AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

New research – climate and mankind (October 6, 2016)

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on October 6, 2016

Some of the latest papers on climate change impacts on mankind are shown below. First a few highlighted papers with abstracts and then a list of some other papers. If this subject interests you, be sure to check also the other papers – they are by no means less interesting than the highlighted ones.


The limits of poverty reduction in support of climate change adaptation (Nelson et al. 2016)

Abstract: The relationship between poverty and climate change vulnerability is complex and though not commensurate, the distinctions between the two are often blurred. There is widespread recognition of the need to better understand poverty-vulnerability dynamics in order to improve risk management and poverty reduction investments. This is challenging due to the latent nature of adaptive capacities, frequent lack of baseline data, and the need for high-resolution studies. Here we respond to these challenges by analyzing household-level data in Northeast Brazil to compare drought events 14 years apart. In the period between droughts, the government implemented an aggressive anti-poverty program that includes financial and human capital investments. Poverty declined significantly, but the expected reduction in vulnerability did not occur, in part because the households were not investing in risk management strategies. Our findings complement other research that shows that households make rational decisions that may not correspond with policymaker expectations. We emphasize the need for complementary investments to help channel increased household wealth into risk reduction, and to ensure that the public sector itself continues to prioritize the public functions of risk management, especially in areas where the social cost of climatic risk is high.

Perceptions of thermal comfort in heatwave and non-heatwave conditions in Melbourne, Australia (Lam et al. 2016)

Abstract: Heatwaves can cause discomfort and illnesses due to heat stress. However, how people perceive thermal comfort and adapt to extreme heat conditions on heatwave days is uncertain. Most outdoor thermal comfort studies have been conducted under non-extreme conditions and very few during heatwaves. For those studies that encountered a heatwave, sample size tends to be small or modelling approaches were used to assess thermal comfort. It is important to understand people’s perceptions in relation to the physiological experience during extreme heat, as it would help practitioners apply the extreme heat range of thermal indices in outdoor settings. To understand people’s thermal perception and clothing behaviour during a heatwave, we combined meteorological measurements and thermal comfort surveys at two botanic gardens in Melbourne, Australia. The variations in respondents’ thermal comfort and clothing are assessed during heatwave and non-heatwave conditions, where temperatures during heatwave conditions exceeded 36°C. We observed that local visitors felt significantly hotter and wore less clothing for the same ranges of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) during heatwave than non-heatwave conditions. Thus, we suggest that thermal expectation influences changes in thermal perceptions and clothing, even over the course of several days to a week.

How do we assess vulnerability to climate change in India? A systematic review of literature (Singh et al. 2016)

Abstract: In countries like India where multiple risks interact with socio-economic differences to create and sustain vulnerability, assessing the vulnerability of people, places, and systems to climate change is a critical tool to prioritise adaptation. In India, several vulnerability assessment tools have been designed spanning multiple disciplines, by multiple actors, and at multiple scales. However, their conceptual, methodological, and disciplinary underpinnings, and resulting implications on who is identified as vulnerable, have not been interrogated. Addressing this gap, we systematically review peer-reviewed publications (n = 78) and grey literature (n = 42) to characterise how vulnerability to climate change is assessed in India. We frame our enquiry against four questions: (1) How is vulnerability conceptualised (vulnerability of whom/what, vulnerability to what), (2) who assesses vulnerability, (3) how is vulnerability assessed (methodology, scale), and (4) what are the implications of methodology on outcomes of the assessment. Our findings emphasise that methods to assess vulnerability to climate change are embedded in the disciplinary traditions, methodological approaches, and often-unstated motivations of those designing the assessment. Further, while most assessments acknowledge the importance of scalar and temporal aspects of vulnerability, we find few examples of it being integrated in methodology. Such methodological myopia potentially overlooks how social differentiation, ecological shifts, and institutional dynamics construct and perpetuate vulnerability. Finally, we synthesise the strengths and weaknesses of current vulnerability assessment methods in India and identify a predominance of research in rural landscapes with a relatively lower coverage in urban and peri-urban settlements, which are key interfaces of transitions.

