of feedback controllers are designed such that the response system and the drive system can reach synchronization. By using the differential inclusions theory, and constructing a proper Lyapunov–Krasovskii functional, novel sufficient conditions are obtained to achieve asymptotical synchronization of competitive BAM neural networks. The proposed synchronization can be easily realized. An illustrative example is given to show the feasibility of our theoretical results.
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2021-04-01
    Description: Elizabeth Ferris’ review of research on environmental change and human mobility in this colloquium points to the important role that development actors play in identifying potential solutions for affected persons. She mentions in particular the work of the World Bank’s Climate Change Group and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD). Such mobility is indeed a critical issue from a development perspective, as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. Goals 10.7. and 13 encourage states to ‘facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people’ and demand ‘urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’, with a focus on enhancing mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction practices. The World Bank’s development goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity further recognize the need to build capacity in these areas.
    Language: English
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2021-04-12
    Language: English
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2021-04-23
    Description: Elevated annual average temperature has been found to impact macro-economic growth. However, various fundamental elements of the economy are affected by deviations of daily temperature from seasonal expectations which are not well reflected in annual averages. Here we show that increases in seasonally adjusted day-to-day temperature variability reduce macro-economic growth independent of and in addition to changes in annual average temperature. Combining observed day-to-day temperature variability with subnational economic data for 1,537 regions worldwide over 40 years in fixed-effects panel models, we find that an extra degree of variability results in a five percentage-point reduction in regional growth rates on average. The impact of day-to-day variability is modulated by seasonal temperature difference and income, resulting in highest vulnerability in low-latitude, low-income regions (12 percentage-point reduction). These findings illuminate a new, global-impact channel in the climate–economy relationship that demands a more comprehensive assessment in both climate and integrated assessment models.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2021-04-19
    Description: While the short-term economic impacts of extreme weather events are well documented, little is known about their impacts and transmission channels on economic growth in the long run. Using panel data regressions and national shares of people exposed to tropical cyclones and fluvial floods as exogenous predictors, we find output growth losses from severe tropical cyclones and fluvial floods to accumulate to −6.5% and −5.0% over 15 years, respectively. We further observe a strongly non-linear increase of these losses with disaster intensity. To understand how the observed impacts depend on the countries’ development level, we implement a country-specific regression framework. While we find evidence that higher development can prevent economic growth losses from fluvial floods, this is not the case for tropical cyclones. Further, we systematically study the economic and non-economic transmission channels through which these events impact on economic growth in the long run. We find that rising household consumption and government expenditure are the main growth-loss mitigating channels, whereas rising investment is the main growth-loss amplifying channel in the period 1971–2010.
    Language: English
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2021-04-19
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2021-04-22
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2021-04-21
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2021-04-21
    Description: Agriculture is vastly impacted by climate change which leads to the situation of food security or insecurity at both regional and global levels. Pakistan is predicted to go through an area reduction and geographical shifting of major crops in the near future. The present study asseses the potential future distribution of Wheat and Maize in Pakistan. Based on current location of these crops, Maxent species distribution model is used to predict future changes in crop distribution. 58 presence records for wheat and 48 presence records for maize are used. Model is simulated for current and future climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) using CMIP5 model, MPI-ESM-LR. Results from the model show a decline in production area, where wheat undergoes 30% to 35% reduction and maize 23% to 36% reduction depending upon climate change scenarios, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. The model predictions are highly accurate with test AUC values of 0.88 for wheat and 0.89 for maize which are higher than 0.5 of a null-model. A Jackknife test for variable importance indicates that irrigation, precipitation seasonality and precipitation of warmest quarter are the most important environmental variables determining the potential geographic distribution of the crops. Due to the varying severity and nature of climate impacts, adaptation strategies are needed. The study can aid policy makers in devising policies which can help reduce the threat of future food insecurity in the region.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2021-04-27
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2021-04-27
    Description: Despite Germany’s Paris Agreement pledge and coal exit legislation, the political debate around carbon-intensive coal remains heated. Coal power and mining have played an important, yet changing role in the history of German politics. In this paper, we analyze the entire parliamentary debate on coal in the German parliament (Bundestag) from its inception in 1949 to 2019. For this purpose we extract the more than 870,000 parliamentary speeches from all protocols in the history of the Bundestag. We identify the 9167 speeches mentioning coal and apply dynamic topic modeling – an unsupervised machine learning technique that reveals the changing thematic structure of large document collections over time – to analyze changes in parliamentary debates on coal over the past 70 years. The trends in topics and their varying internal structure reflect how energy policy was discussed and legitimized over time: Initially, coal was framed as a driver of economic prosperity and guarantee of energy security. In recent years, the debate evolved towards energy transition, coal phase-out and renewable energy expansion. Germany’s smaller and younger parties, the Greens and the Left Party, debate coal more often in the context of the energy transition and climate protection than other parties. Our results reflect trends in other countries and other fields of energy policy. Methodologically, our study illustrates the potential of and need for computational methods to analyze vast corpora of text and to complement traditional social science methods.
