Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Jun 2007

Simulated changes in active/break spells during the Indian summer monsoon due to enhanced CO2 concentrations: assessment from selected coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate models

Mandke, SK Sahai, AK Shinde, MA Joseph, S Chattopadhyay, R


The simulations by ten coupled GCMs under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report-4 are used to study the implication of possible global climate change on active/break spells of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). The validation of the mean daily cycle of the summer monsoon precipitation over the Indian core region and the spatial pattern of the ISM precipitation climatology with observation suggest that six models simulate fairly well, whereas four models differ from observation. Thus, the identification of activelbreak spells is confined to six models. The sensitivity to climate change has been assessed from two experiments, namely, 1% per year CO2 increase to doubling and 1% per year CO2 increase to quadrupling. The changes in the daily mean cycle and the standard deviation of precipitation, frequency, and duration of active/break spells in future climate change are uncertain among the models and at times among two experiments. The break composite precipitation anomalies strengthen and spread moderately (significantly) in the doubled (quadrupled) CO2 experiment. Copyright (c) 2006 Royal Meteorological Society.

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Evidence for carbon sequestration by agricultural liming

Hamilton, SK Kurzman, AL Arango, C Jin, LX Robertson, GP


[1] Agricultural lime can be a source or a sink for CO2, depending on whether reaction occurs with strong acids or carbonic acid. Here we examine the impact of liming on global warming potential by comparing the sum of Ca2+ and Mg2+ to carbonate alkalinity in soil solutions beneath unmanaged vegetation versus limed row crops, and of streams and rivers in agricultural versus forested watersheds, mainly in southern Michigan. Soil solutions sampled by tension indicated that lime can act as either a source or a sink for CO2. However, infiltrating waters tended to indicate net CO2 uptake, as did tile drainage waters and streams draining agricultural watersheds. As nitrate concentrations increased in infiltrating waters, lime switched from a net CO2 sink to a source, implying nitrification as a major acidifying process. Dissolution of lime may sequester CO2 equal to roughly 25 - 50% of its C content, in contrast to the prevailing assumption that all of the carbon in lime becomes CO2. The similar to 30 Tg/yr of agricultural lime applied in the United States could thus sequester up to 1.9 TgC/ yr, about 15% of the annual change in the U. S. CO2 emissions (12 Tg C/yr for 2002 - 2003). The implications of liming for atmospheric CO2 stabilization should be considered in strategies to mitigate global climate change.

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The efficiency gap behind the Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol

Lo, SF


With the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, an era of global efforts to combat climate change is beginning. Countries belonging to Annex I Parties are obligated to meet their target in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper broadens the scope of research to compare the performance between two groups, Annex 11 Parties and economies in transition (EIT) Parties (both of which are in the set of Annex I Parties), undertaking responsibilities for GHG emission reduction. This differs from the traditional application of evaluation and aims to identify inherent efficiency differences across systems, rather than separately from the potential inefficiency of individual countries. An efficiency gap was found between the group of Annex 11 Parties and the group of EIT Parties, by adjusting efficiency levels. Considering a reference set, efficient Annex 11 countries are referenced, both within their own group and within the EIT group; efficient EIT countries are only benchmarked within the group. The evidence provided can shed light on the function of joint implementation, that Annex I countries will cooperate to reduce GHG emissions, based on their common, but differentiated, responsibilities and capacity for global climate change.

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Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks

Bruno, JF Selig, ER Casey, KS Page, CA Willis, BL Harvell, CD Sweatman, H Melendy, AM

PLOS BIOLOGY 5:6 1220-1227

Very little is known about how environmental changes such as increasing temperature affect disease dynamics in the ocean, especially at large spatial scales. We asked whether the frequency of warm temperature anomalies is positively related to the frequency of coral disease across 1,500 km of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We used a new high-resolution satellite dataset of ocean temperature and 6 y of coral disease and coral cover data from annual surveys of 48 reefs to answer this question. We found a highly significant relationship between the frequencies of warm temperature anomalies and of white syndrome, an emergent disease, or potentially, a group of diseases, of Pacific reef- building corals. The effect of temperature was highly dependent on coral cover because white syndrome outbreaks followed warm years, but only on high (> 50%) cover reefs, suggesting an important role of host density as a threshold for outbreaks. Our results indicate that the frequency of temperature anomalies, which is predicted to increase in most tropical oceans, can increase the susceptibility of corals to disease, leading to outbreaks where corals are abundant.

