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21 Nov 2018 at 01:44
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Bibliography on: Climate Change


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 21 Nov 2018 at 01:44 Created: 

Climate Change

The year 2014 was the hottest year on record, since the beginning of record keeping over 100 years ago. The year 2015 broke that record, and 2016 will break the record of 2015. The Earth seems to be on a significant warming trend.

Created with PubMed® Query: "climate change"[TITLE] or "global warming"[TITLE] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2018-11-20

Nunfam VF, Van Etten EJ, Oosthuizen J, et al (2018)

Climate change and occupational heat stress risks and adaptation strategies of mining workers: Perspectives of supervisors and other stakeholders in Ghana.

Environmental research, 169:147-155 pii:S0013-9351(18)30577-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Increasing air temperatures as a result of climate change are worsening the impact of heat exposure on working populations, including mining workers, who are at risk of suffering heat-related illnesses, injury and death. However, inadequate awareness of climate change-related occupational heat stress risks and adaptation strategies have been shown to render occupational heat stress management ineffective. A concurrent mixed-methods approach was used to assess the perceptions of climate change and occupational heat stress risks and adaptation strategies of mining workers among supervisory personnel and other stakeholders in Ghana. Questionnaires and interviews were used to elicit data from 19 respondents. Data were processed and interpreted using descriptive statistics, chi-square and Fisher's exact tests, and thematic analysis. Supervisors' climate change risks perception was adequate, and their concern about workplace heat exposure risks was moderate. Mining workers' occupational heat stress risks experiences were linked to heat-related illness and minor injuries. Mining workers' adaptation strategies included water intake, use of cooling mechanisms, work-break practices, and clothing use. The related differences in job experience in the distribution of climate change risk perception and occupational heat stress risk experiences, and the difference in educational attainment in the distribution of adaptation strategies of occupational heat stress were significant (p < 0.05). Hence, an effective workplace heat management policy requires adequate understanding of occupational heat stress risks and adaptation policies and continued education and training for mining workers.

RevDate: 2018-11-20

Cochand F, Therrien R, JM Lemieux (2018)

Integrated Hydrological Modeling of Climate Change Impacts in a Snow-Influenced Catchment.

Ground water [Epub ahead of print].

The potential impact of climate change on water resources has been intensively studied for different regions and climates across the world. In regions where winter processes such as snowfall and melting play a significant role, anticipated changes in temperature might significantly affect hydrological systems. To address this impact, modifications have been made to the fully-integrated surface-subsurface flow model HydroGeoSphere (HGS) to allow the simulation of snow accumulation and melting. The modified HGS model was used to assess the potential impact of climate change on surface and subsurface flow in the Saint-Charles River catchment, Quebec (Canada) for the period 2070-2100. The model was first developed and calibrated to reproduce observed streamflow and hydraulic heads for current climate conditions. The calibrated model was then used with three different climate scenarios to simulate surface flow and groundwater dynamics of the 2070-2100 period. Winter stream discharges are predicted to increase by about 80%, 120%, and 150% for the three scenarios due to warmer winters, leading to more liquid precipitation and more snowmelt. Conversely, the summer stream discharges are predicted to fall by about 10%, 15%, and 20% due to an increase in evapotranspiration. However, the annual mean stream discharge should remain stable (+/- 0.1 m3 /s). The predicted increase in hydraulic heads in winter may reach 15 m, and the maximum decrease in summer may reach 3 m. Simulations show that winter processes play a key role in the seasonal modifications anticipated for surface and subsurface flow dynamics.

RevDate: 2018-11-20

Doughty CE, Santos-Andrade PE, Shenkin A, et al (2018)

Tropical forest leaves may darken in response to climate change.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-018-0716-y [Epub ahead of print].

Tropical forest leaf albedo (reflectance) greatly impacts how much energy the planet absorbs; however; little is known about how it might be impacted by climate change. Here, we measure leaf traits and leaf albedo at ten 1-ha plots along a 3,200-m elevation gradient in Peru. Leaf mass per area (LMA) decreased with warmer temperatures along the elevation gradient; the distribution of LMA was positively skewed at all sites indicating a shift in LMA towards a warmer climate and future reduced tropical LMA. Reduced LMA was significantly (P < 0.0001) correlated with reduced leaf near-infrared (NIR) albedo; community-weighted mean NIR albedo significantly (P < 0.01) decreased as temperature increased. A potential future 2 °C increase in tropical temperatures could reduce lowland tropical leaf LMA by 6-7 g m-2 (5-6%) and reduce leaf NIR albedo by 0.0015-0.002 units. Reduced NIR albedo means that leaves are darker and absorb more of the Sun's energy. Climate simulations indicate this increased absorbed energy will warm tropical forests more at high CO2 conditions with proportionately more energy going towards heating and less towards evapotranspiration and cloud formation.

RevDate: 2018-11-20

MacLean HJ, Nielsen ME, Kingsolver JG, et al (2018)

Using museum specimens to track morphological shifts through climate change.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1763): pii:rstb.2017.0404.

Museum specimens offer a largely untapped resource for detecting morphological shifts in response to climate change. However, morphological shifts can be obscured by shifts in phenology or distribution or sampling biases. Additionally, interpreting phenotypic shifts requires distinguishing whether they result from plastic or genetic changes. Previous studies using collections have documented consistent historical size changes, but the limited studies of other morphological traits have often failed to support, or even test, hypotheses. We explore the potential of collections by investigating shifts in the functionally significant coloration of a montane butterfly, Colias meadii, over the past 60 years within three North American geographical regions. We find declines in ventral wing melanism, which correspond to reduced absorption of solar radiation and thus reduced risk of overheating, in two regions. However, contrary to expected responses to climate warming, we find melanism increases in the most thoroughly sampled region. Relationships among temperature, phenology and morphology vary across years and complicate the distinction between plastic and genetic responses. Differences in these relationships may account for the differing morphological shifts among regions. Our findings highlight the promise of using museum specimens to test mechanistic hypotheses for shifts in functional traits, which is essential for deciphering interacting responses to climate change.This article is part of the theme issue 'Biological collections for understanding biodiversity in the Anthropocene'.

RevDate: 2018-11-19

Sergi C, Serra N, Colomba C, et al (2018)

Tuberculosis Evolution and Climate Change: How much work is ahead?.

RevDate: 2018-11-19

Shortridge J, JS Camp (2018)

Addressing Climate Change as an Emerging Risk to Infrastructure Systems.

Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis [Epub ahead of print].

The consequences that climate change could have on infrastructure systems are potentially severe but highly uncertain. This should make risk analysis a natural framework for climate adaptation in infrastructure systems. However, many aspects of climate change, such as weak background knowledge and societal controversy, make it an emerging risk where traditional approaches for risk assessment and management cannot be confidently employed. A number of research developments aimed at addressing these issues have emerged in recent years, such as the development of probabilistic climate projections, climate services, and robust decision frameworks. However, additional research is needed to improve the suitability of these methods for infrastructure planning. In this perspective, we outline some of the challenges in addressing climate change risks to infrastructure and summarize new developments aimed at meeting these challenges. We end by highlighting needs for future research, many of which could be well-served by expertise within the risk analysis community.

RevDate: 2018-11-19

Stinziano JR, Bauerle WL, DA Way (2018)

Modelled net carbon gain responses to climate change in boreal trees: impacts of photosynthetic parameter selection and acclimation.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Boreal forests are crucial in regulating global vegetation-atmosphere feedbacks, but the impact of climate change on boreal tree carbon fluxes is still unclear. Given the sensitivity of global vegetation models to photosynthetic and respiration parameters, we determined how predictions of net carbon gain (C-gain) respond to variation in these parameters using a stand-level model (MAESTRA). We also modelled how thermal acclimation of photosynthetic and respiratory temperature sensitivity alters predicted net C-gain responses to climate change. We modelled net C-gain of seven common boreal tree species under eight climate scenarios across a latitudinal gradient to capture a range of seasonal temperature conditions. Physiological parameter values were taken from the literature together with different approaches for thermally acclimating photosynthesis and respiration. At high latitudes, net C-gain was stimulated up to 400% by elevated temperatures and CO2 in the autumn but suppressed at the lowest latitudes during mid-summer under climate scenarios that included warming. Modelled net C-gain was more sensitive to photosynthetic capacity parameters (Vcmax , Jmax , Arrhenius temperature response parameters, and the ratio of Jmax to Vcmax) than stomatal conductance or respiration parameters. The effect of photosynthetic thermal acclimation depended on the temperatures where it was applied: acclimation reduced net C-gain by 10-15% within the temperature range where the equations were derived but decreased net C-gain by 175% at temperatures outside this range. Thermal acclimation of respiration had small, but positive, impacts on net C-gain. We show that model simulations are highly sensitive to variation in photosynthetic parameters and highlight the need to better understand the mechanisms and drivers underlying this variability (e.g. whether variability is environmentally and/or biologically driven) for further model improvement. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-19

Yang Y, Halbritter AH, Klanderud K, et al (2018)

Transplants, Open Top Chambers (OTCs) and Gradient Studies Ask Different Questions in Climate Change Effects Studies.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:1574.

Long-term monitoring, space-for-time substitutions along gradients, and in situ temperature manipulations are common approaches to understand effects of climate change on alpine and arctic plant communities. Although general patterns emerge from studies using different approaches, there are also some inconsistencies. To provide better estimates of plant community responses to future warming across a range of environments, there have been repeated calls for integrating different approaches within single studies. Thus, to examine how different methods in climate change effect studies may ask different questions, we combined three climate warming approaches in a single study in the Hengduan Mountains of southwestern China. We monitored plant communities along an elevation gradient using the space-for-time approach, and conducted warming experiments using open top chambers (OTCs) and plant community transplantation toward warmer climates along the same gradient. Plant species richness and abundances were monitored over 5 years addressing two questions: (1) how do plant communities respond to the different climate warming approaches? (2) how can the combined approaches improve predictions of plant community responses to climate change? The general trend across all three approaches was decreased species richness with climate warming at low elevations. This suggests increased competition from immigrating lowland species, and/or from the species already growing inside the plots, as indicated by increased biomass, vegetation height or proportion of graminoids. At the coldest sites, species richness decreased in OTCs and along the gradient, but increased in the transplants, suggesting that plant communities in colder climates are more open to invasion from lowland species, with slow species loss. This was only detected in the transplants, showing that different approaches, may yield different results. Whereas OTCs may constrain immigration of new species, transplanted communities are rapidly exposed to new neighbors that can easily colonize the small plots. Thus, different approaches ask slightly different questions, in particular regarding indirect climate change effects, such as biotic interactions. To better understand both direct and indirect effects of climate change on plant communities, we need to combine approaches in future studies, and if novel interactions are of particular interest, transplants may be a better approach than OTCs.

RevDate: 2018-11-18

van Kerkhoff L, Munera C, Dudley N, et al (2018)

Towards future-oriented conservation: Managing protected areas in an era of climate change.

Ambio pii:10.1007/s13280-018-1121-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Management of protected areas must adapt to climate impacts, and prepare for ongoing ecological transformation. Future-Proofing Conservation is a dialogue-based, multi-stakeholder learning process that supports conservation managers to consider the implications of climate change for governance and management. It takes participants through a series of conceptual transitions to identify new management options that are robust to a range of possible biophysical futures, and steps that they can take now to prepare for ecological transformation. We outline the Future-Proofing Conservation process, and demonstrate its application in a pilot programme in Colombia. This process can be applied and adapted to a wide range of climate adaptation contexts, to support practitioners in developing positive ways forward for management and decision-making. By acknowledging scientific uncertainty, considering social values, and rethinking the rules that shape conservation governance, participants can identify new strategies towards "future-oriented conservation" over the long term.

RevDate: 2018-11-18

Warnatzsch EA, DS Reay (2018)

Temperature and precipitation change in Malawi: Evaluation of CORDEX-Africa climate simulations for climate change impact assessments and adaptation planning.

The Science of the total environment, 654:378-392 pii:S0048-9697(18)34450-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Malawi is highlighted as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change. The large uncertainty around future climate change in the region remains a barrier to adaptation planning. Despite this high potential vulnerability, relatively little research has gone into determining how well available models represent this country's climate. This work therefore evaluates the ability of existing General Circulation Models (GCMs) and Regional Climate Models (RCMs) to hindcast climatic variables in Malawi at a resolution appropriate for climate change impact assessment and adaptation planning. We focus on monthly precipitation rate, and mean, maximum and minimum surface air temperature. This assessment compares available observed datasets against the outputs of six ERA-interim driven RCMs and 21 GCM-driven RCMs from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) initiative, and the 11 GCMs which form their boundary conditions. It was found that the performance of the RCMs is highly influenced by their boundary conditions. None of the individual or ensemble RCMs or GCMs assessed in this paper correlate well with the observed datasets for any of the assessed climatic variables. While, they do simulate the trending change in temperature variables well, the simulated outputs for precipitation are highly divergent. Based on these findings we suggest that either the ensemble RCMs or ensemble GCMs would be suitable for understanding projected temperature trends, with the RCMs providing better spatial resolution. However, none of the assessed models provide certainty over future precipitation trends in Malawi. As such we suggest that impact assessments and adaptation plans in Malawi will need to be designed and tested against a range of future precipitation scenarios. To improve modelling for Malawi it is recommended that regional climate models be improved for higher spatial resolution and inclusion of the impacts from large water bodies, including Lake Malawi.

RevDate: 2018-11-17

Hălbac-Cotoară-Zamfir R, Keesstra S, Z Kalantari (2018)

The impact of political, socio-economic and cultural factors on implementing environment friendly techniques for sustainable land management and climate change mitigation in Romania.

The Science of the total environment, 654:418-429 pii:S0048-9697(18)34517-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Throughout the history of Romania, political decisions, socio-economic measures, and cultural (traditional) characters have affected the implementation of environment friendly techniques (EFTs) policies. In the context of this paper, EFTs can be defined as solutions for the use of land resources aiming the increasing of goods for meeting the changing human needs and with neutral or positive environmental impact. Changes in the political regime have always had a visible impact on the EFTs issue in Romania. EFTs has gone through several major phases. The political impact on EFTs implementation mainly affected sustainable land management (SLM) and to a small extent, at the end of the communist era and partly during the capitalist period, climate change mitigation. Throughout history, the political factor has dominated and influenced the capacity of the EFTs implementation process in responding to socio-economic stimuli. In addition, quality of life, rural-urban and urban-rural migrations, poverty, education level, and climate change adaptation have had impacts on the status of EFTs according to governance and political reflections. The agrarian reforms from the last two centuries, based on socio-economic demands, have strongly influenced the capacity to implement EFTs both positively and negatively. However, the cultural factor was least affected by political and socio-economic changes as a stability factor in ensuring continued implementation of the EFTs. Currently, there is a strong need to reconsider EFTs as sustainability tools for Romanian agriculture that can cope with climate change and sustainable land management (SLM) demands. This paper presents a brief history of EFTs in Romania and their benefits in achieving SLM equilibrium, describing the impacts of political decisions, socio-economic measures, and cultural features on implementing ETFs policies.

RevDate: 2018-11-17

Sarun S, Ghermandi A, Sheela AM, et al (2018)

Climate change vulnerability in a tropical region based on environmental and socio-economic factors.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 190(12):727 pii:10.1007/s10661-018-7095-3.