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  • 43
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    In:  Demografischer Wandel und Wirtschaft | Demografie und Wirtschaft
    Publication Date: 2021-05-05
    Description: Das Kapitel beschäftigt sich mit den Wechselwirkungen zwischen der Umwelt, klimatischen Veränderungen und demografischen Prozessen. Nach einer kurzen Einführung in die Thematik und einer Vorstellung zentraler Konzepte in Abschn. 9.2.1 wird in Abschn. 9.2.2 der anthropogene Einfluss auf Umwelt und Klima diskutiert. Insbesondere wird auf die Rolle sich verändernder Bevölkerungen sowie sich wandelnder Konsummuster eingegangen. Der anschließende Abschn. 9.3 behandelt im Schwerpunkt die Folgen des Klimawandels auf Bevölkerungen, wobei ein besonderer Fokus auf die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Ungleichheit, Ernährungssicherheit und Gesundheit sowie Konflikte und Migration gelegt wird. Dieser Abschnitt behandelt auch ausführlich empirische Analysen und Forschungsergebnisse aus der jüngeren Literatur. Der Klimawandel und seine Folgen werden stark von menschlichem Verhalten bedingt. Abschn. 9.4 beschäftigt sich abschließend mit der Frage, wie sich unser Klima in Zukunft verändern wird und durch welche Maßnahmen eine weitere Verschlechterung der Bedingungen vermieden werden kann bzw. welche Möglichkeiten für Bevölkerungen bestehen, sich an die sich verändernden Bedingungen anzupassen.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2021-05-05
    Description: Changes in atmospheric circulation under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations are important because of their implications for weather extremes and associated societal risks. However, uncertainties in models and future projections are still large and drivers behind circulation changes are not well understood. Particularly for Europe, a potential weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is considered important as it affects SST patterns and ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes and, subsequently, European climate. Here we detect and characterize changes in atmospheric circulation patterns over the North Atlantic under increasing CO2 concentrations in simulations of a very high-resolution, fully-coupled, climate model (CM2.6) with a realistic representation of the AMOC. We use an objective clustering technique (Self-Organizing Maps) and validate the model’s clusters against reanalysis data. We compare the frequency of those patterns in a CO2 doubling experiment, characterized by an AMOC decline, with those in a pre-industrial run, and find statistically significant changes. The most robust findings are (1) a ~30% increase in zonal flow regimes in February, relevant for flood risk in northwestern Europe, and (2) a ~60% increase in anticyclonic (high-pressure) circulation directly west of the UK in August, relevant for western and central European drought. A robust decrease in the frequency of Scandinavian Blocking is also seen across most months and seasons. Despite the uncertainties regarding atmospheric circulation response to climate change, our findings contribute to the increasing evidence for the emergence of robust high-impact changes over Europe.
    Language: English
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2021-05-05
    Description: In the past years, there has been an increasing number of applications of functional climate networks to studying the spatiotemporal organization of heavy rainfall events or similar types of extreme behavior in some climate variable of interest. Nearly all existing studies have employed the concept of event synchronization (ES) to statistically measure similarity in the timing of events at different grid points. Recently, it has been pointed out that this measure can however lead to biases in the presence of events that are heavily clustered in time. Here, we present an analysis of the effects of event declustering on the resulting functional climate network properties describing spatio- temporal patterns of heavy rainfall events during the South American monsoon season based on ES and a conceptually similar method, event coincidence analysis (ECA). As examples for widely employed local (per-node) network characteristics of different type, we study the degree, local clustering coefficient and average link distance patterns, as well as their mutual interdependency, for three different values of the link density. Our results demonstrate that the link density can markedly affect the resulting spatial patterns. Specifically, we find the qualitative inversion of the degree pattern with rising link density in one of the studied settings. To our best knowledge, such crossover behavior has not been described before in event synchrony based networks. In addition, declustering relieves differences between ES and ECA based network properties in some measures while not in others. This underlines the need for a careful choice of the methodological settings in functional climate network studies of extreme events and associated interpretation of the obtained results, especially when higher-order network properties are considered.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2021-05-03
    Description: Background Bangladesh has experienced rapid reductions in child undernutrition and poverty, increases in maternal education, and dietary change over the past 3 decades. Objective We aimed to quantify the determinants of the improvement in child nutritional status among preschool-aged children in Bangladesh from 1992 to 2005. Methods We utilized data from 4 rounds of 2 linked and seasonally balanced survey systems: the Bangladesh Household [Income and] Expenditure Surveys (H[I]ES) and the Child [and Mother] Nutrition Survey (C[M]NS). We analyzed 10,780 children aged 6–59 mo, divided into 2 age groups (6–23 mo and 24–59 mo). We used Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to assess the impact of changing determinants on nutritional status over time, guided by the UNICEF conceptual framework for the causes of child malnutrition. Results There were significant improvements in child growth over time for all z-score measures—length/height-for-age (LAZ/HAZ), weight-for-length/height (WLZ/WHZ), and weight-for-age (WAZ)—and in many potential determinants of child growth across domains of the UNICEF framework. Among younger children, decomposition explained 67% of the observed change in LAZ, 130% of WLZ, and 73% of WAZ. Among older children, decomposition explained 41% of the observed change in HAZ and 36% of WAZ. Drivers varied, with improvements in care of children as the only driver in both age groups and for all growth measures. Declines in disease prevalence drove improvements in weight-based measures. For younger children, household diets and household environments were significant drivers of improvement in LAZ and WAZ. For older children, increasing income was the largest driver of HAZ and WAZ. Conclusions Increasing income did not independently drive improvements for younger children but drove improved growth among children aged 2–4 y. This points to the need to focus on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to decrease child undernutrition in the vulnerable first 1000 days of life.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2021-05-03
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2021-05-03
    Description: Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are currently embroiled in a politically charged conflict that surrounds the soon-to-be-completed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), with Ethiopia’s energy objectives purportedly conflicting with the water needs in Sudan and Egypt. Here we show that the multiple political and environmental challenges that surround GERD could be mitigated by explicitly coupling its operation to variable solar and wind power, which would create an incentive for Ethiopia to retain a seasonality in the Blue Nile flow. We found that this could deliver fivefold benefits across the three countries: decarbonizing power generation in the Eastern Africa Power Pool; allowing compliance with Sudan’s environmental flow needs; optimizing GERD’s infrastructure use; harmonizing the yearly refilling schedules of GERD and Egypt’s High Aswan Dam; and supporting a strong diversification of Ethiopian power generation for domestic use and for Eastern Africa Power Pool exports. These results argue for an explicit integration of complementary hydro, solar and wind power strategies in GERD operation and Eastern Africa Power Pool expansion planning.
