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1:07:34 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Manipulating Graphene at the Atomic Scale

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:04:10 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Graphene based Electronics and Optoelectronics

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:18:31 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Electronic Properties of Bilayer Graphene, from High to Low Energies

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:18:00 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Raman Spectra of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
51:23 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Chiral Electrons and Zero-Mode Anomalies in Graphene

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:03 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Carbon tax effects on the poor: a SAM-based approach

A SAM-based price model for Mexico is developed in order to assess the effects of the carbon tax, which was part of the fiscal reform approved in 2014. The model is formulated based on a social accounting matrix (SAM) that distinguishes households by the official poverty condition and geographical area. The main results are that the sector that includes coke, refined petroleum and nuclear fuel shows the highest price increase due to the direct impact of the carbon tax; in addition, air transport and inland transport are the most affected sectors, in an indirect manner, because both employ inputs from the former sector. Also, it is found that welfare diminishes more in the rural strata than in the urban one. In the urban area, the carbon tax is regressive: the negative impact of carbon tax on family welfare is greater on the poorest families.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:38 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Alleviating inequality in climate policy costs: an integrated perspective on mitigation, damage and adaptation

Equity considerations play an important role in international climate negotiations. While policy analysis has often focused on equity as it relates to mitigation costs, there are large regional differences in adaptation costs and the level of residual damage. This paper illustrates the relevance of including adaptation and residual damage in equity considerations by determining how the allocation of emission allowances would change to counteract regional differences in total climate costs, defined as the costs of mitigation, adaptation, and residual damage. We compare emission levels resulting from a global carbon tax with two allocations of emission allowances under a global cap-and-trade system: one equating mitigation costs and one equating total climate costs as share of GDP. To account for uncertainties in both mitigation and adaptation, we use a model-comparison approach employing two alternative modeling frameworks with different damage, adaptation cost, and mitigation cost estimates, and look at two different climate goals. Despite the identified model uncertainties, we derive unambiguous results on the change in emission allowance allocation that could lessen the unequal distribution of adaptation costs and residual damages through the financial transfers associated with emission trading.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:53 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Changing the spatial location of electricity generation to increase water availability in areas with drought: a feasibility study and quantification of air quality impacts in Texas

The feasibility, cost, and air quality impacts of using electrical grids to shift water use from drought-stricken regions to areas with more water availability were examined. Power plant cooling represents a large portion of freshwater withdrawals in the United States, and shifting where electricity generation occurs can allow the grid to act as a virtual water pipeline, increasing water availability in regions with drought by reducing water consumption and withdrawals for power generation. During a 2006 drought, shifting electricity generation out of the most impacted areas of South Texas (~10% of base case generation) to other parts of the grid would have been feasible using transmission and power generation available at the time, and some areas would experience changes in air quality. Although expensive, drought-based electricity dispatch is a potential parallel strategy that can be faster to implement than other infrastructure changes, such as air cooling or water pipelines.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:52 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Are global wind power resource estimates overstated?

Estimates of the global wind power resource over land range from 56 to 400 TW. Most estimates have implicitly assumed that extraction of wind energy does not alter large-scale winds enough to significantly limit wind power production. Estimates that ignore the effect of wind turbine drag on local winds have assumed that wind power production of 2–4 W m−2 can be sustained over large areas. New results from a mesoscale model suggest that wind power production is limited to about 1 W m−2 at wind farm scales larger than about 100 km2. We find that the mesoscale model results are quantitatively consistent with results from global models that simulated the climate response to much larger wind power capacities. Wind resource estimates that ignore the effect of wind turbines in slowing large-scale winds may therefore substantially overestimate the wind power resource.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:24 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Strategic incentives for climate geoengineering coalitions to exclude broad participation