The understanding of the regional and local dimensions of vulnerability due to climate change is essential to develop appropriate and targeted adaptation efforts. We assessed the local dimensions of vulnerability in the tropical state of Kerala, India, using a purposely developed vulnerability index, which accounts for both environmental and socio-economic factors. The large extents of coastal wetlands and lagoons and high concentration of mangrove forests make the state environmentally vulnerable. Low human development index, large population of socially deprived groups, which are dependent on the primary sector, and high population density make the state vulnerable from a socio-economic point of view. The present study investigates climate change vulnerability at the district level in the State of Kerala relying on a purposely developed composite vulnerability index that encompasses both socio-economic and environmental factors. The Kerala coast contains the socio-economically and ecologically most vulnerable regions, as demonstrated by a composite vulnerability index.

RevDate: 2018-11-16

Eekhout J, J de Vente (2018)

Assessing the effectiveness of Sustainable Land Management for large-scale climate change adaptation.

The Science of the total environment, 654:85-93 pii:S0048-9697(18)34250-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change will strongly affect essential ecosystem services, like the provision of freshwater, food production, soil erosion and flood control. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices are increasingly promoted to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, but there is lack of evidence at scales most relevant for policymaking. We evaluated the effectiveness of SLM in a large Mediterranean catchment where climate change is projected to significantly reduce water security. We show that the on-site and off-site impacts of climate change are almost entirely reversed by the large-scale implementation of SLM under moderate climate change conditions, characterized by limited reductions in annual precipitation but significant increased precipitation intensity. Under more extreme reductions of annual precipitation, SLM implementation reduces the impacts on water security, but cannot prevent significant increased plant water stress and reduced water availability. Under these conditions, additional adaptation measures are required considering their interactions and trade-offs regarding water security.

RevDate: 2018-11-16

He W, Yang JY, Qian B, et al (2018)

Climate change impacts on crop yield, soil water balance and nitrate leaching in the semiarid and humid regions of Canada.

PloS one, 13(11):e0207370 pii:PONE-D-18-19782.

The impact of climate change on agricultural systems is a major concern as it can have a significant effect on the world food supply. The objective of this study was to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production and nitrate leaching in two distinct climatic zones in Canada. Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was selected for the semiarid regions of Western Canada (Swift Current, SK) and maize (Zea mays L.) was chosen for the more humid regions of central Canada (Woodslee, ON). Climate scenarios were based upon simulations from a Canadian Regional Climate Model (CanRCM4) under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and crop simulations were conducted using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) model. Compared to the baseline climate scenario, wheat yields increased by 8, 8, 11, 15%, whereas maize yields decreased by 15, 25, 22, 41% under RCP4.5 2050s (2041-2070), RCP4.5 2080s (2071-2100), RCP8.5 2050s and RCP8.5 2080s scenarios, respectively. Annual nitrate leaching increased by 19, 57, 73, 129% at Swift Current and by 84, 117, 208, 317% at Woodslee under the four scenarios, respectively. Adaptation measures suggested that fertilizer N rate for spring wheat should be increased to 80-100 kg N ha-1 to obtain optimal yields although this will result in an additional risk of 5-8 kg N ha-1 nitrate leaching at Swift Current. The fertilizer N rate of 150 kg N ha-1 was found to be suitable for high maize yields at Woodslee. New wheat and maize cultivars with long growing seasons would enable crop growth to match the phenological stage and hence maintain high crop yields to adapt to increased temperatures in the future.

RevDate: 2018-11-16

Wadgymar SM, Mactavish RM, JT Anderson (2018)

Transgenerational and Within-Generation Plasticity in Response to Climate Change: Insights from a Manipulative Field Experiment across an Elevational Gradient.

The American naturalist, 192(6):698-714.

Parental environmental effects-or transgenerational plasticity-can influence an individual's phenotype or fitness yet remain underexplored in the context of global change. Using the perennial self-pollinating plant Boechera stricta, we explored the effects of climate change on transgenerational and within-generation plasticity in dormancy, germination, growth, and survival. We first conducted a snow removal experiment in the field, in which we transplanted 16 families of known origin into three common gardens at different elevations and exposed half of the siblings to contemporary snow dynamics and half to early snow removal. We planted the offspring of these individuals in a factorial manipulation of temperature and water level in the growth chamber and reciprocally transplanted them across all parental environments in the field. The growth chamber experiment revealed that the effects of transgenerational plasticity persist in traits expressed after establishment, even when accounting for parental effects on seed mass. The field experiment showed that transgenerational and within-generation plasticity can interact and that plasticity varies clinally in populations distributed across elevations. These findings demonstrate that transgenerational plasticity can influence fitness-related traits and should be incorporated in studies of biological responses to climate change.

RevDate: 2018-11-16

Douglass-Gallagher E, D Stuart (2018)

Crop Growers' Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change: A Situated Study of Agriculture in Arizona's Verde Valley.

Environmental management pii:10.1007/s00267-018-1114-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change will pose unprecedented challenges for agricultural producers globally, requiring the ability to adapt to new and unpredictable conditions. This study explores the adaptive capacity of crop growers in the Verde Valley, Arizona (US). Rather than examining pre-determined indicators of adaptive capacity, this study adopts a situated framework that examines material conditions, perceptions, and the larger social context. Interviewers used past experiences and future scenarios to allow factors that enhance or constrain adaptive capacity to emerge from the interviews. Findings reveal adaptation is site specific but general measures can be taken to enhance adaptive capacity. Encouraging diversity in crops and water sources, the use of drought and heat tolerant crops, and the use of water conservation practices will likely increase growers' adaptive capacity. In contrast, lack of support from organizations and government programs, lack of diverse crops and sources of water, lack of awareness about climate change, and growers' confidence in their ability to always adapt impairs adaptive capacity. Verde Valley growers will need increased support from local and national organizations to adapt to projected changes. The situated framework applied in this study reveals important insights and could be used to explore adaptive capacity in other agricultural regions.

RevDate: 2018-11-16

Klein T, H Hartmann (2018)

Climate change drives tree mortality.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 362(6416):758.

RevDate: 2018-11-15

Hemmer CJ, Emmerich P, Loebermann M, et al (2018)

[Mosquitoes and Ticks: The Influence of Global Warming in the Transmission of Infectious Diseases in Germany].

Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 143(23):1714-1722.

During the last 135 years, the average temperature in Germany has increased by 1.4 °C. By 2050, a further rise by 1.5 °C is expected. This is associated with an increase of precipitation during the winter months. This climate change probably will improve both the growth conditions for mosquitoes and ticks, as well as their ability to transmit infectious diseases. Today, vectors that have not yet been present are invading into Germany. Among them is Aedes albopictus, which transmits Chikungunya, Zika, and Dengue Fever. Also, spreading of autochthonous malaria and West Nile Fever appear possible in Germany. Because of the increased presence of Phlebotomus species, leishmaniasis should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis in unclear hematologic diseases. Among the tick-borne diseases, climate change has already led to increased case numbers of Borreliosis and Tick Borne Encephalitis (TBE), and Crimean Congo Virus is spreading from the Balkan region towards Central Europe. This requires physicians to consider additional differential diagnoses in febrile illnesses.

RevDate: 2018-11-15

Varela MR, Patrício AR, Anderson K, et al (2018)

Assessing climate change associated sea level rise impacts on sea turtle nesting beaches using drones, photogrammetry and a novel GPS system.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change associated sea level rise (SLR) is expected to have profound impacts on coastal areas, affecting many species including sea turtles which depend on these habitats for egg incubation. Being able to accurately model beach topography using digital terrain models (DTMs) is therefore crucial to project SLR impacts and develop effective conservation strategies. Traditional survey methods are typically low-cost with low accuracy or high-cost with high accuracy. We present a novel combination of drone-based photogrammetry and a low-cost and portable real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS to create DTMs which are highly accurate (<10 cm error) and visually realistic. This methodology is ideal for surveying coastal sites, can be broadly applied to other species and habitats, and is a relevant tool in supporting the development of Specially Protected Areas. Here we applied this method as a case-study to project three SLR scenarios (0.48, 0.63 and 1.20 m) and assess the future vulnerability and viability of a key nesting habitat for sympatric loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at a key rookery in the Mediterranean. We combined the DTM with 5 years of nest survey data describing location and clutch depth, to identify (1) regions with highest nest densities, (2) nest elevation by species and beach, and (3) estimated proportion of nests inundated under each SLR scenario. On average, green turtles nested at higher elevations than loggerheads (1.8 m vs. 1.32 m, respectively). However, because green turtles dig deeper nests than loggerheads (0.76 m vs. 0.50 m, respectively), these were at similar risk of inundation. For a SLR of 1.2 m, we estimated a loss of 67.3% for loggerhead turtle nests and 59.1% for green turtle nests. Existing natural and artificial barriers may affect the ability of these nesting habitats to remain suitable for nesting through beach migration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-15

Fadrique B, Báez S, Duque Á, et al (2018)

Widespread but heterogeneous responses of Andean forests to climate change.

Nature pii:10.1038/s41586-018-0715-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Global warming is forcing many species to shift their distributions upward, causing consequent changes in the compositions of species that occur at specific locations. This prediction remains largely untested for tropical trees. Here we show, using a database of nearly 200 Andean forest plot inventories spread across more than 33.5° latitude (from 26.8° S to 7.1° N) and 3,000-m elevation (from 360 to 3,360 m above sea level), that tropical and subtropical tree communities are experiencing directional shifts in composition towards having greater relative abundances of species from lower, warmer elevations. Although this phenomenon of 'thermophilization' is widespread throughout the Andes, the rates of compositional change are not uniform across elevations. The observed heterogeneity in thermophilization rates is probably because of different warming rates and/or the presence of specialized tree communities at ecotones (that is, at the transitions between distinct habitats, such as at the timberline or at the base of the cloud forest). Understanding the factors that determine the directions and rates of compositional changes will enable us to better predict, and potentially mitigate, the effects of climate change on tropical forests.

RevDate: 2018-11-15

Zhao C, Chen J, Du P, et al (2018)

Characteristics of Climate Change and Extreme Weather from 1951 to 2011 in China.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11): pii:ijerph15112540.

It has been demonstrated that climate change is an established fact. A good comprehension of climate and extreme weather variation characteristics on a temporal and a spatial scale is important for adaptation and response. In this work, the characteristics of temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather distribution and variation is summarized for a period of 60 years and the seasonal fluctuation of temperature and precipitation is also analyzed. The results illustrate the reduction in daily and annual temperature divergence on both temporal and spatial scales. However, the gaps remain relatively significant. Furthermore, the disparity in daily and annual precipitation are found to be increasing on both temporal and spatial scales. The findings indicate that climate change, to a certain extent, narrowed the temperature gap while widening the precipitation gap on temporal and spatial scales in China.

RevDate: 2018-11-14

Fang J, Lau CKM, Lu Z, et al (2018)

Natural disasters, climate change, and their impact on inclusive wealth in G20 countries.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-018-3634-2 [Epub ahead of print].

This paper uses the 1990-2010 natural disaster and carbon emission data of G20 countries to examine the impact of natural disasters and climate change on the natural capital component of inclusive wealth. Our study shows that climate change and GDP have no positive impacts on the growth of natural capital. By contrast, trade openness and natural disaster frequency contribute to the accumulation of natural capital in G20 countries. There is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the growth of natural capital and the magnitude of natural disaster. Natural capital growth is not affected very much by small disasters. By contrast, large disasters tend to make the growth of natural capital fall sharply.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Makate C, Makate M, Mango N, et al (2018)

Increasing resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change through multiple adoption of proven climate-smart agriculture innovations. Lessons from Southern Africa.

Journal of environmental management, 231:858-868 pii:S0301-4797(18)31203-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Conservation agriculture, drought tolerant maize, and improved legume varieties are key climate change management strategies for smallholder farmers in southern Africa. Their complementary efforts in adaptation to climate change are sternly important for farm productivity and income. This study evaluates factors explaining individual and multiple adoption of climate change management strategies and their differential impacts on productivity and income using a sample of 1172 smallholder farmers from Malawi and Zimbabwe. The study employs multinomial logistic regression to evaluate factors of individual and multiple adoption and regression adjustment with inverse probability weighting to evaluate impacts of the different adoption regimes on farm productivity and income. The results show that multiple adoption of innovations is mostly explained by access to key resources (credit, income and information), level of education and size of land owned by the farmer. More so, the concurrent adoption of conservation agriculture, stress adapted legume varieties and drought tolerant maize has far greater dividends on productivity and income than when considered individually. However, impacts of multiple adoption of the practices are not entirely uniform across different geographic regions and gender. Results suggest that effective institutional and policy efforts targeted towards reducing resource constraints that inhibit farmers' capacity to adopt complementary climate-smart agriculture packages such as conservation agriculture, drought tolerant maize and improved legume varieties must be gender sensitive and context specific.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Zohner CM, Mo L, SS Renner (2018)

Global warming reduces leaf-out and flowering synchrony among individuals.

eLife, 7: pii:40214.

The temporal overlap of phenological stages, phenological synchrony, crucially influences ecosystem functioning. For flowering, among-individual synchrony influences gene flow. For leaf-out, it affects interactions with herbivores and competing plants. If individuals differ in their reaction to the ongoing change in global climate, this should affect population-level synchrony. Here, we use climate-manipulation experiments, Pan-European long-term (>15 years) observations, and common garden monitoring data on up to 72 woody and herbaceous species to study the effects of increasing temperatures on the extent of leaf-out and flowering synchrony within populations. Warmer temperatures reduce in situ leaf-out and flowering synchrony by up to 55%, and experiments on European beech provide a mechanism for how individual differences in day-length and/or chilling sensitivity may explain this finding. The rapid loss of reproductive and vegetative synchrony in European plants predicts changes in their gene flow and trophic interactions, but community-wide consequences remain largely unknown.

Editorial note: This article has been through an editorial process in which the authors decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review. The Reviewing Editor's assessment is that all the issues have been addressed (see decision letter).