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  • 49
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    In:  European Physical Journal - Special Topics
    Publication Date: 2021-05-03
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2021-05-10
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2021-05-17
    Language: English
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2021-05-28
    Description: Process-based integrated assessment models (IAMs) project long-term transformation pathways in energy and land-use systems under what-if assumptions. IAM evaluation is necessary to improve the models’ usefulness as scientific tools applicable in the complex and contested domain of climate change mitigation. We contribute the first comprehensive synthesis of process-based IAM evaluation research, drawing on a wide range of examples across six different evaluation methods including historical simulations, stylised facts, and model diagnostics. For each evaluation method, we identify progress and milestones to date, and draw out lessons learnt as well as challenges remaining. We find that each evaluation method has distinctive strengths, as well as constraints on its application. We use these insights to propose a systematic evaluation framework combining multiple methods to establish the appropriateness, interpretability, credibility, and relevance of process-based IAMs as useful scientific tools for informing climate policy. We also set out a programme of evaluation research to be mainstreamed both within and outside the IAM community.
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2021-05-28
    Description: The study of the maximum number of consecutive dry days (MCDDs) is one approach to analyze precipitation behavior in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran. This study is a first attempt to investigate the MCDDs and their relationship with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in winter months over Iran. The study was carried out using Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data on a daily basis at 1° latitude × 1° longitude spatial resolution and reanalysis data for the period 1998–2019. Results showed that the highest values of MCDDs are observed in southeastern Iran and the lowest in northwestern Iran. Based on the coefficients of the linear trend of the MCDDs, the significant increasing trends are remarkably more abundant than declining trends, especially in the northern half of the country in December and January. The results regarding the relationship between ENSO and MCDDs indicated a non-stationary behavior, with a significant negative correlation for December (especially in the southwest) and positive correlation for January and February (especially in the southeast). The largest differences in the correlation coefficients were observed between December and January. In general, during El Niño (La Niña) phases, the length of MCDDs decreases (increases) in December and increases (decreases) in January especially in the southern half. By comparing different large-scale climate parameters for the 2 months, we found that during El Niño (La Niña) phases, a negative (positive) anomaly of geopotential height and a positive (negative) anomaly of zonal wind and specific humidity are observed over the region in December, while the opposite situation occurs in January. The innovation of this study is the use of satellite data that provide a continuous spatial coverage of the region and the consideration of the ENSO teleconnection pattern in regards to dry spells. We find that El Niño (La Niña) has contradictory effects on MCDDs in different winter months in the southern half of the country. These findings are of great importance for a country like Iran that lies in arid and semi-arid regions, as they can be useful for water resources management.
    Language: English
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2021-05-28
    Description: The EU Green Deal calls for climate neutrality by 2050 and emission reductions of 50–55% in 2030 in comparison to 1990. Achieving these reductions requires a substantial tightening of the regulations of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). This paper explores how the power sector would have to change in reaction to a tighter EU ETS target, and analyses the technological and economic implications. To cover the major ETS sectors, we combine a detailed power sector model with a marginal-abatement cost curve representation of industry emission abatement. We find that tightening the target would speed up the transformation by 3–17 years for different parts of the electricity system, with renewables contributing 74% of the electricity in 2030, EU-wide coal use almost completely phased-out by 2030 instead of 2045, and zero electricity generation emissions reached by 2040. Carbon prices within the EU ETS would more than triple to 129€/tCO2 in 2030, reducing cumulated power sector emissions from 2017 to 2057 by 54% compared to a scenario with the current target. This transformation would come at limited costs: total discounted power system costs would only increase by 5%. We test our findings against a number of sensitivities: an increased electricity demand, which might arise from sector coupling, increases deployment of wind and solar and prolongs gas usage. Not allowing transmission expansion beyond 2020 levels shifts investments from wind to PV, hydrogen and batteries, and increases total system costs by 3%. Finally, the unavailability of fossil carbon capture and storage (CCS) or further nuclear investments does not impact results. Unavailability of bioenergy-based CCS (BECCS) has a visible impact (18% increase) on cumulated power sector emissions, thus shifting more of the mitigation burden to the industry sector, but does not increase electricity prices or total system costs (〈1% increase).