Solar geoengineering is the deliberate reduction in the absorption of incoming solar radiation by the Earth's climate system with the aim of reducing impacts of anthropogenic climate change. Climate model simulations project a diversity of regional outcomes that vary with the amount of solar geoengineering deployed. It is unlikely that a single small actor could implement and sustain global-scale geoengineering that harms much of the world without intervention from harmed world powers. However, a sufficiently powerful international coalition might be able to deploy solar geoengineering. Here, we show that regional differences in climate outcomes create strategic incentives to form coalitions that are as small as possible, while still powerful enough to deploy solar geoengineering. The characteristics of coalitions to geoengineer climate are modeled using a 'global thermostat setting game' based on climate model results. Coalition members have incentives to exclude non-members that would prevent implementation of solar geoengineering at a level that is optimal for the existing coalition. These incentives differ markedly from those that dominate international politics of greenhouse-gas emissions reduction, where the central challenge is to compel free riders to participate.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:24 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

Global predictability of temperature extremes

Extreme temperatures are one of the leading causes of death and disease in both developed and developing countries, and heat extremes are projected to rise in many regions. To reduce risk, heatwave plans and cold weather plans have been effectively implemented around the world. However, much of the world's population is not yet protected by such systems, including many data-scarce but also highly vulnerable regions. In this study, we assess at a global level where such systems have the potential to be effective at reducing risk from temperature extremes, characterizing (1) long-term average occurrence of heatwaves and coldwaves, (2) seasonality of these extremes, and (3) short-term predictability of these extreme events three to ten days in advance. Using both the NOAA and ECMWF weather forecast models, we develop global maps indicating a first approximation of the locations that are likely to benefit from the development of seasonal preparedness plans and/or short-term early warning systems for extreme temperature. The extratropics generally show both short-term skill as well as strong seasonality; in the tropics, most locations do also demonstrate one or both. In fact, almost 5 billion people live in regions that have seasonality and predictability of heatwaves and/or coldwaves. Climate adaptation investments in these regions can take advantage of seasonality and predictability to reduce risks to vulnerable populations.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:21 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Potential increasing dominance of heterotrophy in the global ocean

Autotrophy is largely resource-limited in the modern ocean. Paleo evidence indicates this was not necessarily the case in warmer climates, and modern observations as well as standard metabolic theory suggest continued ocean warming could shift global ecology towards heterotrophy, thereby reducing autotrophic nutrient limitation. Such a shift would entail strong nutrient recycling in the upper ocean and high rates of net primary production (NPP), yet low carbon export to the deep ocean and sediments. We demonstrate transition towards such a state in the early 22nd century as a response to business-as-usual representative concentration pathway forcing (RCP8.5) in an intermediate complexity Earth system model in three configurations; with and without an explicit calcifier phytoplankton class and calcite ballast model. In all models nutrient regeneration in the near-surface becomes an increasingly important driver of primary production. The near-linear relationship between changes in NPP and global sea surface temperature (SST) found over the 21st century becomes exponential above a 2–4 global mean SST change. This transition to a more heterotrophic ocean agrees roughly with metabolic theory.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:18 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Effective information channels for reducing costs of environmentally- friendly technologies: evidence from residential PV markets

Realizing the environmental benefits of solar photovoltaics (PV) will require reducing costs associated with perception, informational gaps and technological uncertainties. To identify opportunities to decrease costs associated with residential PV adoption, in this letter we use multivariate regression models to analyze a unique, household-level dataset of PV adopters in Texas (USA) to systematically quantify the effect of different information channels on aspiring PV adopters' decision-making. We find that the length of the decision period depends on the business model, such as whether the system was bought or leased, and on special opportunities to learn, such as the influence of other PV owners in the neighborhood. This influence accrues passively through merely witnessing PV systems in the neighborhood, increasing confidence and motivation, as well as actively through peer-to-peer communications. Using these insights we propose a new framework to provide public information on PV that could drastically reduce barriers to PV adoption, thereby accelerating its market penetration and environmental benefits. This framework could also serve as a model for other distributed generation technologies.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:59 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Explicit feedback and the management of uncertainty in meeting climate objectives with solar geoengineering

Solar geoengineering has been proposed as a method of meeting climate objectives, such as reduced globally averaged surface temperatures. However, because of incomplete understanding of the effects of geoengineering on the climate system, its implementation would be in the presence of substantial uncertainties. In our study, we use two fully coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models: one in which the geoengineering strategy is designed, and one in which geoengineering is implemented (a real-world proxy). We show that regularly adjusting the amount of solar geoengineering in response to departures of the observed global mean climate state from the predetermined objective (sequential decision making; an explicit feedback approach) can manage uncertainties and result in achievement of the climate objective in both the design model and the real-world proxy. This approach results in substantially less error in meeting global climate objectives than using a predetermined time series of how much geoengineering to use, especially if the estimated sensitivity to geoengineering is inaccurate.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

