Climatic Change

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0165-0009 / 1573-1480
Published by: Springer Nature (10.1007)
Total articles ≅ 6,286
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, Sanita Dhaubanjar, Luna Bharati
Published: 19 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-23;

Existing climate projections and impact assessments in Nepal only consider a limited number of generic climate indices such as means. Few studies have explored climate extremes and their sectoral implications. This study evaluates future scenarios of extreme climate indices from the list of the Expert Team on Sector-specific Climate Indices (ET-SCI) and their sectoral implications in the Karnali Basin in western Nepal. First, future projections of 26 climate indices relevant to six climate-sensitive sectors in Karnali are made for the near (2021–2045), mid (2046–2070), and far (2071–2095) future for low- and high-emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively) using bias-corrected ensembles of 19 regional climate models from the COordinated Regional Downscaling EXperiment for South Asia (CORDEX-SA). Second, a qualitative analysis based on expert interviews and a literature review on the impact of the projected climate extremes on the climate-sensitive sectors is undertaken. Both the temperature and precipitation patterns are projected to deviate significantly from the historical reference already from the near future with increased occurrences of extreme events. Winter in the highlands is expected to become warmer and dryer. The hot and wet tropical summer in the lowlands will become hotter with longer warm spells and fewer cold days. Low-intensity precipitation events will decline, but the magnitude and frequency of extreme precipitation events will increase. The compounding effects of the increase in extreme temperature and precipitation events will have largely negative implications for the six climate-sensitive sectors considered here.
Published: 18 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-19;

To identify appropriate strategies for temperature change adaptation, the economic impacts of temperature changes are critical to be understood. Despite a wide investigation about this issue, the obtained evidence is still mixed, including positive linear, negative linear, U-shaped, inverted U-shaped, or even irrelevant relationships. To address this question, we investigated the findings of collected studies through a meta-analysis based on 87 studies with 2977 estimates. We first examined the genuine effects between temperature changes and economic impacts based on statistical models (i.e., funnel plots, MST and FAT-PET-PEESE tests). Then, we adopted the meta-regression method to identify the sensitive modeling characteristics influencing the research outcomes. The results illustrate four major conclusions. First, there is a negative relationship between temperature changes and economic outputs in linear regression analysis, and an inverted U-shaped relationship in quadratic regression specifications. Second, research areas and temperature variables involved in individual studies have significant effects on current economic consequence analysis. Particularly, rich countries located in colder climates can even benefit from temperature changes, whereas poor countries located in hotter climates suffered adverse impacts. Third, the resilience factors should be involved in future prediction models to investigate the mitigation effects. Fourth, the sensitive modeling specifications were different according to different research sub-objects. The results obtained can provide implications for the sustainable development of the economy and human society caused by climatic change, and can also make contributions to advance the theory and practice of future temperature change consequence analysis.
, John Kotcher, Simon D. Donner
Published: 16 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-20;

Urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions depend on governments implementing and enforcing rigorous climate policy. Individuals in democracies seeking to persuade government officials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can take steps such as voting, protesting, and contacting officials directly, but it is unclear how effective each of these actions is in changing the behavior of elected officials. Here we take advantage of the public nature of social media to evaluate the actual efficacy of climate campaign emails using an original, real-world experiment where 335 Members of Canadian Parliament were asked by constituents to post a pro-climate message to their Twitter account. Only one Member of Parliament posted the exact text suggested by the campaign. After scraping and coding 18,776 tweets, we first find no evidence that a public health messaging frame is more effective than a standard environmental frame in eliciting pro-climate posts. Furthermore, we find only a marginally significant relationship between volume of constituent contact and increased pro-climate tweeting from Members of Parliament. Follow-up interviews with political staffers suggest that analog alternatives may be more effective than campaign emails in some cases. Interview findings also reveal that some offices receive low levels of constituent communication on climate change, indicating that increased pressure from constituents could still be consequential.
Rebecca Wells, , Lina I. Brand-Correa
Published: 16 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-22;

In light of increasing pressure to deliver climate action targets and the growing role of citizens in raising the importance of the issue, deliberative democratic processes (e.g. citizen juries and citizen assemblies) on climate change are increasingly being used to provide a voice to citizens in climate change decision-making. Through a comparative case study of two processes that ran in the UK in 2019 (the Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury and the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change), this paper investigates how far citizen assemblies and juries are increasing citizen engagement on climate change and creating more citizen-centred climate policymaking. Interviews were conducted with policymakers, councillors, professional facilitators and others involved in running these processes to assess motivations for conducting these, their structure and the impact and influence they had. The findings suggest the impact of these processes is not uniform: they have an indirect impact on policy making by creating momentum around climate action and supporting the introduction of pre-planned or pre-existing policies rather than a direct impact by truly being citizen-centred policy making processes or conducive to new climate policy. We conclude with reflections on how these processes give elected representatives a public mandate on climate change, that they help to identify more nuanced and in-depth public opinions in a fair and informed way, yet it can be challenging to embed citizen juries and assemblies in wider democratic processes.
, Ric Ryan H. Regalado, Ermar B. De La Cruz
Published: 15 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-18;

This paper investigated the vulnerability of the agriculture sector and rural agriculture livelihoods in the Bicol River Basin (BRB) of the Philippines to projected changes in climate. The geographical characteristics of the BRB feature eight major sub-basins or watersheds consisting of Libmanan-Pulantuna, Ragay Hills, Thiris, Naga-Yabo, Pawili River, Waras-Lalo, Naporog, and Quinali. The study applied the combination of the participatory tools and the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) framework to gather information on local climate vulnerabilities and contexts. Briefly, the CRVA employed geospatial modeling and utilized several indicators which are presumed to affect vulnerability including exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity which were aggregated to provide an index of vulnerability. This enabled us to identify areas of exposure and vulnerability and pointed areas of greatest need for strengthened adaptive capacity and risk management. Our findings revealed that vulnerability in the BRB was perceived to be relatively prevalent and that typhoons, flooding, and drought were identified to contribute significant impacts to rural livelihood. Furthermore, our findings in the CRVA suggested significant regional differences in vulnerability in the BRB. The majority of the towns in the central and northwestern portions of the BRB will largely experience increased vulnerability, particularly, in the Thiris sub-basin including some parts of Ragay Hills, Waras-Lalo, and the northwestern Libmanan-Pulantuna sub-basins. On the contrary, the entire Quinali region on the south is revealed to have the lowest vulnerability index. The clear policy implication of these accounts will be on how to mobilize developmental thrusts in both areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the sub-national level to reinforce local-based climate priority setting in adaptation interventions and policies.
Published: 7 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-12;

As the epistemic hand in the UNFCCC’S political glove, the IPCC is charged with furnishing the global dialogues with ‘reliable knowledge’ on climate change. Much has been written about how this body of scientific information can be communicated more effectively to a diverse public, but considerably less so on the role communication might play in making the IPCC itself more receptive to alternative forms of contribution. Climate change communication remains centred on a unidirectional model that has helped climate science achieve greater public legibility, but so far not explored equivalent channels within institutional thinking for representing public and other non-scientific knowledges. Anticipating a new assessment report and major developments for the Paris Agreement, now is an opportunity to consider ambitious pathways to reciprocity in the IPCC’s communication strategy. Drawing on interdisciplinary insights from social science literatures, we argue that communication is not only inseparable from knowledge politics in the IPCC, but that communication activities and research may prove key avenues for making the IPCC more inclusive. Recognising climate communication as a developed field of study and practice with significant influence in the IPCC, we present a framework for categorising communicative activities into those which help the panel speak with a more human voice, and those that help it listen receptively to alternative forms of knowledge. The latter category especially invites communicators to decouple ‘epistemic authority’ from ‘scientific authority’, and so imagine new forms of expert contribution. This is critical to enabling active and equitable dialogue with underrepresented publics that democratises climate governance, and enhances the public legitimacy of the IPCC.
Published: 6 September 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 168, pp 1-25;

In this paper, we assess the quality of state-of-the-art regional climate information intended to support climate adaptation decision-making. We use the UK Climate Projections 2018 as an example of such information. Their probabilistic, global, and regional land projections exemplify some of the key methodologies that are at the forefront of constructing regional climate information for decision support in adapting to a changing climate. We assess the quality of the evidence and the methodology used to support their statements about future regional climate along six quality dimensions: transparency; theory; independence, number, and comprehensiveness of evidence; and historical empirical adequacy. The assessment produced two major insights. First, a major issue that taints the quality of UKCP18 is the lack of transparency, which is particularly problematic since the information is directed towards non-expert users who would need to develop technical skills to evaluate the quality and epistemic reliability of this information. Second, the probabilistic projections are of lower quality than the global projections because the former lack both transparency and a theory underpinning the method used to produce quantified uncertainty estimates about future climate. The assessment also shows how different dimensions are satisfied depending on the evidence used, the methodology chosen to analyze the evidence, and the type of statements that are constructed in the different strands of UKCP18. This research highlights the importance of knowledge quality assessment of regional climate information that intends to support climate change adaptation decisions.
Published: 31 August 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 167, pp 1-14;

The designation of climate change as crisis has the potential to direct global attentions to both the past and the future. Yet, dominant societal narratives most notably in mainstream media have primarily focused on potential futures that draw on a range of scientific modeling with little awareness of diverse colonial histories and other knowledges. The turn to global climate services and discussions about usable climate science exemplifies approaches built on scientific ideals of standardization, establishing shared baselines, and an orientation towards both tracking dangerous moves away from and mitigating for a more stable ecological future. This paper suggests that Indigenous climate change studies as proposed by Whyte (English Language Notes 55(1-2):153-162, 2017) offer a differentiated approach and critique to thinking about context, climate events utility, and ecological relations. This has already become particularly salient in considerations of events like major wildfires, for example. Climate change is increasingly being understood in public arenas as legible through these kinds of events that signal crisis. How the future is imagined, what kinds of journalism emerge as heralds of crisis, and who is deemed useful are related to both scientific findings and colonial ordering of societies and knowledge.
Mary Sanford, , Taha Yasseri, Jamie Lorimer
Published: 31 August 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 167, pp 1-25;

In August 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL), which generated extensive societal debate and interest in mainstream and social media. Using computational and conceptual text analysis, we examined more than 6,000 English-language posts on Twitter to establish the relative presence of different topics. Then, we assessed their levels of toxicity and sentiment polarity as an indication of contention and controversy. We find first that meat consumption and dietary options became one of the most discussed issues on Twitter in response to the IPCC report, even though it was a relatively minor element of the report; second, this new issue of controversy (meat and diet) had similar, high levels of toxicity to strongly contentious issues in previous IPCC reports (skepticism about climate science and the credibility of the IPCC). We suggest that this is in part a reflection of increasingly polarized narratives about meat and diet found in other areas of public discussion and of a movement away from criticism of climate science towards criticism of climate solutions. Finally, we discuss the possible implications of these findings for the work of the IPCC in anticipating responses to its reports and responding to them effectively.
Published: 28 August 2021
Climatic Change, Volume 167, pp 1-19;

Climate variability and changes threaten agriculture. In response, farmers have been forced to adjust farming practices according to locally available options. Ethnoecological knowledge of surrounding environmental events inform such adjustments. This study aims to explore observed changes in the crop calendar and changes in crop yield as response to climatic variability to support adjusting the local crop calendar. Interviews with local leaders and group discussions with farmers were organized. Climatic indices such as growing degree days (GDD) and crop evapotranspiration (ETc) were calculated and regressed with crop production data (1988–2017) from Taxkorgan County of Xinjiang, China, using the partial least square regression (PLS) technique. Survey data revealed that the sowing dates of important crops began earlier than previous decades. Spatial data showed that the growing season advanced 3.2 days per decade. PLS results suggest that GDD and ETc significantly affect crop yield. GDD during the growth period had a significant positive impact, indicating that recent warming is beneficial for crop yields in these regions. ETc during the growth period mostly had a negative impact, suggesting the need for ample water to improve crop yields in the context of further warming. The current shift in sowing is corroborated by early heat accumulation, and crop calendar adjustments can reasonably increase yields. Our results are applicable to agricultural decisions at the farm level following site-specific fieldwork. Optimal planting dates can be determined by combining results from our study and other suitable farming practices to strengthen the resilience of local ecological calendars to climate change.
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