Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Human adaptation to biodiversity change: An adaptation process approach applied to a case study from southern India
Thornton, Thomas F. ; Puri, Rajindra K. ; Bhagwat, Shonil ; Howard, Patricia - \ 2019
Ambio (2019). - ISSN 0044-7447 - 16 p.
Adaptation - Biodiversity change - Climate change - Invasive plants - Vulnerability

Adaptation to environmental change, including biodiversity change, is both a new imperative in the face of global climate change and the oldest problem in human history. Humans have evolved a wide range of adaptation strategies in response to localised environmental changes, which have contributed strongly to both biological and cultural diversity. The evolving set of locally driven, ‘bottom-up’ responses to environmental change is collectively termed ‘autonomous adaptation,’ while its obverse, ‘planned adaptation,’ refers to ‘top-down’ (from without, e.g. State-driven) responses. After reviewing the dominant vulnerability, risk, and pathway approaches to adaptation, this paper applies an alternative framework for understanding human adaptation processes and responding more robustly to future adaptation needs. This adaptation processes-to-pathways framework is then deployed to consider human responses to biodiversity change caused by an aggressive ‘invasive’ plant, Lantana camara L., in several agri-forest communities of southern India. The results show that a variety of adaptation processes are developing to make Lantana less disruptive and more useable—from avoidance through mobility strategies to utilizing the plant for economic diversification. However, there is currently no clear synergy or policy support to connect them to a successful long-term adaptation pathway. These results are evaluated in relation to broader trends in adaptation analysis and governance to suggest ways of improving our understanding and support for human adaptation to biodiversity change at the household, community, and regional livelisystem levels, especially in societies highly dependent on local biodiversity for their livelihoods.

Is triose phosphate utilization involved in the feedback inhibition of photosynthesis in rice under conditions of sink limitation
Fabre, Denis ; Yin, Xinyou ; Dingkuhn, Michael ; Clément-Vidal, Anne ; Roques, Sandrine ; Rouan, Lauriane ; Soutiras, Armelle ; Luquet, Delphine ; Lawson, Tracy - \ 2019
Journal of Experimental Botany 70 (2019)20. - ISSN 0022-0957 - p. 5773 - 5785.
Climate change - CO enrichment - photosynthesis - rice - sink feedback - source-sink - sucrose - triose phosphate utilization

This study aimed to understand the physiological basis of rice photosynthetic response to C source-sink imbalances, focusing on the dynamics of the photosynthetic parameter triose phosphate utilization (TPU). Here, rice (Oriza sativa L.) indica cultivar IR64 were grown in controlled environment chambers under current ambient CO2 concentration until heading, and thereafter two CO2 treatments (400 and 800 μmol mol-1) were compared in the presence and absence of a panicle-pruning treatment modifying the C sink. At 2 weeks after heading, photosynthetic parameters derived from CO2 response curves, and non-structural carbohydrate content of flag leaf and internodes were measured three to four times of day. Spikelet number per panicle and flag leaf area on the main culm were recorded. Net C assimilation and TPU decreased progressively after midday in panicle-pruned plants, especially under 800 μmol mol-1 CO2. This TPU reduction was explained by sucrose accumulation in the flag leaf resulting from the sink limitation. Taking together, our findings suggest that TPU is involved in the regulation of photosynthesis in rice under elevated CO2 conditions, and that sink limitation effects should be considered in crop models.