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Jarić I, Lennox RJ, Kalinkat G, et al (2018)

Susceptibility of European freshwater fish to climate change: species profiling based on life-history and environmental characteristics.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is expected to strongly affect freshwater fish communities. Combined with other anthropogenic drivers, the impacts may alter species spatio-temporal distributions, and contribute to population declines and local extinctions. To provide timely management and conservation of fishes, it is relevant to identify species that will be most impacted by climate change and those that will be resilient. Species traits are considered a promising source of information on characteristics that influence resilience to various environmental conditions and impacts. To this end, we collated life history traits and climatic niches of 443 European freshwater fish species and compared those identified as susceptible to climate change to those that are considered to be resilient. Significant differences were observed between the two groups in their distribution, life-history and climatic niche, with climate-change susceptible species being distributed within the Mediterranean region, and being characterized by greater threat levels, lesser commercial relevance, lower vulnerability to fishing, smaller body and range size, and warmer thermal envelopes. Based on our results, we establish a list of species of highest priority for further research and monitoring regarding climate change susceptibility within Europe. The presented approach represents a promising tool to efficiently assess large groups of species regarding their susceptibility to climate change and other threats, and to identify research and management priorities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Coleman MA, Butcherine P, Kelaher BP, et al (2018)

Climate change does not affect seafood quality of a common targeted fish.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change can affect marine and estuarine fish via alterations to their distributions, abundances, sizes, physiology and ecological interactions, threatening the provision of ecosystem goods and services. While we have an emerging understanding of such ecological impacts to fish, we know little about the potential influence of climate change on the provision of nutritional seafood to sustain human populations. In particular, the quantity, quality and/or taste of seafood may be altered by future environmental changes with implications for the economic viability of fisheries. In an orthogonal mesocosm experiment, we tested the influence of near-future ocean warming and acidification on the growth, health and seafood quality of a recreationally and economically important fish, yellowfin bream (Acanthopagrus australis). The growth of yellowfin bream significantly increased under near-future temperature conditions (but not acidification), with little change in health (blood glucose and haematocrit) or tissue biochemistry and nutritional properties (fatty acids, lipids, macro-and micronutrients, moisture, ash, and total N). Yellowfin bream appear to be highly resilient to predicted near-future ocean climate change, which might be facilitated by their broad spatio-temporal distribution across habitats and broad diet. Moreover, an increase in growth, but little change in tissue quality, suggests that near-future ocean conditions will benefit fisheries and fishers that target yellowfin bream. The data reiterate the inherent resilience of yellowfin bream as an evolutionary consequence of their euryhaline status in often environmentally challenging habitats, and imply their sustainable and viable fisheries into the future.We contend that widely-distributed species that span large geographic areas and habitats can be "climate-winners" by being resilient to negative direct impacts of near-future oceanic and estuarine climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Gao X, Wang A, Zhao Y, et al (2018)

Study on Water Suitability of Apple Plantations in the Loess Plateau under Climate Change.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11): pii:ijerph15112504.

With the implementation of the Grain for Green Project, the apple plantation area is increasing in Loess Plateau. However, due to severe water scarcity, the sustainability of apple tree growth is threatened. In this paper, we used meteorological data (1990⁻2013) and forecasted climate data (2019⁻2050) to estimate water demand and establish a water suitability model to study the water balance between available water and water consumption of the apple trees. The results show that: (i) the order of the average water demand of apple plantation in each subarea is Shaanxi Province > Yuncheng area > Gansu Province > Sanmenxia Region, ranging from 500 to 950 mm; (ii) the temporal variability of water suitability from 1990 to 2013 is large, and the higher values are concentrated in the late growth stage of the apple trees and the lower values are concentrated in the early growth stage; (iii) the temporal and spatial distribution of water suitability is relatively stable and even in the Loess Plateau in the period of 2019⁻2050; (iv) the water suitability is mainly affected by effective precipitation and reference evapotranspiration and the reference evapotranspiration is mainly affected by the solar radiation (36%) and average temperature (38%). Furthermore, due to the joint influence of precipitation increases and solar radiation (average temperature) increases, the future water suitability of the apple plantation area in the Loess Plateau is showing a non-significant downward trend under RCP4.5 scenario.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Op de Hipt F, Diekkrüger B, Steup G, et al (2018)

Modeling the effect of land use and climate change on water resources and soil erosion in a tropical West African catch-ment (Dano, Burkina Faso) using SHETRAN.

The Science of the total environment, 653:431-445 pii:S0048-9697(18)34251-7 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigates the effect of land use and land cover (LULC) and climate change on catchment hydrology and soil erosion in the Dano catchment in south-western Burkina Faso based on hydrological and soil erosion modeling. The past LULC change is studied using land use maps of the years 1990, 2000, 2007 and 2013. Based on these maps future LULC scenarios were developed for the years 2019, 2025 and 2030. The observed past and modeled future LULC are used to feed SHETRAN, a hydrological and soil erosion model. Observed and modeled climate data cover the period 1990-2030. The isolated influence of LULC change assuming a constant climate is simulated by applying the seven LULC maps under observed climate data of the period 1990-2015. The isolated effect of climate scenarios (RCP4.5 and 8.5 of CCLM4-8) is studied by applying the LULC map of 1990 to the period 1990-2032. Additionally, we combined past modeled climate data and past observed LULC maps. Two chronological and continuous simulations were used to estimate the impact of LULC in the past and in the future by gradually applying the LULC maps. These simulations consider the combined impact of LULC and climate change. The simulations that assumed a constant climate and a changing LULC show increasing water yield (3.6%-46.5%) and mainly increasing specific sediment yield (-3.3%-52.6%). The simulations that assume constant LULC and climate as changing factor indicate increases in water yield of 24.5% to 46.7% and in sediment yield of 31.1% to 54.7% between the periods 1990-2005 and 2006-2032. The continuous simulations signal a clear increase in water yield (20.3%-73.4%) and specific sediment yield (24.7% to 90.1%). Actual evapotranspiration is estimated to change by between -7.3% (only LUCC) to +3.3% (only climate change). When comparing observed LULC and climate change alone, climate change has a larger impact on discharge and sediment yield, but LULC amplifies climate change impacts strongly. However, future LULC (2019-2030) will have a stronger impact as currently observed.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Kubelka V, Šálek M, Tomkovich P, et al (2018)

Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 362(6415):680-683.

Ongoing climate change is thought to disrupt trophic relationships, with consequences for complex interspecific interactions, yet the effects of climate change on species interactions are poorly understood, and such effects have not been documented at a global scale. Using a single database of 38,191 nests from 237 populations, we found that shorebirds have experienced a worldwide increase in nest predation over the past 70 years. Historically, there existed a latitudinal gradient in nest predation, with the highest rates in the tropics; however, this pattern has been recently reversed in the Northern Hemisphere, most notably in the Arctic. This increased nest predation is consistent with climate-induced shifts in predator-prey relationships.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Godin-Beekmann S (2018)

[Impact of climate change and ozone layer evolution on surface ultraviolet radiation].

Annales de dermatologie et de venereologie pii:S0151-9638(18)30712-9 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Bryndum-Buchholz A, Tittensor DP, Blanchard JL, et al (2018)

21st century climate change impacts on marine animal biomass and ecosystem structure across ocean basins.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change effects on marine ecosystems include impacts on primary production, ocean temperature, species distributions and abundance at local to global scales. These changes will significantly alter marine ecosystem structure and function with associated socio-economic impacts on ecosystem services, marine fisheries, and fishery-dependent societies. Yet how these changes may play out among ocean basins over the 21st century remains unclear, with most projections coming from single ecosystem models that do not adequately capture the range of model uncertainty. We address this by using six marine ecosystem models within the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Model Intercomparison Project (Fish-MIP) to analyze responses of marine animal biomass in all major ocean basins to contrasting climate change scenarios. Under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), total marine animal biomass declined by an ensemble mean of 15-30% (±12-17%) in the North and South Atlantic and Pacific, and the Indian Ocean by 2100, whereas polar ocean basins experienced a 20-80% (±35-200%) increase. Uncertainty and model disagreement were greatest in the Arctic and smallest in the South Pacific Ocean. Projected changes were reduced under a low (RCP2.6) emissions scenario. Under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, biomass projections were highly correlated with changes in net primary production and negatively correlated with projected sea surface temperature increases across all ocean basins except the polar oceans. Ecosystem structure was projected to shift as animal biomass concentrated in different size-classes across ocean basins and emissions scenarios. We highlight that climate change mitigation measures could moderate the impacts on marine animal biomass by reducing biomass declines in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean basins. The range of individual model projections emphasizes the importance of using an ensemble approach in assessing uncertainty of future change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Salas RN, Slutzman JE, Sorensen C, et al (2018)

Climate Change and Health: An Urgent Call to Academic Emergency Medicine.

Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [Epub ahead of print].

There is consensus among 97% of scientists that anthropogenic climate change is occurring and international agreement of the grave threat it poses.1,2 A Lancet Commission declared climate change "the biggest global health threat of the 21st century" with "potentially catastrophic risk to human health."3,4 Emergency medicine (EM) is already on the frontlines as climate change directly affects our patients, clinical practice, and emergency departments (EDs). This presents EM with a profound leadership opportunity to join our colleagues in the house of medicine to improve health and save lives. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Montero N, Dei Marcovaldi MAG, Lopez-Mendilaharsu M, et al (2018)

Warmer and wetter conditions will reduce offspring production of hawksbill turtles in Brazil under climate change.

PloS one, 13(11):e0204188 pii:PONE-D-18-25520.

Climate change is expected to impact animals that are heavily reliant on environmental factors, such as sea turtles, since the incubation of their eggs, hatching success and sex ratio are influenced by the environment in which eggs incubate. As climate change progresses it is therefore important to understand how climatic conditions influence their reproductive output and the ramifications to population stability. Here, we examined the influences of five climatic variables (air temperature, accumulated and average precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed) at different temporal scales on hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) hatchling production at ten nesting beaches within two regions of Brazil (five nesting beaches in Rio Grande do Norte and five in Bahia). Air temperature and accumulated precipitation were the main climatic drivers of hawksbill hatching success (number of eggs hatched within a nest) across Brazil and in Rio Grande do Norte, while air temperature and average precipitation were the main climatic drivers of hatching success at Bahia. Solar radiation was the main climatic driver of emergence success (number of hatchlings that emerged from total hatched eggs within a nest) at both regions. Warmer temperatures and higher solar radiation had negative effects on hatchling production, while wetter conditions had a positive effect. Conservative and extreme climate scenarios show air temperatures are projected to increase at this site, while precipitation projections vary between scenarios and regions throughout the 21st century. We predicted hatching success of undisturbed nests (no recorded depredation or storm-related impacts) will decrease in Brazil by 2100 as a result of how this population is influenced by local climate. This study shows the determining effects of different climate variables and their combinations on an important and critically endangered marine species.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Alexander KA, Heaney AK, J Shaman (2018)

Hydrometeorology and flood pulse dynamics drive diarrheal disease outbreaks and increase vulnerability to climate change in surface-water-dependent populations: A retrospective analysis.

PLoS medicine, 15(11):e1002688 pii:PMEDICINE-D-17-04353.

BACKGROUND: The impacts of climate change on surface water, waterborne disease, and human health remain a growing area of concern, particularly in Africa, where diarrheal disease is one of the most important health threats to children under 5 years of age. Little is known about the role of surface water and annual flood dynamics (flood pulse) on waterborne disease and human health nor about the expected impact of climate change on surface-water-dependent populations.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using the Chobe River in northern Botswana, a flood pulse river-floodplain system, we applied multimodel inference approaches assessing the influence of river height, water quality (bimonthly counts of Escherichia coli and total suspended solids [TSS], 2011-2017), and meteorological variability on weekly diarrheal case reports among children under 5 presenting to health facilities (n = 10 health facilities, January 2007-June 2017). We assessed diarrheal cases by clinical characteristics and season across age groups using monthly outpatient data (January 1998-June 2017). A strong seasonal pattern was identified, with 2 outbreaks occurring regularly in the wet and dry seasons. The timing of outbreaks diverged from that at the level of the country, where surface water is largely absent. Across age groups, the number of diarrheal cases was greater, on average, during the dry season. Demographic and clinical characteristics varied by season, underscoring the importance of environmental drivers. In the wet season, rainfall (8-week lag) had a significant influence on under-5 diarrhea, with a 10-mm increase in rainfall associated with an estimated 6.5% rise in the number of cases. Rainfall, minimum temperature, and river height were predictive of E. coli concentration, and increases in E. coli in the river were positively associated with diarrheal cases. In the dry season, river height (1-week lag) and maximum temperature (1- and 4-week lag) were significantly associated with diarrheal cases. During this period, a 1-meter drop in river height corresponded to an estimated 16.7% and 16.1% increase in reported diarrhea with a 1- and 4-week lag, respectively. In this region, as floodwaters receded from the surrounding floodplains, TSS levels increased and were positively associated with diarrheal cases (0- and 3-week lag). Populations living in this region utilized improved water sources, suggesting that hydrological variability and rapid water quality shifts in surface waters may compromise water treatment processes. Limitations include the potential influence of health beliefs and health seeking behaviors on data obtained through passive surveillance.

CONCLUSIONS: In flood pulse river-floodplain systems, hydrology and water quality dynamics can be highly variable, potentially impacting conventional water treatment facilities and the production of safe drinking water. In Southern Africa, climate change is predicted to intensify hydrological variability and the frequency of extreme weather events, amplifying the public health threat of waterborne disease in surface-water-dependent populations. Water sector development should be prioritized with urgency, incorporating technologies that are robust to local environmental conditions and expected climate-driven impacts. In populations with high HIV burdens, expansion of diarrheal disease surveillance and intervention strategies may also be needed. As annual flood pulse processes are predominantly influenced by climate controls in distant regions, country-level data may be inadequate to refine predictions of climate-health interactions in these systems.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Esquivel-Muelbert A, Baker TR, Dexter KG, et al (2018)

Compositional response of Amazon forests to climate change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate-induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of intact lowland Amazonian forests have been changing by evaluating records from 106 long-term inventory plots spanning 30 years. We analyse three traits that have been hypothesized to respond to different environmental drivers (increase in moisture stress and atmospheric CO2 concentrations): maximum tree size, biogeographic water-deficit affiliation and wood density. Tree communities have become increasingly dominated by large-statured taxa, but to date there has been no detectable change in mean wood density or water deficit affiliation at the community level, despite most forest plots having experienced an intensification of the dry season. However, among newly recruited trees, dry-affiliated genera have become more abundant, while the mortality of wet-affiliated genera has increased in those plots where the dry season has intensified most. Thus, a slow shift to a more dry-affiliated Amazonia is underway, with changes in compositional dynamics (recruits and mortality) consistent with climate-change drivers, but yet to significantly impact whole-community composition. The Amazon observational record suggests that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is driving a shift within tree communities to large-statured species and that climate changes to date will impact forest composition, but long generation times of tropical trees mean that biodiversity change is lagging behind climate change.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Vicedo-Cabrera AM, Guo Y, Sera F, et al (2018)

Temperature-related mortality impacts under and beyond Paris Agreement climate change scenarios.

Climatic change, 150(3-4):391-402.

The Paris Agreement binds all nations to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change, with the commitment to Bhold warming well below 2 °C in global mean temperature (GMT), relative to pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C". The 1.5 °C limit constitutes an ambitious goal for which greater evidence on its benefits for health would help guide policy and potentially increase the motivation for action. Here we contribute to this gap with an assessment on the potential health benefits, in terms of reductions in temperature-related mortality, derived from the compliance to the agreed temperature targets, compared to more extreme warming scenarios. We performed a multi-region analysis in 451 locations in 23 countries with different climate zones, and evaluated changes in heat and cold-related mortality under scenarios consistent with the Paris Agreement targets (1.5 and 2 °C) and more extreme GMT increases (3 and 4 °C), and under the assumption of no changes in demographic distribution and vulnerability. Our results suggest that limiting warming below 2 °C could prevent large increases in temperature-related mortality in most regions worldwide. The comparison between 1.5 and 2 °C is more complex and characterized by higher uncertainty, with geographical differences that indicate potential benefits limited to areas located in warmer climates, where direct climate change impacts will be more discernible.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Obradovich N, R Migliorini (2018)

Sleep and the human impacts of climate change.

Sleep medicine reviews, 42:1-2.

RevDate: 2018-11-07

d'Alpoim Guedes J, RK Bocinsky (2018)

Climate change stimulated agricultural innovation and exchange across Asia.

Science advances, 4(10):eaar4491 pii:aar4491.