    Language: English
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2021-05-28
    Description: The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is an important component of the tropical rain belt. Climate models continue to struggle to adequately represent the ITCZ and differ substantially in its simulated response to climate change. Here we employ complex network approaches, which extract spatio-temporal variability patterns from climate data, to better understand differences in the dynamics of the ITCZ in state-of-the-art global circulation models (GCMs). For this purpose, we 5 study simulations with 14 GCMs in an idealized slab-ocean aquaplanet setup from TRACMIP – the Tropical Rain belts with an Annual cycle and a Continent Model Intercomparison Project. We construct network representations based on the spatial correlation pattern of monthly surface temperature anomalies and study the zonal mean patterns of different topological and spatial network characteristics. Specifically, we cluster the GCMs by means of their zonal network measure distribution utilizing hierarchical clustering. We find that in the control simulation, the zonal network measure distribution is able to pick 10 up model differences in the tropical SST contrast, the ITCZ position and the strength of the Southern Hemisphere Hadley cell. Although we do not find evidence for consistent modifications in the network structure tracing the response of the ITCZ to global warming in the considered model ensemble, our analysis demonstrates that coherent variations of the global SST field are linked with ITCZ dynamics. This suggests that climate networks can provide a new perspective on ITCZ dynamics and model differences therein.
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2021-05-28
    Description: Heterogeneous data, different definitions and incompatible models are a huge problem in many domains, with no exception for the field of energy systems analysis. Hence, it is hard to re-use results, compare model results or couple models at all. Ontologies provide a precisely defined vocabulary to build a common and shared conceptualisation of the energy domain. Here, we present the Open Energy Ontology (OEO) developed for the domain of energy systems analysis. Using the OEO provides several benefits for the community. First, it enables consistent annotation of large amounts of data from various research projects. One example is the Open Energy Platform (OEP). Adding such annotations makes data semantically searchable, exchangeable, re-usable and interoperable. Second, computational model coupling becomes much easier. The advantages of using an ontology such as the OEO are demonstrated with three use cases: data representation, data annotation and interface homogenisation. We also describe how the ontology can be used for linked open data (LOD).
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Livestock is important for livelihoods of millions of people across the world and yet climate change risk and impacts assessments are predominantly on cropping systems. Climate change has significant impacts on Net Primary Production (NPP) which is a grassland dynamics indicator. This study aimed to analyze the spatio-temporal changes of NPP under climate scenario RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 in the grassland of Tanzania by 2050 and link this to potential for key livestock species. To this end, a regression model to estimate NPP was developed based on temperature (T), precipitation (P) and evapotranspiration (ET) during the period 2001–2019. NPP fluctuation maps under future scenarios were produced as difference maps of the current (2009–2019) and future (2050). The vulnerable areas whose NPP is mostly likely to get affected by climate change in 2050 were identified. The number of livestock units in grasslands was estimated according to NPP in grasslands of Tanzania at the Provincial levels. The results indicate the mean temperature and evapotranspiration are projected to increase under both emission scenarios while precipitation will decrease. NPP is significantly positively correlated with Tmax and ET and projected increases in these variables will be beneficial to NPP under climate change. Increases of 17% in 2050 under RCP8.5 scenario are projected, with the southern parts of the country projected to have the largest increase in NPP. The southwest areas showed a decreasing trend in mean NPP of 27.95% (RCP2.6) and 13.43% (RCP8.5). The highest decrease would occur in the RCP2.6 scenario in Ruvuma Province, by contrast, the mean NPP value in the western, eastern, and central parts would increase in 2050 under both Scenarios, the largest increase would observe in Kilimanjaro, Dar-Es-Salaam and Dodoma Provinces. It was found that the number of grazing livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats will increase in the Tanzania grasslands under both climate scenarios. As the grassland ecosystems under intensive exploitation are fragile ecosystems, a combination of improving grassland productivity and grassland conservation under environmental pressures such as climate change should be considered for sustainable grassland management.