“The truth is not in the middle”: Journalistic norms of climate change bloggers
Eck, Christel W. van; Mulder, Bob C. ; Dewulf, Art - \ 2019
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 59 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
Bloggers - Climate change - Climate change communications - Journalistic norms - Online media
Advances and challenges of life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas removal technologies to fight climate changes
Goglio, P. ; Williams, A.G. ; Balta-Ozkan, N. ; Harris, N.R.P. ; Williamson, P. ; Huisingh, D. ; Zhang, Z. ; Tavoni, M. - \ 2019
Journal of Cleaner Production (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526
Climate change - Environmental assessment - Greenhouse gas removal technologies - Life cycle assessment - Methodology - Negative emission technologies

Several greenhouse gas removal technologies (GGRTs), also called negative emissions technologies (NET) have been proposed to help meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets. However, there are many uncertainties in the estimation of their effective greenhouse gas (GHG) removal potentials, caused by their different levels of technological development. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been proposed as one effective methodology to holistically assess the potential of different GGRT removal approaches but no common framework is currently available for benchmarking and policy development. In this article, challenges for LCA are reviewed and discussed together with some alternative approaches for assessment of GGRTs. In particular, GGRTs pose challenges with regards to the functional unit, the system boundary of the LCA assessment, and the timing of emissions. The need to account within LCA of GGRTs for broader implications which involve environmental impacts, economic, social and political drivers is highlighted. A set of recommendations for LCA of GGRTs are proposed for a better assessment of the GGRTs and better accounting of their carbon removal potentials to meet the targets established within the Paris Agreement.

Exploring low-carbon futures: A web service approach to linking diverse climate-energy-economy models
Belete, Getachew F. ; Voinov, Alexey ; Arto, Iñaki ; Dhavala, Kishore ; Bulavskaya, Tatyana ; Niamir, Leila ; Moghayer, Saeed ; Filatova, Tatiana - \ 2019
Energies 12 (2019)15. - ISSN 1996-1073
Climate change - Integrated modeling - Interoperability - Low carbon economy - Scenario analyses - Web services

The use of simulation models is essential when exploring transitions to low-carbon futures and climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. There are many models developed to understand socio-environmental processes and interactions, and analyze alternative scenarios, but hardly one single model can serve all the needs. There is much expectation in climate-energy research that constructing new purposeful models out of existing models used as building blocks can meet particular needs of research and policy analysis. Integration of existing models, however, implies sophisticated coordination of inputs and outputs across different scales, definitions, data and software. This paper presents an online integration platform which links various independent models to enhance their scope and functionality. We illustrate the functionality of this web platform using several simulation models developed as standalone tools for analyzing energy, climate and economy dynamics. The models differ in levels of complexity, assumptions, modeling paradigms and programming languages, and operate at different temporal and spatial scales, from individual to global. To illustrate the integration process and the internal details of our integration framework we link an Integrated Assessment Model (GCAM), a Computable General Equilibrium model (EXIOMOD), and an Agent Based Model (BENCH). This toolkit is generic for similar integrated modeling studies. It still requires extensive pre-integration assessment to identify the ‘appropriate’ models and links between them. After that, using the web service approach we can streamline module coupling, enabling interoperability between different systems and providing open access to information for a wider community of users.

A protocol to develop Shared Socio-economic Pathways for European agriculture
Mitter, Hermine ; Techen, Anja K. ; Sinabell, Franz ; Helming, Katharina ; Kok, Kasper ; Priess, Jörg A. ; Schmid, Erwin ; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. ; Holman, Ian ; Lehtonen, Heikki ; Leip, Adrian ; Mouël, Chantal Le; Mathijs, Erik ; Mehdi, Bano ; Michetti, Melania ; Mittenzwei, Klaus ; Mora, Olivier ; Øygarden, Lillian ; Reidsma, Pytrik ; Schaldach, Rüdiger ; Schönhart, Martin - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Management 252 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797
Climate change - Consistent storylines - Eur-Agri-SSP - Integrated assessment - Narrative - Social environmental system