Ancient farmers experienced climate change at the local level through variations in the yields of their staple crops. However, archaeologists have had difficulty in determining where, when, and how changes in climate affected ancient farmers. We model how several key transitions in temperature affected the productivity of six grain crops across Eurasia. Cooling events between 3750 and 3000 cal. BP lead humans in parts of the Tibetan Plateau and in Central Asia to diversify their crops. A second event at 2000 cal. BP leads farmers in central China to also diversify their cropping systems and to develop systems that allowed transport of grains from southern to northern China. In other areas where crop returns fared even worse, humans reduced their risk by increasing investment in nomadic pastoralism and developing long-distance networks of trade. By translating changes in climatic variables into factors that mattered to ancient farmers, we situate the adaptive strategies they developed to deal with variance in crop returns in the context of environmental and climatic changes.

RevDate: 2018-11-07

Bezeng BS, Tesfamichael SG, Dayananda B, et al (2018)

Predicting the effect of climate change on a range-restricted lizard in southeastern Australia.

Current zoology, 64(2):165-171.

Climate change is ranked as one of the most severe threats to global biodiversity. This global phenomenon is particularly true for reptiles whose biology and ecology are closely linked to climate. In this study, we used over 1,300 independent occurrence points and different climate change emission scenarios to evaluate the potential risk of changing climatic conditions on the current and future potential distribution of a rock-dwelling lizard; the velvet gecko. Furthermore, we investigated if the current extent of protected area networks in Australia captures the full range distribution of this species currently and in the future. Our results show that climate change projections for the year 2075 have the potential to alter the distribution of the velvet gecko in southeastern Australia. Specifically, climate change may favor the range expansion of this species to encompass more suitable habitats. The trend of range expansion was qualitatively similar across the different climate change scenarios used. Additionally, we observed that the current network of protected areas in southeast Australia does not fully account for the full range distribution of this species currently and in the future. Ongoing climate change may profoundly affect the potential range distribution of the velvet gecko population. Therefore, the restricted habitat of the velvet geckos should be the focus of intensive pre-emptive management efforts. This management prioritization should be extended to encompass the increases in suitable habitats observed in this study in order to maximize the microhabitats available for the survival of this species.

RevDate: 2018-11-07

Bauduin S, McIntire E, St-Laurent MH, et al (2018)

Compensatory conservation measures for an endangered caribou population under climate change.

Scientific reports, 8(1):16438 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-34822-9.

Future human land use and climate change may disrupt movement behaviors of terrestrial animals, thereby altering the ability of individuals to move across a landscape. Some of the expected changes result from processes whose effects will be difficult to alter, such as global climate change. We present a novel framework in which we use models to (1) identify the ecological changes from these difficult-to-alter processes, as well as (2) the potential conservation measures that are best able to compensate for these changes. We illustrated this framework with the case of an endangered caribou population in Québec, Canada. We coupled a spatially explicit individual-based movement model with a range of landscape scenarios to assess the impacts of varying degrees of climate change, and the ability of conservation actions to compensate for such impacts on caribou movement behaviors. We found that (1) climate change impacts reduced movement potential, and that (2) the complete restoration of secondary roads inside protected areas was able to fully offset this reduction, suggesting that road restoration would be an effective compensatory conservation action. By evaluating conservation actions via landscape use simulated by an individual-based model, we were able to identify compensatory conservation options for an endangered species facing climate change.

RevDate: 2018-11-07

Yang GJ, R Bergquist (2018)

Potential Impact of Climate Change on Schistosomiasis: A Global Assessment Attempt.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 3(4): pii:tropicalmed3040117.

Based on an ensemble of global circulation models (GCMs), four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and several ongoing and planned Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIPs), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global, average temperatures will increase by at least 1.5 °C in the near future and more by the end of the century if greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions are not genuinely tempered. While the RCPs are indicative of various amounts of GHGs in the atmosphere the CMIPs are designed to improve the workings of the GCMs. We chose RCP4.5 which represented a medium GHG emission increase and CMIP5, the most recently completed CMIP phase. Combining this meteorological model with a biological counterpart model accounted for replication and survival of the snail intermediate host as well as maturation of the parasite stage inside the snail at different ambient temperatures. The potential geographical distribution of the three main schistosome species: Schistosoma japonicum, S.mansoni and S.haematobium was investigated with reference to their different transmission capabilities at the monthly mean temperature, the maximum temperature of the warmest month(s) and the minimum temperature of the coldest month(s). The set of six maps representing the predicted situations in 2021⁻2050 and 2071⁻2100 for each species mainly showed increased transmission areas for all three species but they also left room for potential shrinkages in certain areas.

RevDate: 2018-11-06

Clearfield M, Davis G, Weis J, et al (2018)

Cardiovascular Disease as a Result of the Interactions Between Obesity, Climate Change, and Inflammation: The COCCI Syndemic.

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 118(11):719-729.

Obesity and climate change conspire to create an environment in which subclinical vascular inflammation leads to progressive atherosclerosis, which contributes to the number 1 cause of global mortality: cardiovascular disease. The syndemic model requires 2 or more diseases or contributors to disease (such as obesity and climate change) clustering within a specific population in addition to the associated societal and social factors, ultimately creating an environment supportive of a greater adverse interaction. This article explores the syndemic of obesity and climate change as a driver for cardiovascular disease.

RevDate: 2018-11-05

Jaime R, Alcántara JM, Manzaneda AJ, et al (2018)

Climate change decreases suitable areas for rapeseed cultivation in Europe but provides new opportunities for white mustard as an alternative oilseed for biofuel production.

PloS one, 13(11):e0207124 pii:PONE-D-18-05490.

Oilseed crops, including several mustards, are cultivated as biofuel sources worldwide. However, common mustard crops (e.g., the rapeseed Brassica napus) grow naturally in mesic temperate regions, which are expected to be impaired by global warming and increased aridity. In particular, increased aridity is predicted to reduce the oil concentration and seed yield of rapeseed crops. There is therefore an urgent need to identify alternative bioenergy crops that are preadapted to future climatic conditions. An alternative to conventional Brassica species for biodiesel production is the white mustard Sinapis alba, which is native to the circum-Mediterranean region and has a high seed lipid content. S. alba grows spontaneously in olive groves and other widespread Mediterranean crops; accordingly, it could be easily cultivated by companion planting to improve ecosystem function by decreasing soil loss, controlling microbial disease, and assisting in the maintenance of biodiversity. In this study, using species distribution modeling, we predicted climatically suitable areas for the cultivation of S. alba in Western Europe across the Mediterranean Basin under present climatic conditions and several climate change scenarios. We show that current climatically suitable areas for S. alba cultivation do not overlap with those for B. napus. Unlike B. napus, S. alba could be cultivated throughout most of the circum-Mediterranean region. According to our models, increases in aridity and annual mean temperatures will expand the climatically suitable areas for S. alba in the Mediterranean Basin. However, suitable areas for the cultivation of B. napus will decrease significantly in Western Europe. Our results indicate that S. alba is a strong, environmentally safe candidate for biofuel production throughout the Mediterranean Basin and other Western European countries, especially under climate change scenarios that are expected to impair current oilseed crops.

RevDate: 2018-11-05

Lehikoinen P, Santangeli A, Jaatinen K, et al (2018)

Protected areas act as a buffer against detrimental effects of climate change-Evidence from large-scale, long-term abundance data.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is driving species to shift their distributions toward high altitudes and latitudes, while habitat loss and fragmentation may hamper species ability to follow their climatic envelope. These two drivers of change may act in synergy, with particularly disastrous impacts on biodiversity. Protected areas, PAs, may thus represent crucial buffers against the compounded effects of climate change and habitat loss. However, large-scale studies assessing the performance of PAs as such buffers remain scarce and are largely based on species occurrence data. Conversely, abundance data have proven to be more reliable for addressing changes in wildlife populations under climate change. We evaluated changes in bird abundance from the 1970s-80s to the 2000s inside and outside PAs at the trailing range edge of 30 northern bird species and at the leading range edge of 70 southern species. Abundances of retracting northern species were higher and declined less inside PAs at their trailing range edge. The positive effect of PAs on bird abundances was particularly marked in northern species that rely strongly on PAs, that is, their density distribution is largely confined within PAs. These species were nearly absent outside PAs in the 2000s. The abundances of southern species were in general lower inside PAs and increased less from the 70s-80s to 2000s. Nonetheless, species with high reliance on PAs had much higher abundances inside than outside PAs in the 2000s. These results show that PAs are essential in mitigating the retraction of northern species, but also facilitate northward expansions of southern species highly reliant on PAs. Our study provides empirical evidence documenting the role of PAs in facilitating species to adjust to rapidly changing climatic conditions, thereby contributing to the mitigation of impending biodiversity loss. PAs may thus allow time for initiating wider conservation programs on currently unprotected land.

RevDate: 2018-11-05

Hamidov A, Helming K, Bellocchi G, et al (2018)

Impacts of climate change adaptation options on soil functions: A review of European case-studies.

Land degradation & development, 29(8):2378-2389.

Soils are vital for supporting food security and other ecosystem services. Climate change can affect soil functions both directly and indirectly. Direct effects include temperature, precipitation, and moisture regime changes. Indirect effects include those that are induced by adaptations such as irrigation, crop rotation changes, and tillage practices. Although extensive knowledge is available on the direct effects, an understanding of the indirect effects of agricultural adaptation options is less complete. A review of 20 agricultural adaptation case-studies across Europe was conducted to assess implications to soil threats and soil functions and the link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The major findings are as follows: (a) adaptation options reflect local conditions; (b) reduced soil erosion threats and increased soil organic carbon are expected, although compaction may increase in some areas; (c) most adaptation options are anticipated to improve the soil functions of food and biomass production, soil organic carbon storage, and storing, filtering, transforming, and recycling capacities, whereas possible implications for soil biodiversity are largely unknown; and (d) the linkage between soil functions and the SDGs implies improvements to SDG 2 (achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture) and SDG 13 (taking action on climate change), whereas the relationship to SDG 15 (using terrestrial ecosystems sustainably) is largely unknown. The conclusion is drawn that agricultural adaptation options, even when focused on increasing yields, have the potential to outweigh the negative direct effects of climate change on soil degradation in many European regions.

RevDate: 2018-11-03

Reside AE, Critchell K, Crayn DM, et al (2018)

Beyond the model: expert knowledge improves predictions of species' fates under climate change.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

The need to proactively manage landscapes and species to aid their adaptation to climate change is widely acknowledged. Current approaches to prioritizing investment in species conservation generally rely on correlative models, which predict the likely fate of species under different climate change scenarios. Yet, while model statistics can be improved by refining modelling techniques, gaps remain in understanding the relationship between model performance and ecological reality. To investigate this we compared standard correlative species distribution models to highly accurate, fine-scale distribution models. We critically assessed the ecological realism of each species' model, using expert knowledge of the geography and habitat in the study area and the biology of the study species. Using interactive software and an iterative vetting with experts, we identified seven general principles that explain why the distribution modelling under- or over-estimated habitat suitability, under both current and predicted future climates. Importantly, we found that, while temperature estimates can be dramatically improved through better climate downscaling, many models still inaccurately reflected moisture availability. Furthermore, the correlative models did not account for biotic factors such as disease or competitor species, and were unable to account for the likely presence of micro refugia. Under-performing current models resulted in widely divergent future projections of species' distributions. Expert vetting identified regions that were likely to contain micro refugia, even where the fine-scale future projections of species distributions predicted population losses. Based on the results we identify four priority conservation actions required for more effective climate change adaptation responses. This approach to improving the ecological realism of correlative models to understand climate change impacts on species can be applied broadly to improve the evidence base underpinning management responses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-02

Lim YK, Schubert SD, Kovach R, et al (2018)

The Roles of Climate Change and Climate Variability in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Scientific reports, 8(1):16172 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-34343-5.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active with six major hurricanes, the third most on record. The sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) over the eastern Main Development Region (EMDR), where many tropical cyclones (TCs) developed during active months of August/September, were ~0.96 °C above the 1901-2017 average (warmest on record): about ~0.42 °C from a long-term upward trend and the rest (~80%) attributed to the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM). The contribution to the SST from the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) over the EMDR was a weak warming, while that from El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) was negligible. Nevertheless, ENSO, the NAO, and the AMM all contributed to favorable wind shear conditions, while the AMM also produced enhanced atmospheric instability. Compared with the strong hurricane years of 2005/2010, the ocean heat content (OHC) during 2017 was larger across the tropics, with higher SST anomalies over the EMDR and Caribbean Sea. On the other hand, the dynamical/thermodynamical atmospheric conditions, while favorable for enhanced TC activity, were less prominent than in 2005/2010 across the tropics. The results suggest that unusually warm SST in the EMDR together with the long fetch of the resulting storms in the presence of record-breaking OHC may be key factors in driving the strong TC activity in 2017.

RevDate: 2018-11-02

Hummel M, Hallahan BF, Brychkova G, et al (2018)

Reduction in nutritional quality and growing area suitability of common bean under climate change induced drought stress in Africa.

Scientific reports, 8(1):16187 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-33952-4.

Climate change impacts on food security will involve negative impacts on crop yields, and potentially on the nutritional quality of staple crops. Common bean is the most important grain legume staple crop for human diets and nutrition worldwide. We demonstrate by crop modeling that the majority of current common bean growing areas in southeastern Africa will become unsuitable for bean cultivation by the year 2050. We further demonstrate reductions in yields of available common bean varieties in a field trial that is a climate analogue site for future predicted drought conditions. Little is known regarding the impact of climate change induced abiotic stresses on the nutritional quality of common beans. Our analysis of nutritional and antinutritional compounds reveals that iron levels in common bean grains are reduced under future climate-scenario relevant drought stress conditions. In contrast, the levels of protein, zinc, lead and phytic acid increase in the beans under such drought stress conditions. This indicates that under climate-change induced drought scenarios, future bean servings by 2050 will likely have lower nutritional quality, posing challenges for ongoing climate-proofing of bean production for yields, nutritional quality, human health, and food security.

RevDate: 2018-11-01

Bishop-Williams KE, Berrang-Ford L, Sargeant JM, et al (2018)

Understanding Weather and Hospital Admissions Patterns to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in the Healthcare Sector in Uganda.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11): pii:ijerph15112402.

Background: Season and weather are associated with many health outcomes, which can influence hospital admission rates. We examined associations between hospital admissions (all diagnoses) and local meteorological parameters in Southwestern Uganda, with the aim of supporting hospital planning and preparedness in the context of climate change. Methods: Hospital admissions data and meteorological data were collected from Bwindi Community Hospital and a satellite database of weather conditions, respectively (2011 to 2014). Descriptive statistics were used to describe admission patterns. A mixed-effects Poisson regression model was fitted to investigate associations between hospital admissions and season, precipitation, and temperature. Results: Admission counts were highest for acute respiratory infections, malaria, and acute gastrointestinal illness, which are climate-sensitive diseases. Hospital admissions were 1.16 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.31; p = 0.008) times higher during extreme high temperatures (i.e., >95th percentile) on the day of admission. Hospital admissions association with season depended on year; admissions were higher in the dry season than the rainy season every year, except for 2014. Discussion: Effective adaptation strategy characteristics include being low-cost and quick and practical to implement at local scales. Herein, we illustrate how analyzing hospital data alongside meteorological parameters may inform climate-health planning in low-resource contexts.