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Constructing regional scenarios for sustainable agriculture in European Russia and Ukraine for 2000 to 2070

Romanenko, IA Romanenkov, VA Smith, P Smith, JU Sirotenko, OD Lisovoi, NV Shevtsova, LK Rukhovich, DI Koroleva, PV


This study estimates the consequences of climate change on cropland with and without implementation of adaptation measures, paying special attention to the maintenance of soil organic carbon (C) stocks. We examine the possibility for regional sustainable agricultural management practice that combines both maintenance and gain in soil carbon level with profit maximization. Future scenarios of Regional Agricultural Production Systems (RAPS) were constructed for 2000-2070 based on linking the effects of global climate change, predicted change in productivity parameters for the main agricultural crops, land-use and soil database parameters. The RAPS were used to examine profitability and feasibility of alternative agricultural scenarios, based on an economic model. A number of recommendations for decision making were proposed based on an assessment of the efficiency of adaptation in animal husbandry and in the crop production sector, after analysis of current percentage of perennial grass in rotation in comparison with future economic scenarios.

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Palau’s coral reefs show differential habitat recovery following the 1998-bleaching event

Golbuu, Y Victor, S Penland, L Idip, D Emaurois, C Okaji, K Yukihira, H Iwase, A van Woesik, R

CORAL REEFS 26:2 319-332

Documenting successional dynamics of coral communities following large-scale bleaching events is necessary to predict coral population responses to global climate change. In 1998, high sea surface temperatures and low cloud cover in the western Pacific Ocean caused high coral mortality on the outer exposed reefs of Palau (Micronesia), while coral mortality in sheltered bays was low. Recovery was examined from 2001 to 2005 at 13 sites stratified by habitat (outer reefs, patch reefs and bays) and depth (3 and 10 m). Two hypotheses were tested: (1) rates of change of coral cover vary in accordance with habitat, and (2) recovery rates depend on recruitment. Coral cover increased most in the sheltered bays, despite a low recruitment rate, suggesting that recovery in bays was primarily a consequence of remnant regrowth. Recruitment densities were consistently high on the wave-exposed reefs, particularly the western slopes, where recovery was attributed to both recruitment and regrowth of remnants. Recovery was initially more rapid at 10 m than 3 m on outer reefs, but in 2004, recovery rates were similar at both depths. Rapid recovery was possible because Palau’s coral reefs were buffered by remnant survival and recruitment from the less impacted habitats.

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Response of macroinvertebrates to warming, nutrient addition and predation in large-scale mesocosm tanks

Feuchtmayr, H McKee, D Harvey, IF Atkinson, D Moss, B

HYDROBIOLOGIA 584: 425-432

There is increasing concern about the effect of climate change on aquatic systems. We examined changes in macroinvertebrate communities caused by increased temperature (3 degrees C above ambient during summer only and continuous 3 degrees C above ambient all year round), influences of fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) and addition of nutrients ( nitrogen and phosphorus) in 48 large-scale (3000 l) tanks over a 2 year period. While numbers of Isopoda, Chaoborus, Corixidae, Ephemeroptera, Notonectidae and Odonata were reduced by the presence of fish, nutrient addition caused isopods, corixids, mayflies and odonates to increase in abundance. Impacts of temperature increase were surprisingly low, with only gastropods increasing in heated tanks, suggesting that, overall abundances of most macroinvertebrate taxa will not be severely affected by the predicted temperature rise. To determine if taxa were sampled representatively during the experiment, net sweep samples taken towards the end of the experiment were compared with final macroinvertebrate abundances when the complete contents of each tank were harvested. We found that net sweeping is an appropriate semi-quantitative method for most taxa in mesocosm tanks. However, mites, coleopteran adults and larvae, dipterans and Chaoborus were not adequately sampled. This might explain why we could not detect any treatment effects of temperature, fish or nutrients on mites, coleopterans and dipterans and calls for different sampling techniques for these taxa, especially in ponds with vegetation stands.

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