Human impacts on terrestrial hydrology: climate change versus pumping and irrigation

Global climate change is altering terrestrial water and energy budgets, with subsequent impacts on surface and groundwater resources; recent studies have shown that local water management practices such as groundwater pumping and irrigation similarly alter terrestrial water and energy budgets over many agricultural regions, with potential feedbacks on weather and climate. Here we use a fully-integrated hydrologic model to directly compare effects of climate change and water management on terrestrial water and energy budgets of a representative agricultural watershed in the semi-arid Southern Great Plains, USA. At local scales, we find that the impacts of pumping and irrigation on latent heat flux, potential recharge and water table depth are similar in magnitude to the impacts of changing temperature and precipitation; however, the spatial distributions of climate and management impacts are substantially different. At the basin scale, the impacts on stream discharge and groundwater storage are remarkably similar. Notably, for the watershed and scenarios studied here, the changes in groundwater storage and stream discharge in response to a 2.5 °C temperature increase are nearly equivalent to those from groundwater-fed irrigation. Our results imply that many semi-arid basins worldwide that practice groundwater pumping and irrigation may already be experiencing similar impacts on surface water and groundwater resources to a warming climate. These results demonstrate that accurate assessment of climate change impacts and development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies must account for local water management practices.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:26 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

Can shrubs help to reconstruct historical glacier retreats?

In the 21st century, most of the world's glaciers are expected to retreat due to further global warming. The range of this predicted retreat varies widely as a result of uncertainties in climate and glacier models. To calibrate and validate glacier models, past records of glacier mass balance are necessary, which often only span several decades. Long-term reconstructions of glacier mass balance could increase the precision of glacier models by providing the required calibration data. Here we show the possibility of applying shrub growth increments as an on-site proxy for glacier summer mass balance, exemplified by Salix shrubs in Finse, Norway. We further discuss the challenges which this method needs to meet and address the high potential of shrub growth increments for reconstructing glacier summer mass balance in remote areas.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:48 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Deciphering the expression of climate change within the Lower Colorado River basin by stochastic simulation of convective rainfall

In drylands, convective rainstorms typically control runoff, streamflow, water supply and flood risk to human populations, and ecological water availability at multiple spatial scales. Since drainage basin water balance is sensitive to climate, it is important to improve characterization of convective rainstorms in a manner that enables statistical assessment of rainfall at high spatial and temporal resolution, and the prediction of plausible manifestations of climate change. Here we present a simple rainstorm generator, STORM, for convective storm simulation. It was created using data from a rain gauge network in one dryland drainage basin, but is applicable anywhere. We employ STORM to assess watershed rainfall under climate change simulations that reflect differences in wetness/storminess, and thus provide insight into observed or projected regional hydrologic trends. Our analysis documents historical, regional climate change manifesting as a multidecadal decline in rainfall intensity, which we suggest has negatively impacted ephemeral runoff in the Lower Colorado River basin, but has not contributed substantially to regional negative streamflow trends.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:26 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

The impact of synoptic weather on UK surface ozone and implications for premature mortality

Air pollutants, such as ozone, have adverse impacts on human health and cause, for example, respiratory and cardiovascular problems. In the United Kingdom (UK), peak surface ozone concentrations typically occur in the spring and summer and are controlled by emission of precursor gases, tropospheric chemistry and local meteorology which can be influenced by large-scale synoptic weather regimes. In this study we composite surface and satellite observations of summer-time (April to September) ozone under different UK atmospheric circulation patterns, as defined by the Lamb weather types. Anticyclonic conditions and easterly flows are shown to significantly enhance ozone concentrations over the UK relative to summer-time average values. Anticyclonic stability and light winds aid the trapping of ozone and its precursor gases near the surface. Easterly flows (NE, E, SE) transport ozone and precursor gases from polluted regions in continental Europe (e.g. the Benelux region) to the UK. Cyclonic conditions and westerly flows, associated with unstable weather, transport ozone from the UK mainland, replacing it with clean maritime (North Atlantic) air masses. Increased cloud cover also likely decrease ozone production rates. We show that the UK Met Office regional air quality model successfully reproduces UK summer-time ozone concentrations and ozone enhancements under anticyclonic and south-easterly conditions for the summer of 2006. By using established ozone exposure-health burden metrics, anticyclonic and easterly condition enhanced surface ozone concentrations pose the greatest public health risk.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:15 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Cost-effectiveness of reducing emissions from tropical deforestation, 2016–2050