RevDate: 2018-10-31

Li J, Li D, Xue Y, et al (2018)

Identifying potential refugia and corridors under climate change: A case study of endangered Sichuan golden monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Qinling Mountains, China.

American journal of primatology, 80(11):e22929.

Climate change threatens endangered species and challenges current conservation strategies. Effective conservation requires vulnerability assessments for species susceptible to climate change and adaptive strategies to mitigate threats associated with climate. In this paper, we used the Maxent to model the impacts of climate change on habitat suitability of Sichuan golden monkey Rhinopithecus roxellana. Our results showed that (i) suitable habitat for Sichuan golden monkey was predicted to decrease by 37% in 2050s under climate change; (ii) the mean elevations of suitable habitat in the 2050s was estimated to shift 160 m higher; (iii) nature reserves protect 62% of current suitable habitat and 56% of future suitable habitat; and (iv) 49% of current suitable habitat was predicted to be vulnerable to future climate change. Given these results, we proposed conservation implications to mitigate the impacts of climate change on Sichuan golden monkey, including adjusting range of national park, establishing habitat corridors, and conducting long-term monitoring.

RevDate: 2018-10-31

Case MJ, KA Stinson (2018)

Climate change impacts on the distribution of the allergenic plant, common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) in the eastern United States.

PloS one, 13(10):e0205677 pii:PONE-D-18-15910.

Climate change is affecting the growth, phenology, and distribution of species across northeastern United States. In response to these changes, some species have been adversely impacted while others have benefited. One species that has benefited from climate change, historically and in response to experimental treatments, is common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), a widely distributed annual weed and a leading cause of hay fever in North America. To better understand how climate change may affect the distribution of common ragweed, we built a maximum entropy (Maxent) predictive model using climate and bioclimatic data and over 700 observations across the eastern U.S. Our model performed well with an AUC score of 0.765 using four uncorrelated variables, including precipitation seasonality, mean diurnal temperature range, August precipitation, and January maximum temperature. After building and testing our model, we then projected potential future common ragweed distribution using a suite of 13 global climate models (GCMs) under two future greenhouse gas scenarios for mid and late-century. In addition to providing georeferenced hot spots of potential future expansion, we also provide a metric of confidence by evaluating the number of GCMs that agree. We show a substantial contraction of common ragweed in central Florida, southern Appalachian Mountains, and northeastern Virginia and areas of potential expansion at the northern margins of its current distribution, notably in northeastern U.S. However, the vast majority of this increase is projected to occur by mid-century and may be moderated somewhat by the 2070s, implying that common ragweed may be sensitive to climatic variability. Although other factors and modeling approaches should be explored, we offer preliminary insight into where common ragweed might be a new concern in the future. Due to the health impacts of ragweed, local weed control boards may be well advised to monitor areas of expansion and potentially increase eradication efforts.

RevDate: 2018-10-31

Vicens J, Bueno-Guerra N, Gutiérrez-Roig M, et al (2018)

Resource heterogeneity leads to unjust effort distribution in climate change mitigation.

PloS one, 13(10):e0204369 pii:PONE-D-18-17074.

Climate change mitigation is a shared global challenge that involves collective action of a set of individuals with different tendencies to cooperation. However, we lack an understanding of the effect of resource inequality when diverse actors interact together towards a common goal. Here, we report the results of a collective-risk dilemma experiment in which groups of individuals were initially given either equal or unequal endowments. We found that the effort distribution was highly inequitable, with participants with fewer resources contributing significantly more to the public goods than the richer -sometimes twice as much. An unsupervised learning algorithm classified the subjects according to their individual behavior, finding the poorest participants within two "generous clusters" and the richest into a "greedy cluster". Our results suggest that policies would benefit from educating about fairness and reinforcing climate justice actions addressed to vulnerable people instead of focusing on understanding generic or global climate consequences.

RevDate: 2018-10-31

Clewlow HL, Takahashi A, Watanabe S, et al (2018)

Niche partitioning of sympatric penguins by leapfrog foraging appears to be resilient to climate change.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

1.Interspecific competition can drive niche partitioning along multidimensional axes, including allochrony. Competitor matching will arise where the phenology of sympatric species with similar ecological requirements respond to climate change at different rates such that allochrony is reduced. 2.Our study quantifies the degree of niche segregation in foraging areas and depths that arises from allochrony in sympatric Adélie and chinstrap penguins and explores its resilience to climate change. 3.Three-dimensional tracking data were sampled during all stages of the breeding season and were used to parameterise a behaviour-based model that quantified spatial overlap of foraging areas under different scenarios of allochrony. 4.The foraging ranges of the two species were similar within breeding stages, but differences in their foraging ranges between stages, combined with the observed allochrony of 28 days, resulted in them leapfrogging each other through the breeding season such that they were exploiting different foraging locations on the same calendar dates. Allochrony reduced spatial overlap in the peripheral utilisation distribution of the two species by 54.0% over the entire breeding season, compared to a scenario where the two species bred synchronously. 5.Analysis of long-term phenology data revealed that both species advanced their laying dates in relation to October air temperatures at the same rate, preserving allochrony and niche partitioning. However if allochrony is reduced by just a single day, the spatial overlap of the core utilisation distribution increased by an average of 2.1% over the entire breeding season. 6.Niche partitioning between the two species by allochrony appears to be resilient to climate change and so competitor matching cannot be implicated in the observed population declines of the two penguin species across the Western Antarctic Peninsula. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-10-31

Patz JA (2018)

Altered Disease Risk from Climate Change.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Trájer AJ, Nagy G, E Domokos (2018)

Exploration of the heterogeneous effect of climate change on ozone concentration in an urban environment.

International journal of environmental health research [Epub ahead of print].

Ozone is a significant causative agent of mortality in cities. Urban environments are expressly vulnerable to global warming because of the extensive emission of air pollutants with urban heat island effect enhancing much rapidly the ozone concentration than in the less urbanized regions. This effect previously was not studied in local scale. It was hypothesized that climate change will cause heterogenic increase of ozone concentration in the different parts of the cities. To study this effect, the near-surface ozone concentration of 10 points of a Hungarian city was measured and modeled. At first step, the local correlations between solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity and the near surface ozone concentrations at 3 m height were determined, specifying the local ozone-producing conditions. Then, based on the scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th assessment report, the future seasonal near-surface ozone concentrations were modeled. Based on the model, it was determined that climate change will result in a heterogenic increase of near-surface ozone concentration.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Ladau J, Shi Y, Jing X, et al (2018)

Existing Climate Change Will Lead to Pronounced Shifts in the Diversity of Soil Prokaryotes.

mSystems, 3(5): pii:mSystems00167-18.

Soil bacteria are key to ecosystem function and maintenance of soil fertility. Leveraging associations of current geographic distributions of bacteria with historic climate, we predict that soil bacterial diversity will increase across the majority (∼75%) of the Tibetan Plateau and northern North America if bacterial communities equilibrate with existing climatic conditions. This prediction is possible because the current distributions of soil bacteria have stronger correlations with climate from ∼50 years ago than with current climate. This lag is likely associated with the time it takes for soil properties to adjust to changes in climate. The predicted changes are location specific and differ across bacterial taxa, including some bacteria that are predicted to have reductions in their distributions. These findings illuminate the widespread potential of climate change to influence belowground diversity and the importance of considering bacterial communities when assessing climate impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. IMPORTANCE There have been many studies highlighting how plant and animal communities lag behind climate change, causing extinction and diversity debts that will slowly be paid as communities equilibrate. By virtue of their short generation times and dispersal abilities, soil bacteria might be expected to respond to climate change quickly and to be effectively in equilibrium with current climatic conditions. We found strong evidence to the contrary in Tibet and North America. These findings could significantly improve understanding of climate impacts on soil microbial communities.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Freeman BG, Scholer MN, Ruiz-Gutierrez V, et al (2018)

Climate change causes upslope shifts and mountaintop extirpations in a tropical bird community.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1804224115 [Epub ahead of print].

Montane species worldwide are shifting upslope in response to recent temperature increases. These upslope shifts are predicted to lead to mountaintop extinctions of species that live only near mountain summits, but empirical examples of populations that have disappeared are sparse. We show that recent warming constitutes an "escalator to extinction" for birds on a remote Peruvian mountain-high-elevation species have declined in both range size and abundance, and several previously common mountaintop residents have disappeared from the local community. Our findings support projections that warming will likely drive widespread extirpations and extinctions of high-elevation taxa in the tropical Andes. Such climate change-driven mountaintop extirpations may be more likely in the tropics, where temperature seems to exert a stronger control on species' range limits than in the temperate zone. In contrast, we show that lowland bird species at our study site are expanding in range size as they shift their upper limits upslope and may thus benefit from climate change.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Ebi KL, Berry P, Hayes K, et al (2018)

Stress Testing the Capacity of Health Systems to Manage Climate Change-Related Shocks and Stresses.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11): pii:ijerph15112370.

Vulnerability and adaptation assessments can provide valuable input to foster climate-resilient health systems. However, these assessments often do not explore the potential health risks of climate change far outside the range of recent experience with extreme weather events and other climate-related hazards. Climate and health stress tests are designed to increase the capacity of health systems and related sectors to manage potentially disruptive climate-related shocks and stresses. Stress tests focus on hypothetical scenarios, during which it would be difficult for the health system to maintain its essential function of providing services to protect population health. The stress test explores approaches to effectively manage acute and chronic climate-related events and conditions that could directly impact health systems, and climate-related events in non-health sectors that can indirectly impact health outcomes and/or health system function. We provide detailed methods and guidance for conducting climate and health stress tests, centering on three primary activities: (1) preparing and scoping the stress test; (2) successfully conducting the stress test; and (3) communicating the results to key stakeholders to facilitate policy and programmatic reforms.

RevDate: 2018-10-30

Parajuli R, Thoma G, MD Matlock (2019)

Environmental sustainability of fruit and vegetable production supply chains in the face of climate change: A review.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 2):2863-2879.

This study discusses importance of assessing environmental sustainability of fruits and vegetable (F&V) production sector in future climate change (CC) scenarios. For the current production scenario, life cycle environmental footprints of F&V supply chain are discussed considering the influences of: agro-climates, production systems, raw material inputs, post-harvest managements to the products' yield and quality. Potential risks of CC to the sector are discussed in the context of elevated global temperature and carbon dioxide level, ozone depletion and changes in precipitation patterns. Potential risks due to CC are on the productivity and the quality of F&V products, such as texture, color, maturity and nutrients. Increased risk of failure of the current crop protection strategies, e.g. due to pest infestations and different crop-water and nutrient stresses are among the short and long-term risks. It also discusses potential adaptation and mitigation measures to CC, and therefrom argues on the related environmental consequences in the supply chain. From the LCA studies, it was revealed that environmental impacts of F&V supply chain varied as per agro-ecological characteristics and farming systems, e.g. greenhouse vs open-field, organic vs conventional, and grown in different agro-climatic conditions. The nexus among the climatic stresses, potential adaptation and mitigation measures, hence were in the form of potential changes in the raw material inputs and resource flows depending on the preferred future agro-management strategies and farming practices. Adaptation and other management options, included are, changes in: crop calendar, nutrient and pest management strategies, post-harvest handling and improved preservation of F&V products. These are argued eventually being determining factors leading to different environmental footprints compared to the existing management scenarios. Prospective life cycle environmental evaluation of F&V supply chain considering the relationship among product yield and qualities, CC stresses and potential adaptation and mitigation measures is thus a new thrust and direction.

RevDate: 2018-10-29

Michelozzi P, F De' Donato (2018)

[Climate change and air quality: a "liaison dangereuse"].

Epidemiologia e prevenzione, 42(5-6):382-383.

RevDate: 2018-10-29

van Lange PAM, Rinderu MI, BJ Bushman (2018)

CLASH: Climate (change) and cultural evolution of intergroup conflict.

Group processes & intergroup relations : GPIR, 21(3):457-471.

Aggression and violence levels generally increase as one moves closer to the equator, but why? We developed a new theoretical model, CLimate, Aggression, and Self-control in Humans (CLASH; van Lange, Rinderu, & Bushman, 2017b, 2017c), to understand differences within and between countries in aggression and violence in terms of differences in climate. Colder temperatures, and especially larger degrees of seasonal variation in climate, call for individuals and groups to adopt a slower life history strategy, revealed in a greater focus on the future (vs. present) and a stronger focus on self-control-variables that are known to inhibit aggression and violence. Other variables (e.g., wealth, income inequality, parasite stress) are also linked to both climate differences and to aggression and violence differences. When people think of the consequences of climate change, they rarely think of the impact on aggression and violence levels, but they should. CLASH has broad implications for the effects of climate change on intergroup conflict.

RevDate: 2018-10-29

Dalla Marta A, Eitzinger J, Kersebaum KC, et al (2018)

Assessment and monitoring of crop water use and productivity in response to climate change.

The Journal of agricultural science, 156(5):575-576.

RevDate: 2018-10-28

Bostrom A, Hayes AL, KM Crosman (2018)

Efficacy, Action, and Support for Reducing Climate Change Risks.

Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis [Epub ahead of print].

A growing body of research demonstrates that believing action to reduce the risks of climate change is both possible (self-efficacy) and effective (response efficacy) is essential to motivate and sustain risk mitigation efforts. Despite this potentially critical role of efficacy beliefs, measures and their use vary wildly in climate change risk perception and communication research, making it hard to compare and learn from efficacy studies. To address this problem and advance our understanding of efficacy beliefs, this article makes three contributions. First, we present a theoretically motivated approach to measuring climate change mitigation efficacy, in light of diverse proposed, perceived, and previously researched strategies. Second, we test this in two national survey samples (Amazon's Mechanical Turk N = 405, GfK Knowledge Panel N = 1,820), demonstrating largely coherent beliefs by level of action and discrimination between types of efficacy. Four additive efficacy scales emerge: personal self-efficacy, personal response efficacy, government and collective self-efficacy, and government and collective response efficacy. Third, we employ the resulting efficacy scales in mediation models to test how well efficacy beliefs predict climate change policy support, controlling for specific knowledge, risk perceptions, and ideology, and allowing for mediation by concern. Concern fully mediates the relatively strong effects of perceived risk on policy support, but only partly mediates efficacy beliefs. Stronger government and collective response efficacy beliefs and personal self-efficacy beliefs are both directly and indirectly associated with greater support for reducing the risks of climate change, even after controlling for ideology and causal beliefs about climate change.

RevDate: 2018-10-28

Benmoussa H, Ben Mimoun M, Ghrab M, et al (2018)

Climate change threatens central Tunisian nut orchards.

International journal of biometeorology pii:10.1007/s00484-018-1628-x [Epub ahead of print].

Temperate deciduous trees can only be productive where winters are cold enough to meet their chilling needs. In the Mediterranean region, chill has traditionally been sufficient for many species, but this may change as temperatures increase. We explored the region's present and future suitability for temperate trees by quantifying chill for the Sfax region in central Tunisia, one of the warmest regions where temperate nuts are commercially grown. We assessed climatic risk by calculating historic chill (since 1973) and using a weather generator calibrated with local weather data (1973-2015) to produce 101 years of chill estimates (computed with the Dynamic Model) and 3 past and 72 future scenarios (for 2041-2070 and 2071-2100, using two representative concentration pathways: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). For almonds and pistachios, we compared available chill during the chilling period with the species' estimated chilling requirements, and we computed the date by which sufficient chill was expected to have accumulated. Our findings indicated severe chill losses for all future scenarios. For all species, the current chill period is no longer expected to be sufficient for meeting chilling requirements in the future. Chill needs may still be fulfilled later in the year, especially for low-chill almonds, but this would result in delayed phenology, with possible adverse effects on productivity. Temperate nut production is thus unlikely to remain viable at this site, highlighting an urgent need to identify locally appropriate adaptation options. This challenge is likely shared by other warm production regions of temperate fruits and nuts around the world.

RevDate: 2018-10-27

Rakib MA, Sasaki J, Pal S, et al (2018)

An investigation of coastal vulnerability and internal consistency of local perceptions under climate change risk in the southwest part of Bangladesh.

Journal of environmental management, 231:419-428 pii:S0301-4797(18)31188-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Climatic threats force disruption on community lifestyles by impairing social factors, the fundamental components of ensuring social sustainability. This study investigates the situational factors affecting the consequences on coastal livelihoods, and social activities; it also considers the effectiveness of traditional knowledge in reducing possible risks. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed, including questionnaire survey for identifying the local perception of climatic impacts alongside the impacts on daily activities. Interviews, field observations, and multivariate analyses were performed to explain the vulnerability status in coastal communities. Results show that most livelihood sectors were severely affected by the long-term and repeated actions of climatic hazards, such as cyclones, associated with a number of unavoidable risks making people susceptible to damages in social wellbeing. In addition, saltwater intrusion damages drinking water supply and crop farming, which can cause diseases among coastal communities, but very few attempts have been made to provide alternative sources of drinking water at a household level. Moreover, principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) revealed significant interfaces between local perceptions and the socio-and agro-environmental factors changing the overall status of regional hazards. Thus, the situation exhibits coastal hazards, social vulnerability, and social crisis. Local people use their traditional knowledge to cope with various levels of crisis under vulnerable conditions, but sometimes doing so exceeds their capacity owing to the unwanted changes in climatic variables and knowledge gaps or uncertainties. Challenges on the basis of the problematic points should be noted, however, it would be more significant to achieve social sustainability under adverse climatic conditions.

RevDate: 2018-10-26

Boonwichai S, Shrestha S, Babel MS, et al (2018)

Evaluation of climate change impacts and adaptation strategies on rainfed rice production in Songkhram River Basin, Thailand.

The Science of the total environment, 652:189-201 pii:S0048-9697(18)34092-0 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigates rice yield and evaluates potential adaptation measures on field management practices for rainfed rice production under climate change scenarios in the Songkhram River Basin, Thailand. The top-down and bottom-up approaches are combined to evaluate the future climate conditions in the Songkhram River Basin and identify adaptation strategies respectively. An ensemble of four Regional Climate Models (RCMs) bias-corrected using the Quantile Mapping technique was used to project the future climate under two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The DSSAT crop simulation model was used to simulate rice yield and evaluate the impacts of climate change on rice yield, as well as the feasibility of four adaptation options, which were solicited from four hundred farmers through questionnaire surveys in the basin. The strategies include (i) change in planting date, (ii) change in fertiliser application date, (iii) change in fertiliser application dose, and (iv) supplying irrigation water. Based on the model results, future maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to increase by 2.8 and 3.2 °C respectively under RCP8.5 scenario for 2080s. Although annual rainfall may be unchanged, rainfall patterns will shift earlier in future. Evaluation of adaptation strategies suggest that supplying irrigation water under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios respectively are the best strategies to increase rice yield under climate change scenarios. Change in fertiliser application date and change in planting date can increase the future rice yield by 12 and 8%, respectively under RCP4.5 scenario for 2080s. Adjusting the fertiliser application dose may however reduce future rice yield. Although supplying irrigation water can aid the production of rainfed rice, other concerns such as the source of water are involved. The feasibility of adaptation actions would depend largely on available resources and mindset of farmers. Further work is warranted in exploring a combination of adaptation strategies and management plans to combat the adverse impacts of climate change.

RevDate: 2018-10-26

Rahut DB, A Ali (2018)

Impact of climate-change risk-coping strategies on livestock productivity and household welfare: empirical evidence from Pakistan.

Heliyon, 4(10):e00797 pii:e00797.

Using the primary datasets collected from 700 livestock farmers from all four major provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan, this paper analyzes the impact of climate-change risk coping strategies on household welfare. A Poisson regression model was used to estimate the determinants of the livestock ownership and multivariate probit model to assess the determinants of the measures taken to manage the climatic-risk challenge for livestock. A propensity score matching approach (PSM) was used to assess the impact of the adopted climate-risk management strategies on livestock farmers. Findings indicated that in Pakistan livestock farmers generally adopt four main types of strategies to cope with climate risk: livestock insurance, selling of livestock, allocation of more land area for fodder and migration. The results show that age, education, wealth, access to extension services, and membership in NGOs, influence the livestock farmers' choice of climate-risk-coping mechanisms. The livestock farmers who adopted risk-coping mechanisms generally fared better. Increasing the land area allocated to fodder seems to increase production of milk and butter, resulting in higher income and lower poverty levels. Those who bought insurance had more milk production and a lower poverty level, while those who sold livestock to cope with climate risk decreased production but increased household income and lowered poverty levels. Migration seems to have a negative impact on production and income. Impact assessments confirm that purchasing livestock insurance and increasing fodder areas are more effective compared to the selling of livestock and migration. Agricultural climate policy should focus on creating awareness as well as increasing access to extension services among livestock farmers on climate risk and risk-coping strategies to mitigate the impact on rural livelihoods.

RevDate: 2018-10-26

Pennisi E (2018)

Restoring lost grazers could help blunt climate change.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 362(6413):388.

RevDate: 2018-10-26

Potapowicz J, Szumińska D, Szopińska M, et al (2019)

The influence of global climate change on the environmental fate of anthropogenic pollution released from the permafrost: Part I. Case study of Antarctica.

The Science of the total environment, 651(Pt 1):1534-1548.

This article presents a review of information related to the influence of potential permafrost degradation on the environmental fate of chemical species which are released and stored, classified as potential influence in future Antarctic environment. Considering all data regarding climate change prediction, this topic may prove important issue for the future state of the Antarctic environment. A detailed survey on soil and permafrost data permitted the assumption that this medium may constitute a sink for organic and inorganic pollution (especially for persistent organic pollution, POPs, and heavy metals). The analysis of the environmental fate and potential consequences of the presence of pollutants for the existence of the Antarctic fauna leads to a conclusion that they may cause numerous negative effects (e.g. Endocrine disruptions, DNA damage, cancerogenicity). In the case of temperature increase and enhanced remobilisation processes, this effect may be even stronger, and may disturb natural balance in the environment. Therefore, regular research on the environmental fate of pollution is required, especially in terms of processes of remobilisation from the permafrost reserves.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Di Giusto B, Lavallee JP, TY Yu (2018)

Towards an East Asian model of climate change awareness: A questionnaire study among university students in Taiwan.

PloS one, 13(10):e0206298 pii:PONE-D-18-14297.

East Asia emits more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other region, yet little is known about attitudes towards climate change in this region. A cross-sectional survey investigating climate change knowledge, concern and behavior change was administered to 1118 university students at nine universities across Taiwan in June 2016. Knowledge was assessed with a 15-item quiz while concern and behavioral change were self-reported on 5-point Likert scales. The relationship of these three variables with various socio-demographic variables was investigated through Kruskal-Wallis tests and ordinal logistic regressions. Knowledge was homogeneous by region but differed sharply by socioeconomic position. Concern appears high by international standards, with 65% reporting being "somewhat concerned" and 28% being "very concerned," while climate change denial was negligible. Students expressing greater concern were more likely to be from eastern and southern Taiwan, regions more vulnerable to extreme weather events. However, these high concern levels did not translate into action, as only 38% of respondents reported "some" and 11% reported "very much" behavioral change in response to climate change. Higher levels of behavioral change were reported by students expressing greater concern and students with lower levels of climate change knowledge. In contrast with studies of Western societies, our findings suggest an East Asian model in which the conflict between economic growth and the environment is playing out in different ways, such that the crucial need is for policy leadership and not more education.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Chen L, Huang JG, Ma Q, et al (2018)

Long-term changes in the impacts of global warming on leaf phenology of four temperate tree species.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Contrary to the generally advanced spring leaf unfolding under global warming, the effects of the climate warming on autumn leaf senescence are highly variable with advanced, delayed, and unchanged patterns being all reported. Using one million records of leaf phenology from four dominant temperate species in Europe, we investigated the temperature sensitivities of spring leaf unfolding and autumn leaf senescence (ST , advanced or delayed days per degree Celsius). The ST of spring phenology in all of the four examined species showed an increase and decrease during 1951-1980 and 1981-2013, respectively. The decrease of the ST during 1981-2013 appears to be caused by reduced accumulation of chilling units. As with spring phenology, the ST of leaf senescence of early successional and exotic species started to decline since 1980. In contrast, for late successional species, the ST of autumn senescence showed an increase for the entire study period from 1951 to 2013. The impacts of rising temperature associated with global warming on spring leaf unfolding was stronger than those on autumn leaf senescence. The timing of leaf senescence was positively correlated with the timing of leaf unfolding during 1951-1980. However, as climate warming continued, the differences in the responses between spring and autumn phenology gradually increased, so that the correlation was no more significant during 1981-2013. Our results further suggest that since 2000, due to the decreased temperature sensitivity of leaf unfolding the length of the growing season has not increased any more. This finding needs to be addressed in vegetation models used for assessing the effects of climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Carvalho LC, S Amâncio (2018)

Cutting the Gordian Knot of abiotic stress in grapevine: from the test tube to climate change adaptation.

Physiologia plantarum [Epub ahead of print].

In Mediterranean climate areas, the available scenarios for climate change suggest an increase in the frequency of heat waves and severe drought in summer. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is a traditional Mediterranean species and is the most valuable fruit crop in the world. Currently, viticulture must adjust to impending climate changes that are already pushing vine-growers towards the use of irrigation, with the concomitant losses in wine quality, and researchers to study tolerance to stress in existing genotypes. The viticulture and winemaking worlds are in demand to understand the physiological potential of the available genotypes to respond to climate changes. In this review we will focus on the cross-talk between common abiotic stresses that currently affect grapevine productivity and that are prone to affect it deeper in the future. We will discuss results obtained under three experimental stress conditions and that call for specific responses: (1) acclimatization of in vitro plantlets, (2) stress combinations in controlled conditions for research purposes, (3) extreme events in the field that, driven by climate changes, are pushing Mediterranean species to the limit. The different levels of tolerance to stress put in evidence by the plasticity of phenotypic and genotypic response mechanisms, will be addressed. This information is relevant to understand varietal adaptation to impending climate changes and to assist vine growers in choosing genotypes and viticulture practices. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Ashraf U, Chaudhry MN, Ahmad SR, et al (2018)

Impacts of climate change on Capparis spinosa L. based on ecological niche modeling.

PeerJ, 6:e5792 pii:5792.

Recent changes in climate are transforming the situation of life on Earth, including impacting the conservation status of many plant and animal species. This study aims to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on a medicinal plant that is known to be heat-tolerant, Capparis spinosa L. We used ecological niche modeling to estimate current and future potential distributions for the species, considering two emissions scenarios and five climate models for two time periods (2050 and 2070). The results in terms of areal coverage at different suitability levels in the future were closely similar to its present-day distribution; indeed, only minor differences existed in highly suitable area, with increases of only 0.2-0.3% in suitable area for 2050 and 2070 under representative concentration pathway 4.5. Given that climate-mediated range shifts in the species are expected to be minor, conservation attention to this species can focus on minimizing local effects of anthropogenic activity.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Barros C, Thuiller W, T Münkemüller (2018)

Drought effects on the stability of forest-grassland ecotones under gradual climate change.

PloS one, 13(10):e0206138 pii:PONE-D-18-14518.

Plant communities in forest-grassland ecotones of the European Alps are already suffering from gradual climate change and will likely be exposed to more frequent and intense drought periods in the future. Yet, how gradual climate change and extreme drought will affect the stability of these plant communities is largely unknown. Here, we investigated how drought modulates the effects of gradual climate change on the long-term structural stability of these ecotone communities using a multidimensional approach. Using a spatially explicit landscape vegetation model, we simulated three drought scenarios, on top of gradual changes of climate variables, and their impacts on the dynamics of 24 plant functional groups, distinguishing between forests and grasslands, as well as different land uses. We then used n-dimensional hypervolumes to define community states under the different drought scenarios, and compared them to initial conditions to assess changes in community structural stability. In general, added drought effects did not counteract the long-term consequences of gradual climate changes, although they resulted in quantitatively different effects. Importantly, drought and climate change had non-negligible consequences for taxonomic and functional structure that differed between communities and land-use regimes. For instance, forest taxonomic structure was more overall more stable than grassland's, despite the observed functional shifts towards more warm-adapted species compositions. Conversely, unmanaged grasslands were the least stable, suffering the loss of characteristic alpine species. Also, while frequent and severe drought regimes caused forests to become more variable in time, they had the opposite effect on grasslands. Our results agree with observations of drought- and climate-driven changes in mountain communities of the Alps, and we discuss their relevance for ecosystem management. Importantly, we demonstrate the utility of this multidimensional approach to study community stability for analysing cross-community and cross-disturbance responses to global change.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Zeuli K, Nijhuis A, Macfarlane R, et al (2018)

The Impact of Climate Change on the Food System in Toronto.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(11): pii:ijerph15112344.

As part of its Climate Change and Health Strategy, in 2017, Toronto Public Health engaged stakeholders from across the food system to complete a high-level vulnerability assessment of the impact of climate change on the food system in Toronto. Using the Ontario Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Guidelines, the City of Toronto's High-Level Risk Assessment Tool, and a strategic framework developed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Toronto Public Health identified the most significant extreme weather event risks to food processing, distribution and access in Toronto. Risks associated with three extreme weather events that are the most likely to occur in Toronto due to climate change were analyzed: significant rain and flooding, an extended heat wave, and a major winter ice storm. The analysis finds that while extreme weather events could potentially disrupt Toronto's food supply, the current risk of an extended, widespread food supply disruption is relatively low. However, the findings highlight that a concerted effort across the food system, including electrical and fuel providers, is needed to address other key vulnerabilities that could impact food access, especially for vulnerable populations. Interruptions to electricity will have food access and food safety impacts, while interruptions to the transportation network and fuel will have food distribution and access impacts. Actions to mitigate these risks could include addressing food access vulnerabilities through ongoing city-wide strategies and integrating food access into the City's emergency response planning. The next steps will include engaging with multiple partners across the city to understand and strengthen the "last mile" of food distribution and develop community food resilience action plans for vulnerable neighbourhoods.

RevDate: 2018-10-25

Taillardat P, Friess DA, M Lupascu (2018)

Mangrove blue carbon strategies for climate change mitigation are most effective at the national scale.

Biology letters, 14(10): pii:rsbl.2018.0251.