Drought effects on US maize and soybean production: spatiotemporal patterns and historical changes (Zipper et al. 2016)

Abstract: Maximizing agricultural production on existing cropland is one pillar of meeting future global food security needs. To close crop yield gaps, it is critical to understand how climate extremes such as drought impact yield. Here, we use gridded, daily meteorological data and county-level annual yield data to quantify meteorological drought sensitivity of US maize and soybean production from 1958 to 2007. Meteorological drought negatively affects crop yield over most US crop-producing areas, and yield is most sensitive to short-term (1–3 month) droughts during critical development periods from July to August. While meteorological drought is associated with 13% of overall yield variability, substantial spatial variability in drought effects and sensitivity exists, with central and southeastern US becoming increasingly sensitive to drought over time. Our study illustrates fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of drought effects, highlighting where variability in crop production is most strongly associated with drought, and suggests that management strategies that buffer against short-term water stress may be most effective at sustaining long-term crop productivity.

Climate change discourse among Iranian farmers (Zobeidi et al. 2016)

Abstract: Climate change poses a severe threat to agriculture and rural populations around the world, with the potential to devastate lives and livelihoods. Farmers need to adapt their farming methods and land management decisions to reduce the negative consequences associated with climate change. Understanding farmers’ beliefs and perceptions regarding climate change is a good starting point for addressing current and future policy. As there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to promote adaptation, local adaptation-support strategies must be tailored to the particular needs and constraints of specific groups of farmers. To determine the policy implications of such strategies, a prudent and cost-effective approach is to categorize farmers into homogenous groupings using Q methodology to establish their perceptual frameworks with respect to climate change. Forty six farmers completed the Q sort procedure in this study. Data analysis identified that there are three different types of farmers’ attitudes to climate change: fatalism, support seekers, and technocrats. These findings are critical for decision makers to help them develop more appropriate adaptation strategies for the agricultural sector.

Other papers

Long-term trend analysis in climate variables and agricultural adaptation strategies to climate change in the Senegal River Basin (Djaman et al. 2016)

The Evolution of Agricultural Drought Transition Periods in the United States Corn Belt (Schiraldi & Roundy, 2016)

Do Western and Eastern Europe have the same agricultural climate response? Taking adaptive capacity into account (Vanschoenwinkel et al. 2016)

Patterns of crop cover under future climates (Porfirio et al. 2016)

Longitudinal assessment of climate vulnerability: a case study from the Canadian Arctic (Archer et al. 2016)

Effects of Rainfall on Vehicle Crashes in Six U.S. States (Black et al. 2016)

The prevalence of heat-related cardiorespiratory symptoms: the vulnerable groups identified from the National FINRISK 2007 Study (Näyhä et al. 2016)

Trade agreements, labour mobility and climate change in the Pacific Islands (Weber, 2016)

Atmospheric CO2 enrichment and drought stress modify root exudation of barley (Calvo et al. 2016)

Physical activity profile of 2014 FIFA World Cup players, with regard to different ranges of air temperature and relative humidity (Chmura et al. 2016)

Assessing climate change vulnerability in urban America: stakeholder-driven approaches (McCormick, 2016)

Spatio-temporal analyses of impacts of multiple climatic hazards in a savannah ecosystem of Ghana (Yiran et al. 2016)

Health sector preparedness for adaptation planning in India (Dasgupta et al. 2016)

The effect of climate change on rural land cover patterns in the Central United States (Lant et al. 2016)

Intensity and economic loss assessment of the snow, low-temperature and frost disasters: a case study of Beijing City (Wang et al. 2016)

A good farmer pays attention to the weather (Morton et al. 2016)

Responding to the Millennium drought: comparing domestic water cultures in three Australian cities (Lindsay et al. 2016)

Assessing climate adaptation options and uncertainties for cereal systems in West Africa (Guan et al. 2016)

Contract farming and the adoption of climate change coping and adaptation strategies in the northern region of Ghana (Azumah et al. 2016)

Present and future assessment of growing degree days over selected Greek areas with different climate conditions (Paparrizos & Matzarakis, 2016)

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