Reducing tropical deforestation is potentially a large-scale and low-cost strategy for mitigating climate change. Yet previous efforts to project the cost-effectiveness of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from future deforestation across the tropics were hampered by crude available data on historical forest loss. Here we use recently available satellite-based maps of annual forest loss between 2001–2012, along with information on topography, accessibility, protected status, potential agricultural revenue, and an observed inverted-U-shaped relationship between forest cover loss and forest cover, to project tropical deforestation from 2016–2050 under alternative policy scenarios and to construct new marginal abatement cost curves for reducing emissions from tropical deforestation. We project that without new forest conservation policies 289 million hectares of tropical forest will be cleared from 2016–2050, releasing 169 GtCO2. A carbon price of US20/tCO2 (50/tCO2) across tropical countries would avoid 41 GtCO2 (77 GtCO2) from 2016–2050. By comparison, we estimate that Brazil's restrictive policies in the Amazon between 2004–2012 successfully decoupled potential agricultural revenue from deforestation and reduced deforestation by 47% below what would have otherwise occurred, preventing the emission of 5.2 GtCO2. All tropical countries enacting restrictive anti-deforestation policies as effective as those in the Brazilian Amazon between 2004–2012 would avoid 58 GtCO2 from 2016–2050.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:52 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Biomass burning, land-cover change, and the hydrological cycle in Northern sub-Saharan Africa

The Northern Sub-Saharan African (NSSA) region, which accounts for 20%–25% of the global carbon emissions from biomass burning, also suffers from frequent drought episodes and other disruptions to the hydrological cycle whose adverse societal impacts have been widely reported during the last several decades. This paper presents a conceptual framework of the NSSA regional climate system components that may be linked to biomass burning, as well as detailed analyses of a variety of satellite data for 2001–2014 in conjunction with relevant model-assimilated variables. Satellite fire detections in NSSA show that the vast majority (>75%) occurs in the savanna and woody savanna land-cover types. Starting in the 2006–2007 burning season through the end of the analyzed data in 2014, peak burning activity showed a net decrease of 2–7%/yr in different parts of NSSA, especially in the savanna regions. However, fire distribution shows appreciable coincidence with land-cover change. Although there is variable mutual exchange of different land cover types, during 2003–2013, cropland increased at an estimated rate of 0.28%/yr of the total NSSA land area, with most of it (0.18%/yr) coming from savanna. During the last decade, conversion to croplands increased in some areas classified as forests and wetlands, posing a threat to these vital and vulnerable ecosystems. Seasonal peak burning is anti-correlated with annual water-cycle indicators such as precipitation, soil moisture, vegetation greenness, and evapotranspiration, except in humid West Africa (5°–10° latitude), where this anti-correlation occurs exclusively in the dry season and burning virtually stops when monthly mean precipitation reaches 4 mm d−1. These results provide observational evidence of changes in land-cover and hydrological variables that are consistent with feedbacks from biomass burning in NSSA, and encourage more synergistic modeling and observational studies that can elaborate this feedback mechanism.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:50 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Health and climate benefits of offshore wind facilities in the Mid-Atlantic United States

Electricity from fossil fuels contributes substantially to both climate change and the health burden of air pollution. Renewable energy sources are capable of displacing electricity from fossil fuels, but the quantity of health and climate benefits depend on site-specific attributes that are not often included in quantitative models. Here, we link an electrical grid simulation model to an air pollution health impact assessment model and US regulatory estimates of the impacts of carbon to estimate the health and climate benefits of offshore wind facilities of different sizes in two different locations. We find that offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic is capable of producing health and climate benefits of between 54 and 120 per MWh of generation, with the largest simulated facility (3000 MW off the coast of New Jersey) producing approximately 690 million in benefits in 2017. The variability in benefits per unit generation is a function of differences in locations (Maryland versus New Jersey), simulated years (2012 versus 2017), and facility generation capacity, given complexities of the electrical grid and differences in which power plants are offset. This work demonstrates health and climate benefits of offshore wind, provides further evidence of the utility of geographically-refined modeling frameworks, and yields quantitative insights that would allow for inclusion of both climate and public health in benefits assessments of renewable energy.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:54 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Air pollution is pushing wind speed into a regulator of surface solar irradiance in China

Analysis in 27 cities across China shows that surface solar irradiance (SSI) and wind speed track similar decadal trends in 1961–2011, suggesting wind speed as a possible regulator of SSI. This assumption is further confirmed by the continuously widening gap in annually averaged daily SSI between windy and windless clear-sky days with worsening air pollution. Wider gaps are noted for more polluted cities and seasons. The gap in SSI between windy and windless conditions could therefore serve as a good indicator for air quality. The regulatory effect of wind speed on SSI starts to be important when air pollution index exceeds the boundary of 125. A plausible mechanism of wind speed regulating SSI through interactions with aerosols is proposed. There are two cut-off points of 2.5 m s−1 and 3.5 m s−1 wind speeds. Winds <2.5 m s−1 noticeably disperse air pollutants and thereby enhance SSI. Above the 2.5 m s−1 threshold, air pollution and SSI become largely insensitive to changing wind speeds. Winds in excess of 3.5 m s−1 could enhance aerosol concentration probably by inducing dust-storms, which in turn attenuate SSI.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:58 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Reliability of regional climate model trends

A necessary condition for a good probabilistic forecast is that the forecast system is shown to be reliable: forecast probabilities should equal observed probabilities verified over a large number of cases. As climate change trends are now emerging from the natural variability, we can apply this concept to climate predictions and compute the reliability of simulated local and regional temperature and precipitation trends (1950–2011) in a recent multi-model ensemble of climate model simulations prepared for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report (AR5). With only a single verification time, the verification is over the spatial dimension. The local temperature trends appear to be reliable. However, when the global mean climate response is factored out, the ensemble is overconfident: the observed trend is outside the range of modelled trends in many more regions than would be expected by the model estimate of natural variability and model spread. Precipitation trends are overconfident for all trend definitions. This implies that for near-term local climate forecasts the CMIP5 ensemble cannot simply be used as a reliable probabilistic forecast.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:57 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

How does the SST variability over the western North Atlantic Ocean control Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas?

Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas and its impacts on the mid-latitude circulations have been widely discussed. However, the specific mechanism that brings the warming still remains unclear. In this study, a possible cause of the regional Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas during early winter (October–December) is suggested. We found that warmer sea surface temperature anomalies over the western North Atlantic Ocean (WNAO) modulate the transient eddies overlying the oceanic frontal region. The altered transient eddy vorticity flux acts as a source for the Rossby wave straddling the western North Atlantic and the Barents–Kara Seas (Scandinavian pattern), and induces a significant warm advection, increasing surface and lower-level temperature over the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean. The importance of the sea surface temperature anomalies over the WNAO and subsequent transient eddy forcing over the WNAO was also supported by both specially designed simple model experiments and general circulation model experiments.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:52 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

Estimates of present and future flood risk in the conterminous United States

Past attempts to estimate rainfall-driven flood risk across the US either have incomplete coverage, coarse resolution or use overly simplified models of the flooding process. In this paper, we use a new 30 m resolution model of the entire conterminous US with a 2D representation of flood physics to produce estimates of flood hazard, which match to within 90% accuracy the skill of local models built with detailed data. These flood depths are combined with exposure datasets of commensurate resolution to calculate current and future flood risk. Our data show that the total US population exposed to serious flooding is 2.6–3.1 times higher than previous estimates, and that nearly 41 million Americans live within the 1% annual exceedance probability floodplain (compared to only 13 million when calculated using FEMA flood maps). We find that population and GDP growth alone are expected to lead to significant future increases in exposure, and this change may be exacerbated in the future by climate change.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

Are Scots pine forest edges particularly prone to drought-induced mortality?

Climate change is expected to exacerbate the frequency of drought-induced tree mortality world-wide. To better predict the associated change of species composition and forest dynamics on various scales and develop adequate adaptation strategies, more information on the mechanisms driving the often observed patchiness of tree die-back is needed. Although forest-edge effects may play an important role within the given context, only few corresponding studies exist. Here, we investigate the regional die-back of Scots pine in Franconia, Germany, after a hot and dry summer in 2015, thereby emphasizing possible differences in mortality between forest edge and interior. By means of dendroecological investigations and close-range remote sensing, we assess long-term growth performance and current tree vitality along five different forest-edge distance gradients. Our results clearly indicate a differing growth performance between edge and interior trees, associated with a higher vulnerability to drought, increased mortality rates, and lower tree vitality at the forest edge. Prior long-lasting growth decline of dead trees compared to live trees suggests depletion of carbon reserves in course of a long-term drought persisting since the 1990s to be the cause of regional Scots pine die-back. These findings highlight the forest edge as a potential focal point of forest management adaptation strategies in the context of drought-induced mortality.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:32 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

On predicting climate under climate change

Can today's global climate model ensembles characterize the 21st century climate in their own 'model-worlds'? This question is at the heart of how we design and interpret climate model experiments for both science and policy support. Using a low-dimensional nonlinear system that exhibits behaviour similar to that of the atmosphere and ocean, we explore the implications of ensemble size and two methods of constructing climatic distributions, for the quantification of a model's climate. Small ensembles are shown to be misleading in non-stationary conditions analogous to externally forced climate change, and sometimes also in stationary conditions which reflect the case of an unforced climate. These results show that ensembles of several hundred members may be required to characterize a model's climate and inform robust statements about the relative roles of different sources of climate prediction uncertainty.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:07 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

National- to port-level inventories of shipping emissions in China

Shipping in China plays a global role, and has led worldwide maritime transportation for the last decade. However, without taking national or local port boundaries into account, it is impossible to determine the responsibility that each local authority has on emission controls, nor compare them with land-based emissions to determine the priority for controlling these emissions. In this study, we provide national- to port-level inventories for China. The results show that in 2013, the total emissions of CO, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), nitrogen oxides (NO x ), particulate matter (PM), SO2 and CO2 were 0.0741 ± 0.0004 Tgyr−1, 0.0691 ± 0.0004 Tgyr−1, 1.91 ± 0.01 Tgyr−1, 0.164 ± 0.001 Tgyr−1, 1.30 ± 0.01 Tgyr−1 and 86.3 ± 0.3 Tgyr−1 in China, respectively. By providing high-resolution spatial distribution maps of these emissions, we identify three hotspots, centered on the Bohai Rim Area, the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. These three hotspots account for 8% of the ocean area evaluated in this study, but contribute around 37% of total shipping emissions. Compared with on-road mobile source emissions, NO x and PM emissions from ships are equivalent to about 34% and 29% of the total mobile vehicle emissions in China. Moreover, this study provides detailed emission inventories for 24 ports in the country, which also greatly contributes to our understanding of global shipping emissions, given that eight of these ports rank within the top twenty of the port league table. Several ports in China suffer emissions 12–147 times higher than those at Los Angeles port. The ports of Ningbo-Zhou Shan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dalian dominate the port-level inventories, with individual emissions accounting for 28%–31%, 10%–14%, 10%–12% and 8%–14% of total emissions, respectively.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:15 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Quantifying the total cost of infrastructure to enable environmentally preferable decisions: the case of urban roadway design

Efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation infrastructure have generally overlooked many of the efficiencies that can be obtained by considering the relevant engineering and economic aspects as a system. Here, we present a framework for quantifying the burdens of ground transportation in urban settings that incorporates travel time, vehicle fuel and pavement maintenance costs. A Pareto set of bi-directional lane configurations for two-lane roadways yields non-dominated combinations of lane width, bicycle lanes and curb parking. Probabilistic analysis and microsimulation both show dramatic mobility reductions on road segments of insufficient width for heavy vehicles to pass bicycles without encroaching on oncoming traffic. This delay is positively correlated with uphill grades and increasing traffic volumes and inversely proportional to total pavement width. The response is nonlinear with grade and yields mixed uphill/downhill optimal lane configurations. Increasing bicycle mode share is negatively correlated with total costs and emissions for lane configurations allowing motor vehicles to safely pass bicycles, while the opposite is true for configurations that fail to facilitate passing. Spatial impacts on mobility also dictate that curb parking exhibits significant spatial opportunity costs related to the total cost Pareto curve. The proposed framework provides a means to evaluate relatively inexpensive lane reconfiguration options in response to changing modal share and priorities. These results provide quantitative evidence that efforts to reallocate limited pavement space to bicycles, like those being adopted in several US cities, could appreciably reduce costs for all users.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:01 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Regional carbon fluxes from land use and land cover change in Asia, 1980–2009

We present a synthesis of the land-atmosphere carbon flux from land use and land cover change (LULCC) in Asia using multiple data sources and paying particular attention to deforestation and forest regrowth fluxes. The data sources are quasi-independent and include the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization-Forest Resource Assessment (FAO-FRA 2015; country-level inventory estimates), the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.3), the 'Houghton' bookkeeping model that incorporates FAO-FRA data, an ensemble of 8 state-of-the-art Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVM), and 2 recently published independent studies using primarily remote sensing techniques. The estimates are aggregated spatially to Southeast, East, and South Asia and temporally for three decades, 1980–1989, 1990–1999 and 2000–2009. Since 1980, net carbon emissions from LULCC in Asia were responsible for 20%–40% of global LULCC emissions, with emissions from Southeast Asia alone accounting for 15%–25% of global LULCC emissions during the same period. In the 2000s and for all Asia, three estimates (FAO-FRA, DGVM, Houghton) were in agreement of a net source of carbon to the atmosphere, with mean estimates ranging between 0.24 to 0.41 Pg C yr−1, whereas EDGARv4.3 suggested a net carbon sink of −0.17 Pg C yr−1. Three of 4 estimates suggest that LULCC carbon emissions declined by at least 34% in the preceding decade (1990–2000). Spread in the estimates is due to the inclusion of different flux components and their treatments, showing the importance to include emissions from carbon rich peatlands and land management, such as shifting cultivation and wood harvesting, which appear to be consistently underreported.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:26 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

100 years of California's water rights system: patterns, trends and uncertainty

For 100 years, California's State Water Resources Control Board and its predecessors have been responsible for allocating available water supplies to beneficial uses, but inaccurate and incomplete accounting of water rights has made the state ill-equipped to satisfy growing societal demands for water supply reliability and healthy ecosystems. Here, we present the first comprehensive evaluation of appropriative water rights to identify where, and to what extent, water has been dedicated to human uses relative to natural supplies. The results show that water right allocations total 400 billion cubic meters, approximately five times the state's mean annual runoff. In the state's major river basins, water rights account for up to 1000% of natural surface water supplies, with the greatest degree of appropriation observed in tributaries to the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and in coastal streams in southern California. Comparisons with water supplies and estimates of actual use indicate substantial uncertainty in how water rights are exercised. In arid regions such as California, over-allocation of surface water coupled with trends of decreasing supply suggest that new water demands will be met by re-allocation from existing uses. Without improvements to the water rights system, growing human and environmental demands portend an intensification of regional water scarcity and social conflict. California's legal framework for managing its water resources is largely compatible with needed reforms, but additional public investment is required to enhance the capacity of the state's water management institutions to effectively track and regulate water rights.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:41 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?

Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:01 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Potential influence of the late Holocene climate on settled farming versus nomadic cattle herding in the Minusinsk Hollow, south-central Siberia

Prehistoric and early historic human cultures are known to be closely connected to and dependent on their natural environments. We test the hypothesis that climate change influenced the means of subsistence of ancient tribes and favored agricultural or cattle herding economic strategies. Our study area is the Khakass–Minusinsk Hollow, located in the foothills of the Sayan Mountains, south-central Siberia, which was, for a few millennia, a buffer zone for human migrations across the Great Eurasian Steppe. Three different methods (the Montane BioClimatic Model, MontBCliM; the biomization method; and the actualizm method) are employed to reconstruct vegetation taken from the fossil pollen of sediment cores in two mountain lakes at eleven time slices related to successive human cultures back to the mid-Holocene. MontBCliM model is used inversely to convert site paleo-vegetation into site paleo-climates. Climate-based regression models are developed and applied to reconstructed climates to evaluate possible pasture and grain crops for these time slices. Pollen-based reconstructions of the climate fluctuations uncovered several dry periods with steppe and forest-steppe and wetter periods with forests since 6000 BP. Grasslands increased by an order of magnitude during the dry periods and provided extensive open space suitable for pastoralism; however, both grain and pasture yields decreased during these dry periods. During wetter climates, both grain and pasture yields increased twofold and supported more fixed human settlements centered around farming and cattle herding. Thus, the dry periods favored pastoralist rather than farming activities. Conversely, tribes that practiced agriculture had some advantage in the wet periods.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:47 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Assessing inter-sectoral climate change risks: the role of Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP)

The aims of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) are to provide a framework for the intercomparison of global and regional-scale risk models within and across multiple sectors and to enable coordinated multi-sectoral assessments of different risks and their aggregated effects. The overarching goal is to use the knowledge gained to support adaptation and mitigation decisions that require regional or global perspectives within the context of facilitating transformations to enable sustainable development, despite inevitable climate shifts and disruptions. ISIMIP uses community-agreed sets of scenarios with standardized climate variables and socio-economic projections as inputs for projecting future risks and associated uncertainties, within and across sectors. The results are consistent multi-model assessments of sectoral risks and opportunities that enable studies that integrate across sectors, providing support for implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:59 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Carbon reductions and health co-benefits from US residential energy efficiency measures

The United States (US) Clean Power Plan established state-specific carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction goals for fossil fuel-fired electricity generating units (EGUs). States may achieve these goals through multiple mechanisms, including measures that can achieve equivalent CO2 reductions such as residential energy efficiency, which will have important co-benefits. Here, we develop state-resolution simulations of the economic, health, and climate benefits of increased residential insulation, considering EGUs and residential combustion. Increasing insulation to International Energy Conservation Code 2012 levels for all single-family homes in the US in 2013 would lead to annual reductions of 80 million tons of CO2 from EGUs, with annual co-benefits including 30 million tons of CO2 from residential combustion and 320 premature deaths associated with criteria pollutant emissions from both EGUs and residential combustion sources. Monetized climate and health co-benefits average 49 per ton of CO2 reduced from EGUs (range across states: 12–390). State-specific co-benefit estimates can inform development of optimal Clean Power Plan implementation strategies.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:04 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Modeling relationships between water table depth and peat soil carbon loss in Southeast Asian plantations

Plantation-associated drainage of Southeast Asian peatlands has accelerated in recent years. Draining exposes the upper peat layer to oxygen, leading to elevated decomposition rates and net soil carbon losses. Empirical studies indicate positive relationships between long-term water table (WT) depth and soil carbon loss rate in peatlands. These correlations potentially enable using WT depth as a proxy for soil carbon losses from peatland plantations. Here, we compile data from published research assessing WT depth and carbon balance in tropical plantations on peat. We model net carbon loss from subsidence studies, as well as soil respiration (heterotrophic and total) from closed chamber studies, as a function of WT depth. WT depth across all 12 studies and 59 sites is 67 ± 20 cm (mean ± standard deviation). Mean WT depth is positively related to net carbon loss, as well as soil respiration rate. Our models explain 45% of net carbon loss variation and 45–63% of soil respiration variation. At a 70 cm WT depth, the subsidence model suggests net carbon loss of 20 tC ha−1 yr−1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 18–22 tC ha−1 yr−1) for plantations drained for >2 yr. Closed chamber-measured total soil respiration at this depth is 20 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1 (CI 17–24 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1) while heterotrophic respiration is 17 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1 (CI 14–20 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1), ~82% of total respiration. While land use is not a significant predictor of soil respiration, WT depths are greater at acacia (75 ± 16 cm) than oil palm (59 ± 15 cm) sample sites. Improved spatio-temporal sampling of the full suite of peat soil carbon fluxes—including fluvial carbon export and organic fertilizer inputs—will clarify multiple mechanisms leading to carbon loss and gain, supporting refined assessments of the global warming potential of peatland drainage.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
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