Carbon fixed by vegetated coastal ecosystems (blue carbon) can mitigate anthropogenic CO2 emissions, though its effectiveness differs with the spatial scale of interest. A literature review compiling carbon sequestration rates within key ecosystems confirms that blue carbon ecosystems are the most efficient natural carbon sinks at the plot scale, though some overlooked biogeochemical processes may lead to overestimation. Moreover, the limited spatial extent of coastal habitats minimizes their potential at the global scale, only buffering 0.42% of the global fossil fuel carbon emissions in 2014. Still, blue carbon plays a role for countries with moderate fossil fuel emissions and extensive coastlines. In 2014, mangroves mitigated greater than 1% of national fossil fuel emissions for countries such as Bangladesh, Colombia and Nigeria. Considering that the Paris Agreement is based on nationally determined contributions, we propose that mangrove blue carbon may contribute to climate change mitigation at this scale in some instances alongside other blue carbon ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-10-24

Sharma R, Hooyberghs H, Lauwaet D, et al (2018)

Urban Heat Island and Future Climate Change-Implications for Delhi's Heat.

Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine pii:10.1007/s11524-018-0322-y [Epub ahead of print].

UrbClim, the urban climate model, is used for short- and long-term projections of climate for Delhi. The projections are performed for RCP8.5 using an ensemble of 11 GCM model outputs. Various heat stress indices were employed to understand the role of urban heat island (UHI) in influencing the present and future urban climate of the city. UHI intensity based on 5% warmest nights (TNp95) was 4.1 °C and exhibits negligible change over time. However, the impact of UHI on other heat stress indices is very strong. Combined hot days and tropical nights (CHT) that influenced 58-70% of the reference time frame are expected to rise to 68-77% in near-future and to 91-97% in far-future time periods. For reference time period, urban areas experience 2.3 more number of heat wave days (NHWD) than rural areas per summer season. This difference increases to 7.1 in short-term and 13.8 in long-term projections. Similar to this trend, frequency of heat waves (FHW) for urban areas is also expected to increase from 0.8 each summer season in reference time frame to 2.1 and 5.1 in short- and long-term projections. The urban-rural difference for duration of heat waves (DHW) appears to increase from 1.7 days in past to 2.3 and 2.2 days in future, illustrating that DHW for cities will be higher than non-urban areas at least by 2 days. The intensity of heat wave (IHW) for urban land uses increases from 40 °C in reference time frame to 45 °C in short-term projection to 49 °C in far future. These values for non-urban land use were 33 °C during the baseline time period and are expected to increase to 42 °C and 46 °C in near- and far-future time frames. The results clearly indicate the contribution of UHI effects in intensifying the impacts of extreme heat and heat stress in the city.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Jaakkola JJK, Juntunen S, K Näkkäläjärvi (2018)

The Holistic Effects of Climate Change on the Culture, Well-Being, and Health of the Saami, the Only Indigenous People in the European Union.

Current environmental health reports pii:10.1007/s40572-018-0211-2 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: (1) To develop a framework for understanding the holistic effects of climate change on the Saami people; (2) to summarize the scientific evidence about the primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of climate change on Saami culture and Sápmi region; and (3) to identify gaps in the knowledge of the effects of climate change on health and well-being of the Saami.

RECENT FINDINGS: The Saami health is on average similar, or slightly better compared to the health of other populations in the same area. Warming climate has already influenced Saami reindeer culture. Mental health and suicide risk partly linked to changing physical and social environments are major concerns. The lifestyle, diet, and morbidity of the Saami are changing to resemble the majority populations posing threats for the health of the Saami and making them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Climate change is a threat for the cultural way of life of Saami. Possibilities for Saami to adapt to climate change are limited.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Musarandega H, Chingombe W, R Pillay (2018)

Harnessing local traditional authorities as a potential strategy to combat the vagaries of climate change in Zimbabwe.

Jamba (Potchefstroom, South Africa), 10(1):651 pii:JAMBA-10-651.

While the devastating vagaries of climate change are ravaging communities the world over, especially in Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular, the role of traditional authorities is being overlooked. This paper argues for a relentless push towards the unimpeded involvement of local traditional authorities (LTAs) in the mobilisation of rural communities to adopt appropriate climate change adaptation practices in Zimbabwe. Given its complexity and uniqueness, external intervention through government and non-governmental agents alone can hardly foster climate change adaptation particularly at local levels within communities. Traditional leaders, who have for a long time been useful in the governance of people in various rural communities, can play a supportive role in climate change adaptation. Traditional leaders do not only serve as governance authorities but also know the traditional strategies of combating the negative effects of climate change. Despite the pressure from political interference and the advent of western technological advancement, a lot could still be done to buttress the authority and respect vested in chiefs, headsmen and village heads in the country. LTAs have the power to manage grassroots communities; hence they can be utilised as drivers in the use of traditional climate change adaptation strategies. The paper concludes that political interference is one challenge faced by abusing traditional leadership as a means to gain political mileage. The paper recommends for extended capacity building on the part of traditional leaders to improve their knowledge base. This will enable them to appreciate the integration of indigenous and modern climate change adaptation strategies. It further recommends the revitalisation of the traditional council (Dare raMambo) to deal with environmental offenses with the scope of assisting government efforts to ensure sound ecological practices within communities.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Kjeldahl EM, VF Hendricks (2018)

The sense of social influence: pluralistic ignorance in climate change: Social factors play key roles in human behavior. Individuals tend to underestimate how much others worry about climate change. This may inhibit them from taking collective climate action.

EMBO reports pii:embr.201847185 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Jarvie S, JC Svenning (2018)

Using species distribution modelling to determine opportunities for trophic rewilding under future scenarios of climate change.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 373(1761): pii:rstb.2017.0446.

Trophic rewilding, the (re)introduction of species to promote self-regulating biodiverse ecosystems, is a future-oriented approach to ecological restoration. In the twenty-first century and beyond, human-mediated climate change looms as a major threat to global biodiversity and ecosystem function. A critical aspect in planning trophic rewilding projects is the selection of suitable sites that match the needs of the focal species under both current and future climates. Species distribution models (SDMs) are currently the main tools to derive spatially explicit predictions of environmental suitability for species, but the extent of their adoption for trophic rewilding projects has been limited. Here, we provide an overview of applications of SDMs to trophic rewilding projects, outline methodological choices and issues, and provide a synthesis and outlook. We then predict the potential distribution of 17 large-bodied taxa proposed as trophic rewilding candidates and which represent different continents and habitats. We identified widespread climatic suitability for these species in the discussed (re)introduction regions under current climates. Climatic conditions generally remain suitable in the future, although some species will experience reduced suitability in parts of these regions. We conclude that climate change is not a major barrier to trophic rewilding as currently discussed in the literature.This article is part of the theme issue 'Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change'.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Falcón W, DM Hansen (2018)

Island rewilding with giant tortoises in an era of climate change.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 373(1761): pii:rstb.2017.0442.

Replacing recently extinct endemic giant tortoises with extant, functional analogues provide the perhaps best examples of island rewilding to date. Yet, an efficient future application of this conservation action is challenging in an era of climate change. We here present and discuss a conceptual framework that can serve as a roadmap for the study and application of tortoise rewilding in an uncertain future. We focus on three main ecological functions mediated by giant tortoises, namely herbivory, seed dispersal and nutrient cycling, and discuss how climate change is likely to impact these. We then propose and discuss mitigation strategies such as artificial constructed shade sites and water holes that can help drive and maintain the ecosystem functions provided by the tortoises on a landscape scale. The application of the framework and the mitigation strategies are illustrated with examples from both wild and rewilded populations of the Aldabra giant tortoise, Aldabrachelys gigantea, in the Western Indian Ocean.This article is part of the theme issue 'Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change'.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Cromsigt JPGM, Te Beest M, Kerley GIH, et al (2018)

Trophic rewilding as a climate change mitigation strategy?.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 373(1761): pii:rstb.2017.0440.

The loss of megafauna at the terminal Pleistocene has been linked to a wide range of Earth-system-level changes, such as altered greenhouse gas budgets, fire regimes and biome-level vegetation changes. Given these influences and feedbacks, might part of the solution for mitigating anthropogenic climate change lie in the restoration of extant megafauna to ecosystems? Here, we explore the potential role of trophic rewilding on Earth's climate system. We first provide a novel synthesis of the various ways that megafauna interact with the major drivers of anthropogenic climate change, including greenhouse gas storage and emission, aerosols and albedo. We then explore the role of rewilding as a mitigation tool at two scales: (i) current and near-future opportunities for national or regional climate change mitigation portfolios, and (ii) more radical opportunities at the global scale. Finally, we identify major knowledge gaps that complicate the complete characterization of rewilding as a climate change mitigation strategy. Our perspective is urgent since we are losing the Earth's last remaining megafauna, and with it a potential option to address climate change.This article is part of the theme issue 'Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change'.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Hopping KA, Chignell SM, EF Lambin (2018)

The demise of caterpillar fungus in the Himalayan region due to climate change and overharvesting.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1811591115 [Epub ahead of print].

Demand for traditional medicine ingredients is causing species declines globally. Due to this trade, Himalayan caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) has become one of the world's most valuable biological commodities, providing a crucial source of income for hundreds of thousands of collectors. However, the resulting harvesting boom has generated widespread concern over the sustainability of its collection. We investigate whether caterpillar fungus production is decreasing-and if so, why-across its entire range. To overcome the limitations of sparse quantitative data, we use a multiple evidence base approach that makes use of complementarities between local knowledge and ecological modeling. We find that, according to collectors across four countries, caterpillar fungus production has decreased due to habitat degradation, climate change, and especially overexploitation. Our statistical models corroborate that climate change is contributing to this decline. They indicate that caterpillar fungus is more productive under colder conditions, growing in close proximity to areas likely to have permafrost. With significant warming already underway throughout much of its range, we conclude that caterpillar fungus populations have been negatively affected by a combination of overexploitation and climate change. Our results underscore that harvesting is not the sole threat to economically valuable species, and that a collapse of the caterpillar fungus system under ongoing warming and high collection pressure would have serious implications throughout the Himalayan region.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Law A, Saunders P, Middleton J, et al (2018)

Global warming must stay below 1.5°C.

BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 363:k4410.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Vafeiadou AM, Bretaña BLP, Van Colen C, et al (2018)

Global warming-induced temperature effects to intertidal tropical and temperate meiobenthic communities.

Marine environmental research pii:S0141-1136(18)30305-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Global climate change and the related temperature rise strongly impact marine life and have long been in the center of scientific attention. This experimental work investigates thermal-stress effects on intertidal meiofauna from tropical and temperate coasts, focusing on community responses. Natural communities were exposed for a month to ambient, elevated constant temperatures and diurnal fluctuating temperature regimes with elevated peak maxima, to mimic realistic future climate conditions. Abundance, biodiversity, community composition and functional diversity were assessed. Differential responses between a tropical and a temperate community were revealed. The tropical nematode assemblage was more tolerant to the elevated constant than to the fluctuating temperature regime, whereas the temperate assemblage was equally affected by both. Shifts in dominance of temperature-tolerant species in elevated constant and fluctuating temperature treatments (due to temperature variations) were observed and explained by a combination of differential tolerances and shifts in species interactions. Overall, global warming-induced temperature was found to alter species dynamics within meiobenthic communities, which may have further implications for the ecosystem.

RevDate: 2018-10-23

Mpandeli S, Naidoo D, Mabhaudhi T, et al (2018)

Climate Change Adaptation through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Southern Africa.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(10): pii:ijerph15102306.

Climate change is a complex and cross-cutting problem that needs an integrated and transformative systems approach to respond to the challenge. Current sectoral approaches to climate change adaptation initiatives often create imbalances and retard sustainable development. Regional and international literature on climate change adaptation opportunities and challenges applicable to southern Africa from a water-energy-food (WEF) nexus perspective was reviewed. Specifically, this review highlights climate change impacts on water, energy, and food resources in southern Africa, while exploring mitigation and adaptation opportunities. The review further recommends strategies to develop cross-sectoral sustainable measures aimed at building resilient communities. Regional WEF nexus related institutions and legal frameworks were also reviewed to relate the WEF nexus to policy. Southern Africa is witnessing an increased frequency and intensity in climate change-associated extreme weather events, causing water, food, and energy insecurity. A projected reduction of 20% in annual rainfall by 2080 in southern Africa will only increase the regional socio-economic challenges. This is exacerbating regional resource scarcities and vulnerabilities. It will also have direct and indirect impacts on nutrition, human well-being, and health. Reduced agricultural production, lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and clean, sustainable energy are the major areas of concern. The region is already experiencing an upsurge of vector borne diseases (malaria and dengue fever), and water and food-borne diseases (cholera and diarrhoea). What is clear is that climate change impacts are cross-sectoral and multidimensional, and therefore require cross-sectoral mitigation and adaptation approaches. In this regard, a well-coordinated and integrated WEF nexus approach offers opportunities to build resilient systems, harmonise interventions, and mitigate trade-offs and hence improve sustainability. This would be achieved through greater resource mobilisation and coordination, policy convergence across sectors, and targeting nexus points in the landscape. The WEF nexus approach has potential to increase the resilience of marginalised communities in southern Africa by contributing towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 13).

RevDate: 2018-10-22

Lord JS, Hargrove JW, Torr SJ, et al (2018)

Climate change and African trypanosomiasis vector populations in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley: A mathematical modelling study.

PLoS medicine, 15(10):e1002675 pii:PMEDICINE-D-18-00419.

BACKGROUND: Quantifying the effects of climate change on the entomological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases is an essential part of climate change research, but evidence for such effects remains scant, and predictions rely largely on extrapolation of statistical correlations. We aimed to develop a mechanistic model to test whether recent increases in temperature in the Mana Pools National Park of the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe could account for the simultaneous decline of tsetse flies, the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: The model we developed incorporates the effects of temperature on mortality, larviposition, and emergence rates and is fitted to a 27-year time series of tsetse caught from cattle. These catches declined from an average of c. 50 flies per animal per afternoon in 1990 to c. 0.1 in 2017. Since 1975, mean daily temperatures have risen by c. 0.9°C and temperatures in the hottest month of November by c. 2°C. Although our model provided a good fit to the data, it cannot predict whether or when extinction will occur.

CONCLUSIONS: The model suggests that the increase in temperature may explain the observed collapse in tsetse abundance and provides a first step in linking temperature to trypanosomiasis risk. If the effect at Mana Pools extends across the whole of the Zambezi Valley, then transmission of trypanosomes is likely to have been greatly reduced in this warm low-lying region. Conversely, rising temperatures may have made some higher, cooler, parts of Zimbabwe more suitable for tsetse and led to the emergence of new disease foci.

RevDate: 2018-10-22

Zou CZ, Goldberg MD, X Hao (2018)

New generation of U.S. satellite microwave sounder achieves high radiometric stability performance for reliable climate change detection.

Science advances, 4(10):eaau0049 pii:aau0049.

Observations from the satellite microwave sounders play a vital role in measuring the long-term temperature trends for climate change monitoring. Changes in diurnal sampling over time and calibration drift have been the main sources of uncertainties in the satellite-measured temperature trends. We examine observations from the first of a series of U.S. new generation of microwave sounder, the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), which has been flying onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) environmental satellite since late 2011. The SNPP satellite has a stable afternoon orbit that has close to the same local observation time as NASA's Aqua satellite that has been carrying the heritage microwave sounder, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A), from 2002 until the present. The similar overpass timing naturally removes most of their diurnal differences. In addition, direct comparison of temperature anomalies between the two instruments shows little or no relative calibration drift for most channels. Our results suggest that both SNPP/ATMS and Aqua/AMSU-A instruments have achieved absolute stability in the measured atmospheric temperatures within 0.04 K per decade. This uncertainty is small enough to allow reliable detection of the temperature climate trends and help to resolve debate on relevant issues. We also analyze AMSU-A observations onboard the European MetOp-A satellite that has a stable morning orbit 8 hours apart from the SNPP overpass time. Their comparison reveals large asymmetric trends between day and night in the lower- and mid-tropospheric temperatures over land. This information could help to improve climate data records for temperature trend detection with improved accuracy. The SNPP satellite will be followed by four NOAA operational Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) satellites, providing accurate and stable measurement for decades to come. The primary mission of JPSS is for weather forecasting. Now, with the added feature of stable orbits, JPSS observations can also be used to monitor changes in climate with much lower uncertainty than the previous generation of NOAA operational satellites.

RevDate: 2018-10-22

Lefohn AS, Malley CS, Smith L, et al (2018)

Tropospheric ozone assessment report: Global ozone metrics for climate change, human health, and crop/ecosystem research.

Elementa (Washington, D.C.), 1:1.

Assessment of spatial and temporal variation in the impacts of ozone on human health, vegetation, and climate requires appropriate metrics. A key component of the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR) is the consistent calculation of these metrics at thousands of monitoring sites globally. Investigating temporal trends in these metrics required that the same statistical methods be applied across these ozone monitoring sites. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test (for significant trends) and the Theil-Sen estimator (for estimating the magnitude of trend) were selected to provide robust methods across all sites. This paper provides the scientific underpinnings necessary to better understand the implications of and rationale for selecting a specific TOAR metric for assessing spatial and temporal variation in ozone for a particular impact. The rationale and underlying research evidence that influence the derivation of specific metrics are given. The form of 25 metrics (4 for model-measurement comparison, 5 for characterization of ozone in the free troposphere, 11 for human health impacts, and 5 for vegetation impacts) are described. Finally, this study categorizes health and vegetation exposure metrics based on the extent to which they are determined only by the highest hourly ozone levels, or by a wider range of values. The magnitude of the metrics is influenced by both the distribution of hourly average ozone concentrations at a site location, and the extent to which a particular metric is determined by relatively low, moderate, and high hourly ozone levels. Hence, for the same ozone time series, changes in the distribution of ozone concentrations can result in different changes in the magnitude and direction of trends for different metrics. Thus, dissimilar conclusions about the effect of changes in the drivers of ozone variability (e.g., precursor emissions) on health and vegetation exposure can result from the selection of different metrics.

RevDate: 2018-10-22

Mao Y, Economo EP, N Satoh (2018)

The Roles of Introgression and Climate Change in the Rise to Dominance of Acropora Corals.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(18)31145-X [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals provide the structural basis for one of Earth's most spectacular and diverse-but increasingly threatened-ecosystems. Modern Indo-Pacific reefs are dominated by species of the staghorn coral genus Acropora, but the evolutionary and ecological factors associated with their diversification and rise to dominance are unclear. Recent work on evolutionary radiations has demonstrated the importance of introgression and ecological opportunity in promoting diversification and ecological success. Here, we analyze the genomes of five staghorn coral species to examine the roles of introgression and ecological opportunity in the rise to dominance of Acropora. We found evidence for a history marked by a major introgression event as well as recurrent gene flow across species. In addition, we found that genes with topologies mismatching the species tree are evolving faster, which is suggestive of a role for introgression in spreading adaptive genetic variation. Demographic analysis showed that Acropora lineages profited from climate-driven mass extinctions in the Plio-Pleistocene, indicating that Acropora exploited ecological opportunity opened by a new climatic regime favoring species that could cope with rapid sea-level changes. Collectively, the genomes of reef-building corals have recorded an evolutionary history shaped by introgression and climate change, suggesting that Acropora-among most vulnerable corals to stressors-may be critical for understanding how reefs track the impending rapid sea-level changes of the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2018-10-20

Liao W, Yang L, Zhong S, et al (2018)

Preparing the next generation of health professionals to tackle climate change: Are China's medical students ready?.

Environmental research, 168:270-277 pii:S0013-9351(18)30537-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Medical students will lead the health sector responses and adaptation efforts in the near future, yet little is known in China about their knowledge, perceptions and preparedness to meet these challenges.

METHODS: A nationwide study was conducted at five medical universities across different regions of China using a two-stage stratified cluster sampling design. A self-administered questionnaire was applied to collect the information including perception, preparedness and educational needs in response to climate change. The data were first analyzed descriptively, then chi-square tests and kruskal wallis tests were applied to determined differences among subgroups, and logistic regression analysis were deployed to detect the socio-demographic factors influencing student's perception.

RESULTS: A total of 1436 medical students were approached and 1387 participated in the study (96.6% response rate). Most students were aware of the health impacts because of climate change, with over 90% perceived air quality-related and heat-related illness, while only a small part identified undernutrition and mental health. Approximately 90% embraced their role in tackling climate change, but 50% reported themselves and the health sectors were not adequately prepared. Compared to clinical students, preventive medicine students were more likely to perceive their responsibility to address climate change (OR:1.36, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.78). Also, 80% students admitted insufficient information and knowledge on climate change and health. Most students agreed that climate change and its health impacts should be included into their current curriculum.

CONCLUSIONS: Medical students in China were aware of climate change and felt responsible, but were not ready to make responses to its health impacts. Educational efforts should reinforce eco-medical literacy development and capacity building in the era of climate change.

RevDate: 2018-10-20

Abid M, Scheffran J, Schneider UA, et al (2018)

Farmer Perceptions of Climate Change, Observed Trends and Adaptation of Agriculture in Pakistan.

Environmental management pii:10.1007/s00267-018-1113-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Farmers' willingness and ability to adapt agricultural systems depend on their knowledge about changes in climate and perceived risks of extreme events. Using cross-sectional data of 450 farmers collected from three agro-ecological zones of Punjab, Pakistan, this study investigates farmer perceptions of climate change and their agreement with observed climatic trends. In addition, this study explores the correlation between different adaptation stages (perceptions, intentions, and adaptation) and their key drivers using a Multivariate Probit Model. This study also explores the adaptation measures adopted by farmers. The results of the study show that the perceptions of increasing mean temperature match well with locally recorded data. However, a discrepancy is found in some cases between farmer perceptions of rainfall changes and local climate records. Moreover, education, experience, land tenure, land holdings, extension, cooperation, access to weather forecasting, and marketing information are the factors influencing the three adaptation stages. A strong association is found among the three adaptation stages. Particularly, the study confirms the hypothesis that accurate perceptions lead to stronger adaptation intentions compared to underestimated or no perceptions. Further, farmers prefer basic adaptation measures including changing crop varieties, input use and planting dates over advanced measures, such as planting shade trees, soil conservation, and crop diversification. The study recommends providing farmers, especially small landholders and tenants, easy access to information, institutional services and training on the use of advanced measures to reduce negative impacts of climate change at the farm level.

RevDate: 2018-10-19

Sirois-Delisle C, JT Kerr (2018)

Climate change-driven range losses among bumblebee species are poised to accelerate.

Scientific reports, 8(1):14464 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-32665-y.

Climate change has shaped bee distributions over the past century. Here, we conducted the first species-specific assessment of future climate change impacts on North American bumblebee distributions, using the most recent global change scenarios developed in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We assessed potential shifts in bumblebee species distributions with models generated using Maxent. We tested different assumptions about bumblebee species' dispersal capacities, drawing on observed patterns of range shifts to date, dispersal rates observed for bumblebee queens, and, lastly, assuming unlimited dispersal. Models show significant contractions of current ranges even under scenarios in which dispersal rates were high. Results suggest that dispersal rates may not suffice for bumblebees to track climate change as rapidly as required under any IPCC scenario for future climate change. Areas where species losses are projected overlap for many species and climate scenarios, and are concentrated in eastern parts of the continent. Models also show overlap for range expansions across many species, suggesting the presence of "hotspots" where management activities could benefit many species, across all climate scenarios. Broad-scale strategies are likely to be necessary to improve bumblebee conservation prospects under climate change.

RevDate: 2018-10-18

Piacentini RD, Della Ceca LS, A Ipiña (2018)

Climate change and its relationship with non-melanoma skin cancers.

Photochemical & photobiological sciences : Official journal of the European Photochemistry Association and the European Society for Photobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is affecting both the environment and human behaviour. One significant impact is related to health, as detailed in the IPCC 2014 report. In the present work, and as a contribution to this commemorative special issue to Prof. Dr Jan van der Leun, we present the results of the squamous (SCC) and basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) incidence change in relation to the ambient temperature increase. This increase is produced by global warming, mainly induced by anthropogenic atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases. We have broadened a previous study conducted by van der Leun et al. (Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2008, 7, 730-733), by analysing the effective carcinogenicity of UV dose, for the period 2000-2200 and four climate change scenarios (called RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). The corresponding percentage increases of the incidence of SCC for 2100 are 5.8, 10.4, 13.8 and 21.4%, and for 2200 they are 4.3, 12.1, 19.0 and 40.5%. In a similar way, the percentage increases of the incidence of BCC for 2100 are 2.8, 4.9, 6.5 and 9.9% and for 2200 they are 2.0, 5.8, 8.9 and 18.2%. We report the SCC and BCC percentage effective incidence results as a function of time, for the whole 21st century and we extended the analysis to the 22nd century, since people possibly affected (like the Z and T generations, born at the beginning of this century) will have a life expectancy extending up to the final decades of the present century and even to the first ones of the next century.

RevDate: 2018-10-18

Holopainen JK, Virjamo V, Ghimire RP, et al (2018)

Climate Change Effects on Secondary Compounds of Forest Trees in the Northern Hemisphere.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:1445.

Plant secondary compounds (PSCs), also called secondary metabolites, have high chemical and structural diversity and appear as non-volatile or volatile compounds. These compounds may have evolved to have specific physiological and ecological functions in the adaptation of plants to their growth environment. PSCs are produced by several metabolic pathways and many PSCs are specific for a few plant genera or families. In forest ecosystems, full-grown trees constitute the majority of plant biomass and are thus capable of producing significant amounts of PSCs. We summarize older literature and review recent progress in understanding the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on PSC production of forest trees and PSC behavior in forest ecosystems. The roles of different PSCs under stress and their important role in protecting plants against abiotic and biotic factors are also discussed. There was strong evidence that major climate change factors, CO2 and warming, have contradictory effects on the main PSC groups. CO2 increases phenolic compounds in foliage, but limits terpenoids in foliage and emissions. Warming decreases phenolic compounds in foliage but increases terpenoids in foliage and emissions. Other abiotic stresses have more variable effects. PSCs may help trees to adapt to a changing climate and to pressure from current and invasive pests and pathogens. Indirect adaptation comes via the effects of PSCs on soil chemistry and nutrient cycling, the formation of cloud condensation nuclei from tree volatiles and by CO2 sequestration into PSCs in the wood of living and dead forest trees.

RevDate: 2018-10-18

Gong B, Weng B, Yan D, et al (2018)

Variation of Hydrothermal Conditions under Climate Change in Naqu Prefecture, Tibet Plateau, China.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(10): pii:ijerph15102271.

Analysis of the suitability of hydrothermal conditions for vegetation growth would benefit the ecological barrier construction, water resources protection and climate change adaptation. The suitability of hydrothermal conditions in Naqu Prefecture was studied based on the spatial displacement of 500 mm precipitation and 2000 °C accumulated temperature contours. Results showed that the 500 mm precipitation contour had a shifting trend toward the southwest, with a 3.3-year and 7.1-year period, respectively, in the longitudinal and latitudinal direction, and the longitude changed suddenly around 1996. The 2000 °C accumulated temperature contour had a shifting trend toward the northwest, with a 1.8-year period and a 7-year sub-period in the longitudinal direction; the longitude had a catastrophe point between 1966 and 1967, while the latitude had a catastrophe point between 2005 and 2006. When located in the same vegetation zone, the annual precipitation in Naqu Prefecture was higher than the national average, while the accumulated temperature was lower than the national average, indicating that areas with suitable hydrothermal conditions suitable for vegetation growth showed a northwestward shift tendency. This research would help to support some recommendations for plants' ecological system protection in alpine areas, and also provide guidelines for climate change adaptation.

RevDate: 2018-10-18

Butler CD (2018)

Climate Change, Health and Existential Risks to Civilization: A Comprehensive Review (1989⁻2013).

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(10): pii:ijerph15102266.

Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989⁻2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to which articles have identified potentially catastrophic, civilization-endangering health risks associated with climate change. Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were primarily used to identify articles which were then ranked on a three-point scale. Each score reflected the extent to which papers discussed global systemic risk. Citations were also analyzed. Results: Of 2143 analyzed papers 1546 (72%) were scored as one. Their citations (165,133) were 82% of the total. The proportion of annual papers scored as three was initially high, as were their citations but declined to almost zero by 1996, before rising slightly from 2006. Conclusions: The enormous expansion of the literature appropriately reflects increased understanding of the importance of climate change to global health. However, recognition of the most severe, existential, health risks from climate change was generally low. Most papers instead focused on infectious diseases, direct heat effects and other disciplinary-bounded phenomena and consequences, even though scientific advances have long called for more inter-disciplinary collaboration.

RevDate: 2018-10-17

Morgounov A, Sonder K, Abugalieva A, et al (2018)

Effect of climate change on spring wheat yields in North America and Eurasia in 1981-2015 and implications for breeding.

PloS one, 13(10):e0204932 pii:PONE-D-18-20202.

Wheat yield dynamic in Canada, USA, Russia and Kazakhstan from 1981 till 2015 was related to air temperature and precipitation during wheat season to evaluate the effects of climate change. The study used yield data from the provinces, states and regions and average yield from 19 spring wheat breeding/research sites. Both at production and research sites grain yield in Eurasia was two times lower compared to North America. The yearly variations in grain yield in North America and Eurasia did not correlate suggesting that higher yield in one region was normally associated with lower yield in another region. Minimum and maximum air temperature during the wheat growing season (April-August) had tendency to increase. While precipitation in April-August increased in North American sites from 289 mm in 1981-1990 to 338 mm in 2006-2015 it remained constant and low at Eurasian sites (230 and 238 mm, respectively). High temperature in June and July negatively affected grain yield in most of the sites at both continents. Climatic changes resulted in substantial changes in the dates of planting and harvesting normally leading to extension of growing season. Longer planting-harvesting period was positively associated with the grain yield for most of the locations. The climatic changes since 1981 and spring wheat responses suggest several implications for breeding. Gradual warming extends the wheat growing season and new varieties need to match this to utilize their potential. Higher rainfall during the wheat season, especially in North America, will require varieties with higher yield potential responding to moisture availability. June is a critical month for spring wheat in both regions due to the significant negative correlation of grain yield with maximum temperature and positive correlation with precipitation. Breeding for adaptation to higher temperatures during this period is an important strategy to increase yield.

RevDate: 2018-10-17

Warren M (2018)

Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive.

Nature, 562(7727):319-320.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )