Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Aug 2007

Coastal flood risk analysis using landsat-7 ETM+ imagery and SRTM DEM: A case study of Izmir, turkey

Demirkesen, AC Evrendilek, F Berberoglu, S Kilic, S


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports an acceleration of the global mean sea-level rise (MSLR) in the twentieth century in response to global climate change. If this acceleration remains constant, then some coastal areas are most likely to be inundated by the year 2100. The ability to identify the differential vulnerability of coastlines to future inundation hazards as result of global climate change is necessary for timely actions to be taken. Yildiz et al. (Journal of Mapping, 17, 1 75, 2003) reported that the local MSLR in the city of Izmir rose at a rate of 6.8 +/- 0.9 mm year(-1) between 1984 and 2002. In this study, the spatial distribution of the coastal inundation hazards of Izmir region was determined using not only land-use and land-cover (LULC) types derived from the maximum likelihood classification of Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) multi-spectral image set but also the classification of the digital elevation model (DEM) acquired by the shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM). Coastal areas with elevations of 2 and 5 m above mean sea-level vulnerable to inundation were found to cover 2.1 and 3.7% of the study region (6,107 km(2)), respectively. Our findings revealed that Menemen plain along Gediz river, and the settlements of Karsiyaka, Alacati, Aliaga, Candarli and Selcuk are at high risk in order of decreasing vulnerability to permanent and episodic inundation by 2100 under the high MSLR scenarios of 20 to 50 mm year(-1).

SPotGS:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 004

Jun 2007

The evolution of climate change impact studies on hydrology and water resources in California

Vicuna, S Dracup, JA

CLIMATIC CHANGE 82:3-4 327-350

Potential global climate change impacts on hydrology pose a threat to water resources systems throughout the world. The California water system is especially vulnerable to global warming due to its dependence on mountain snow accumulation and the snowmelt process. Since 1983, more than 60 studies have investigated climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources in California. These studies can be categorized in three major fields: (1) Studies of historical trends of streamflow and snowpack in order to determine if there is any evidence of climate change in the geophysical record; (2) Studies of potential future predicted effects of climate change on streamflow and; (3) Studies that use those predicted changes in natural runoff to determine their economic, ecologic, or institutional impacts. In this paper we review these studies with an emphasis on methodological procedures. We provide for each category of studies a summary of significant conclusions and potential areas for future work.

SPotGS:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 051

Dec 2006

Growth and physiological responses of canola (Brassica napus) to three components of global climate change: temperature, carbon dioxide and drought

Qaderi, MM Kurepin, LV Reid, DM


Elevated CO2 appears to be a significant factor in global warming, which will likely lead to drought conditions in many areas. Few studies have considered the interactive effects of higher CO2, temperature and drought on plant growth and physiology. We grew canola (Brassica napus cv. 45H72) plants under lower (22/18 degrees C) and higher (28/24 degrees C) temperature regimes in controlled environment chambers at ambient (370 mu mol mol(-1)) and elevated (740 mu mol mol(-1)) CO2 levels. One half of the plants were watered to field capacity and the other half at wilting point. In three separate experiments, we determined growth, various physiological parameters and content of abscisic acid (ABA), indole-3-acetic acid and ethylene. Drought-stressed plants grown under higher temperature at ambient CO2 had decreased stem height and diameter, leaf number and area, dry matter, leaf area ratio, shoot/root weight ratio, net CO2 assimilation and chlorophyll fluorescence. However, these plants had increased specific leaf weight, leaf weight ratio and chlorophyll concentration. Elevated CO2 generally had the opposite effect, and partially reversed the inhibitory effects of higher temperature and drought on leaf dry weight accumulation. This study showed that higher temperature and drought inhibit many processes but elevated CO2 partially mitigate some adverse effects. As expected, drought stress increased ABA but higher temperature inhibited the ability of plants to produce ABA in response to drought.

melatonin:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 129

Predicting woodrat (Neotoma) responses to anthropogenic warming from studies of the palaeomidden record