Moving towards a more sustainable future requires concerted actions, particularly in the context of global climate change. Integrated assessments of agricultural systems (IAAS) are considered valuable tools to provide sound information for policy and decision-making. IAAS use storylines to define socio-economic and environmental framework assumptions. While a set of qualitative global storylines, known as the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs), is available to inform integrated assessments at large scales, their spatial resolution and scope is insufficient for regional studies in agriculture. We present a protocol to operationalize the development of Shared Socio-economic Pathways for European agriculture – Eur-Agri-SSPs – to support IAAS. The proposed design of the storyline development process is based on six quality criteria: plausibility, vertical and horizontal consistency, salience, legitimacy, richness and creativity. Trade-offs between these criteria may occur. The process is science-driven and iterative to enhance plausibility and horizontal consistency. A nested approach is suggested to link storylines across scales while maintaining vertical consistency. Plausibility, legitimacy, salience, richness and creativity shall be stimulated in a participatory and interdisciplinary storyline development process. The quality criteria and process design requirements are combined in the protocol to increase conceptual and methodological transparency. The protocol specifies nine working steps. For each step, suitable methods are proposed and the intended level and format of stakeholder engagement are discussed. A key methodological challenge is to link global SSPs with regional perspectives provided by the stakeholders, while maintaining vertical consistency and stakeholder buy-in. We conclude that the protocol facilitates systematic development and evaluation of storylines, which can be transferred to other regions, sectors and scales and supports inter-comparisons of IAAS.

Drought and conflicts at the local level: Establishing a water sharing mechanism for the summer-autumn rice production in Central Vietnam
Huynh, Chuong Van; Scheltinga, Catharien Terwisscha van; Pham, Ty Huu ; Duong, Non Quoc ; Tran, Phuong Thi ; Nguyen, Linh Hoang Khanh ; Pham, Tung Gia ; Nguyen, Ngoc Bich ; Timmerman, Jos - \ 2019
International Soil and Water Conservation Research 7 (2019)4. - ISSN 2095-6339 - p. 362 - 375.
Adaptation - Agriculture - Climate change - Governance - Rice production - Water sharing

In recent years, water for agricultural production gradually became a significant challenge in the context of climate change in Vietnam. Sustainable solutions are required, which consider the use of resources for both human needs and ecology, and that account for the equitable distribution and the livelihood of the farmers now and in the future. In particular, the farmers in the province of Quang Nam facing water shortage in the cultivation of paddy in the summer-autumn season. Conflicts arise regarding the sharing of the water between the farmers, the drinking water company and the hydropower company. In the context of climate change, the water shortage is expected to increase in the future. The article presents the results of participatory action research (PAR) approach to develop a local level mechanism for water sharing, in which stakeholders actively participated. Water sharing mechanism was developed, envisioning a sustainable solution for inclusive water sharing. The mechanism was successfully implemented in two cases, one at commune level (Tho stream) and one at the district level (Mo stream). The participatory approach proved to be successful in setting up a broadly acceptable mechanism that will need to be further incorporated in the institutional set-up.

Effects of extreme rainfall events are independent of plant species richness in an experimental grassland community
Padilla, Francisco M. ; Mommer, Liesje ; Caluwe, Hannie de; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E. ; Visser, Eric J.W. ; Kroon, Hans de - \ 2019
Oecologia 191 (2019)1. - ISSN 0029-8549 - p. 177 - 190.
Biodiversity - Climate change - Drought - Overyielding - Resistance - Roots - Stability

Global climate models predict more frequent periods of drought stress alternated by heavier, but fewer rainfall events in the future. Biodiversity studies have shown that such changed drought stress may be mitigated by plant species richness. Here, we investigate if grassland communities, differing in species richness, respond differently to climatic extremes within the growing season. In a 3-year outdoor mesocosm experiment, four grassland species in both monoculture and mixture were subjected to a rainfall distribution regime with two levels: periods of severe drought in the summer intermitted by extreme rainfall events versus regular rainfall over time. Both treatments received the same amount of water over the season. Extreme rainfall combined with drought periods resulted in a 15% decrease in aboveground biomass in the second and third year, compared to the regular rainfall regime. Root biomass was also reduced in the extreme rainfall treatment, particularly in the top soil layer (− 40%). All species developed higher water use efficiencies (less negative leaf δ13C) in extreme rainfall than in regular rainfall. These responses to the rainfall/drought treatment were independent of species richness, although the mixtures were on an average more productive in terms of biomass than the monocultures. Our experimental results suggest that mixtures are similarly able to buffer these within-season rainfall extremes than monocultures, which contrasts with findings in the studies on natural droughts. Our work demonstrates the importance of investigating the interactions between rainfall distribution and drought periods for understanding effects of climate change on plant community performance.

