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Bibliography on: Climate Change

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 20 Sep 2018 at 01:43 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: 2018-09-19

Fernández-Gómez B, Díez B, Polz MF, et al (2018)

Bacterial community structure in a sympagic habitat expanding with global warming: brackish ice brine at 85-90 °N.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0268-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Larger volumes of sea ice have been thawing in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) during the last decades than during the past 800,000 years. Brackish brine (fed by meltwater inside the ice) is an expanding sympagic habitat in summer all over the CAO. We report for the first time the structure of bacterial communities in this brine. They are composed of psychrophilic extremophiles, many of them related to phylotypes known from Arctic and Antarctic regions. Community structure displayed strong habitat segregation between brackish ice brine (IB; salinity 2.4-9.6) and immediate sub-ice seawater (SW; salinity 33.3-34.9), expressed at all taxonomic levels (class to genus), by dominant phylotypes as well as by the rare biosphere, and with specialists dominating IB and generalists SW. The dominant phylotypes in IB were related to Candidatus Aquiluna and Flavobacterium, those in SW to Balneatrix and ZD0405, and those shared between the habitats to Halomonas, Polaribacter and Shewanella. A meta-analysis for the oligotrophic CAO showed a pattern with Flavobacteriia dominating in melt ponds, Flavobacteriia and Gammaproteobacteria in solid ice cores, Flavobacteriia, Gamma- and Betaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria in brine, and Alphaproteobacteria in SW. Based on our results, we expect that the roles of Actinobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in the CAO will increase with global warming owing to the increased production of meltwater in summer. IB contained three times more phylotypes than SW and may act as an insurance reservoir for bacterial diversity that can act as a recruitment base when environmental conditions change.

RevDate: 2018-09-19

Morton A (2018)

Australia has no climate-change policy - again.

Nature, 561(7723):293-294.

RevDate: 2018-09-19

Kearney GD, Jones K, Bell RA, et al (2018)

Climate Change and Public Health through the Lens of Rural, Eastern North Carolina.

North Carolina medical journal, 79(5):270-277.

BACKGROUND Recognizing that health outcomes are associated with climate threats is important and requires increased attention by health care providers and policymakers. The primary goal of this report is to provide information related to the public health threats of climate change, while identifying climate-sensitive populations primarily in rural, Eastern North Carolina.METHODS Publicly available data was used to evaluate regional (eg, Eastern, Piedmont, and Western) and county level socio-vulnerability characteristics of population groups in North Carolina, including: percent of persons living in poverty, percent of non-white persons, percent of persons under 18 years living in poverty, percent of elderly people living in poverty, percent of persons with a disability, and number of primary care physicians. One-way ANOVA was used to calculate and compare mean value estimates of population socio-vulnerability variables in Eastern North Carolina with Piedmont and Western regions.RESULTS Across all regional categories, the eastern part of the state had considerably higher averages than the state for percent of persons living in poverty (17.2%), percent of non-white persons (13.3%), percent of persons under 18 years old living in poverty (24.9%), percent of elderly people living in poverty (10.0%), and percent of persons with a disability (13.3%). Overwhelmingly, more counties in Eastern North Carolina had fewer primary care physicians (per 10,000 persons) than the state average (8.6 per 10,000 persons).CONCLUSION Eastern North Carolina has a disproportionally higher percent of population groups that are vulnerable to the threats of climate change. The need for health care providers to understand and communicate the challenges faced by rural, vulnerable population groups is of great public health importance. Communicating these health risks to policy makers is of equal importance.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Roth V, Lemann T, Zeleke G, et al (2018)

Effects of climate change on water resources in the upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia.

Heliyon, 4(9):e00771 pii:e00771.

Drawing on hydrology, rainfall, and climatic data from the past 25 years, this article investigates the effects of climate change on water resources in the transnational Blue Nile Basin (BNB). The primary focus is on determining the long-term temporal and seasonal changes in the flows of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia at the border to Sudan. This is important because the Blue Nile is the main tributary to the Nile river, the lifeline of both Sudan and Egypt. Therefore, to begin with long-term trends in hydrological time series were detected by means of both parametric and nonparametric techniques. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was calibrated using several sub-basins and new high-resolution land use and soil maps. Future climate change impacts were projected using data from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) of the National Centers for Environmental Predictions based on three different climate change scenarios from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3). Projected time series were analysed for changes in rainfall and streamflow trends. Climate change scenario modelling suggested that the precipitation will increase from 7% to 48% and that streamflow from the BNB could increase by 21% to 97%. The results provide a basis for evaluating future impacts of climate change on the upper Blue Nile River (Abay River). This is the main river basin contributing to the Nile and a source of water for millions of people in Sudan and Egypt, downstream from Ethiopia. Three models (CCCMA, CNRM, MRI) were applied in this research, within two future time periods (2046-2064 and 2081-2099) and one scenario (A1B). The Abay Basin was divided into seven sub-basins, six of which were used as inlets to the lowest basin at the border to Sudan. The above-mentioned results show that under current climate change scenarios there is a strong seasonal shift to be expected from the present main rainfall season (June to September) to an earlier onset from January to May with less pronounced peaks but longer duration of the rainfall season. This has direct consequences on the streamflow of the Blue Nile, which is connected to the rainfall season and therefore has direct effects on the people living in the sphere of influence of the Nile River.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Rothäusler E, Rugiu L, V Jormalainen (2018)

Forecast climate change conditions sustain growth and physiology but hamper reproduction in range-margin populations of a foundation rockweed species.

Marine environmental research pii:S0141-1136(18)30428-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Intensifying environmental changes due to climate change affect marine species worldwide. Herein, we experimentally tested if the combination of forecasted warming and hyposalinity adversely affected growth, receptacle formation, and photosynthesis of three marginal populations of the brown alga Fucus from the northern Baltic Sea. Growth was not impaired by the projected consequences of climate change but genotypes varied in their responses, suggesting existence of genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity. Climate change further prevented receptacle formation, implying that Fucus fail to reproduce sexually. Photosynthesis was not affected by climate change but varied among populations. Our results show that Fucus populations photosynthesized, grew, and survived well under the projected climate change but their sexual reproduction ceased. This suggests that the marginal populations tested herein are resilient to future conditions but only if asexual reproduction enables them to proliferate.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Panchen ZA, MO Johnston (2018)

Shifts in pollen release envelope differ between genera with non-uniform climate change.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Plant phenological responses to climate change now constitute one of the best studied areas of the ecological impacts of climate change. Flowering time responses to climate change of wind-pollinated species have, however, been less well studied. A novel source of flowering time data for wind-pollinated species is allergen monitoring records.

METHODS: We studied the male flowering time response to climatic variables of two wind-pollinated genera, Betula (Betulaceae) and Populus (Salicaceae), using pollen count records over a 17-year period.

KEY RESULTS: We found that changes in the pollen release envelope differed between the two genera. Over the study period, the only month with a significant rise in temperature was April, resulting in the duration of pollen release of the April-flowering Populus to shorten and the start and peak of the May-flowering Betula to advance. The quantity of pollen released by Betula has increased and was related to increases in the previous year's August precipitation, while the quantity of pollen released by Populus has not changed and was related to the previous year's summer and autumn temperatures.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that taxa differ in the reproductive consequences of environmental change. Differing shifts in phenology among species may be related to different rates of change in climatic variables in different months of the year. While our study only considers two genera, the results underscore the importance of understanding non-uniform intra-annual variation in climate when studying the ecological implications of climate change.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Ediriweera DS, Diggle PJ, Kasturiratne A, et al (2018)

Evaluating temporal patterns of snakebite in Sri Lanka: the potential for higher snakebite burdens with climate change.

International journal of epidemiology pii:5094971 [Epub ahead of print].

Background: Snakebite is a neglected tropical disease that has been overlooked by healthcare decision makers in many countries. Previous studies have reported seasonal variation in hospital admission rates due to snakebites in endemic countries including Sri Lanka, but seasonal patterns have not been investigated in detail.

Methods: A national community-based survey was conducted during the period of August 2012 to June 2013. The survey used a multistage cluster design, sampled 165 665 individuals living in 44 136 households and recorded all recalled snakebite events that had occurred during the preceding year. Log-linear models were fitted to describe the expected number of snakebites occurring in each month, taking into account seasonal trends and weather conditions, and addressing the effects of variation in survey effort during the study and of recall bias amongst survey respondents.

Results: Snakebite events showed a clear seasonal variation. Typically, snakebite incidence is highest during November-December followed by March-May and August, but this can vary between years due to variations in relative humidity, which is also a risk factor. Low relative-humidity levels are associated with high snakebite incidence. If current climate-change projections are correct, this could lead to an increase in the annual snakebite burden of 31.3% (95% confidence interval: 10.7-55.7) during the next 25-50 years.

Conclusions: Snakebite in Sri Lanka shows seasonal variation. Additionally, more snakebites can be expected during periods of lower-than-expected humidity. Global climate change is likely to increase the incidence of snakebite in Sri Lanka.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Jooste BS, Dokken JV, van Niekerk D, et al (2018)

Challenges to belief systems in the context of climate change adaptation.

Jamba (Potchefstroom, South Africa), 10(1):508 pii:JAMBA-10-508.

This article focuses on the social aspects of climate change and explores the interrelationship between belief systems and adaptation. The links and interaction between external and internal realities are examined from the perspective of contextual vulnerability, with a focus on the multifaceted structure of belief systems. The aim was to determine those challenges regarding climate change adaptation that are caused by a community's belief system and to make recommendations to overcome them. Diverse perceptions of climate change and beliefs from three townships in the North-West Province of South Africa were collected and analysed using Q-methodology, finding five distinct worldview narratives. These narratives were named naturalist collectivist, religious, religious determinist, activist collectivist and structural thinker. It is recommended that policymakers aim to address diverse views and should be informed by factors that increase resistance to belief revision. Information should be framed in ways that foster the perception of internal control, are clearly evidence based and encourage a desire to learn more.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Patella V, Florio G, Magliacane D, et al (2018)

Urban air pollution and climate change: "The Decalogue: Allergy Safe Tree" for allergic and respiratory diseases care.

Clinical and molecular allergy : CMA, 16:20 pii:98.

Background: According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is closely associated with climate change and, in particular, with global warming. In addition to melting of ice and snow, rising sea level, and flooding of coastal areas, global warming is leading to a tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems. Moreover, the effects of air pollution on airway and lung diseases are well documented as reported by the World Allergy Organization.

Methods: Scientific literature was searched for studies investigating the effect of the interaction between air pollution and climate change on allergic and respiratory diseases.

Results: Since 1990s, a multitude of articles and reviews have been published on this topic, with many studies confirming that the warming of our planet is caused by the "greenhouse effect" as a result of increased emission of "greenhouse" gases. Air pollution is also closely linked to global warming: the emission of hydrocarbon combustion products leads to increased concentrations of biological allergens such as pollens, generating a mixture of these particles called particulate matter (PM). The concept is that global warming is linked to the emission of hydrocarbon combustion products, since both carbon dioxide and heat increase pollen emission into the atmosphere, and all these particles make up PM10. However, the understanding of the mechanisms by which PM affects human health is still limited. Therefore, several studies are trying to determine the causes of global warming. There is also evidence that increased concentrations of air pollutants and pollens can activate inflammatory mediators in the airways. Our Task Force has prepared a Decalogue of rules addressing public administrators, which aims to limit the amount of allergenic pollen in the air without sacrificing public green areas.

Conclusions: Several studies underscore the significant risks of global warming on human health due to increasing levels of air pollution. The impact of climate change on respiratory diseases appears well documented. The last decades have seen a rise in the concentrations of pollens and pollutants in the air. This rise parallels the increase in the number of people presenting with allergic symptoms (e.g., allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma), who often require emergency medical care. Our hope is that scientists from different disciplines will work together with institutions, pharmaceutical companies and lay organizations to limit the adverse health effects of air pollution and global warming.

RevDate: 2018-09-14

Kumar S, Bhavya PS, Ramesh R, et al (2018)

Nitrogen uptake potential under different temperature-salinity conditions: Implications for nitrogen cycling under climate change scenarios.

Marine environmental research pii:S0141-1136(18)30366-0 [Epub ahead of print].

As projected by climate change models, increase in sea surface temperature and precipitation in the future may alter nutrient cycling in the coastal regions due to potential changes in phytoplankton community structure and their ability to assimilate nitrogen (N) and carbon (C). An experiment simulating different temperature and salinity conditions (28°C-35 ambient conditions, 28ºC-31, 31ºC-35 and 31ºC-31) in mesocosms containing 1000 L of coastal water from the Arabian Sea was performed and N uptake rates were measured using 15N tracer technique on 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th day of the experiment. The results show that, under all conditions, the total N (NO3- + NH4+) uptake rates were lower in the beginning and on the final day of the tracer experiment, while it peaked during middle, consistent with chlorophyll a concentrations. Total N uptake rate was significantly lower (p = 0.003) under ambient temperature-lower salinity condition (28ºC-31) than the others. This indicates that lowering of salinity in coastal regions due to excessive rainfall in the future may affect the N uptake potential of the phytoplankton, which may change the regional C and N budget.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Yang Y, Liu G, Ye C, et al (2018)

Bacterial community and climate change implication affected the diversity and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in wetlands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Journal of hazardous materials, 361:283-293 pii:S0304-3894(18)30789-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have been identified as emerging pollutants in the environment. However, little information is available for ARGs in natural wetlands at high altitude. In this study, we investigated 32 wetlands across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with the variation of wetland types, altitude, and environmental factors, to assess the determinant factor of ARGs in this area. ARGs were detected in all the wetlands, ranged from 1.80 × 105 to 1.35 × 107 copies per gram of soils. The ARGs in wetland soils were diverse and abundant, and varied from each site, but the spatial geographical distance did not influence the ARG profile. The mobile genetic elements in wetlands ranged from 3.13 × 103 to 1.02 × 106 copies per gram of soil, indicating the low abundance of mobile genetic elements suggests a lower transfer rate of ARGs between bacteria in the Plateau. Bacterial community composition was the main driver in shaping the ARG diversity and geographic distribution. Soil moisture and temperature were positively correlated with ARG abundance in this region. These results not only provide a better understanding of the background levels of ARGs in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, but also shed light on the influence of climate change and increased human activities on the distribution of ARGs.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Sutton R (2018)

Attributing extreme weather to climate change is not a done deal.

Nature, 561(7722):177.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Newman M (2018)

Global hunger grows amid conflict and climate change.

BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 362:k3893.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Vieira KS, Montenegro PFG, Santana GG, et al (2018)

Effect of climate change on distribution of species of common horned frogs in South America.

PloS one, 13(9):e0202813 pii:PONE-D-17-37339.

Our main objectives were to verify the effect of climate change on distribution of frogs of the family Ceratophryidae and if the legal protection areas in South America will be effective or ineffective in ensuring the preservation of the toads this family in coming decades. The results showed that in the last 140,000 years, species of the family Ceratophryidae expanded and contracted their distribution areas, which naturally reflected the climate and vegetation changes in the Quaternary of South America. The maps of projections showed that changes in temperature determined the area of habitat suitability of 63.7% of the species of ceratophrids both during the last interglacial period and nowadays, and it seems that this will also be the case for the next 62 years. Given the current concerns about future extinctions in the tropics, it is prudent to examine, with special attention, the effects of climate fluctuations on the diversity and distribution of species, because the current estimates of reduction in biodiversity caused by habitat destruction and emission of greenhouse gases are comparable to estimated reductions during glacial intervals.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Anisimov O, R Orttung (2018)

Climate change in Northern Russia through the prism of public perception.

Ambio pii:10.1007/s13280-018-1096-x [Epub ahead of print].

This article fills a major hole in the Western literature on climate change perceptions by reporting detailed data from Russia. While Northern Russia demonstrates high rates of climate change, regional adaptation policies are yet to be established. Complicating the problem, how the Russian public perceives climate change remains poorly known. This study synthesizes data from observations, modeling, and sociological surveys, and gives insight into the public perceptions of current and projected future changes in climate. Results indicate that, similar to what is found in the Western context, unusual weather patterns and single extreme events have a deeper impact than long-term climate change on public perceptions. The majority of the population considers climate and environmental changes locally, does not associate them with global drivers, and is not prepared to act on them. Accordingly, even the best designed climate policies cannot be implemented in Northern Russia, because there is no public demand for them. To address this situation, climate scientists should work to educate members of the public about basic scientific concepts so that they begin to demand better climate policies.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Anonymous (2018)

Caches of mummified penguins warn of climate-change impacts.

Nature, 561(7722):152.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Blumm MC, MC Wood (2017)

"No Ordinary Lawsuit": Climate Change, Due Process, and the Public Trust Doctrine.

The American University law review, 67(1):1-87.

On November 10, 2016, just two days after the election of President Donald Trump, the federal district court in Oregon handed down Juliana v. United States. This remarkable decision refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by youth plaintiffs who claimed that the federal government's fossil fuel policies over the years, which have produced an atmosphere with dangerous levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), violated the federal public trust doctrine (PTD) and their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. The court found a constitutional right to a stable climate system, determining that the PTD was an implicit part of due process and enforceable through the Constitution’s due process clause. At trial, if the youth plaintiffs are able to prove that for decades the government willfully disregarded information about the potential catastrophic effects of GHG pollution, or abdicated its public trust duties, the decision could be transformative in global efforts to shift to an energy policy that does not threaten young people and future generations. This Article examines Juliana, its context as part of a worldwide campaign of "atmospheric trust" litigation, its path-breaking reasoning, and its implications in the United States and abroad. The case has been described as "the case of the century" and, because of the harm it aims to address and the fundamental rights approach endorsed by the court, it just may be that. Pending the forthcoming trial and almost certain appeals, we think the case is, as the trial judge accurately recognized, "no ordinary lawsuit."

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Niu Y, Yang S, Zhou J, et al (2018)

Vegetation distribution along mountain environmental gradient predicts shifts in plant community response to climate change in alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 1):505-514 pii:S0048-9697(18)33361-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants are particularly sensitive to climate change in alpine ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau. The various mountain micro-climates provide a natural gradient for space-for-time substitution research that plant responses to climate change. In this study, we surveyed the plant community in term of species composition, diversity and biomass across 189 sites on a hill of the Tibetan Plateau and analysed the individual and integrated effects of soil temperature and moisture on the plant community. The results showed that, at the quadrat scale, there were decrease in richness of 1.08 species for every 1 °C increase in soil temperature and 3.56 species for every 10% decrease in soil moisture. The integrated effects of increasing soil temperature and decreasing moisture are expected to lead to a rapid decrease in species richness. Biomass had no significant correlation with soil temperature but significantly decreased with soil moisture decreasing (p < 0.01). Biomass would decrease when soil moisture was below 20%, no matter how the change of soil temperature. We also found that gramineae and perennial forbs were sensitive to climate change. With soil temperature increased, the proportion of gramineae increased, whereas the proportion of perennial forbs decreased. The integrated effects of soil temperature increasing and moisture decreasing caused a shift from sedge-controlled to gramineae-controlled communities in alpine meadow. This study not only enhances our understanding of mountain plant community dynamics under climate change, but also predicts the shift of vegetation response to climate change on high-elevation alpine meadow.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Cynk KW (2018)

The process of climate change in mass media discourse using the example of Polish and international editions of "Newsweek" magazine.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-018-3138-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The main objective of the article is to conduct a critical media discourse analysis as presented in the Polish and international editions of the "Newsweek" magazine in the years 2001-2006 and 2012-2016; the subject of which was climate change. The introduction provides the definitions of the key terms, such as: the greenhouse effect and critical discourse analysis (CDA). The theoretical part presents the most important assumptions of the CDA and presents a characteristic of the weekly. The results of the conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis partially lead to varying conclusions. Based on the CDA, the hypothesis was assumed that more attention was provided to climate change in the international (English) edition of "Newsweek", than in the Polish-language edition. Rejected in turn was the hypothesis, according to which, more importance to climate change and their repercussions was provided in the discourse within the last 5 years of publication of the weekly than in the discourse from the years 2001-2006. As a result of comparison of both discourses, the disturbing fact that media discourse did not present and encourage among the readers an active stance in favour of the climate was noticed. It is the task of this influential weekly, the message of which reaches many people, not only to provide knowledge and shape specific values or view, but also to encourage and popularise attitudes in favour of the climate. If man wants to continue to live on earth, then one of their goals is to modify the form of discourse by entities responsible for its form.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Shabani F, Kumar L, R Hamdan Saif Al Shidi (2018)

Impacts of climate change on infestations of Dubas bug (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) on date palms in Oman.

PeerJ, 6:e5545 pii:5545.

Climate change has determined shifts in distributions of species and is likely to affect species in the future. Our study aimed to (i) demonstrate the linkage between spatial climatic variability and the current and historical Dubas bug (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) distribution in Oman and (ii) model areas becoming highly suitable for the pest in the future. The Dubas bug is a pest of date palm trees that can reduce the crop yield by 50% under future climate scenarios in Oman. Projections were made in three species distribution models; generalized linear model, maximum entropy, boosted regression tree using of four global circulation models (GCMs) (a) HadGEM2, (b) CCSM4, (c) MIROC5 and (d) HadGEM2-AO, under four representative concentration pathways (2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5) for the years 2050 and 2070. We utilized the most commonly used threshold of maximum sensitivity + specificity for classifying outputs. Results indicated that northern Oman is currently at great risk of Dubas bug infestations (highly suitable climatically) and the infestations level will remain high in 2050 and 2070. Other non-climatic integrated pest management methods may be greater value than climatic parameters for monitoring infestation levels, and may provide more effective strategies to manage Dubas bug infestations in Oman. This would ensure the continuing competitiveness of Oman in the global date fruit market and preserve national yields.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Froehlich HE, Gentry RR, BS Halpern (2018)

Global change in marine aquaculture production potential under climate change.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-018-0669-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is an immediate and future threat to food security globally. The consequences for fisheries and agriculture production potential are well studied, yet the possible outcomes for aquaculture (that is, aquatic farming)-one of the fastest growing food sectors on the planet-remain a major gap in scientific understanding. With over one-third of aquaculture produced in marine waters and this proportion increasing, it is critical to anticipate new opportunities and challenges in marine production under climate change. Here, we model and map the effect of warming ocean conditions (Representative Concentration Pathway scenario 8.5) on marine aquaculture production potential over the next century, based on thermal tolerance and growth data of 180 cultured finfish and bivalve species. We find heterogeneous patterns of gains and losses, but an overall greater probability of declines worldwide. Accounting for multiple drivers of species growth, including shifts in temperature, chlorophyll and ocean acidification, reveals potentially greater declines in bivalve aquaculture compared with finfish production. This study addresses a missing component in food security research and sustainable development planning by identifying regions that will face potentially greater climate change challenges and resilience with regards to marine aquaculture in the coming decades. Understanding the scale and magnitude of future increases and reductions in aquaculture potential is critical for designing effective and efficient use and protection of the oceans, and ultimately for feeding the planet sustainably.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Ebi KL, Boyer C, Bowen KJ, et al (2018)

Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators for Climate Change-Related Health Impacts, Risks, Adaptation, and Resilience.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9): pii:ijerph15091943.

Climate change poses a range of current and future health risks that health professionals need to understand, track, and manage. However, conventional monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as practiced in the health sector, including the use of indicators, does not adequately serve this purpose. Improved indicators are needed in three broad categories: (1) vulnerability and exposure to climate-related hazards; (2) current impacts and projected risks; and (3) adaptation processes and health system resilience. These indicators are needed at the population level and at the health systems level (including clinical care and public health). Selected indicators must be sensitive, valid, and useful. And they must account for uncertainties about the magnitude and pattern of climate change; the broad range of upstream drivers of climate-sensitive health outcomes; and the complexities of adaptation itself, including institutional learning and knowledge management to inform iterative risk management. Barriers and constraints to implementing such indicators must be addressed, and lessons learned need to be added to the evidence base. This paper describes an approach to climate and health indicators, including characteristics of the indicators, implementation, and research needs.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Chersich MF, Wright CY, Venter F, et al (2018)

Impacts of Climate Change on Health and Wellbeing in South Africa.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9): pii:ijerph15091884.

Given its associated burden of disease, climate change in South Africa could be reframed as predominately a health issue, one necessitating an urgent health-sector response. The growing impact of climate change has major implications for South Africa, especially for the numerous vulnerable groups in the country. We systematically reviewed the literature by searching PubMed and Web of Science. Of the 820 papers screened, 34 were identified that assessed the impacts of climate change on health in the country. Most papers covered effects of heat on health or on infectious diseases (20/34; 59%). We found that extreme weather events are the most noticeable effects to date, especially droughts in the Western Cape, but rises in vector-borne diseases are gaining prominence. Climate aberration is also linked in myriad ways with outbreaks of food and waterborne diseases, and possibly with the recent Listeria epidemic. The potential impacts of climate change on mental health may compound the multiple social stressors that already beset the populace. Climate change heightens the pre-existing vulnerabilities of women, fishing communities, rural subsistence farmers and those living in informal settlements. Further gender disparities, eco-migration and social disruptions may undermine the prevention-but also treatment-of HIV. Our findings suggest that focused research and effective use of surveillance data are required to monitor climate change's impacts; traditional strengths of the country's health sector. The health sector, hitherto a fringe player, should assume a greater leadership role in promoting policies that protect the public's health, address inequities and advance the country's commitments to climate change accords.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Koopman JFL, Kuik O, Tol RSJ, et al (2017)

The potential of water markets to allocate water between industry, agriculture, and public water utilities as an adaptation mechanism to climate change.

Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 22(2):325-347.

One of the climate change scenarios that have been developed for the Netherlands predicts hotter and drier summers and a substantial drop in river discharge. This might lead to water scarcity with detrimental economic and environmental effects. Among the possible adaptation responses to climate change-induced water scarcity, the re-allocation of water resources among competing uses should also be considered. In this paper, we extend and apply a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to assess the potential of water markets (water allocation according to its shadow price) to guide the allocation of scarce water across agriculture, manufacturing, and public water supply. We develop four scenarios in which the scope of water markets is increased from industry-specific to economy-wide. The results show that the agricultural sector bears nearly all of the losses from a new water-scarce climate, while the manufacturing sectors are able to mitigate their losses to a large extent by technical measures. Extending the scope of water markets unambiguously increases economic output and results in a re-allocation of water to the manufacturing sector from the agricultural sector and from public water services. If, perhaps for political reasons, public water services are excluded from water trading, water is re-allocated from agriculture to manufacturing. Depending on which sectors are included, the construction of a water market can have negative or positive effects on a sector's output, and although the implementation of water markets may be positive for overall economic output and can hence assist adaptation, the effect on vulnerable or societally sensitive economic sectors, such as public water, should be taken into account when implementing such a market.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

van der Pol TD, van Ierland EC, S Gabbert (2017)

Economic analysis of adaptive strategies for flood risk management under climate change.

Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 22(2):267-285.

Climate change requires reconsideration of flood risk management strategies. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA), an economic decision-support tool, has been widely applied to assess these strategies. This paper aims to describe and discuss probabilistic extensions of CBA to identify welfare-maximising flood risk management strategies under climate change. First, uncertainty about the changes in return periods of hydro-meteorological extremes is introduced by probability-weighted climate scenarios. Second, the analysis is extended by learning about climate change impacts. Learning occurs upon the probabilistic arrival of information. We distinguish between learning from scientific progress, from statistical evidence and from flood disasters. These probabilistic extensions can be used to analyse and compare the economic efficiency and flexibility of flood risk management strategies under climate change. We offer a critical discussion of the scope of such extensions and options for increasing flexibility. We find that uncertainty reduction from scientific progress may reduce initial investments, while other types of learning may increase initial investments. This requires analysing effects of different types of learning. We also find that probabilistic information about climate change impacts and learning is imprecise. We conclude that risk-based CBA with learning improves the flexibility of flood risk management strategies under climate change. However, CBA provides subjective estimates of expected outcomes and reflects different decision-maker preferences than those captured in robustness analyses. We therefore advocate robustness analysis in addition to, or combined with, cost-benefit analysis to support local investment decisions on flood risk reduction and global strategies on allocation of adaptation funds for flood risk management.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Eikelboom T, R Janssen (2017)

Collaborative use of geodesign tools to support decision-making on adaptation to climate change.

Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 22(2):247-266.

Spatial planners around the world need to make climate change adaptation plans. Climate adaptation planning requires combining spatial information with stakeholder values. This study demonstrates the potential of geodesign tools as a mean to integrate spatial analysis with stakeholder participation in adaptation planning. The tools are interactive and provide dynamic feedback on stakeholder objectives in response to the application of spatial measures. Different rationalities formed by underlying internalized values influence the reasoning of decision-making. Four tools were developed, each tailored to different rationalities varying between a collective or individual viewpoint and analytical or political arguments. The tools were evaluated in an experiment with four groups of participants that were set around an interactive mapping device: the touch table. To study how local decision-making on adaptation can be supported, this study focuses on a specific case study in the Netherlands. In this case study, multiple different stakeholders need to make spatial decisions on land use and water management planning in response to climate change. The collaborative use of four geodesign tools was evaluated in an interactive experiment. The results show that the geodesign tools were able to integrate the engagement of stakeholders and assessment of measures. The experiment showed that decision-making on adaptation to climate change can benefit from the use of geodesign tools as long as the tool is carefully matched to the rationality that applies to the adaptation issue. Although the tools were tested to support the design of adaptation plans in a Dutch setting, the tools could be used for regional adaptation planning in other countries such as the development of regional adaptation strategies (RAS) as required by the European Union or on a national scale to support developing national adaptation plans of action (NAPAs) as initiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for least developed countries.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Araya MM, O Hofstad (2016)

Monetary incentives to avoid deforestation under the Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD)+ climate change mitigation scheme in Tanzania.

Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 21(3):421-443.

The paper estimates and compares the level of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) payments required to compensate for the opportunity costs (OCs) of stopping the conversion of montane forest and miombo woodlands into cropland in two agro-ecological zones in Morogoro Region in Tanzania. Data collected from 250 households were used for OC estimation. REDD+ payment was estimated as the net present value (NPV) of agricultural rent and forest rent during land clearing, minus net returns from sustainable wood harvest, divided by the corresponding reduction in carbon stock. The median compensation required to protect the current carbon stock in the two vegetation types ranged from USD 1 tCO2e-1 for the montane forest to USD 39 tCO2e-1 for the degraded miombo woodlands, of which up to 70 % and 16 %, respectively, were for compensating OCs from forest rent during land clearing. The figures were significantly higher when the cost of farmers' own labor was not taken into account in NPV calculations. The results also highlighted that incentives in the form of sustainable harvests could offset up to 55 % of the total median OC to protect the montane forest and up to 45 % to protect the miombo woodlands, depending on the wage rates. The findings suggest that given the possible factors that can potentially affect estimates of REDD+ payments, avoiding deforestation of the montane forest would be feasible under the REDD+ scheme. However, implementation of the policy in villages around the miombo area would require very high compensation levels.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Trauernicht C (2018)

Vegetation-Rainfall interactions reveal how climate variability and climate change alter spatial patterns of wildland fire probability on Big Island, Hawaii.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 1):459-469 pii:S0048-9697(18)33318-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The area burned annually by wildland fire in Hawaii has increased fourfold in recent decades. The archipelago's novel fuel types and climatic heterogeneity pose significant challenges for fire risk assessment and fire management. Probability-based fire occurrence models using historical wildfire records provide a means to assess and attribute fire risk in regions of the world like Hawaii where investment in fire science is limited. This research used generalized additive models to 1) assess the relative contribution of vegetation, climate, and human-caused ignitions to the probability of fire in the northwest quadrant of Hawaii Island and 2) compare how landscape flammability varies due to interannual rainfall variability versus projected changes in mean annual rainfall (MAR) and temperature. Annual fire probability was highest for grasslands and peaked at drier conditions (0.04 at 450 mm MAR) when compared with shrublands (0.03 at 650 mm MAR) and forest (0.015 at 600 mm MAR). Excess rainfall the year prior to fire occurrence increased fire risk across grasslands, and thus overall fire probability, more so than drought the year that fire occurred. Drying and warming trends for the region under projected climate change increased maximum values of fire probability by as much as 375% and shifted areas of peak landscape flammability to higher elevation. Model predictions under future climate also indicate the largest changes in landscape flammability will happen by mid-Century. The influence of antecedent wet years on fire risk can improve near-term predictions of fire risk in Hawaii while climate projections indicate that fire management will need to be prioritized at upper elevations where high value natural resources are concentrated.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Pandey VP, Dhaubanjar S, Bharati L, et al (2018)

Hydrological response of Chamelia watershed in Mahakali Basin to climate change.

The Science of the total environment, 650(Pt 1):365-383 pii:S0048-9697(18)33489-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Chamelia (catchment area = 1603 km2), a tributary of Mahakali, is a snow-fed watershed in Western Nepal. The watershed has 14 hydropower projects at various stages of development. This study simulated the current and future hydrological system of Chamelia using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The model was calibrated for 2001-2007; validated for 2008-2013; and then applied to assess streamflow response to projected future climate scenarios. Multi-site calibration ensures that the model is capable of reproducing hydrological heterogeneity within the watershed. Current water balance above the Q120 hydrological station in the forms of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration (AET), and net water yield are 2469 mm, 381 mm and 1946 mm, respectively. Outputs of five Regional Climate Models (RCMs) under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for three future periods were considered for assessing climate change impacts. An ensemble of bias-corrected RCM projections showed that maximum temperature under RCP4.5 (RCP8.5) scenario for near-, mid-, and far-futures is projected to increase from the baseline by 0.9 °C (1.1 °C), 1.4 °C (2.1 °C), and 1.6 °C (3.4 °C), respectively. Minimum temperature for the same scenarios and future periods are projected to increase by 0.9 °C (1.2 °C), 1.6 °C (2.5 °C), and 2.0 °C (3.9 °C), respectively. Average annual precipitation under RCP4.5 (RCP8.5) scenario for near-, mid-, and far-futures are projected to increase by 10% (11%), 10% (15%), and 13% (15%), respectively. Based on the five RCMs considered, there is a high consensus for increase in temperature but higher uncertainty with respect to precipitations. Under these projected changes, average annual streamflow was simulated to increase gradually from the near to far future under both RCPs; for instance, by 8.2% in near-, 12.2% in mid-, and 15.0% in far-future under RCP4.5 scenarios. The results are useful for planning water infrastructure projects, in Chamelia and throughout the Mahakali basin, to ensure long-term sustainability under climate change.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Arbuthnott K, Hajat S, Heaviside C, et al (2018)

What is cold-related mortality? A multi-disciplinary perspective to inform climate change impact assessments.

Environment international, 121(Pt 1):119-129 pii:S0160-4120(18)30899-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: There is a growing discussion regarding the mortality burdens of hot and cold weather and how the balance between these may alter as a result of climate change. Net effects of climate change are often presented, and in some settings these may suggest that reductions in cold-related mortality will outweigh increases in heat-related mortality. However, key to these discussions is that the magnitude of temperature-related mortality is wholly sensitive to the placement of the temperature threshold above or below which effects are modelled. For cold exposure especially, where threshold effects are often ill-defined, choices in threshold placement have varied widely between published studies, even within the same location. Despite this, there is little discussion around appropriate threshold selection and whether reported associations reflect true causal relationships - i.e. whether all deaths occurring below a given temperature threshold can be regarded as cold-related and are therefore likely to decrease as climate warms.

OBJECTIVES: Our objectives are to initiate a discussion around the importance of threshold placement and examine evidence for causality across the full range of temperatures used to quantify cold-related mortality. We examine whether understanding causal mechanisms can inform threshold selection, the interpretation of current and future cold-related health burdens and their use in policy formation.

METHODS: Using Greater London data as an example, we first illustrate the sensitivity of cold related mortality to threshold selection. Using the Bradford Hill criteria as a framework, we then integrate knowledge and evidence from multiple disciplines and areas- including animal and human physiology, epidemiology, biomarker studies and population level studies. This allows for discussion of several possible direct and indirect causal mechanisms operating across the range of 'cold' temperatures and lag periods used in health impact studies, and whether this in turn can inform appropriate threshold placement.

RESULTS: Evidence from a range of disciplines appears to support a causal relationship for cold across a range of temperatures and lag periods, although there is more consistent evidence for a causal effect at more extreme temperatures. It is plausible that 'direct' mechanisms for cold mortality are likely to occur at lower temperatures and 'indirect' mechanisms (e.g. via increased spread of infection) may occur at milder temperatures.

CONCLUSIONS: Separating the effects of 'extreme' and 'moderate' cold (e.g. temperatures between approximately 8-9 °C and 18 °C in the UK) could help the interpretation of studies quoting attributable mortality burdens. However there remains the general dilemma of whether it is better to use a lower cold threshold below which we are more certain of a causal relationship, but at the risk of under-estimating deaths attributable to cold.

RevDate: 2018-09-09

Akbarpour S, MH Niksokhan (2018)

Investigating effects of climate change, urbanization, and sea level changes on groundwater resources in a coastal aquifer: an integrated assessment.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 190(10):579 pii:10.1007/s10661-018-6953-3.

Urbanization and climate change are causing numerous side effects on groundwater resources. In this study, an integrated modeling approach by linking soil and water application tool (SWAT), modular finite difference groundwater flow (MODFLOW), and three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow coupled with multi-species solute and heat transport (SEAWAT) models were used to exhibit responses of groundwater systems, in terms of flow and salt concentrations to current and future climatic and anthropogenic changes. Future climate scenarios for periods of 2010-2040 were generated from the Canadian Global Coupled Model (CGCM) for scenarios A1B, B1, and A2 which was downscaled by the Long Ashton Research Station weather generator (LARS-WG) providing precipitation and temperature patterns for the period 2018-2040. The GCM's outputs were applied to SWAT model to estimate recharge rate for the ten scenarios designed to assess the sensitivity of the aquifer to urbanization and climate change. The estimated recharge rate from SWAT was utilized as an input in numerical groundwater model to evaluate saltwater intrusion (SWI), changes in freshwater storage within the aquifer system, and changes in groundwater level. Based on the results of each scenario's simulation, increase of pumping rate yield by future population growth will have more adverse effects on the unconfined aquifer. The derived information from this study can be used to improve future works by developing a better understanding of the managed and unmanaged response of freshwater storage and unconfined groundwater systems to climate change and anthropogenic activities.

RevDate: 2018-09-08

Alava JJ, Cisneros-Montemayor AM, Sumaila UR, et al (2018)

Projected amplification of food web bioaccumulation of MeHg and PCBs under climate change in the Northeastern Pacific.

Scientific reports, 8(1):13460 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-31824-5.

Climate change increases exposure and bioaccumulation of pollutants in marine organisms, posing substantial ecophysiological and ecotoxicological risks. Here, we applied a trophodynamic ecosystem model to examine the bioaccumulation of organic mercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Northeastern Pacific marine food web under climate change. We found largely heterogeneous sensitivity in climate-pollution impacts between chemicals and trophic groups. Concentration of MeHg and PCBs in top predators, including resident killer whales, is projected to be amplified by 8 and 3%, respectively, by 2100 under a high carbon emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) relative to a no-climate change control scenario. However, the level of amplification increases with higher carbon emission scenario for MeHg, but decreases for PCBs. Such idiosyncratic responses are shaped by the differences in bioaccumulation pathways between MeHg and PCBs, and the modifications of food web dynamics between different levels of climate change. Climate-induced pollutant amplification in mid-trophic level predators (Chinook salmon) are projected to be higher (~10%) than killer whales. Overall, the predicted trophic magnification factor is ten-fold higher in MeHg than in PCBs under high CO2 emissions. This contribution highlights the importance of understanding the interactions with anthropogenic organic pollutants in assessing climate risks on marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-09-07

Hutchins SS, Bouye K, Luber G, et al (2018)

Public Health Agency Responses and Opportunities to Protect Against Health Impacts of Climate Change Among US Populations with Multiple Vulnerabilities.

Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities pii:10.1007/s40615-017-0402-9 [Epub ahead of print].

During the past several decades, unprecedented global changes in climate have given rise to an increase in extreme weather and other climate events and their consequences such as heavy rainfall, hurricanes, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, and air pollution. These climate effects have direct impacts on human health such as premature death, injuries, exacerbation of health conditions, disruption of mental well-being, as well as indirect impacts through food- and water-related infections and illnesses. While all populations are at risk for these adverse health outcomes, some populations are at greater risk because of multiple vulnerabilities resulting from increased exposure to risk-prone areas, increased sensitivity due to underlying health conditions, and limited adaptive capacity primarily because of a lack of economic resources to respond adequately. We discuss current governmental public health responses and their future opportunities to improve resilience of special populations at greatest risk for adverse health outcomes. Vulnerability assessment, adaptation plans, public health emergency response, and public health agency accreditation are all current governmental public health actions. Governmental public health opportunities include integration of these current responses with health equity initiatives and programs in communities.

RevDate: 2018-09-07

Chen C, Guerit L, Foreman BZ, et al (2018)

Estimating regional flood discharge during Palaeocene-Eocene global warming.

Scientific reports, 8(1):13391 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-31076-3.

Among the most urgent challenges in future climate change scenarios is accurately predicting the magnitude to which precipitation extremes will intensify. Analogous changes have been reported for an episode of millennial-scale 5 °C warming, termed the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; 56 Ma), providing independent constraints on hydrological response to global warming. However, quantifying hydrologic extremes during geologic global warming analogs has proven difficult. Here we show that water discharge increased by at least 1.35 and potentially up to 14 times during the early phase of the PETM in northern Spain. We base these estimates on analyses of channel dimensions, sediment grain size, and palaeochannel gradients across the early PETM, which is regionally marked by an abrupt transition from overbank palaeosol deposits to conglomeratic fluvial sequences. We infer that extreme floods and channel mobility quickly denuded surrounding soil-mantled landscapes, plausibly enhanced by regional vegetation decline, and exported enormous quantities of terrigenous material towards the ocean. These results support hypotheses that extreme rainfall events and associated risks of flooding increase with global warming at similar, but potentially at much higher, magnitudes than currently predicted.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Halley JM, Van Houtan KS, N Mantua (2018)

How survival curves affect populations' vulnerability to climate change.

PloS one, 13(9):e0203124 pii:PONE-D-17-41424.