    Language: English
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The Indian summer monsoon is an integral part of the global climate system. As its seasonal rainfall plays a crucial role in India's agriculture and shapes many other aspects of life, it affects the livelihood of a fifth of the world's population. It is therefore highly relevant to assess its change under potential future climate change. Global climate models within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP-5) indicated a consistent increase in monsoon rainfall and its variability under global warming. Since the range of the results of CMIP-5 was still large and the confidence in the models was limited due to partly poor representation of observed rainfall, the updates within the latest generation of climate models in CMIP-6 are of interest. Here, we analyse 32 models of the latest CMIP-6 exercise with regard to their annual mean monsoon rainfall and its variability. All of these models show a substantial increase in June-to-September (JJAS) mean rainfall under unabated climate change (SSP5-8.5) and most do also for the other three Shared Socioeconomic Pathways analyzed (SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0). Moreover, the simulation ensemble indicates a linear dependence of rainfall on global mean temperature with high agreement between the models and independent of the SSP; the multi-model mean for JJAS projects an increase of 0.33 mm/day and 5.3 % per degree of global warming. This is significantly higher than in the CMIP-5 projections. Most models project that the increase will contribute to the precipitation especially in the Himalaya region and to the northeast of the Bay of Bengal, as well as the west coast of India. Interannual variability is found to be increasing in the higher-warming scenarios by almost all models. The CMIP-6 simulations largely confirm the findings from CMIP-5 models, but show an increased robustness across models with reduced uncertainties and updated magnitudes towards a stronger increase in monsoon rainfall.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: In real systems, the unpredictable jump changes of the random environment can induce the critical transitions (CTs) between two non-adjacent states, which are more catastrophic. Taking an asymmetric Lévy-noise-induced tri-stable model with desirable, sub-desirable, and undesirable states as a prototype class of real systems, a prediction of the noise-induced CTs from the desirable state directly to the undesirable one is carried out. We first calculate the region that the current state of the given model is absorbed into the undesirable state based on the escape probability, which is named as the absorbed region. Then, a new concept of the parameter dependent basin of the unsafe regime (PDBUR) under the asymmetric Lévy noise is introduced. It is an efficient tool for approximately quantifying the ranges of the parameters, where the noise-induced CTs from the desirable state directly to the undesirable one may occur. More importantly, it may provide theoretical guidance for us to adopt some measures to avert a noise-induced catastrophic CT.
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  • 60
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    In:  Sustainable Land Management in a European Context: Human-Environment Interactions | Human-Environment Interactions
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is considered an important negative emissions (NEs) technology, but might involve substantial irrigation on biomass plantations. Potential water stress resulting from the additional withdrawals warrants evaluation against the avoided climate change impact. Here we quantitatively assess potential side effects of BECCS with respect to water stress by disentangling the associated drivers (irrigated biomass plantations, climate, land use patterns) using comprehensive global model simulations. By considering a widespread use of irrigated biomass plantations, global warming by the end of the 21st century could be limited to 1.5 °C compared to a climate change scenario with 3 °C. However, our results suggest that both the global area and population living under severe water stress in the BECCS scenario would double compared to today and even exceed the impact of climate change. Such side effects of achieving substantial NEs would come as an extra pressure in an already water-stressed world and could only be avoided if sustainable water management were implemented globally.
    Language: English
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Traditional power systems have been gradually shifting to power-electronic-based ones, with more power electronic devices (including converters) incorporated recently. Faced with much more complicated dynamics, it is a great challenge to uncover its physical mechanisms for system stability and/or instability (oscillation). In this paper, we first establish a nonlinear model of a multi-converter power system within the DC-link voltage timescale, from the first principle. Then, we obtain a linearized model with the associated characteristic matrix, whose eigenvalues determine the system stability, and finally get independent subsystems by using symmetry approximation conditions under the assumptions that all converters’ parameters and their susceptance to the infinite bus (Bg) are identical. Based on these mathematical analyses, we find that the whole system can be decomposed into several equivalent single-converter systems and its small-signal stability is solely determined by a simple converter system connected to an infinite bus under the same susceptance Bg. These results of large-scale multi-converter analysis help to understand the power-electronic-based power system dynamics, such as renewable energy integration. As well, they are expected to stimulate broad interests among researchers in the fields of network dynamics theory and applications.
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The social cost of carbon is a central metric for optimal carbon prices. Previous literatureshows that inequality significantly influences the social cost of carbon, but mostly omits het-erogeneity below the national level. We present an optimal taxation model of the social cost ofcarbon that accounts for inequality betweenand within countries. We find that climate anddistributional policy can generally not be separated. If only one country does not compen-sate low-income households for disproportionate damages, the social cost of carbon tendsto increase globally. Optimal carbon prices remain roughly unchanged if national redistribu-tion leaves inequality between households unaffected by climate change and if the utility ofhouseholds is approximately logarithmic in consumption.
    Language: English
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet is the main source of uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise, with important implications for coastal regions worldwide. Central to this is the marine ice sheet instability: once a critical threshold, or tipping point, is crossed, ice-internal dynamics can drive a self-amplifying retreat committing a glacier to irreversible, rapid and substantial ice loss. This process might have already been triggered in the Amundsen Sea region, where Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers dominate the current mass loss from Antarctica, but modelling and observational techniques have not been able to establish this rigorously, leading to divergent views on the future mass loss of the WAIS. Here, we aim at closing this knowledge gap by conducting a systematic investigation of the stability regime of Pine Island Glacier. To this end we show that early warning indicators robustly detect critical slowing for the marine ice sheet instability. We are thereby able to identify three distinct tipping points in response to increases in ocean-induced melt. The third and final event, triggered by an ocean warming of approximately 1.2 °C from the steady state model configuration, leads to a retreat of the entire glacier that could initiate a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
    Language: English
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  • 65
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    In:  Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: We propose an upgraded gravitational model which provides population counts beyond the binary (urban/non-urban) city simulations. Numerically studying the model output, we find that the radial population density gradients follow power-laws where the exponent is related to the preset gravity exponent γ. Similarly, the urban fraction decays exponentially, again determined by γ. The population density gradient can be related to radial fractality and it turns out that the typical exponents imply that cities are basically zero-dimensional. Increasing the gravity exponent leads to extreme compactness and the loss of radial symmetry. We study the shape of the major central cluster by means of another three fractal dimensions and find that overall its fractality is dominated by the size and the influence of γ is minor. The fundamental allometry, between population and area of the major central cluster, is related to the gravity exponent but restricted to the case of higher densities in large cities. We argue that cities are shaped by power-law proximity. We complement the numerical analysis by economics arguments employing travel costs as well as housing rent determined by supply and demand. Our work contributes to the understanding of gravitational effects, radial gradients, and urban morphology. The model allows to generate and investigate city structures under laboratory conditions.
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The identification of recurrences at various time scales in extreme event-like time series is challenging because of the rare occurrence of events which are separated by large temporal gaps. Most of the existing time series analysis techniques cannot be used to analyse extreme event-like time series in its unaltered form. The study of the system dynamics by reconstruction of the phase space using the standard delay embedding method is not directly applicable to event-like time series as it assumes a Euclidean notion of distance between states in the phase space. The edit distance method is a novel approach that uses the point-process nature of events. We propose a modification of edit distance to analyze the dynamics of extreme event-like time series by incorporating a nonlinear function which takes into account the sparse distribution of extreme events and utilizes the physical significance of their temporal pattern. We apply the modified edit distance method to event-like data generated from point process as well as flood event series constructed from discharge data of the Mississippi River in USA, and compute their recurrence plots. From the recurrence analysis, we are able to quantify the deterministic properties of extreme event-like data. We also show that there is a significant serial dependency in the flood time series by using the random shuffle surrogate method.
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The threat of climate catastrophes has been shown to radically change optimal climate policy and prospects for international climate agreements. We characterize the strategic behavior in emissions mitigation and agreement participation with a potential climate catastrophe happening at a temperature threshold. Players are heterogeneous in a conceptual and two numerical models. We confirm that thresholds can induce large, stable coalitions. The relationship between the location of the threshold and the potential for cooperation is non-linear, with the highest potential for cooperation at intermediate temperature thresholds located between 2.5 and 3 degrees of global warming. We find that some regions such as Europe, the USA and China are often pivotal to keeping the threshold because the rest of the world abandons ambitious mitigation and the threshold is crossed without their participation. As a result, their incentives to cooperate can be amplified at the threshold. This behavior critically depends on the characteristics of the threshold as well as the numerical model structure. Conversely, non-pivotal regions are more likely to free-ride as the threshold inverts the strategic response of the remaining coalition. Moreover, we find that our results depend on which equilibrium concepts is applied to analyze coalition formation as well as the introduction of uncertainty about the threshold.
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Edible insects have gained popularity as alternative food resources in the face of climate change and increasing carbon and environmental footprints associated with conventional agricultural production. Among the positive attributes that make edible insects suitable as food and feed substrates include rapid reproduction, high energy conversion efficiency, wide distribution, diversity, reduced greenhouses gases and ammonia emissions, possibility to reduce waste and high nutritional composition. In Sub-Saharan Africa, considerable scientific data exist on use of insects as food and livestock feed. However, coherent policies regarding safety, sustainability, trade and regulation of insects as food and animal feed are lacking. The benefits associated with edible insects are likely to accrue in Sub-Saharan Africa through use of a combination of approaches such as ensured sustainable utilization of edible insects in the wild, preservation of traditional conservation, harvesting and consumption practices, development of captive mass production schemes and strengthening robust value chains to incentivise indigenous participants. Collectively these approaches are referred to as the steward and use of insects as food and animal feed. This paper examines the policy frameworks that exist to support the use of edible insects as food and feed on the African continent. This investigation employed a literature review focussing on national policies in selected African countries to assess the relevance to edible insects. Using a baseline of more than 10 edible insect species consumed, 10 country cases in Sub-Saharan Africa were used to support our in-depth examination of the policy situation that may support good stewardship of edible insects as food and feed. Focus on how policies encompassing biodiversity, natural resources, culture, education, research, technology development, trade, health and nutrition and how that could be improved to support inclusivity of edible insects is discussed. We conclude by proposing a pathway that may accelerate recognition and valorisation of edible insects as important food and feed resources in Sub-Saharan Africa including improving policies to support good stewardship of these resources for sustainability.
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The year 2020 marks the centennial of the publication of Arthur Cecil Pigou’s magnum opus The Economics of Welfare. Pigou’s pricing principles have had an enduring influence on the academic debate, with a widespread consensus having emerged among economists that Pigouvian taxes or subsidies are theoretically desirable, but politically infeasible. In this article, we revisit Pigou’s contribution and argue that this consensus is somewhat spurious, particularly in two ways: (1) Economists are too quick to ignore the theoretical problems and subtleties that Pigouvian pricing still faces; (2) The wholesale skepticism concerning the political viability of Pigouvian pricing is at odds with its recent practical achievements. These two points are made by, first, outlining the theoretical and political challenges that include uncertainty about the social cost of carbon, the unclear relationship between the cost–benefit and cost-effectiveness approaches, distributional concerns, fragmented ministerial responsibilities, an unstable tax base, commitment problems, lack of acceptance and trust between government and citizens as well as incomplete international cooperation. Secondly, we discuss the recent political success of Pigouvian pricing, as evidenced by the German government’s 2019 climate policy reform and the EU’s Green Deal. We conclude by presenting a research agenda for addressing the remaining barriers that need to be overcome to make Pigouvian pricing a common political practice.
    Language: English
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an interconnected and tightly coupled globalized world in rapid change. This article sets the scientific stage for understanding and responding to such change for global sustainability and resilient societies. We provide a systemic overview of the current situation where people and nature are dynamically intertwined and embedded in the biosphere, placing shocks and extreme events as part of this dynamic; humanity has become the major force in shaping the future of the Earth system as a whole; and the scale and pace of the human dimension have caused climate change, rapid loss of biodiversity, growing inequalities, and loss of resilience to deal with uncertainty and surprise. Taken together, human actions are challenging the biosphere foundation for a prosperous development of civilizations. The Anthropocene reality—of rising system-wide turbulence—calls for transformative change towards sustainable futures. Emerging technologies, social innovations, broader shifts in cultural repertoires, as well as a diverse portfolio of active stewardship of human actions in support of a resilient biosphere are highlighted as essential parts of such transformations.
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Global warming, extreme climate events, earthquakes and their accompanying socioeconomic disasters pose significant risks to humanity. Yet due to the nonlinear feedbacks, multiple interactions and complex structures of the Earth system, the understanding and, in particular, the prediction of such disruptive events represent formidable challenges to both scientific and policy communities. During the past years, the emergence and evolution of Earth system science has attracted much attention and produced new concepts and frameworks. Especially, novel statistical physics and complex networks-based techniques have been developed and implemented to substantially advance our knowledge of the Earth system, including climate extreme events, earthquakes and geological relief features, leading to substantially improved predictive performances. We present here a comprehensive review on the recent scientific progress in the development and application of how combined statistical physics and complex systems science approaches such as critical phenomena, network theory, percolation, tipping points analysis, and entropy can be applied to complex Earth systems. Notably, these integrating tools and approaches provide new insights and perspectives for understanding the dynamics of the Earth systems. The overall aim of this review is to offer readers the knowledge on how statistical physics concepts and theories can be useful in the field of Earth system science.
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Accelerating climate change is causing considerable changes in extreme events, leading to immense socioeconomic loss of life and property. In this study, we investigate the characteristics of extreme climate events at a regional scale to ‐understand these events’ propagation in the near future. We have considered sixteen extreme climate indices defined by the World Meteorological Organization’s Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices from a long‐term dataset (1951– 2018) of 53 locations in Gomati River Basin, North India. We computed the present and future spatial variation of theses indices using the Sen’s slope estimator and Hurst exponent analysis. The periodicities and non‐stationary features were estimated using the continuous wavelet transform. Bivariate copulas were fitted to estimate the joint probabilities and return periods for certain combinations of indices. The study results show different variation in the patterns of the extreme climate indices: D95P, R95TOT, RX5D, and RX showed negative trends for all stations over the basin. The number of dry days (DD) showed positive trends over the basin at 36 stations out of those 17 stations are statistically significant. A sustainable decreasing trend is observed for D95P at all stations, indicating a reduction in precipitation in the future. DD exhibits a sustainable decreasing trend at almost all the stations over the basin barring a few exceptions highlight that the basin is turning drier. The wavelet power spectrum for D95P showed significant power distributed across the 2–16‐year bands, and the two‐year period was dominant in the global power spectrum around 1970–1990. One interesting finding is that a dominant two‐year period in D95P has changed to the four years after 1984 and remains in the past two decades. The joint return period’s resulting values are more significant than values resulting from univariate analysis (R95TOT with 44% and RTWD of 1450 mm). The difference in values highlights that ignoring the mutual dependence can lead to an underestimation of extremes.
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Agroforestry is a promising adaptation measure for climate change, especially for low external inputs smallholder maize farming systems. However, due to its long-term nature and heterogeneity across farms and landscapes, it is difficult to quantitatively evaluate its contribution in building the resilience of farming systems to climate change over large areas. In this study, we developed an approach to simulate and emulate the shading, micro-climate regulation and biomass effects of multi-purpose trees agroforestry system on maize yields using APSIM, taking Ethiopia as a case study. Applying the model to simulate climate change impacts showed that at national level, maize yield will increase by 7.5% and 3.1 % by 2050 under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. This projected increase in national-level maize yield is driven by maize yield increases in six administrative zones whereas yield losses are expected in other five zones (mean of -6.8% for RCP2.6 and -11.7% for RCP8.5), with yields in the other four zones remaining stable overtime. Applying the emulated agroforestry leads to increase in maize yield under current and future climatic conditions compared to maize monocultures, particularly in regions for which yield losses under climate change are expected. A 10% agroforestry shade will reduce maize yield losses by 6.9% (RCP2.6) and 4.2 % (RCP8.5) while 20% shade will reduce maize yield losses by 11.5% (RCP2.6) and 11% (RCP8.5) for projected loss zones. Overall, our results show quantitatively that agroforestry buffers yield losses for areas projected to have yield losses under climate change in Ethiopia, and therefore should be part of building climate-resilient agricultural systems.
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: This paper studies the mean‐square consensus for heterogeneous multi‐agent systems with probabilistic time delay. Each agent in the system has an objective function and only knows its own objective function. Control protocols for the system both over the fixed and the switched weighted‐balanced topologies are designed. The consensus state of agents' position can make the sum of objective functions minimum. By adopting probability statistics, stochastic process, matrix theory and some stability method, sufficient conditions for the consensus protocol are given. Several simulations are presented to illustrate the potential correctness of the results.
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Being an extensively produced natural fiber on earth, cotton is of importance for economies. Although the plant is broadly adapted to varying environments, growth and irrigation water demand of cotton may be challenged by future climate change. To study the impacts of climate change on cotton productivity in different regions across the world and the irrigation water requirements related to it, we use the process-based, spatially detailed biosphere and hydrology model LPJmL. We find our modelled cotton yield levels in good agreement with reported values and simulated water consumption of cotton production similar to published estimates. Following the ISIMIP protocol, we employ an ensemble of five General Circulation Models under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for the 2011–2099 period to simulate future cotton yields. We find that irrigated cotton production does not suffer from climate change if CO2 effects are considered, whereas rainfed production is more sensitive to varying climate conditions. Considering the overall effect of a changing climate and CO2 fertilization, cotton production on current cropland steadily increases for most of the RCPs. Starting from ~ 65 million tonnes in 2010, cotton production for RCP4.5 and RCP6.0 equates to 83 and 92 million tonnes at the end of the century, respectively. Under RCP8.5, simulated global cotton production raises by more than 50 % by 2099. Taking only climate change into account, projected cotton production considerably shrinks in most scenarios, by up to one-third or 43 million tonnes under RCP8.5. The simulation of future virtual water content (VWC) of cotton grown under elevated CO2 results for all scenarios in less VWC compared to ambient CO2 conditions. Under RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, VWC is notably decreased by more than 2000 m3 t−1 in areas where cotton is produced under purely rainfed conditions. By 2040, the average global VWC for cotton declines in all scenarios from currently 3300 to 3000 m3 t−1 and reduction continues by up to 30 % in 2100 under RCP8.5. While the VWC decreases by the CO2 effect, elevated temperature (and thus water stress) reverse the picture. Except for RCP2.6, the global VWC of cotton increase slightly but steadily under the other RCPs until mid century. RCP8.5 results in an average global VWC of more than 5000 m3 t−1 by end of the simulation period. Given the economic relevance of cotton production, climate change poses an additional stress and deserves special attention. Changes in VWC and water demands for cotton production are of special importance, as cotton production is known for its intense water consumption that led, e.g., to the loss of most of the Aral sea. The implications of climate impacts on cotton production on the one hand, and the impact of cotton production on water resources on the other hand illustrate the need to assess how future climate change may affect cotton production and its resource requirements. The inclusion of cotton in LPJmL allows for various large-scale studies to assess impacts of climate change on hydrological factors and the implications for agricultural production and carbon sequestration.
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Food system innovations will be instrumental to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, major innovation breakthroughs can trigger profound and disruptive changes, leading to simultaneous and interlinked reconfigurations of multiple parts of the global food system. The emergence of new technologies or social solutions, therefore, have very different impact profiles, with favourable consequences for some SDGs and unintended adverse side-effects for others. Stand-alone innovations seldom achieve positive outcomes over multiple sustainability dimensions. Instead, they should be embedded as part of systemic changes that facilitate the implementation of the SDGs. Emerging trade-offs need to be intentionally addressed to achieve true sustainability, particularly those involving social aspects like inequality in its many forms, social justice, and strong institutions, which remain challenging. Trade-offs with undesirable consequences are manageable through the development of well planned transition pathways, careful monitoring of key indicators, and through the implementation of transparent science targets at the local level.
    Language: English
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2021-05-25
    Description: Tree water access via roots is crucial for forest functioning and therefore forests have developed a vast variety of rooting strategies across the globe. However, Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs), which are increasingly used to simulate forest functioning, often condense this variety of tree rooting strategies into biome-scale averages, potentially under- or overestimating forest response to intra- and inter-annual variability in precipitation. Here we present a new approach of implementing variable rooting strategies and dynamic root growth into the LPJmL4.0 DGVM and apply it to tropical and sub-tropical South-America under contemporary climate conditions. We show how competing rooting strategies which underlie the trade-off between above- and below-ground carbon investment lead to more realistic simulated intra-annual productivity and evapotranspiration, and consequently forest cover and spatial biomass distribution. We find that climate and soil depth determine a spatially heterogeneous pattern of mean rooting depth and belowground biomass across the study region.
    Language: English
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