Smith, FA Betancourt, JL


Aim The influence of anthropogenic climate change on organisms is an area of great scientific concern. Increasingly there is recognition that abrupt climate transitions have occurred over the late Quaternary; studies of these shifts may yield insights into likely biotic responses to contemporary warming. Here, we review research undertaken over the past decade investigating the response of Neotoma (woodrats) body size and distribution to climate change over the late Quaternary (the last 40,000 years). By integrating information from woodrat palaeomiddens, historical museum specimens and field studies of modern populations, we identify potential evolutionary responses to climate change occurring over a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, we characterize climatic thresholds in the past that led to local species extirpation and/or range alterations rather than in situ adaptation, and apply them to anticipate potential biotic responses to anthropogenic climate change. Location Middens were collected at about 55 sites scattered across the western United States, ranging from about 34 to 46 degrees N and about 104 to 116 degrees W, respectively. Data for modern populations were drawn from studies conducted in Death Valley, California, Missoula, Montana and the Sevilleta LTER site in central New Mexico. Methods We analysed faecal pellets from midden series collected at numerous cave sites across the western United States. From these we estimated body mass using techniques validated in earlier studies. We compared body size fluctuations at different elevations in different regions and integrated these results with studies investigating temperature-body size tradeoffs in modern animals. We also quantify the rapidity of the size changes over the late Quaternary to estimate the evolutionary capacity of woodrats to deal with predicted rates of anthropogenic climate change over the next century. Results We find remarkable similarities across the geographical range to late Quaternary climate change. In the middle of the geographical range woodrats respond in accordance to Bergmann’s rule: colder climatic conditions select for larger body size and warmer conditions select for smaller body size. Patterns are more complicated at range boundaries, and local environmental conditions influence the observed response. In general, woodrat body size fluctuates with approximately the same amplitude and frequency as climate; there is a significant and positive correlation between woodrat body size and generalized climate proxies (such as ice core records). Woodrats have achieved evolutionary rates of change equal to or greater than those needed to adapt in situ to anthropogenic climate change. Main conclusions In situ body size evolution is a likely outcome of climate change, and such shifts are part of a normal spectrum of adaptation. Woodrats appear to be subject to ongoing body size selection in response to fluctuating environmental conditions. Allometric considerations suggest that these shifts in body size lead to substantial changes in the physiology, life history and ecology of woodrats, and on their direct and indirect interactions with other organisms in the ecosystem. Our work highlights the importance of a finely resolved and long-term record in understanding biotic responses to climatic shifts.

melatonin:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 149

Nov 2006

An atmosphere-ocean time series model of global climate change

Stern, DI


Time series models of global climate change tend to estimate a low climate-sensitivity (equilibrium effect on global temperature of doubling carbon dioxide concentrations) and a fast adjustment rate to equilibrium. These results may be biased by omission of a key variable-heat stored in the ocean. A time series model of the atmosphere-ocean climate system is developed, in which surface temperature (atmospheric temperature over land and sea surface temperature) moves towards a long-run equilibrium with both radiative forcing and ocean heat content, while ocean heat content accumulates the deviations from atmospheric equilibrium. This model is closely related to Granger and Lee’s multicointegration model. As there are only 55 years of observations on ocean heat content, the Kalman filter is used to estimate heat content as a latent state variable, which is constrained by the available observations. This method could be applied to other climate change problems where there are only limited observations on key variables. The final model adopted relates surface temperature to the heat content of the upper 300m of the ocean. The resulting parameter estimates are closer to theoretically expected values than those of previous time series models and the estimated climate sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide is 4.4 K. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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Oct 2006

Adverse high temperature effects on pollen viability, seed-set, seed yield and harvest index of grain-sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] are more severe at elevated carbon dioxide due to higher tissue temperatures

Prasad, PVV Boote, KJ Allen, LH


Global climate change, especially, increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and the associated increases in temperature will have significant impact on the crop production. Grain-sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] cultivar DeKalb 28E was grown at daytime maximum/nighttime minimum temperature regimes of 32/22, 36/26, 40/30 and 44/34 degrees C at ambient (350 mu mol CO2 mol(-1)) and elevated (700 mu mol CO2 mol(-1)) CO2 from emergence to maturity in controlled environments to quantify the effects of temperature and CO2 on the reproductive processes and yield. Growth temperatures of 40/30 and 44/34 degrees C inhibited particle emergence. Growth temperatures >= 36/26 degrees C significantly decreased pollen production, pollen viability, seed-set, seed yield and harvest index when compared to 32/22 degrees C. Percentage decreases in pollen viability, seed-set, seed yield and harvest index due to elevated temperature were greater at elevated CO2 when compared with ambient CO2. Elevated CO2 increased seed yield (26%) at 32/22 degrees C, but decreased seed yield (10%) at 36/26 degrees C. At high temperatures, elevated CO2 increased vegetative growth but not seed yield, thus, leading to decreased harvest index. We conclude that the adverse effects of elevated temperature on reproductive processes and yield of grain-sorghum were more severe at elevated CO2 than at ambient CO2; and the beneficial effects of elevated CO2 decreased with increasing temperature. The adverse temperature sensitivity of reproductive processes and yield at elevated CO2 was attributed to higher canopy foliage and seed temperatures. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

melatonin:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 160

Correlations between carbon dioxide emissions and carbon contents of fuels

Demirbas, A


The gases (they consist of three or more atoms) with higher heat capacities than those of O-2 and N-2 cause greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is main greenhouse gas associated with global climate change. Collectively, they are projected to contribute, directly, about as much too potential global warming over the next 60 years as CO2. At the present time, coal is responsible for 30-40% of world CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. There were a higher correlation between amount of carbon dioxide emission and percentage of carbon in the fuel for all equations. The squares of correlation coefficients were 0.9999, 0.9978, and 0.9995.

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Dec 2005

Fossil fuels in the 21st century

Lincoln, SF

AMBIO 34:8 621-627

An overview of the importance of fossil fuels in supplying the energy requirements of the 21st century, their future supply, and the impact of their use on global climate is presented. Current and potential alternative energy sources are considered. It is concluded that even with substantial increases in energy derived from other sources, fossil fuels will remain a major energy source for much Of the 21st century and the sequestration of CO2 will be an increasingly important requirement.

sarubh:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 281

Analysing countries’ contribution to climate change: scientific and policy-related choices

den Elzen, M Fuglestvedt, J Hohne, N Trudinger, C Lowe, J Matthews, B Romstad, B de Campos, CP Andronova, N


This paper evaluates the influence of different policy-related and scientific choices on the calculated regional contributions to global climate change (the “Brazilian Proposal”). Policy-related choices include the time period of emissions, the mix of greenhouse gases and different indicators of climate change impacts. The scientific choices include historical emissions and model representations of the climate system. We generated and compared results of several simple climate models. We find that the relative contributions of different nations to global climate change-from emissions of greenhouse gases alone-are quite robust, despite the varying model complexity and differences in calculated absolute changes. For the default calculations, the average calculated contributions to the global mean surface temperature increase in 2000 are about 40% from OECD, 14% from Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union, 24% from Asia and 22% from Africa and Latin America. Policy-related choices, such as time period of emissions, climate change indicator and gas mix generally have larger influence on the results than scientific choices. More specifically, choosing a later attribution start date (1990 instead of 1890) for historical emissions, decreases the contributions of regions that started emitting early, such as the OECD countries by 6 percentage points, whereas it increases the contribution of late emitters such as Asia by 8 percentage points. However, only including the fossil CO, emissions instead of the emissions of all Kyoto gases (fossil and land use change), increases the OECD contributions by 21 percentage points and decreases the contribution of Asia by 14 percentage points. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

sarubh:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 299

Consortium for Atlantic Regional Assessment: Information tools for community adaptation to changes in climate or land use

Dempsey, R Fisher, A

RISK ANALYSIS 25:6 1495-1509

To inform local and regional decisions about protecting short-term and long-term quality of life, the Consortium for Atlantic Regional Assessment (CARA) provides data and tools (for the northeastern United States) that can help decisionmakers understand how outcomes of their decisions could be affected by potential changes in both climate and land use. On an interactive, user-friendly website, CARA has amassed data on climate (historical records and future projections for seven global climate models), land cover, and socioeconomic and environmental variables, along with tools to help decisionmakers tailor the data for their own decision types and locations. CARA Advisory Council stakeholders help identify what information and tools stakeholders would find most useful and how to present these: they also provide in-depth feedback for subregion case studies. General lessons include: (1) decisionmakers want detailed local projections for periods short enough to account for extreme events, in contrast to the broader spatial and temporal observations and projections that are available or consistent at a regional level; (2) stakeholders will not use such a website unless it is visually appealing and easy to find the information they want; (3) some stakeholders need background while others want to go immediately to data, and some want maps while others want text or tables. This article also compares what has been learned across case studies of Cape May County, New Jersey, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Hampton Roads, Virginia, relating specifically to sea-level rise. Lessons include: (1) groups can be affected differently by physical dangers compared with economic dangers; (2) decisions will differ according to decision makers’ preferences about waiting and risk tolerance; (3) future scenarios and maps can help assess the impacts of dangers to emergency evacuation routes, homes, and infrastructure, and the natural environment; (4) residents’ and decisionmakers’ perceptions are affected by information about potential local impacts from global climate change.

sarubh:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 290

Global assessment of coral bleaching and required rates of adaptation under climate change

Donner, SD Skirving, WJ Little, CM Oppenheimer, M Hoegh-Guldberg, O


Elevated ocean temperatures can cause coral bleaching, the loss of colour from reef-building corals because of a breakdown of the symbiosis with the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium. Recent studies have warned that global climate change could increase the frequency of coral bleaching and threaten the long-term viability of coral reefs. These assertions are based on projecting the coarse output from atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (GCMs) to the local conditions around representative coral reefs. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive global assessment of coral bleaching under climate change by adapting the NOAA Coral Reef Watch bleaching prediction method to the output of a low- and high-climate sensitivity GCM. First, we develop and test algorithms for predicting mass coral bleaching with GCM-resolution sea surface temperatures for thousands of coral reefs, using a global coral reef map and 1985-2002 bleaching prediction data. We then use the algorithms to determine the frequency of coral bleaching and required thermal adaptation by corals and their endosymbionts under two different emissions scenarios. The results indicate that bleaching could become an annual or biannual event for the vast majority of the world’s coral reefs in the next 30-50 years without an increase in thermal tolerance of 0.2-1.0 degrees C per decade. The geographic variability in required thermal adaptation found in each model and emissions scenario suggests that coral reefs in some regions, like Micronesia and western Polynesia, may be particularly vulnerable to climate change. Advances in modelling and monitoring will refine the forecast for individual reefs, but this assessment concludes that the global prognosis is unlikely to change without an accelerated effort to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

sarubh:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 293

Dec 2004

Initial public perceptions of deep geological and oceanic disposal of carbon dioxide

Palmgren, CR Morgan, MG De Bruin, WB Keith, DW


Two studies were conducted to gauge likely public perceptions of proposals to avoid releasing carbon dioxide from power plants to the atmosphere by injecting it into deep geological formations or the deep ocean. Following a modified version of the mental model interview method, Study 1 involved face-to-face interviews with 18 nontechnical respondents. Respondents shared their beliefs after receiving basic information about the technologies and again after getting specific details. Many interviewees wanted to frame the issue in the broader context of alternative strategies for carbon management, but public understanding of mitigation strategies is limited. The second study, administered to a sample of 126 individuals, involved a closed-form survey that measured the prevalence of general beliefs revealed in study 1 and also assessed the respondent’s views of these technologies. Study results suggest that the public may develop misgivings about deep injection of carbon dioxide because it can be seen as temporizing and perhaps creating future problems. Ocean injection was seen as more problematic than geological injection. An approach to public communication and regulation that is open and respectful of public concerns is likely to be a prerequisite to the successful adoption of this technology.

johncross:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 437

Solving the climate problem - Technologies available to curb CO2 emissions

Socolow, R Hotinski, R Greenblatt, JB Pacala, S

ENVIRONMENT 46:10 8-19

In an effort to avoid serious ecological disruption and global climate change,low-carbon energy strategies need to be implemented on a world-wide scale along with the introduction of carbon policies and carbon management.

johncross:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 420

Nov 2004

The impact of global climate change on tropical forest biodiversity in Amazonia

Miles, L Grainger, A Phillips, O


Aim To model long-term trends in plant species distributions in response to predicted changes in global climate. Location Amazonia. Methods The impacts of expected global climate change on the potential and realized distributions of a representative sample of 69 individual Angiosperm species in Amazonia were simulated from 1990 to 2095. The climate trend followed the HADCM2GSa1 scenario, which assumes an annual 1% increase of atmospheric CO2 content with effects mitigated by sulphate forcing. Potential distributions of species in one-degree grid cells were modelled using a suitability index and rectilinear envelope based on bioclimate variables. Realized distributions were additionally limited by spatial contiguity with, and proximity to, known record sites. A size-structured population model was simulated for each cell in the realized distributions to allow for lags in response to climate change, but dispersal was not included. Results In the resulting simulations, 43% of all species became non-viable by 2095 because their potential distributions had changed drastically, but there was little change in the realized distributions of most species, owing to delays in population responses. Widely distributed species with high tolerance to environmental variation exhibited the least response to climate change, and species with narrow ranges and short generation times the greatest. Climate changed most in north-east Amazonia while the best remaining conditions for lowland moist forest species were in western Amazonia. Main conclusions To maintain the greatest resilience of Amazonian biodiversity to climate change as modelled by HADCM2GSa1, highest priority should be given to strengthening and extending protected areas in western Amazonia that encompass lowland and montane forests.

johncross:endorseex | /endorse/endorseex | 454