Human activities are exposing organisms not only to direct threats (e.g. habitat loss) but also to indirect environmental pressures such as climate change, which involves not just directional global warming but also increasing climatic variability. Such changes will impact whole communities of organisms and the possible effects on population dynamics have raised concerns about increased extinction rates. Conservation-minded approaches to extinction risk vary from range shifts predicted by climate envelope models with no population dynamics to population viability analyses that ignore environmental variability altogether. Our modelling study shows that these extremes are modelling responses to a spectrum of environmental sensitivity that organisms may exhibit. We show how the survival curve plays a major role in how environmental variability leads to population fluctuations. While it is often supposed that low-fecundity organisms (those with high parental investment) will be the most vulnerable to climate change, it is those with high fecundity (low parental investment) that are likely to be more sensitive to such changes. We also find that abundance variations in high fecundity populations is driven primarily by fluctuations in the survival of early life stages, the more so if those environmental changes are autocorrelated in time. We show which types of conservation actions are most appropriate for a number of real populations. While the most effective conservation actions for organisms of low fecundity is to avoid killing them, for populations with high fecundity (and low parental investment), our study suggests conservation should focus more on protecting early life stages from hostile environments.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Fernández-Pascual E, Mattana E, HW Pritchard (2018)

Seeds of future past: climate change and the thermal memory of plant reproductive traits.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Plant persistence and migration in face of climate change depends on successful reproduction by seed, a central aspect of plant life that drives population dynamics, community assembly and species distributions. Plant reproduction by seed is a chain of physiological processes, the rates of which are a function of temperature, and can be modelled using thermal time models. Importantly, while seed reproduction responds to its instantaneous thermal environment, there is also evidence of phenotypic plasticity in response to the thermal history experienced by the plant's recent ancestors, by the reproducing plant since seedling establishment, and by its seeds both before and after their release. This phenotypic plasticity enables a thermal memory of plant reproduction, which allows individuals to acclimatise to their surroundings. This review synthesises current knowledge on the thermal memory of plant reproduction by seed, and highlights its importance for modelling approaches based on physiological thermal time. We performed a comprehensive search in the Web of Science and analysed 533 relevant articles, of which 81 provided material for a meta-analysis of thermal memory in reproductive functional traits based on the effect size Zr. The articles encompassed the topics of seed development, seed yield (mass and number), seed dormancy (physiological, morphological and physical), germination, and seedling establishment. The results of the meta-analysis provide evidence for a thermal memory of seed yield, physiological dormancy and germination. Seed mass and physiological dormancy appear to be the central hubs of this memory. We argue for integrating thermal memory into a predictive framework based on physiological time modelling. This will provide a quantitative assessment of plant reproduction, a complex system that integrates past and present thermal inputs to achieve successful reproduction in changing environments. The effects of a warming environment on plant reproduction cannot be reduced to a qualitative interpretation of absolute positives and negatives. Rather, these effects need to be understood in terms of changing rates and thresholds for the physiological process that underlie reproduction by seed.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Usinowicz J, JM Levine (2018)

Species persistence under climate change: a geographical scale coexistence problem.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Forecasting the impacts of climate change on biological diversity requires better ways to incorporate competitive interactions into predictions of species' range dynamics and persistence. This problem has been studied extensively in a different context by theoreticians evaluating the coexistence of species in spatially heterogeneous environments. Here, we show how spatial coexistence theory can be adapted to provide a mathematical framework for understanding species persistence in competitive communities under climate change. We first show how the spatial low-density growth rate provides the relevant metric of species persistence along a climate gradient. We then analyse a model of multiple migrating competitors to show how mechanisms contributing to low-density growth rates quantify the effect of different competitive processes on persistence, and how these processes change in strength with species' asynchronous migration under climate change. Finally, we outline the empirical utility of the framework, showing how the theory can scale up from local measurements of species performance and competitive interactions to range-scale metrics of persistence. Treating species' range dynamics as a geographical-scale coexistence problem presents its own set of challenges, but building from a well-established body of theory may greatly improve the predictability of species persistence in competitive communities under climate change.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Coates SJ, Davis MDP, LK Andersen (2018)

Temperature and humidity affect the incidence of hand, foot, and mouth disease: a systematic review of the literature - a report from the International Society of Dermatology Climate Change Committee.

International journal of dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is an enterovirus-mediated condition that predominantly affects children under 5 years of age. The tendency for outbreaks to peak in warmer summer months suggests a relationship between HFMD and weather patterns. We reviewed the English-language literature for articles describing a relationship between meteorological variables and HFMD. Seventy-two studies meeting criteria were identified. A positive, statistically significant relationship was identified between HFMD cases and both temperature (61 of 67 studies, or 91.0%, reported a positive relationship) [CI 81.8-95.8%, P = 0.0001] and relative humidity (41 of 54 studies, or 75.9%) [CI 63.1-85.4%, P = 0.0001]. No significant relationship was identified between HFMD and precipitation, wind speed, and/or sunshine. Most countries reported a single peak of disease each year (most commonly early Summer), but subtropical and tropical climate zones were significantly more likely to experience a bimodal distribution of cases throughout the year (two peaks a year; most commonly late spring/early summer, with a smaller peak in autumn). The rising global incidence of HFMD, particularly in Pacific Asia, may be related to climate change. Weather forecasting might be used effectively in the future to indicate the risk of HFMD outbreaks and the need for targeted public health interventions.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Smyth CE, Smiley BP, Magnan M, et al (2018)

Climate change mitigation in Canada's forest sector: a spatially explicit case study for two regions.

Carbon balance and management, 13(1):11 pii:10.1186/s13021-018-0099-z.

BACKGROUND: We determine the potential of forests and the forest sector to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by changes in management practices and wood use for two regions within Canada's managed forest from 2018 to 2050. Our modeling frameworks include the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector, a framework for harvested wood products that estimates emissions based on product half-life decay times, and an account of marginal emission substitution benefits from the changes in use of wood products and bioenergy. Using a spatially explicit forest inventory with 16 ha pixels, we examine mitigation scenarios relating to forest management and wood use: increased harvesting efficiency; residue management for bioenergy; reduced harvest; reduced slashburning, and more longer-lived wood products. The primary reason for the spatially explicit approach at this coarse resolution was to estimate transportation distances associated with delivering harvest residues for heat and/or electricity production for local communities.

RESULTS: Results demonstrated large differences among alternative scenarios, and from alternative assumptions about substitution benefits for fossil fuel-based energy and products which changed scenario rankings. Combining forest management activities with a wood-use scenario that generated more longer-lived products had the highest mitigation potential.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of harvest residues to meet local energy demands in place of burning fossil fuels was found to be an effective scenario to reduce GHG emissions, along with scenarios that increased the utilization level for harvest, and increased the longevity of wood products. Substitution benefits from avoiding fossil fuels or emissions-intensive products were dependent on local circumstances for energy demand and fuel mix, and the assumed wood use for products. As projected future demand for biomass use in national GHG mitigation strategies could exceed sustainable biomass supply, analyses such as this can help identify biomass sources that achieve the greatest mitigation benefits.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Li HQ, Liu XL, Wang JH, et al (2018)

[Influence of climate change on the suitable ranges for planting pickled mustard tuber in Chongqing.].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 29(8):2651-2657.

Pickled mustard tuber (Brassica juncea var. tumida) belonging to Cruciferae, is a unique economic crop in China. Climate is an important factor affecting the distribution of pickled mustard tuber. Based on species presence data at 279 locations and 22 high-resolution environmental factor layers, we analyzed the potential planting area of pickled mustard tuber in Chongqing by MaxEnt model under the current conditions and the future distributions for the periods 2050s and 2070s under the climate change scenarios of RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0 and RCP 8.5 described in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The results showed that MaxEnt model was excellent in predicting its potential plan-ting area. The cumulative contributions of dominant factors reached as high as 81.7%, including precipitation of wettest month, temperature annual range, minimum temperature of coldest month, isothermality, mean diurnal range and average maximum temperature. The threshold of those factors was 173-183 mm, 27.2-28.3 ℃, 1.8-3.8 ℃, 22.5-24 ℃, 6.2-6.8 ℃ and 14.8-18.0 ℃, respectively. Under current condition, the optimum suitable areas of pickled mustard tuber, which amounted to 4.2%, were in the northeast, west and east of Fuling, the east and south of Changshou, the south and southeast of Dianjiang, the northwest and north of Fengdu, the southeast of Zhongxian, and a small part of Wulong and Nanchuan, while the proportion of moderately suitable areas was 6.3%. Under four climate change scenarios, the optimum suitable areas would drop to 2.7%, 3.8%, 3.1%, 3.2% and 3.1%, 3.7%, 3.5%, 2.9% for the periods 2050s and 2070s, respectively, while moderately suitable areas would rise gradually.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Dugan AJ, Birdsey R, Mascorro VS, et al (2018)

A systems approach to assess climate change mitigation options in landscapes of the United States forest sector.

Carbon balance and management, 13(1):13 pii:10.1186/s13021-018-0100-x.

BACKGROUND: United States forests can contribute to national strategies for greenhouse gas reductions. The objective of this work was to evaluate forest sector climate change mitigation scenarios from 2018 to 2050 by applying a systems-based approach that accounts for net emissions across four interdependent components: (1) forest ecosystem, (2) land-use change, (3) harvested wood products, and (4) substitution benefits from using wood products and bioenergy. We assessed a range of land management and harvested wood product scenarios for two case studies in the U.S: coastal South Carolina and Northern Wisconsin. We integrated forest inventory and remotely-sensed disturbance data within a modelling framework consisting of a growth-and-yield driven ecosystem carbon model; a harvested wood products model that estimates emissions from commodity production, use and post-consumer treatment; and displacement factors to estimate avoided fossil fuel emissions. We estimated biophysical mitigation potential by comparing net emissions from land management and harvested wood products scenarios with a baseline ('business as usual') scenario.

RESULTS: Baseline scenario results showed that the strength of the ecosystem carbon sink has been decreasing in the two sites due to age-related productivity declines and deforestation. Mitigation activities have the potential to lessen or delay the further reduction in the carbon sink. Results of the mitigation analysis indicated that scenarios reducing net forest area loss were most effective in South Carolina, while extending harvest rotations and increasing longer-lived wood products were most effective in Wisconsin. Scenarios aimed at increasing bioenergy use either increased or reduced net emissions within the 32-year analysis timeframe.

CONCLUSIONS: It is critical to apply a systems approach to comprehensively assess net emissions from forest sector climate change mitigation scenarios. Although some scenarios produced a benefit by displacing emissions from fossil fuel energy or by substituting wood products for other materials, these benefits can be outweighed by increased carbon emissions in the forest or product systems. Maintaining forests as forests, extending rotations, and shifting commodities to longer-lived products had the strongest mitigation benefits over several decades. Carbon cycle impacts of bioenergy depend on timeframe, feedstocks, and alternative uses of biomass, and cannot be assumed carbon neutral.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Anonymous (2018)

Global warming tops the agenda as climate brings down a third Australian prime minister.

Nature, 561(7721):5-6.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Krinner G, MG Flanner (2018)

Striking stationarity of large-scale climate model bias patterns under strong climate change.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1807912115 [Epub ahead of print].

Because all climate models exhibit biases, their use for assessing future climate change requires implicitly assuming or explicitly postulating that the biases are stationary or vary predictably. This hypothesis, however, has not been, and cannot be, tested directly. This work shows that under very large climate change the bias patterns of key climate variables exhibit a striking degree of stationarity. Using only correlation with a model's preindustrial bias pattern, a model's 4xCO2 bias pattern is objectively and correctly identified among a large model ensemble in almost all cases. This outcome would be exceedingly improbable if bias patterns were independent of climate state. A similar result is also found for bias patterns in two historical periods. This provides compelling and heretofore missing justification for using such models to quantify climate perturbation patterns and for selecting well-performing models for regional downscaling. Furthermore, it opens the way to extending bias corrections to perturbed states, substantially broadening the range of justified applications of climate models.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Phillips C, Lipman GS, Gugelmann H, et al (2018)

Snakebites and climate change in California, 1997-2017.

Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Climate change effect on flora and fauna has been scientifically documented, but the effect on North American venomous snakebites is unknown. The objectives were to examine Californian snakebite incidence and correlate with weather patterns and climate changes.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of snakebites reported to the Californian Poison Control System from 1 September 1997 to 30 September 2017. Venomous snakebite reports were aggregated by caller zip code, and correlated per county with weather data, air temperature, precipitation, population data, eco-regions, and land characteristics. Time series decomposition by seasonality and trend, regression, and autocorrelation were used to assess association between climate variables and incidence.

RESULTS: There were 5365 reported venomous snakebites during the study period, with a median age of 37 years (22-51) with 76% male (p < .001, 95% CI 75.6-77.9%). Most snakebite outcomes were coded as minor (1363, 25%) or moderate (2607, 49%), with three deaths. Adjusted for population, the annualized incidence of snakebites statewide slightly decreased (rho = -0.11, p = .65). The snakebite incidence per million people rose after a period of no drought and declined during drought (r = -0.41, p ≪ .01). Snakebite incidence decreased by 6-month prior drought (-3.8% for each 10% increase in drought), and increased by 18-month prior precipitation (+3.9% for each 10% increase in precipitation).

CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of precipitation and drought had a significant and predictive effect on snakebites in California over a 20-year period. Snakebite incidence decreased following drought, and increased after precipitation.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Longyang Q (2018)

Assessing the effects of climate change on water quality of plateau deep-water lake - A study case of Hongfeng Lake.

The Science of the total environment, 647:1518-1530 pii:S0048-9697(18)33000-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change-related temperature increases and sea level rise have a significant impact on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and anthroposphere. Impacts on ecosystems will mostly occur over the long term and short-term effects may consequently attract comparatively less attention from researchers and decision-makers. In this study, we investigate eight meteorological factors and eleven water quality indicators of deep-water lakes in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in southwestern China. A robust proxy model based on a seven-year dataset (2010-2016) was established to predict the effects of climate change on water quality in Hongfeng Lake over the coming years. Perturbation analysis revealed that global warming has a more significant effect on chlorophyll a levels than on total phosphorus or total nitrogen in the lake area, and that external nutrient loading is a key factor aggravating eutrophication. Non-point source pollution induced by heavy precipitation will likely lead to an increase in total nitrogen and the lake may become more phosphorus-restricted. Reducing external inputs and controlling endogenous releases will help alleviate eutrophication.

RevDate: 2018-09-05

Zhou Y, Hartemink AE, Shi Z, et al (2018)

Land use and climate change effects on soil organic carbon in North and Northeast China.

The Science of the total environment, 647:1230-1238 pii:S0048-9697(18)32985-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Soil is recognized as the largest carbon reservoir in the terrestrial ecosystem. Soil organic carbon (SOC) is vulnerable to changes in land use and climate. For a better understanding of the SOC dynamics and its driving factors, we collected data of the 1980s and 2000s in the North and Northeast China and conducted the digital soil mapping for spatial variation of SOC for the respective period. In the 1980s, 585 soils were sampled and the area was resampled in 2003 and 2004 (1062 samples) in a 30-km grid. The main land use in the area was cropland, forest and grassland. The random forest was used to predict the SOC concentration and its temporal change using land use, terrain factors, vegetation index, vis-NIR spectra and climate factors as predictors. The average SOC concentration in 1985 was 10.0 g kg-1 compared to 12.5 g kg-1 in 2004. The SOC variation was similar over the two periods, and levels increased from south to north. The estimated SOC stock was 1.68 Pg in 1985 and 1.66 Pg in 2004, but the SOC changes were different under different land uses. Over the twenty-year period, average temperatures increased and large areas of forests and grassland were converted to cropland. SOC under cropland was increased by 0.094 Pg (+9%) whereas 0.089 Pg SOC was lost under forests (-25%) and 0.037 Pg in the soils under grassland (-25%). It is concluded that land use is the main drivers for SOC changes in this area while climate change had different contributions in different regions. SOC loss was remarkable under the land use conversion while cropland has considerable potential to sequester SOC.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Tuller D (2018)

Confronting The Effects Of Climate Change On Health In California.

Health affairs (Project Hope), 37(9):1354-1357.

Vulnerable communities have been forced to address the deepening impact of severe weather events on residents' well-being.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Anderson CM, Kissel KA, Field CB, et al (2018)

Climate Change Mitigation, Air Pollution, and Environmental Justice in California.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change mitigation policies can have significant co-benefits for air quality, including benefits to disadvantaged communities experiencing substantial air pollution. However, the effects of these mitigation policies have rarely been evaluated with respect to their influence on disadvantaged communities. Here we assess the air pollution and environmental justice implications of California's cap-and-trade mitigation program through analysis of (1) the sources of air pollution in disadvantaged communities, (2) emissions-reduction offset usage under the cap-and-trade program, and (3) the relationship between reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and reductions in co-pollutant emissions. Our analysis suggests that the cap-and-trade program has limited impacts, including limited disproportionate impacts, on air quality in disadvantaged communities. The sources of most air pollution in these communities have not been subject to the cap-and-trade program, and the use of emissions-reduction offsets is only marginally higher in disadvantaged communities than in other communities. Furthermore, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions imply smaller proportional reductions in co-pollutant emissions. While climate policies lead to important air quality co-benefits in some contexts, especially through reduced coal usage, targeted air quality policies and regulations may be more effective for reducing air pollution in disadvantaged communities in California and throughout the state.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Foster GL, Hull P, Lunt DJ, et al (2018)

Placing our current 'hyperthermal' in the context of rapid climate change in our geological past.

Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 376(2130):.

'…there are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.' Donald Rumsfeld 12th February 2002.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Hyperthermals: rapid and extreme global warming in our geological past'.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Rifkin DI, Long MW, MJ Perry (2018)

Climate change and sleep: A systematic review of the literature and conceptual framework.

Sleep medicine reviews pii:S1087-0792(18)30076-5 [Epub ahead of print].

From disaster related stress causing insomnia, to poor air quality causing sleep related breathing problems, climate change poses a potentially serious threat to human sleep. We conducted a systematic review evaluating the relationship between climate change and human sleep in the PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane databases from 1980 through 2017 following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Inclusion criteria included epidemiologic studies published in English that reported observational population data on human sleep and its relationship to climate change, temperature, extreme weather events and climate related disasters (e.g. hurricanes, floods, and wildfires). We excluded non-human studies, laboratory or experimental physiology studies, commentaries or letters, review articles, and articles on wind turbines. Using a systematic search strategy, 16 studies met the inclusion criteria. Six studies related to the effects of rising temperature, seven studies related to extreme weather events, and three studies related to floods or wildfires. Diminished total sleep times and sleep disruption were most commonly reported, especially among the most vulnerable populations including the elderly and low-income; however, the body of evidence was limited and further well-designed human studies are clearly needed. We present a conceptual framework for identifying the emerging threats of climate change and understanding their respective effects on human sleep.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Anglaret X (2018)

I would prefer not to aggravate global warming.

The Lancet. Planetary health, 2(9):e382-e383.

RevDate: 2018-09-04

Shultz JM, Kossin JP, Ettman C, et al (2018)

The 2017 perfect storm season, climate change, and environmental injustice.

The Lancet. Planetary health, 2(9):e370-e371.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Arndt C, Strzepeck K, Tarp F, et al (2011)

Adapting to climate change: an integrated biophysical and economic assessment for Mozambique.

Sustainability science, 6(1):7-20.

Mozambique, like many African countries, is already highly susceptible to climate variability and extreme weather events. Climate change threatens to heighten this vulnerability. In order to evaluate potential impacts and adaptation options for Mozambique, we develop an integrated modeling framework that translates atmospheric changes from general circulation model projections into biophysical outcomes via detailed hydrologic, crop, hydropower and infrastructure models. These sector models simulate a historical baseline and four extreme climate change scenarios. Sector results are then passed down to a dynamic computable general equilibrium model, which is used to estimate economy-wide impacts on national welfare, as well as the total cost of damages caused by climate change. Potential damages without changes in policy are significant; our discounted estimates range from US$ 2.3 to US $7.4 billion during 2003-2050. Our analysis identifies improved road design and agricultural sector investments as key 'no-regret' adaptation measures, alongside intensified efforts to develop a more flexible and resilient society. Our findings also support the need for cooperative river basin management and the regional coordination of adaptation strategies.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Borquez R, Aldunce P, C Adler (2017)

Resilience to climate change: from theory to practice through co-production of knowledge in Chile.

Sustainability science, 12(1):163-176.

In theory, building resilience is touted as one way to deal with climate change impacts; however, in practice, there is a need to examine how contexts influence the capacity of building resilience. A participatory process was carried out through workshops in regions affected by drought in Chile in 2014. The aim was to explore how resilience theory can be better applied and articulated into practice vis-á-vis participatory approaches that enrich the research process through the incorporation of co-produced. The results show that there are more differences in responses by type of actor than between regions, where issues of national interest, such as 'education-information' and 'preparedness', are highlighted over others. However, historically relevant local topics emerged as differentiators: decentralisation, and political will. This reinforces why special attention must be given to the different understandings in knowledge co-production processes. This study provides evidence and lessons on the importance of incorporating processes of the co-production of knowledge as a means to better articulate and transfer abstract concepts, such as resilience theory, into practice.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Ayeb-Karlsson S, van der Geest K, Ahmed I, et al (2016)

A people-centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh.

Sustainability science, 11(4):679-694.

The Ganges-Brahmaputra delta enables Bangladesh to sustain a dense population, but it also exposes people to natural hazards. This article presents findings from the Gibika project, which researches livelihood resilience in seven study sites across Bangladesh. This study aims to understand how people in the study sites build resilience against environmental stresses, such as cyclones, floods, riverbank erosion, and drought, and in what ways their strategies sometimes fail. The article applies a new methodology for studying people's decision making in risk-prone environments: the personal Livelihood History interviews (N = 28). The findings show how environmental stress, shocks, and disturbances affect people's livelihood resilience and why adaptation measures can be unsuccessful. Floods, riverbank erosion, and droughts cause damage to agricultural lands, crops, houses, and properties. People manage to adapt by modifying their agricultural practices, switching to alternative livelihoods, or using migration as an adaptive strategy. In the coastal study sites, cyclones are a severe hazard. The study reveals that when a cyclone approaches, people sometimes choose not to evacuate: they put their lives at risk to protect their livelihoods and properties. Future policy and adaptation planning must use lessons learned from people currently facing environmental stress and shocks.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Hoang LP, van Vliet MTH, Kummu M, et al (2018)

The Mekong's future flows under multiple drivers: How climate change, hydropower developments and irrigation expansions drive hydrological changes.

The Science of the total environment, 649:601-609 pii:S0048-9697(18)33124-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The river flow regime and water resources are highly important for economic growths, flood security, and ecosystem dynamics in the Mekong basin - an important transboundary river basin in South East Asia. The river flow, although remains relatively unregulated, is expected to be increasingly perturbed by climate change and rapidly accelerating socioeconomic developments. Current understanding about hydrological changes under the combined impacts of these drivers, however, remains limited. This study presents projected hydrological changes caused by multiple drivers, namely climate change, large-scale hydropower developments, and irrigated land expansions by 2050s. We found that the future flow regime is highly susceptible to all considered drivers, shown by substantial changes in both annual and seasonal flow distribution. While hydropower developments exhibit limited impacts on annual total flows, climate change and irrigation expansions cause changes of +15% and -3% in annual flows, respectively. However, hydropower developments show the largest seasonal impacts characterized by higher dry season flows (up to +70%) and lower wet season flows (-15%). These strong seasonal impacts tend to outplay those of the other drivers, resulting in the overall hydrological change pattern of strong increases of the dry season flow (up to +160%); flow reduction in the first half of the wet season (up to -25%); and slight flow increase in the second half of the wet season (up to 40%). Furthermore, the cumulative impacts of all drivers cause substantial flow reductions during the early wet season (up to -25% in July), posing challenges for crop production and saltwater intrusion in the downstream Mekong Delta. Substantial flow changes and their consequences require careful considerations of future development activities, as well as timely adaptation to future changes.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Deligios PA, Chergia AP, Sanna G, et al (2018)

Climate change adaptation and water saving by innovative irrigation management applied on open field globe artichoke.

The Science of the total environment, 649:461-472 pii:S0048-9697(18)33320-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The setting up of innovative irrigation water management might contribute to the mitigation of negative issues related to climate change. Our hypothesis was that globe artichoke irrigated with a traditionally drip system could be converted to an innovative water management system based on precision irrigation techniques and on evaporative cooling application in order to improve crop physiological status with positive impacts on earliness, total heads yield and water saving. Over two experiments carried out at plot- and field-scale, two irrigation management systems, differing in type and application time, were compared: (i) conventional, and (ii) canopy-cooling. Plant physiological status at a weekly sampling interval and the head atrophy incidence (as the ratio of the total primary heads collected) were monitored. We also recorded and determined heads production, and yield components. In both experiments, throughout the application period of evaporative cooling (three months), canopy-cooling showed the lowest value of leaf temperature and the highest photosynthesis values compared with the conventional one (+3 °C and -30%, respectively). The physiological advantage gained by the crop with evaporative cooling has led to a higher production both in terms of total yield (+30%), and in terms of harvested first order heads that from an economic viewpoint are the most profitable for farmers. At farm-scale, the canopy-cooling treatment resulted in a higher earliness (35 days) and water productivity (+36%) compared with conventional one. Our findings show that by combining evaporative cooling practice with precision irrigation technique the heads yield can be optimized also leading to a relevant water saving (-34%). Moreover, the study proved that canopy-cooling set up might be a winning strategy in order to mitigate climatic changes and heat stress conditions.

RevDate: 2018-09-03

Nogués-Bravo D, Rodríguez-Sánchez F, Orsini L, et al (2018)

Cracking the Code of Biodiversity Responses to Past Climate Change.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(18)30165-4 [Epub ahead of print].

How individual species and entire ecosystems will respond to future climate change are among the most pressing questions facing ecologists. Past biodiversity dynamics recorded in the paleoecological archives show a broad array of responses, yet significant knowledge gaps remain. In particular, the relative roles of evolutionary adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, and dispersal in promoting survival during times of climate change have yet to be clarified. Investigating the paleo-archives offers great opportunities to understand biodiversity responses to future climate change. In this review we discuss the mechanisms by which biodiversity responds to environmental change, and identify gaps of knowledge on the role of range shifts and tolerance. We also outline approaches at the intersection of paleoecology, genomics, experiments, and predictive models that will elucidate the processes by which species have survived past climatic changes and enhance predictions of future changes in biological diversity.

RevDate: 2018-09-02

Schmidt A, Creason W, BE Law (2018)

Estimating regional effects of climate change and altered land use on biosphere carbon fluxes using distributed time delay neural networks with Bayesian regularized learning.

Neural networks : the official journal of the International Neural Network Society, 108:97-113 pii:S0893-6080(18)30224-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The ability to accurately predict changes of the carbon and energy balance on a regional scale is of great importance for assessing the effect of land use changes on carbon sequestration under future climate conditions. Here, a suite of land cover-specific Distributed Time Delay Neural Networks with a parameter adoption algorithm optimized through Bayesian regularization was used to model the statewide atmospheric exchange of CO2, water vapor, and energy in Oregon with its strong spatial gradients of climate and land cover. The network models were trained with eddy covariance data from 9 atmospheric flux towers. Compared to results derived with more common regression networks utilizing non-delayed input vectors, the performance of the DTDNN models was significantly improved with an average increase of the coefficients of determination of 64%. The optimized models were applied in combination with downscaled climate projections of the CMIP5 project to calculate future changes in the cycle of carbon, associated with a prescribed conversion of conventional grass-crops to hybrid poplar plantations for biofuel production in Oregon. The results show that under future RCP8.5 climate conditions the total statewide NEP increases by 0.87 TgC per decade until 2050 without any land use changes. With all non-forage grass completely converted to hybrid poplar the NEP averages 32.9 TgC in 2046-2050, an increase of 9%. Through comparisons with the results of a Bayesians inversion study, the results presented demonstrate that DTDNN models are a specifically well-suited approach to use the available data from flux networks to assess changes in biosphere-atmosphere exchange triggered by massive land use conversion superimposed on a changing climate.

RevDate: 2018-09-02

Lilienfeld E, Nicholas PK, Breakey S, et al (2018)

Addressing climate change through a nursing lens within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A scoping review.

Nursing outlook pii:S0029-6554(17)30445-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: In 2000, the United Nations (UN) introduced the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), described as a global movement with the primary aim of ending world-wide poverty ("Millennium Summit," 2000). The second phase of the project, known as the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda offers an increased emphasis on lessening the mitigating factors associated with climate change and adapting to the negative effects of climate change. Nurses are in the unique position to address the health-related impacts related to climate change through community health approaches aimed at education and promotion of environmental stewardship.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the relationships among the health consequences of climate change, nursing literature on climate change, and nursing implications. The following will be addressed: "What is nursing's role in policy, practice, and advocacy when addressing the effects of climate change? What is the importance of the SDGs as a framework for addressing climate change in the role of nursing?"

METHOD: This scoping review of the literature was conducted which included the evaluation of a broad range of articles using scoping methods as frameworks.

RESULTS: An overarching theme regarding the nursing community's responsibility in addressing the effects of climate change and their role as advocates, educators, and global citizens was extracted from the scoping review.

CONCLUSIONS: There are many opportunities for nurses to become actively involved in efforts aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts in climate change, including becoming involved in policy, advocacy, research, and practice opportunities.

RevDate: 2018-08-31

Ramanathan V, Samet J, Neira M, et al (2018)

Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Health: A Declaration from the Vatican.

Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 15(9):1027-1029.

RevDate: 2018-08-31

Gaines SD, Costello C, Owashi B, et al (2018)

Improved fisheries management could offset many negative effects of climate change.

Science advances, 4(8):eaao1378 pii:aao1378.

The world's oceans supply food and livelihood to billions of people, yet species' shifting geographic ranges and changes in productivity arising from climate change are expected to profoundly affect these benefits. We ask how improvements in fishery management can offset the negative consequences of climate change; we find that the answer hinges on the current status of stocks. The poor current status of many stocks combined with potentially maladaptive responses to range shifts could reduce future global fisheries yields and profits even more severely than previous estimates have suggested. However, reforming fisheries in ways that jointly fix current inefficiencies, adapt to fisheries productivity changes, and proactively create effective transboundary institutions could lead to a future with higher profits and yields compared to what is produced today.

RevDate: 2018-08-31

Babaie J, Barati M, Azizi M, et al (2018)

A systematic evidence review of the effect of climate change on malaria in Iran.

Journal of parasitic diseases : official organ of the Indian Society for Parasitology, 42(3):331-340.

Climate is an effective factor in the ecological structure which plays an important role in control and outbreak of the diseases caused by biological factors like malaria. With regard to the occurring climatic change, this study aimed to review the effects of climate change on malaria in Iran. In this systematic review, Cochrane, PubMed and ScienceDirect (as international databases), SID and Magiran as Persian databases were investigated through MESH keywords including climate change, global warming, malaria, Anopheles, and Iran. The related articles were screened and finally their results were extracted using data extraction sheets. Totally 41 papers were resulted through databases searching process. Finally 14 papers which met inclusion criteria were included in data extraction stage. The findings indicated that Anopheles mosquitoes are present at least in 115 places in Iran; they are compatible with climatic zones of Iran. Malaria and it's vectors are affected by climate change. Temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind intensity and direction are the most important climatic factors affecting the growth and proliferation of Anopheles, Plasmodium and the prevalence of malaria. The transmission of malaria in Iran is associated with the climatic factors of temperature, rainfall, and humidity. Therefore, with regard to the occurring climatic change, the incidence of the disease may also change which needs to be taken into consideration while planning of malaria control.

RevDate: 2018-08-31

Van Lange PAM, Joireman J, M Milinski (2018)

Climate Change: What Psychology Can Offer in Terms of Insights and Solutions.

Current directions in psychological science, 27(4):269-274.

Can psychological science offer evidence-based solutions to climate change? Using insights and principles derived from the literature on social dilemmas and human cooperation, we discuss evidence in support of three solutions: crossing the borders of thought, time, and space. First, borders of thought could be crossed by using persuasion that is concrete and tailored to local circumstances and by highlighting information about people's efforts as evidence against the myth of self-interest. Second, borders of time could be crossed by using kinship cues, which can help make the future less distant, and relatively uninvolved advisors, who may help make the future salient. And third, borders of space could be crossed by showing group representatives how they might benefit from a frame of altruistic competition-focusing on the benefits of being seen as moral and global in orientation. Our overall conclusion is that psychological science can offer evidence-based solutions to climate change.

RevDate: 2018-08-31

Nolan C, Overpeck JT, Allen JRM, et al (2018)

Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6405):920-923.

Impacts of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems are imperfectly constrained by ecosystem models and direct observations. Pervasive ecosystem transformations occurred in response to warming and associated climatic changes during the last glacial-to-interglacial transition, which was comparable in magnitude to warming projected for the next century under high-emission scenarios. We reviewed 594 published paleoecological records to examine compositional and structural changes in terrestrial vegetation since the last glacial period and to project the magnitudes of ecosystem transformations under alternative future emission scenarios. Our results indicate that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to temperature change and suggest that, without major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems worldwide are at risk of major transformation, with accompanying disruption of ecosystem services and impacts on biodiversity.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Ren Z, Peng H, ZW Liu (2016)

The rapid climate change-caused dichotomy on subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Yunnan: Reduction in habitat diversity and increase in species diversity.

Plant diversity, 38(3):142-148 pii:S2468-2659(16)30045-2.

Yunnan's biodiversity is under considerable pressure and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in this area have become increasingly fragmented through agriculture, logging, planting of economic plants, mining activities and changing environment. The aims of the study are to investigate climate change-induced changes of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in Yunnan and identify areas of current species richness centers for conservation preparation. Stacked species distribution models were created to generate ensemble forecasting of species distributions, alpha diversity and beta diversity for Yunnan's subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in both current and future climate scenarios. Under stacked species distribution models in rapid climate changes scenarios, changes of water-energy dynamics may possibly reduce beta diversity and increase alpha diversity. This point provides insight for future conservation of evergreen broad-leaved forest in Yunnan, highlighting the need to fully consider the problem of vegetation homogenization caused by transformation of water-energy dynamics.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Bennett H, P King (2018)

Pro-equity climate change and environmental sustainability action by district health boards in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The New Zealand medical journal, 131(1481):56-63.

AIM: With current health ministerial directives to prioritise actions on reducing health inequities and district health board (DHB) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we argue that all climate change and environmental sustainability actions by DHBs must be pro-equity, and explore how the two priorities can be addressed concurrently.

METHOD: Building on prior knowledge of climate change and environmental sustainability action in the health and disability sector, we undertook a visioning exercise to generate ideas for pro-equity GHG emissions reduction initiatives in the DHB context. Visioning was further informed by presentation and feedback discussion at an Annual Scientific Meeting of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine.

RESULTS: Three scenarios were envisioned in the areas of DHB energy use, transport and procurement where GHG emissions could be reduced, and health determinants and outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples improved.

CONCLUSION: Current ministerial directives to address both health inequities and DHB greenhouse gas emissions present DHBs with the opportunity to ensure they systematically address both priorities at the same time. In doing so, Aotearoa/New Zealand has the potential to lead the world in demonstrating pro-equity climate change and sustainability action in health systems.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Maksimovic Z, Cornwell MS, Semren O, et al (2017)

The apparent role of climate change in a recent anthrax outbreak in cattle.

Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics), 36(3):959-963.

An anthrax outbreak recently occurred in cattle in a region that had previously been free of the disease for more than two decades. This event followed heavy springtime rains that had caused flooding, and a hot, dry summer. These temporally connected events may indicate a new link between climate change and an increased incidence of bacterial diseases with environmental reservoirs.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Limaye VS, Vargo J, Harkey M, et al (2018)

Climate Change and Heat-Related Excess Mortality in the Eastern USA.

EcoHealth pii:10.1007/s10393-018-1363-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change will increase extreme heat-related health risks. To quantify the health impacts of mid-century climate change, we assess heat-related excess mortality across the eastern USA. Health risks are estimated using the US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP). Mid-century temperature estimates, downscaled using the Weather Research and Forecasting model, are compared to 2007 temperatures at 36 km and 12 km resolutions. Models indicate the average apparent and actual summer temperatures rise by 4.5° and 3.3° C, respectively. Warmer average apparent temperatures could cause 11,562 additional annual deaths (95% confidence interval, CI: 2641-20,095) due to cardiovascular stress in the population aged 65 years and above, while higher minimum temperatures could cause 8767 (95% CI: 5030-12,475) additional deaths each year. Modeled future climate data available at both coarse (36 km) and fine (12 km) resolutions predict significant human health impacts from warmer climates. The findings suggest that currently available information on future climates is sufficient to guide regional planning for the protection of public health. Higher resolution climate and demographic data are still needed to inform more targeted interventions.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Entwisle TJ, Cole C, P Symes (2017)

Adapting the botanical landscape of Melbourne Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria) in response to climate change.

Plant diversity, 39(6):338-347 pii:S2468-2659(17)30028-8.

Botanic gardens around the world maintain collections of living plants for science, conservation, education, beauty and more. These collections change over time - in scope and content - but the predicted impacts of climate change will require a more strategic approach to the succession of plant species and their landscapes. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has recently published a 'Landscape Succession Strategy' for its Melbourne Gardens, a spectacular botanical landscape established in 1846. The strategy recognizes that with 1.6 million visitors each year, responsibility for a heritage-listed landscape and the need to care for a collection of 8500 plant species of conservation and scientific importance, planting and planning must take into account anticipated changes to rainfall and temperature. The trees we plant today must be suitable for the climate of the twenty-second century. Specifically, the Strategy sets out the steps needed over the next twenty years to transition the botanic garden to one resilient to the climate modelled for 2090. The document includes a range of practical measures and achievable (and at times somewhat aspirational) targets. Climate analogues will be used to identify places in Australia and elsewhere with conditions today similar to those predicted for Melbourne in 2090, to help select new species for the collection. Modelling of the natural and cultivated distribution of species will be used to help select suitable growth forms to replace existing species of high value or interest. Improved understanding of temperature gradients within the botanic garden, water holding capacity of soils and plant water use behaviour is already resulting in better targeted planting and irrigation. The goal is to retain a similar diversity of species but transition the collection so that by 2036 at least 75% of the species are suitable for the climate in 2090. Over the next few years we hope to provide 100% of irrigation water from sustainable water sources, and infrastructure will be improved to adapt to predicted higher temperatures and more climatic extremes. At all times there will be a strong focus on assisting the broader community in their response to climate change.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Martínez-Jauregui M, Serra-Varela MJ, Díaz M, et al (2018)

Mitigation strategies for conserving bird diversity under climate change scenarios in Europe: The role of forest naturalization.

PloS one, 13(8):e0202009 pii:PONE-D-18-06532.

There are many possible strategies to promote naturalization in anthropogenic landscapes to mitigate global change effects. We combined large-scale databases available for continental Spain on: (1) distribution of breeding birds, (2) forest inventory stands, (3) land-use cover, (4) 18 global climate models recently developed at local scales, and (5) historical and genetically-based information on the distribution of natural versus planted pine forests, to analyze whether back to nature strategies may help to mitigate biodiversity loss due to climate change. We performed the analysis along environmental and ecological gradients of pine forests in Southern Europe. Models suggested that, naturalization strategies, in this case defined by the replacement of planted pine forests and eucalyptus forests by natural pine forests, could help to mitigate the expected loss of bird diversity due to climate change, but that mitigation efficiency will vary along environmental and ecological gradients. Maximum levels of diversity mitigation were predicted at intermediate levels of naturalization, with lower bird richness in areas where all pine forests were either planted or naturalized. Efficiency also varied spatially, given that both cold- and hot-spots of climate-driven bird diversity loss were identified. Transforming planted forest into natural forest is not a mitigation panacea, and additional regionally-adapted strategies may be identified to mitigate the expected biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Walker JT (2018)

The influence of climate change on waterborne disease and Legionella: a review.

Perspectives in public health, 138(5):282-286.

Climate change is predicted to have a major impact on people's lives with the recent extreme weather events and varying abnormal temperature profiles across the world raising concerns. The impacts of global warming are already being observed, from rising sea levels and melting snow and ice to changing weather patterns. Scientists state unequivocally that these trends cannot be explained by natural variability in climate alone. Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, have warmed the earth by dramatically increasing concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere; as these concentrations increase, the more the earth will warm. Climate change and related extreme weather events are being exacerbated sooner than has previously been considered and are already adversely affecting ecosystems and human health by increasing the burden and type of disease at a local level. Changes to the marine environment and freshwater supplies already affect significant parts of the world's population and warmer temperatures, especially in more temperate regions, may see an increased spread and transmission of diseases usually associated with warmer climes including, for example, cholera and malaria; these impacts are likely to become more severe in a greater number of countries. This review discusses the impacts of climate change including changes in infectious disease transmission, patterns of waterborne diseases and the likely consequences of climate change due to warmer water, drought, higher rainfall, rising sea levels and flooding.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Bigot S, Buges J, Gilly L, et al (2018)

Pivotal roles of environmental sensing and signaling mechanisms in plant responses to climate change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change reshapes the physiology and development of organisms through phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic modifications and genetic adaptation. Under evolutionary pressures of the sessile lifestyle, plants possess efficient systems of phenotypic plasticity and acclimation to environmental conditions. Molecular analysis, especially through omics approaches, of these primary lines of environmental adjustment in the context of climate change has revealed the underlying biochemical and physiological mechanisms, thus characterising the links between phenotypic plasticity and climate change responses. Efficiency of adaptive plasticity under climate change indeed depends on the realization of such biochemical and physiological mechanisms, but the importance of sensing and signaling mechanisms that can integrate perception of environmental cues and transduction into physiological responses are often overlooked. Recent progress opens the possibility of considering plant phenotypic plasticity and responses to climate change through the perspective of environmental sensing and signaling. This review aims to analyse present knowledge on plant sensing and signaling mechanisms and discuss how their structural and functional characteristics lead to resilience or hypersensitivity under conditions of climate change. Plant cells are endowed with arrays of environmental and stress sensors and with internal signals that act as molecular integrators of the multiple constraints of climate change, thus giving rise to potential mechanisms of climate change sensing. Moreover, mechanisms of stress-related information propagation lead to stress memory and acquired stress tolerance that could withstand different scenarios of modifications of stress frequency and intensity. However, optimal functioning of existing sensors, optimal integration of additive constraints and signals, or memory processes can be hampered by conflicting interferences between novel combinations and novel changes of intensity and duration of climate-change-related factors. Analysis of these contrasted situations emphasises the need for future research on the diversity and robustness of plant signaling mechanisms under climate change conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Piñeiro-Corbeira C, Barreiro R, Cremades J, et al (2018)

Seaweed assemblages under a climate change scenario: Functional responses to temperature of eight intertidal seaweeds match recent abundance shifts.

Scientific reports, 8(1):12978 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-31357-x.

Field evidence is essential to assess the consequences of climate change but a solid causal link often requires additional information obtained under controlled laboratory conditions. Additionally, the functional response to temperature may also help to discriminate species potentially more vulnerable to warming. Using a highly resolved temperature gradient, we examined the temperature dependence of photosynthesis and respiration in eight intertidal seaweeds that recently followed opposite abundance trends in NW Iberia. The temperature dependence of photosynthesis was consistently different between the macroalgae that increased and those that decreased their abundance in the last decade and a half, with photosynthesis twice more sensitive in the upward group. Unlike photosynthesis, the temperature dependence of respiration was unrelated to the abundance trend group, implying that the net metabolic scaling with temperature varied between the two groups of seaweeds. Overall, our results provide experimental support to the role of temperate as a likely driver of the changes in abundance recorded by field-monitoring studies. They also suggest that the temperature dependence of photosynthesis and respiration assessed in short-term experiments may serve as a biomarker of the potential vulnerability of some seaweed to the consequences of water warming.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Reardon S (2018)

Trump's science-adviser pick hedges on climate change.

Nature, 560(7720):536-537.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Sigdel SR, Wang Y, Julio Camarero J, et al (2018)

Moisture-mediated responsiveness of treeline shifts to global warming in the Himalayas.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Among forest ecosystems, the alpine treeline ecotone can be considered to be a simplified model to study global ecology and climate change. Alpine treelines are expected to shift upwards in response to global warming given that tree recruitment and growth are assumed to be mainly limited by low temperatures. However, little is known whether precipitation and temperature interact to drive long-term Himalayan treeline dynamics. Tree growth is affected by spring rainfall in the central Himalayan treelines, being good locations for testing if, in addition to temperature, precipitation mediates treeline dynamics. To test this hypothesis, we reconstructed spatiotemporal variations in treeline dynamics in 20 plots located at six alpine treeline sites, dominated by two tree species (birch, fir), and situated along an east-west precipitation gradient in the central Himalayas. Our reconstructions evidenced that treelines shifted upward in response to recent climate warming, but their shift rates were primarily mediated by spring precipitation. The rate of upward shift was higher in the wettest eastern Himalayas, suggesting that its ascent rate was facilitated by spring precipitation. The drying tendency in association with the recent warming trends observed in the central Himalayas, however, will likely hinder an upslope advancement of alpine treelines and promote downward treeline shifts if moisture availability crosses a critical minimum threshold. Our study highlights the complexity of plant responses to climate and the need to consider multiple climate factors when analyzing treeline dynamics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Baylis M, Caminade C, Turner J, et al (2017)

The role of climate change in a developing threat: the case of bluetongue in Europe.

Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics), 36(2):467-478.

There is a solid theoretical basis for expecting climate change to have a considerable effect on the infectious diseases of humans, animals and plants. Vector-borne diseases are the most likely to be affected. It is, however, rare to observe such impacts, as diseases are also influenced by many other drivers, some of which may have stronger effects over shorter time scales than climate change. Nevertheless, there is evidence that our warming climate has already influenced some animal diseases, of which bluetongue is considered a prime example. Bluetongue emerged dramatically in southern Europe after 1998 and in northern Europe from 2006. While the speed and scale of this emergence is a challenge to explain, there is evidence, principally from the development of climate-driven models, that recent climate change has played a significant role. Climate-driven models point to an increase in the risk of bluetongue transmission in Europe in recent decades, caused by an increased suitability of parts of southern Europe for the Afro-tropical biting midge, Culicoides imicola, as well as an increase in the vectorial capacity of indigenous Culicoides vectors in northern Europe. Farm-to-farm transmission models of bluetongue in England and Wales under predicted climatic conditions further suggest that, under high-emission scenarios, the scale of future outbreaks could far exceed those experienced to date. The role of climate change in the developing threat of animal disease is, therefore, likely to be economically and socially costly, unless lower emission targets can be set and followed.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Kornder NA, Riegl BM, J Figueiredo (2018)

Thresholds and drivers of coral calcification responses to climate change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Increased temperature and CO2 -levels are considered key drivers of coral reef degradation. However, individual assessments of ecological responses (calcification) to these stressors are often contradicting. To detect underlying drivers of heterogeneity in coral calcification responses, we developed a procedure for the inclusion of stress-effect relationships in ecological meta-analyses. We applied this technique to a dataset of 294 empirical observations from 62 peer-reviewed publications testing individual and combined effects of elevated temperature and pCO2 on coral calcification. Our results show an additive interaction between warming and acidification, which reduces coral calcification by 20% when pCO2 levels exceed 700 ppm and temperature increases by 3°C. However, stress levels varied among studies and significantly affected outcomes, with unaffected calcification rates under moderate stresses (pCO2 ≤ 700 ppm, ΔT < 3°C). Future coral reef carbon budgets will therefore depend on the magnitude of pCO2 and temperature elevations and, thus, anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Accounting for stress-effect relationships enabled us to identify additional drivers of heterogeneity including coral taxa, life stage, habitat, food availability, climate, and season. These differences can aid reef management identifying refuges and conservation priorities, but without a global effort to reduce CO2 emissions, coral capacity to build reefs will be at risk. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Kingsolver JG, LB Buckley (2018)

How do phenology, plasticity, and evolution determine the fitness consequences of climate change for montane butterflies?.

Evolutionary applications, 11(8):1231-1244 pii:EVA12618.

Species have responded to climate change via seasonal (phenological) shifts, morphological plasticity, and evolutionary adaptation, but how these responses contribute to changes and variation in population fitness are poorly understood. We assess the interactions and relative importance of these responses for fitness in a montane butterfly, Colias eriphyle, along an elevational gradient. Because environmental temperatures affect developmental rates of each life stage, populations along the gradients differ in phenological timing and the number of generations each year. Our focal phenotype, wing solar absorptivity of adult butterflies, exhibits local adaptation across elevation and responds plastically to developmental temperatures. We integrate climatic data for the past half-century with microclimate, developmental, biophysical, demographic, and evolutionary models for this system to predict how phenology, plasticity, and evolution contribute to phenotypic and fitness variation along the gradient. We predict that phenological advancements incompletely compensate for climate warming, and also influence morphological plasticity. Climate change is predicted to increase mean population fitness in the first seasonal generation at high elevation, but decrease mean fitness in the summer generations at low elevation. Phenological shifts reduce the interannual variation in directional selection and morphology, but do not have consistent effects on variation in mean fitness. Morphological plasticity and its evolution can substantially increase population fitness and adaptation to climate change at low elevations, but environmental unpredictability limits adaptive plastic and evolutionary responses at high elevations. Phenological shifts also decrease the relative fitness advantages of morphological plasticity and evolution. Our results illustrate how the potential contributions of phenological and morphological plasticity and of evolution to climate change adaptation can vary along environmental gradients and how environmental variability will limit adaptive responses to climate change in montane regions.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Staubwasser M, Drăgușin V, Onac BP, et al (2018)

Impact of climate change on the transition of Neanderthals to modern humans in Europe.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1808647115 [Epub ahead of print].

Two speleothem stable isotope records from East-Central Europe demonstrate that Greenland Stadial 12 (GS12) and GS10-at 44.3-43.3 and 40.8-40.2 ka-were prominent intervals of cold and arid conditions. GS12, GS11, and GS10 are coeval with a regional pattern of culturally (near-)sterile layers within Europe's diachronous archeologic transition from Neanderthals to modern human Aurignacian. Sterile layers coeval with GS12 precede the Aurignacian throughout the middle and upper Danube region. In some records from the northern Iberian Peninsula, such layers are coeval with GS11 and separate the Châtelperronian from the Aurignacian. Sterile layers preceding the Aurignacian in the remaining Châtelperronian domain are coeval with GS10 and the previously reported 40.0- to 40.8-ka cal BP [calendar years before present (1950)] time range of Neanderthals' disappearance from most of Europe. This suggests that ecologic stress during stadial expansion of steppe landscape caused a diachronous pattern of depopulation of Neanderthals, which facilitated repopulation by modern humans who appear to have been better adapted to this environment. Consecutive depopulation-repopulation cycles during severe stadials of the middle pleniglacial may principally explain the repeated replacement of Europe's population and its genetic composition.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Chaudhury AS, Thornton TF, Helfgott A, et al (2017)

Applying the robust adaptation planning (RAP) framework to Ghana's agricultural climate change adaptation regime.

Sustainability science, 12(5):657-676.

This paper introduces a five-step framework, namely the Robust Adaptation Planning (RAP) framework, to plan and respond to the 'grand challenge' of climate change. RAP combines, under a unified framework, elements from robust action, participatory planning and network theory to capture the different motives, perception, and roles of actors that are important for climate change adaptation. RAP leverages existing structures and networks and involves diverse actors to plan, sequence and time strategies across multiple levels (i.e. from local to national). Actors identify adaptation interventions and important actor relations to develop wide networks, highlighting potential pathways for connecting action from central policy to local implementation (and vice versa). Comparing these proposed participatory structures with existing structures reveals actors deemed important for delivering adaptation, as well as gaps and overlaps in their relations. The end result is a robust plan covering many perspectives and local realities for both relieving immediate and adapting to longer-term consequences of climate change. We applied the RAP framework in Ghana's agricultural climate change adaptation regime to demonstrate its usefulness as a means of planning adaptation interventions in a climate-vulnerable, multi-actor and multi-level setting. The application of the RAP framework in this paper highlights how it can: (1) visualise the adaptation space (and its different components), and reduce the complexity of implementing adaptation responses; (2) offer a shared space to actors from all administrative levels to think and create collective narratives for adaptation without demanding explicit consensus and; (3) identify key actors and actions through a collaborative planning process, and allocate responsibility for the smooth delivery of adaptation interventions.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Haley S (2001)

Dubya Echoes Confirmation of Human-Induced Global Warming Theory and an Antioxidant Unravels.

TheScientificWorldJournal, 1:48 pii:906984.

U.S. President George W. Bush's nod to scientific evidence for human industrialization's major role in the onset of global climate change grabs both top story positions in Nature and Science this week.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Wamsler C (2018)

Mind the gap: The role of mindfulness in adapting to increasing risk and climate change.

Sustainability science, 13(4):1121-1135.

It is becoming clear that increasingly complex global challenges cannot simply be solved by new technology or governments alone. We also need to develop new social practices and encourage a broader cultural shift towards sustainability. Against this background, this paper explores the role of mindfulness in adapting to increasing risk and climate change. Based on a literature review, it assesses current research on 'mindful climate adaptation', and explores how individual mindfulness is linked to climate adaptation. While in practice mindfulness-based approaches to climate adaptation have gained widespread recognition (e.g., by the United Nations), the results show that related research is scarce and fragmented. There is almost no research into the role of mindfulness in climate adaptation. At the same time, new scientific domains are opening up in cognate fields that illuminate the mindfulness-adaptation nexus from certain perspectives. These fields include: (1) disaster management; (2) individual well-being; (3) organisational management; (4) environmental behaviour; (5) social justice; and (6) knowledge production. As new concepts and approaches emerge, they require critical construct validation and empirical testing. The importance of further investigation is supported by a complementary empirical study, which shows that individual mindfulness disposition coincides with increased motivation to take (or support) climate adaptation actions. The paper concludes that mindfulness has the potential to facilitate adaptation at all scales (through cognitive, managerial, structural, ontological, and epistemological change processes) and should, therefore, become a core element in climate and associated sustainability research. Finally, it sketches the conceptual trajectories of the mindfulness-adaptation nexus and presents a pioneering, comprehensive framework for 'mindful climate adaptation'.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Jerneck A (2018)

Taking gender seriously in climate change adaptation and sustainability science research: views from feminist debates and sub-Saharan small-scale agriculture.

Sustainability science, 13(2):403-416.

People, places, and production contributing the least to climate change will suffer the most. This calls for adaptation as a key climate change response. But adaptation is surrounded by problems. Finance is uncertain and fragmented, mainstreaming into development is complicated, and technical solutions often overshadow existing social relations and institutions. From a gender perspective, and as a critical research initiative to support the building of sustainability science as an umbrella field, this article raises three pertinent questions on adaptation in the global South: what is its purpose, how can development inform it, and what institutions in terms of rights and responsibilities are core to it? Focusing on sub-Saharan small-scale agriculture, three main points emerge. Regarding the purpose, adaptation should be a transformative pathway out of poverty, ill-health, and food insecurity. Regarding development, adaptation can learn from how development theory, policy, and practice have addressed women, gender, and environment in varied settings and debates. Regarding core institutions, adaptation must address gender regimes that regulate access to, use of, and control over resources, especially those defining land distribution, labour division, and strategic decision-making power. To conclude, I propose gender-informed research questions for further inquiry.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Woods R, Coen S, A Fernández (2018)

Moral (dis)engagement with anthropogenic climate change in online comments on newspaper articles.

Journal of community & applied social psychology, 28(4):244-257.

Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is widely acknowledged to be morally significant, but little is known about everyday moralising around ACC. We addressed this gap via quantified thematic analysis of 300 online comments to British newspaper articles on ACC, drawing on Bandura's moral disengagement theory. Moral disengagement through denial of ACC was widespread. Other disengagement strategies, such as palliative comparison and diminishing agency, occurred less often. There was also some moral engagement, most often through assertions of the existence of ACC and/or its harmful effects. Moral disengagement was significantly more common in comments on right wing than left wing newspapers, whereas the opposite was true of moral engagement. Although Bandura's framework provided a useful starting point to make sense of ACC moralising, it did not capture moral concerns that extended beyond its "harm/care" remit. In particular, many "denial" comments included a "dishonesty" discourse, whereby ACC proponents were accused of deception for ulterior motives. To classify this discourse as moral disengagement obscures its engagement with a different set of moral issues around trust and honesty. We suggest that Bandura's theory represents one possible "moral landscape" around ACC and could be extended to encompass a broader range of moral concerns.

RevDate: 2018-08-24

Rymbai D, FM Sheikh (2018)

The insight of agricultural adaptation to climate change: a case of rice growers in Eastern Himalaya, India.

International journal of biometeorology pii:10.1007/s00484-018-1586-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Adaptation is crucial to curb down the negative impact of climate change particularly on agricultural sector. Hence, a study was conducted to identify the strategies adopted by the cereal growers in Eastern Himalaya region of India and determine the factors affecting them. A total 120 farmers were surveyed from Senapati district in Manipur and East Sikkim district in Sikkim. The widely adopted strategies were the change in transplanting time and change in transplanting as well as harvesting time, which were autonomous, traditional, and taken in response to the scarcity of water. Tobit model has identified that the area under rice cultivation, support received from Village Science Centre, and decline in food availability positively influenced the farmers to adapt to climate change. Multinomial logit model revealed that the female farmers, area under rice cultivation, and decline in rice productivity positively influenced the adoption of the strategies, whereas number of cattle owned, irrigated area, and support from Agricultural Department revealed the negative influence. To sustain farming in hill agriculture, the study recommends the integration of the farmers' knowledge along with scientific measures. Planned intervention, viz., in the form of construction of water harvesting structure, should be initiated by the State Government.

RevDate: 2018-08-24

Buse CG (2018)

Why should public health agencies across Canada conduct climate change and health vulnerability assessments?.