To what extent is climate change adaptation a novel challenge for agricultural modellers?
Kipling, R.P. ; Topp, C.F.E. ; Bannink, A. ; Bartley, D.J. ; Blanco-Penedo, I. ; Cortignani, R. ; Prado, A. del; Dono, G. ; Faverdin, P. ; Graux, A.I. ; Hutchings, N.J. ; Lauwers, L. ; Özkan Gülzari, Gülzari ; Reidsma, P. ; Rolinski, S. ; Ruiz-Ramos, M. ; Sandars, D.L. ; Sándor, R. ; Schönhart, M. ; Seddaiu, G. ; Middelkoop, J. van; Shrestha, S. ; Weindl, I. ; Eory, V. - \ 2019
Environmental Modelling & Software 120 (2019). - ISSN 1364-8152
Adaptation - Agricultural modelling - Climate change - Research challenges

Modelling is key to adapting agriculture to climate change (CC), facilitating evaluation of the impacts and efficacy of adaptation measures, and the design of optimal strategies. Although there are many challenges to modelling agricultural CC adaptation, it is unclear whether these are novel or, whether adaptation merely adds new motivations to old challenges. Here, qualitative analysis of modellers’ views revealed three categories of challenge: Content, Use, and Capacity. Triangulation of findings with reviews of agricultural modelling and Climate Change Risk Assessment was then used to highlight challenges specific to modelling adaptation. These were refined through literature review, focussing attention on how the progressive nature of CC affects the role and impact of modelling. Specific challenges identified were: Scope of adaptations modelled, Information on future adaptation, Collaboration to tackle novel challenges, Optimisation under progressive change with thresholds, and Responsibility given the sensitivity of future outcomes to initial choices under progressive change.

A social-ecological perspective on ecosystem vulnerability for the invasive creeper coralita (Antigonon leptopus)in the Caribbean: A review
Heger, W.T. ; Andel, Tinde van - \ 2019
Global Ecology and Conservation 18 (2019). - ISSN 2351-9894
Anthropogenic disturbance - Climate change - Dutch Caribbean - Invasive species - Overgrazing - St. Eustatius

The Caribbean islands are a hotspot for biodiversity, harboring 2.3% of the world's endemic plant species on just 0.18% of the earth surface. Due to habitat degradation, invasive species are considered a major environmental problem on these islands. The vine coralita (Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn.)is the most abundant invasive species on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. Forming thick, monospecific carpets, it is seen as a threat to biodiversity. Insight is needed as to the ecological and social factors that influence the local ecosystem's vulnerability for invasion by A. leptopus. We used a Social-Ecological Systems framework for a literature review to answer our research questions: 1)What is currently known about the social and ecological factors that make an ecosystem vulnerable for invasions by invasive species and A. leptopus in particular? 2)How much empirical evidence is provided to back up the claims made in the reviewed literature? and 3)Which research and management priorities can be identified for St. Eustatius based on this analysis? Our review yielded 46 relevant documents, of which only 21 were peer-reviewed scientific articles. We assessed the level of empirical support for each of the factors mentioned in the reviewed literature and used these to shape our conceptual Social-Ecological model. Three major factors appeared to be responsible for the vulnerability of ecosystems for A. leptopus invasion: overgrazing by feral animals (16 papers), anthropogenic disturbance (19)and climate change (6). Empirical evidence for the relation between A. leptopus invasion and social and ecological factors is scarce: only anthropogenic disturbance and overgrazing were supported by quantitative data (three papers each). Our literature review also indicates that the invasion of A. leptopus on St. Eustatius is more a symptom than a cause in itself. Efforts to manage coralita by chemical or manual removal are futile if not combined with active vegetation restoration and grazer exclusion. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in forested areas on the island, in which coralita is not present. More experimental research is needed to inform policy and management decisions, preferably on the effects of feral grazer exclusion and shading by native trees on the recovery of natural vegetation in areas now dominated by coralita.

Shaping conditions for entrepreneurship in climate change adaptation: A case study of an emerging governance arrangement in the Netherlands
Block, Debora de; Feindt, Peter H. ; Slobbe, Erik van - \ 2019
Ecology and Society 24 (2019)1. - ISSN 1708-3087
Climate change - Ecosystem-based adaptation - Entrepreneurship - Governance arrangements

Planning and implementation of regional climate change adaptation requires new, integrated governance arrangements that often involve public and private actors. Although entrepreneurship is widely considered an important part of such arrangements, little is known about the conditions that enable it, and its actual role is under-researched. Through an in-depth case study of an ecosystem-based adaptation project in the Netherlands, we have analyzed how the variegated actors in a governance network shape six conditions for entrepreneurial success, established in the entrepreneurship literature. Through a framing analysis, we found that all six conditions, i.e., prior career experience, altruistic motivations, financial motives, social networks, financial capital availability, and policies and regulations, were the object of constant negotiations. Their salience varied during the project as a result of variegated framing practices. In the early stages, issue, identity, and relationship frames were used to create a network of people with a range of relevant experience, connected by altruistic motivations. However, as the project progressed, distrust frames and different spatial-and temporal-scale frames created tensions between public and private actors. Accordingly, process frames, financial motivations, and capital availability became increasingly salient, reflecting the need to consolidate rules, roles, and responsibilities. The findings suggest that approaches to climate change adaptation imply ongoing struggles over the conditions that enable entrepreneurial success. We thereby add an important new dimension to the study of adaptation governance.

Assessing the impact of climate change on rainwater harvesting in the Oum Zessar watershed in Southeastern Tunisia
Adham, Ammar ; Wesseling, Jan G. ; Abed, Rasha ; Riksen, Michel ; Ouessar, Mohamed ; Ritsema, Coen J. - \ 2019
Agricultural Water Management 221 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 131 - 140.
Climate change - GCMs - SDSM - Tunisia - Water harvesting model

Climate change is believed to have a large impact on water resources system both globally and regionally. It has become a major global issue, especially in developing countries because these are most affected by its impacts. Rainwater harvesting techniques offer an alternative source of water and represent specific adaptive strategies to cope with water scarcity within future climate change. Studying the impact of climate change on rainwater harvesting techniques, however, is difficult, because the general circulation models (GCMs) which are widely used to simulate scenarios of future climate change operate on a coarse scale. We estimated the impact of climate change on water availability at the watershed level by downscaling precipitation and temperature from the GCMs using a statistical downscaling model. A water harvesting model then assessed the performance of the rainwater harvesting techniques for the Oum Zessar watershed in southeastern Tunisia under current climatic conditions and scenarios of future climate change. Annual temperature tended to increase and precipitation tended to decrease. These changes of climatic variables were used in the water harvesting model to simulate future water availability. Changing the directions of water flow between sub-catchments in combination with changing the spillway heights strongly affected the performance of rainwater harvesting under the scenarios of future climate, resulting in a sufficient water supply for 92% of all sub-catchments, compared to 72% without these changes.

Paying the price for the meat we eat
Allen, Andrew M. ; Hof, Anouschka R. - \ 2019
Environmental Science & Policy 97 (2019). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 90 - 94.
Biodiversity offsetting - Climate change - Ecological compensation - Intensive agriculture - Meat consumption

An increasingly gloomy picture is painted by research focusing on the environmental challenges faced by our planet. Biodiversity loss is ongoing, landscapes continue to transform, and predictions on the effects of climate change worsen. Calls have been made for urgent action to avoid pushing our planet into a new system state. One of the principal threats to biodiversity is intensive agriculture, and in particular the livestock industry, which is an important driver of greenhouse gas emissions, habitat degradation and habitat loss. Ongoing intensification of agricultural practices mean that farmland no longer provides a habitat for many species. We suggest the use of a growing policy tool, biodiversity offsetting, to tackle these challenges. Biodiversity offsetting, or ecological compensation, assesses the impacts of new development projects and seeks to avoid, minimise and otherwise compensate for the ecological impacts of these development projects. By applying biodiversity offsetting to agriculture, the impacts of progressively intensifying farming practices can be compensated to achieve conservation outcomes by using tools like environmental taxes or agri-environment schemes. Low intensity, traditional, farming systems provide a number of benefits to biodiversity and society, and we suggest that the consumer and the agriculture industry compensate for the devastating ecological impacts of intensive farming so that we can once again preserve biodiversity in our landscapes and attempt to limit global temperature rise below 2°c.

Making the Paris agreement climate targets consistent with food security objectives
Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Stehfest, Elke ; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Meijl, Hans van - \ 2019
Global Food Security 23 (2019). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 93 - 103.
Agricultural intensification - Climate change - Diet change - Food security - Land-based mitigation

Climate change mitigation is crucial to limit detrimental impacts of climate change on food production. However, cost-optimal mitigation pathways consistent with the Paris agreement project large-scale land-based mitigation for bio-energy and afforestation to achieve stringent climate targets. Land demand from land-based mitigation leads to competition with food production, raising concerns that climate policy (SDG13 – climate action) conflicts with food security objectives (SDG2 – zero hunger). In this study we use the computable general equilibrium model MAGNET and the IMAGE integrated assessment model to quantify the food security effects of large-scale land-based mitigation. Subsequently, we implement two measures to prevent reduced food security: increased agricultural intensification and reduced meat consumption. We show that large-scale land-based mitigation (∼600 Mha in 2050) leads to increased food prices (11%), reduced food availability (230 kcal/cap/day) and substantially more people at risk of hunger (230 million) compared to the baseline scenario in 2050, most notably in developing regions. Land-based mitigation also leads to yield increases (9%) and intensified ruminant production (11%). Additional crop yield improvement (9%) and intensification in ruminant production (3%) could prevent the negative effect of mitigation on food security. Introducing a reduction in meat consumption in high- and middle-income regions reduces required crop yield improvement (7%) and ruminant intensification (2%). Our study highlights the importance of transparency about food security effects in climate change mitigation scenarios. In addition, it provides an example of explicitly including measures to limit negative trade-offs in mitigation scenarios. In this way, we show how the Paris agreement can be made consistent with food security objectives and how multiple Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved.

Temperature buffering by groundwater in ecologically valuable lowland streams under current and future climate conditions
Kaandorp, Vince P. ; Doornenbal, Pieter J. ; Kooi, Henk ; Peter Broers, Hans ; Louw, Perry G.B. de - \ 2019
Journal of Hydrology 3 (2019). - ISSN 0022-1694
Climate change - Distributed temperature sensing - Groundwater-surface water interaction - Radon-222 - Stream temperature - Stream temperature model

Groundwater seepage influences the temperature of streams and rivers by providing a relatively cool input in summer and warm input in winter. Because of this, groundwater seepage can be a determining factor in the provision of suitable water temperatures for aquatic biota. Climate warming affects stream and groundwater temperatures, and changes the thermal characteristics of streams leading to the potential disappearance of habitats. In this study the importance of groundwater for the temperature of two Dutch lowland streams and its possible role in mitigating the effects of climate change was determined by combining field measurements and a modelling experiment. Stream temperature measurements using fibre optic cables (FO-DTS) and sampling of 222 Rn were done to map localized groundwater inflow. Several springs and seepage ‘hot-spots’ were located which buffered the water temperature in summer and winter. A stream temperature model was constructed and calibrated using the FO-DTS-measurements to quantify the energy fluxes acting on stream water. This way, the contribution to the stream thermal budget of direct solar radiation, air temperature and seepage were separated. The model was then used to simulate the effects of changes in shading, groundwater seepage and climate. Shading was shown to be an important control on summer temperature maxima. Groundwater seepage seemed to buffer the effect of climate warming, potentially making groundwater dominated streams more climate robust. Protecting groundwater resources in a changing climate is important for the survival of aquatic species in groundwater-fed systems, as groundwater seepage both sustains flow and buffers temperature extremes.

Global climate governance between hard and soft law : Can the Paris agreement's 'Crème Brûleé' approach enhance ecological reflexivity?
Pickering, Jonathan ; McGee, Jeffrey S. ; Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. ; Wenta, Joseph - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Law 31 (2019)1. - ISSN 0952-8873 - p. 1 - 28.
Climate change - ecological reflexivity - legalisation - Paris Agreement - soft law - UNFCCC

In the face of global environmental concerns, legal institutions must cultivate a reflexive capacity to monitor global ecological shifts and to reconfigure their practices accordingly. But, it remains unclear whether harder or softer legal norms are more capable of enhancing such ecological reflexivity. This article traces variations in harder and softer norms in two aspects of the evolution of the global climate change regime-national contributions to mitigation and review mechanisms- A nd their implications for ecological reflexivity. We find the regime's reflexivity has increased moderately and slowly over time but without a consistent shift towards harder or softer norms. The Paris Agreement's innovative approach, combining harder procedural commitments with softer substantive provisions (a 'crème brûleé'), has potential to encourage flexible responses to changing conditions within a stable, long-term architecture. However, the Agreement's softer, transparency-based compliance framework provides limited assurance that countries will make and fulfill ambitious commitments.

Securitization of climate change: How invoking global dangers for instrumental ends can backfire
Warner, Jeroen ; Boas, Ingrid - \ 2019
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 37 (2019)8. - ISSN 2399-6544
Climate change - Delta Plan - securitization - The Netherlands - UK

In national and international arenas, climate change and its impact are often framed as a grave global security threat, causing chaos, conflict and destabilising countries. This framing has, however, not resulted in exceptional measures to tame the purported threat. This article examines the workings of such attempts at climate securitization and interrogates its lack of success in galvanizing exceptional action. We do so informed by two cases, which both point to the instrumental nature of these attempts to securitise climate change, often with the intention to use alarming framings to promote rather mundane actions. Also, both cases show that the strategic nature of the speech acts and the aim to make them sound highly dramatic, makes audiences sceptical, thereby weakening their success. Our first case sketches how the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office framed climate change as an existential security threat with a view to enrolling other countries to promote collective climate action. Whilst partially successful on an international level, key audiences – the BRICS countries – remained unconvinced, and the discourse lost support at the domestic level. Likewise, the Dutch Delta State Advisory Commission securitized climate to instil a sense of urgency in the domestic target audience. While initially generating blanket support for the costly spatial Delta interventions it advocated, the mood soon turned. Both cases show that while the tendency to ‘securitize’ climate may be on the rise, instrumental securitization can easily backfire like a ‘policy boomerang’, reinforced by parallel economic and political changes.

Transition pathways to sustainability in greater than 2 °C climate futures of Europe
Frantzeskaki, Niki ; Hölscher, Katharina ; Holman, Ian P. ; Pedde, Simona ; Jaeger, Jill ; Kok, Kasper ; Harrison, Paula A. - \ 2019
Regional Environmental Change 19 (2019)3. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 777 - 789.
Adaptation - Climate change - Mitigation - Pathways - Transformation - Transition management

The complex challenges arising from climate change that exceeds the +2 °C target (termed ‘high-end climate change’) in Europe require new integrative responses to support transformations to a more sustainable future. We present a novel methodology that combines transition management and high-end climate and socioeconomic change scenarios to identify pathways and move Europe closer to sustainability. Eighteen pathways have been co-created with stakeholders through a participatory process. The pathways support Europe in moving towards a desirable future vision, through top-down and bottom-up actions that lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate and socioeconomic changes and enhance well-being. Analysis shows that the pathways that are robust to future scenario uncertainty are those that shift Europe towards sustainable lifestyles, support and strengthen good governance for sustainability and promote adaptive resource management for water, agriculture and energy. The methodology can support the design of the urgent actions needed to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement and to transform Europe, in preparation for an uncertain future.

Observed and model simulated twenty-first century hydro-climatic change of Northern Ethiopia
Tesfaye, Samuale ; Taye, Gebeyehu ; Birhane, Emiru ; Zee, Sjoerd E.A.T.M. van der - \ 2019
Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 22 (2019). - ISSN 2214-5818
Artificial neural networks - Climate change - GCM - Precipitation - Streamflow - Temperature

Study region: This study focuses on Tekeze river basin of northern Ethiopia, and it is characterized by a typical dry biogeophysical environment. Study focus: In recent years, recurrent droughts are having an adverse impact on agricultural production and water resources in northern Ethiopia. Climate change through changes on temperature, precipitation and streamflow, may further strain this critical situation. This study has investigated the observed (1961–2014) and potential (2006–2099) hydro-climatic changes in Tekeze river basin of northern Ethiopia. Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are used to downscale temperature and precipitation predicated by 30 General Circulation Models (GCMs) as well as the projected streamflow changes for two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenario. New hydrological insights for the region: Results indicate that the variability of climatic factors as temperature and precipitation was observed to be both spatially and temporally diverse for the considered Tekeze river basin. Accordingly, the response of streamflow was also spatiotemporally complex. GCMs were evaluated with several performance indictors regarding patterns in hydro-climatic variables. The analysis showed the superiority of the multimodel ensemble means compared with individual GCM output. GCM projections for the 21century indicate a gradual reductions in streamflow attributed to the combined effect of increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation. The persistent increase of temperature and decrease of precipitation will have negative impacts on water availability and agriculture, hence site specific adaptation strategies are necessary.

Warmer and browner waters decrease fish biomass production
Dorst, Renee M. Van; Gårdmark, Anna ; Svanbäck, Richard ; Beier, Ulrika ; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A. ; Huss, Magnus - \ 2019
Global Change Biology 25 (2019)4. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1395 - 1408.
biomass production - browning - Climate change - Eurasian perch - fish - individual body grwoth - lakes - length distribution - ontogeny - warming
Climate change studies have long focused on effects of increasing temperatures,
often without considering other simultaneously occurring environmental changes, such as browning of waters. Resolving how the combination of warming and browning of aquatic ecosystems affects fish biomass production is essential for future ecosystem functioning, fisheries, and food security. In this study, we analyzed individual‐ and population‐level fish data from 52 temperate and boreal lakes in Northern Europe, covering large gradients in water temperature and color (absorbance, 420 nm). We show that fish (Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis) biomass production decreased with both high water temperatures and brown water color, being lowest in warm and brown lakes. However, while both high temperature and brown water decreased fish biomass production, the mechanisms behind the decrease differed: temperature affected the fish biomass production mainly through a decrease in population standing stock biomass, and through shifts in size‐ and age‐distributions toward a higher proportion of young and small individuals in warm lakes; brown water color, on the other hand, mainly influenced fish biomass production through negative effects on individual body growth and length‐at‐ age. In addition to these
findings, we observed that the effects of temperature and brown water color on
individual‐level processes varied over ontogeny. Body growth only responded positively to higher temperatures among young perch, and brown water color had a stronger negative effect on body growth of old than on young individuals. Thus, to better understand and predict future fish biomass production, it is necessary to integrate both individual‐ and population‐level responses and to acknowledge within species variation. Our results suggest that global climate change, leading to browner and warmer waters, may negatively affect fish biomass production, and this effect may be stronger than caused by increased temperature or water color alone
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