Canadian journal of public health = Revue canadienne de sante publique pii:10.17269/s41997-018-0118-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is increasingly impacting population health outcomes related to several areas of public health service delivery across Canada, and internationally. As a result, public health practitioners are increasingly looking for guidance on how to begin planning for and adapting to a myriad of health-related climate impacts. This paper outlines several benefits for local or regional health agencies in conducting climate change and health vulnerability assessments (CCHVAs), based on the author's experience in conducting two of Canada's first comprehensive assessments. These benefits include, but are not limited to establishing suitable baseline understandings of past, present, and future climate-related health risks; providing guidance on mechanisms to reduce health inequities that may be exacerbated by climate change; generating credibility for health agencies to engage with climate change and pursue collaborative, intersectoral relationships with a range of likely and unlikely allies; identifying suitable, cost-effective adaptation options in the form of public health programming; and encouraging decision-makers to produce proactive policy actions to redress potential climate impacts on population health. Completing a CCHVA can directly optimize health agencies' and their allies' efforts to respond to the health imperatives associated with climate change, while also fueling adaptation options that yield co-benefits across a variety of sectors.

RevDate: 2018-08-23

Bhattacharyya S, Dawson DA, Hipperson H, et al (2018)

A diet rich in C3 plants reveals the sensitivity of an alpine mammal to climate change.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Plant-herbivore interactions provide critical insights into the mechanisms that govern the spatiotemporal distributions of organisms. These interactions are crucial to understanding the impacts of climate change, which are likely to have an effect on the population dynamics of alpine herbivores. The Royle's pika (Ochotona roylei, hereafter pika) is a lagomorph found in the western Himalaya, and is dependent on alpine plants that are at risk from climate change. As the main prey of many carnivores in the region, the pika plays a crucial role in trophic interactions. We examined topographical features, plant genera presence, and seasonal dynamics as drivers of the plant richness in the pika's diet across an elevational gradient (2600-4450 m). We identified 79 plant genera in the faecal pellets of pikas, of which 89% were forbs, > 60% were endemic to the Himalaya and 97.5% of the diet plant genera identified followed the C3 photosynthetic pathway. We found that during the pre-monsoon season, the number of genera in the pika's diet decreased with increasing elevation. We demonstrate that a large area of talus supports greater plant diversity and, not surprisingly, results in higher species richness in the pika's diet. However, in talus habitat with deep crevices, pikas consumed fewer plant genera suggesting they may be foraging sub-optimally due to predation risk. The continued increase in global temperature is expected to have an effect on the distribution dynamics of C3 plants and consequently influence pika diet and distribution, resulting in a significant negative cascading effect on the Himalayan ecosystem. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-08-22

Weber J, Wohland J, Reyers M, et al (2018)

Impact of climate change on backup energy and storage needs in wind-dominated power systems in Europe.

PloS one, 13(8):e0201457 pii:PONE-D-17-40156.

The high temporal variability of wind power generation represents a major challenge for the realization of a sustainable energy supply. Large backup and storage facilities are necessary to secure the supply in periods of low renewable generation, especially in countries with a high share of renewables. We show that strong climate change is likely to impede the system integration of intermittent wind energy. To this end, we analyze the temporal characteristics of wind power generation based on high-resolution climate projections for Europe and uncover a robust increase of backup energy and storage needs in most of Central, Northern and North-Western Europe. This effect can be traced back to an increase of the likelihood for long periods of low wind generation and an increase in the seasonal wind variability.

RevDate: 2018-08-22

Hayes K, B Poland (2018)

Addressing Mental Health in a Changing Climate: Incorporating Mental Health Indicators into Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9): pii:ijerph15091806.

A growing number of health authorities around the world are conducting climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments; however, few explore impacts and adaptations related to mental health. We argue for an expanded conceptualization of health that includes both the physiological and psychological aspects of climate change and health. Through a review of the global literature on mental health and climate change, this analytical review explores how mental health can be integrated into climate change and health vulnerability assessments and concludes with recommendations for integrating mental health within climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments.

RevDate: 2018-08-22

Day JA, Fung IY, W Liu (2018)

Reply to Li et al: Late 20th-century drought in northern China reflects influence of global warming, aerosols, and natural variability.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1812309115 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-08-21

Wingard D, Trejo J, Gudea M, et al (2018)

Faculty Equity, Diversity, Culture and Climate Change in Academic Medicine: A Longitudinal Study.

Journal of the National Medical Association pii:S0027-9684(18)30134-2 [Epub ahead of print].

There is a national call for academic medicine to use evidence-based initiatives to improve its culture and climate. The authors report data-driven policy and programmatic interventions that were associated with increased faculty diversity, equity, respectful behavior and improved faculty climate, at UC San Diego Health Sciences.

METHODS: Based on demographic and survey data, interventions were designed to improve the climate between 2005 and 2015. Interventions included routine measuring and dissemination of demographic data, changes and dissemination of policy and procedures, and new and improved faculty development programming. Impact was measured using demographic data over time, salary equity studies, and school-wide climate surveys in 2005, 2011, and 2015. Specific outcomes included measures of diversity, salary equity, behavior, and climate.

RESULTS: Over the ten-year period, the proportion of women increased from 16% to 23% of tenure/tenure-track faculty and 31%-40% of all faculty. Underrepresented minority faculty increased from less than 1%-7% of tenure/tenure-track faculty and from 5% to 8% of all faculty. While women continued to be paid less than men, the adjusted difference dropped from 23% to 12%. Reports of inappropriate behavior by faculty decreased significantly, while satisfaction and knowledge about institutional mentoring and resources improved.

CONCLUSION: Multiple interventions including new faculty development programs, changes in policy, and measuring demographics/climate supported diverse faculty recruitment, enhanced a culture of respect and improved faculty morale. Cultural changes in policy, periodic faculty data collection with dissemination, and increased faculty development, improve the climate in academic medicine.

RevDate: 2018-08-21

Mendoza-Ponce A, Corona-Núñez RO, Galicia L, et al (2018)

Identifying hotspots of land use cover change under socioeconomic and climate change scenarios in Mexico.

Ambio pii:10.1007/s13280-018-1085-0 [Epub ahead of print].

This study identifies the hotspots of land use cover change (LUCC) under two socioeconomic and climate change scenarios [business as usual (BAU) and a pessimistic scenario] at the national level for Mexico for three-time periods. Modelling suggests that by 2050 grassland and tropical evergreen forest will be the most endangered ecosystems, having lost 20-33% (BAU) or 43-46% (pessimistic scenario) of their extent in comparison to 1993. Agricultural expansion would be the major driver of LUCC, increasing from 24.4% of the country in 1993 to 30% (BAU) or 34% (pessimistic) in 2050. The most influential variables were distance from roads and human settlements, slope, aridity, and evapotranspiration. The hotspots of LUCC were influenced by environmental constraints and socioeconomic activities more than by climate change. These findings could be used to build proposals to reduce deforestation, including multiple feedbacks among urbanization, industrialization and food consumption.

RevDate: 2018-08-21

Ali SA, Aadhar S, Shah HL, et al (2018)

Projected Increase in Hydropower Production in India under Climate Change.

Scientific reports, 8(1):12450 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-30489-4.

Hydropower is a valuable renewable energy resource in India, which can help in climate change mitigation and meet the increasing energy demands. However, the crucial role of climate change on hydropower production in India remains unexplored. Here using the observations and model simulations, we show that seven large hydropower projects experienced a significant (p-value < 0.05) warming and a decline in precipitation and streamflow during the observed period of 1951-2007. However, all the hydropower projects are projected to experience a warmer and wetter climate in the future. Multimodel ensemble mean annual average temperature (precipitation) is projected to rise up to 6.3 ± 1.6 °C (18 ± 14.6%) in the catchments upstream of the other reservoirs by the end of the 21st century under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. Due to the projected increase in precipitation, mean annual streamflow (up to +45%) and hydropower (up to +25%) production are projected to rise under the future climate. However, significant warming (6.25 ± 1.62 °C) is projected to result in a decline in streamflow and hydropower production in May- June for snow-dominated Nathpa Jhakri and Bhakra Nangal hydropower projects. Our results provide insights into the development and planning of hydropower projects in India under the current projected future climate.

RevDate: 2018-08-19

Gorguner M, Kavvas ML, K Ishida (2018)

Assessing the impacts of future climate change on the hydroclimatology of the Gediz Basin in Turkey by using dynamically downscaled CMIP5 projections.

The Science of the total environment, 648:481-499 pii:S0048-9697(18)33131-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The Gediz Basin is a Mediterranean watershed along the Aegean coast of Turkey, in which the most important economic activity is agriculture. Over the last few decades, this basin has been experiencing water-related problems such as water scarcity and competing use of water. This study assesses the impact of future climate change on the availability of water resources in the Gediz Basin during the 21st century by investigating the inflows into the major reservoir in the basin, Demirkopru Reservoir, which is the major source of irrigation water to the basin. The analysis in this study involves setting up a coupled hydro-climate model over the Gediz Basin by coupling the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to the physically-based Watershed Environmental Hydrology (WEHY) model. First, the WRF model is used to reconstruct the historical climatic variables over the basin by dynamically downscaling the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. The calibrated and validated WRF model is then used to dynamically downscale eight different future climate projections over the Gediz Basin to a much finer resolution (6 km), which is more appropriate for the hydrologic modeling of the basin. These climate projections are from four Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) Global Climate Models (GCMs), namely, CCSM4, GFDL-ESM2M, HadGEM2-ES, and MIROC5, under two IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) representative concentration pathway scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The outputs from the WRF model are then input into the WEHY model, which is calibrated and validated over the basin, to simulate the hydrological processes within the basin and to obtain the projected future inflows into the Demirkopru Reservoir. Results of the future analysis over the 21st century (2017-2100) are then compared to the historical values (1985-2012) to investigate the impacts of future climate change on the hydroclimatology of the Gediz Basin.

RevDate: 2018-08-18

Caminade C, McIntyre KM, AE Jones (2018)

Impact of recent and future climate change on vector-borne diseases.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. Climate directly impacts health through climatic extremes, air quality, sea-level rise, and multifaceted influences on food production systems and water resources. Climate also affects infectious diseases, which have played a significant role in human history, impacting the rise and fall of civilizations and facilitating the conquest of new territories. Our review highlights significant regional changes in vector and pathogen distribution reported in temperate, peri-Arctic, Arctic, and tropical highland regions during recent decades, changes that have been anticipated by scientists worldwide. Further future changes are likely if we fail to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Many key factors affect the spread and severity of human diseases, including mobility of people, animals, and goods; control measures in place; availability of effective drugs; quality of public health services; human behavior; and political stability and conflicts. With drug and insecticide resistance on the rise, significant funding and research efforts must to be maintained to continue the battle against existing and emerging diseases, particularly those that are vector borne.

RevDate: 2018-08-17

Bongaarts J, BC O'Neill (2018)

Global warming policy: Is population left out in the cold?.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6403):650-652.

RevDate: 2018-08-17

Parise I (2018)

A brief review of global climate change and the public health consequences.

Australian journal of general practice, 47(7):451-456.

BACKGROUND: Global climate change (GCC) will have an enormous impact on public health in the 21st century. Evidence clearly implicates the use of fossil fuels and the resultant anthropogenic greenhouse gases as the major source of GCC.

OBJECTIVE: This paper seeks to examine briefly the association between fossil fuels and GCC, the consequent environmental changes and the predicted public health effects.

DISCUSSION: Complex and interrelated climate changes are forecast to present immense challenges, including increased morbidity and mortality, arising from heatwaves, extreme weather events, infectious and non-communicable diseases. The subsequent health effects, modulated by socioeconomic determinants, will be distributed inequitably primarily to vulnerable populations, largely in the tropics. A response to GCC is urgently required, involving strategies to mitigate and adapt to GCC. Not only will general practitioners be managing health conditions caused by GCC, but they are also well placed in the community to advocate for GCC mitigation.

RevDate: 2018-08-16

Peters K (2018)

Disasters, climate change, and securitisation: the United Nations Security Council and the United Kingdom's security policy.

Disasters [Epub ahead of print].

Since climate change was included on the United Nations Security Council's agenda in 2007, there has been much debate about whether or not it has been securitised. This paper starts from the premise that climate change has undergone a partial securitisation-that is, a gradual process wherein political choices are made to frame certain issues in particular ways. Climate change has been reframed from a purely developmental and environmental concern to one that impels foreign policy and security domains. This paper makes a novel contribution to disasters, climate change, and security studies by arguing that explicit and implicit links to natural hazard-related disasters have been employed as part of a gradual process of securitisation, or, more specifically, the partial securitisation of climate change. This is demonstrated by drawing on two cases: United Nations Security Council debates between 2007 and 2017; and the United Kingdom's security policy between 1997 and 2017.

RevDate: 2018-08-16

Diovisalvi N, Odriozola M, García de Souza J, et al (2018)

Species-specific phenological trends in shallow Pampean lakes (Argentina) zooplankton driven by contemporary climate change in the Southern Hemisphere.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The relationship between the timing of recurrent biological events and seasonal climatic patterns (i.e., phenology) is a crucial ecological process. Changes in phenology are increasingly linked to global climate change. However, current evidence of phenological responses to recent climate change is subjected to substantial regional and seasonal biases. Most available evidence on climate driven phenological changes comes from Northern Hemisphere (NH) ecosystems, and typically involve increases in spring and summer temperatures, which translate into earlier onsets of spring population developments. In the Argentine Pampa region, warming has occurred at a much slower pace than in the NH, and trends are mostly restricted to increases in the minimum temperatures. We used zooplankton abundance data from lake Chascomús (recorded every two weeks from 2005 to 2015) to evaluate potential changes in phenology. We adopted a sequential screening approach to identify taxa displaying phenological trends, and evaluated if such trends could be associated to observed long-term changes in water temperature. Two zooplankton species displayed significant later shifts in phenology metrics (end date of Brachionus havanaensis seasonal distribution: 31-day/decade, onset and end dates of Keratella americana seasonal distribution: 59-day/decade and 82-day/decade, respectively). The timing of the observed shift in B. havanaensis phenology was coincident with a warming trend in the May lake water temperature (4.7°C per decade). Analysis of abundance vs. temperature patterns from six additional shallow Pampean lakes, and evaluation of previous experimental results, provided further evidence that the lake water warming trend in May was responsible for the delayed decline of B. havanaensis populations in autumn. This study is the first report of freshwater zooplankton phenology changes in the Southern Hemisphere (SH). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).

Timelines

ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.

Biographies

Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )