Entry into force and then? The Paris agreement and state accountability
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. ; Groff, Maja ; Tamás, Peter A. ; Dahl, Arthur L. ; Harder, Marie K. ; Hassall, Graham - \ 2018
Climate Policy 18 (2018)5. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. 593 - 599.
Accountability - climate change policy - global governance - states - transparency
The entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change brings expectations that states will be held to account for their commitments. The article elaborates on why this is not a realistic assumption unless a broader multilevel perspective is taken on the nature of accountability regimes for international (legal) agreements. The formal accountability mechanisms of such agreements tend to be weak, and there are no indications that they will be stronger for the recent global goals adopted in the Paris Agreement. Looking beyond only peer review among states, national institutions, direct civil society engagement and internal government processes – while each coming with their own strengths and weaknesses – provide additional accountability pathways that together may do a better job. Scientific enquiry is, however, required to better understand, support and find improved mixtures of, and perhaps to move beyond, these accountability pathways. Policy relevance This perspective provides something of a clarion call for a variety of different types of actors at both global and national levels to engage in ensuring that states keep the promises they made in the Paris Agreement. It particularly highlights the importance of national institutions and civil society to step up to the task in the present world order, where states are reluctant to build strong accountability regimes at the global level.
Deriving animal behaviour from high-frequency GPS: tracking cows in open and forested habitat
Weerd, N. de; Langevelde, F. van; Oeveren, H. van; Nolet, B.A. ; Kölzsch, A. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Boer, W.F. de - \ 2015
PLoS ONE 10 (2015)6. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 17 p.
collar performance - large herbivores - telemetry data - movement - cattle - ecology - states - technology - selection - position
The increasing spatiotemporal accuracy of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) tracking systems opens the possibility to infer animal behaviour from tracking data.We studied the relationship between high-frequency GNSS data and behaviour, aimed at developing an easily interpretable classification method to infer behaviour from location data. Behavioural observations were carried out during tracking of cows (Bos Taurus) fitted with high-frequency GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. Data were obtained in an open field and forested area, and movement metrics were calculated for 1 min, 12 s and 2 s intervals. We observed four behaviour types (Foraging, Lying, Standing and Walking). We subsequently used Classification and Regression Trees to classify the simultaneously obtained GPS data as these behaviour types, based on distances and turning angles between fixes. GPS data with a 1 min interval from the open field was classified correctly for more than 70% of the samples. Data from the 12 s and 2 s interval could not be classified successfully, emphasizing that the interval should be long enough for the behaviour to be defined by its characteristic movement metrics. Data obtained in the forested area were classified with a lower accuracy (57%) than the data from the open field, due to a larger positional error of GPS locations and differences in behavioural performance influenced by the habitat type. This demonstrates the importance of understanding the relationship between behaviour and movement metrics, derived from GNSS fixes at different frequencies and in different habitats, in order to successfully infer behaviour. When spatially accurate location data can be obtained, behaviour can be inferred from high-frequency GNSS fixes by calculating simple movement metrics and using easily interpretable decision trees. This allows for the combined study of animal behaviour and habitat use based on location data, and might make it possible to detect deviations in behaviour at the individual level.
On noice in data assimilation schemes for improved flood forecasting using distributed hydrological models
Noh, S.J. ; Rakovec, O. ; Weerts, A.H. ; Tachikawa, Y. - \ 2014
Journal of Hydrology 519 (2014)part D. - ISSN 0022-1694 - p. 2707 - 2721.
sequential data assimilation - ensemble kalman filter - surface soil-moisture - probabilistic forecasts - river-basin - streamflow - water - uncertainty - states - implementation
We investigate the effects of noise specification on the quality of hydrological forecasts via an advanced data assimilation (DA) procedure using a distributed hydrological model driven by numerical weather predictions. The sequential DA procedure is based on (1) a multivariate rainfall ensemble generator, which provides spatial and temporal correlation error structures of input forcing, and (2) lagged particle filtering to update past and current state variables simultaneously in a lag-time window to consider the response times of internal hydrologic processes. The procedure is evaluated for streamflow forecasting of three flood events in two fast-responding catchments in Japan (Maruyama and Katsura). The rainfall ensembles are derived from ground-based rain gauge observations for the analysis step and numerical weather predictions for the forecast step. The ensemble simulation performs multi-site updating using information from the streamflow gauging network and considers the artificial effects of reservoir release. Sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the impacts of noise specification in DA, comparing a different setup of random state noise and input forcing with/without multivariate conditional simulation (MCS) of rainfall ensembles. The results show that lagged particle filtering (LPF) forced with MCS provides good performance with small and consistent random state noise, whereas LPF forced with Thiessen rainfall interpolation requires larger random state noise to yield performance comparable to that of LPF + MCS for short lead times.
Climate policy innovation: the adoption and diffusion of adaptation policies across Europe
Massey, E. ; Biesbroek, G.R. ; Huitema, D. ; Jordan, A. - \ 2014
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 29 (2014). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 434 - 443.
barriers - need - government - managers - states - risks
Climate change adaptation governance is in flux. Adaptation policies are being adopted by governments at a rapid pace, particularly in Europe. In the period 2005–2010, the total number of recorded adaptation policy measures in the EU grew by some 635%. Despite the plethora of work on adaptation governance, few if any empirical studies have been conducted that explore the driving forces behind the rapid adoption and diffusion of adaptation policies. Working within the theoretical framework of national policy innovation (see Jordan and Huitema, in this issue), we draw on a uniquely systematic database of national climate polices to develop a set of hypotheses on the drivers and barriers surrounding the adoption and diffusion of climate change adaptation policies across 29 European countries. Using an internal/external model we postulate that adaptation is largely being driven by internal factors. Additionally, we look to the possible effects of this policy adoption and diffusion to see if adaptation is emerging into a new and distinct policy field. What we find is that indeed it could be in a handful of countries.
Climate change adaptation planning in agriculture: processes, experiences and lessons learned from early adapters
Bizikova, L. ; Crawford, E. ; Nijnik, M. ; Swart, R.J. - \ 2014
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 19 (2014)4. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 411 - 430.
sustainable adaptation - policy responses - level - vulnerability - states
This paper explores the lessons learned by leaders in agricultural adaptation planning in order to assist other jurisdictions to develop adaptation strategies. It seeks to identify effective institutional, participatory and collaborative processes involved in designing agricultural adaptation strategies at the national and sub-national levels in Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Its methodology is based on review of agricultural adaptation policy documents, research initiatives, stakeholder engagement processes, and cross-sectoral collaborations as well as interviews with key informants such as leaders and actors in adaptation planning. The gathered data show that early adapters have an improved regional and national understanding of climatic impacts, and of the risks to agriculture before the initiation of the planning process. The results indicate that the interplay between bottom-up and top-down initiatives has been crucial in the development of adaptation strategies. The former has provided rich and robust participation in designing, implementing and monitoring adaptations, while the latter was important for prioritizing and legitimizing the development of strategy. It also provided access to high-level decision makers and funding. The results of the study suggest that fostering cross-sectoral collaborations—especially by focusing on broader questions such as the role of agriculture in society—has become an important part of adaptation planning. Finally, our results also stress that adaptation planning in agriculture could be enhanced by skills development and mutual learning across stakeholder groups, research and policy-makers, and through the ongoing interactive development of institutional capabilities.
Simulation of XPS C1s Spectra of Organic Monolayers by Quantum Chemical Methods
Giesbers, M. ; Marcelis, A.T.M. ; Zuilhof, H. - \ 2013
Langmuir 29 (2013)15. - ISSN 0743-7463 - p. 4782 - 4788.
electron binding-energies - density-functional calculation - oxide-free silicon - approximation - chemistry - shifts - states
Several simple methods are presented and evaluated to simulate the X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) of organic monolayers and polymeric layers by density functional theory (DFT) and second-order Møller–Plesset theory (MP2) in combination with a series of basis sets. The simulated carbon (C1s) XPS spectra as obtained via B3LYP/6-311G(d,p) or M11/6-311G(d,p) calculations are in good agreement (average mean error
Early warning of climate tipping points from critical slowing down: comparing methods to improve robustness
Lenton, T.M. ; Livina, V. ; Dakos, V. ; Nes, E.H. van; Scheffer, M. - \ 2012
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Series A, Mathematical, physical and engineering sciences 370 (2012). - ISSN 1364-503X - p. 1185 - 1204.
catastrophic shifts - system - signal - time - bifurcations - antarctica - ecosystems - states - cycle
We address whether robust early warning signals can, in principle, be provided before a climate tipping point is reached, focusing on methods that seek to detect critical slowing down as a precursor of bifurcation. As a test bed, six previously analysed datasets are reconsidered, three palaeoclimate records approaching abrupt transitions at the end of the last ice age and three models of varying complexity forced through a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Approaches based on examining the lag-1 autocorrelation function or on detrended fluctuation analysis are applied together and compared. The effects of aggregating the data, detrending method, sliding window length and filtering bandwidth are examined. Robust indicators of critical slowing down are found prior to the abrupt warming event at the end of the Younger Dryas, but the indicators are less clear prior to the Bølling-Allerød warming, or glacial termination in Antarctica. Early warnings of thermohaline circulation collapse can be masked by inter-annual variability driven by atmospheric dynamics. However, rapidly decaying modes can be successfully filtered out by using a long bandwidth or by aggregating data. The two methods have complementary strengths and weaknesses and we recommend applying them together to improve the robustness of early warnings
Methods for Detecting Early Warnings of Critical Transitions in Time Series Illustrated Using Simulated Ecological Data
Dakos, V. ; Carpenter, S.R. ; Brock, W.A. ; Ellison, A.M. ; Guttal, V. ; Ives, A.R. ; Kefi, S. ; Livina, V. ; Seekell, D.A. ; Nes, E.H. van; Scheffer, M. - \ 2012
PLoS ONE 7 (2012)7. - ISSN 1932-6203
critical slowing-down - climate tipping points - regime shifts - catastrophic shifts - leading indicator - ecosystems - system - states - models - desertification
Many dynamical systems, including lakes, organisms, ocean circulation patterns, or financial markets, are now thought to have tipping points where critical transitions to a contrasting state can happen. Because critical transitions can occur unexpectedly and are difficult to manage, there is a need for methods that can be used to identify when a critical transition is approaching. Recent theory shows that we can identify the proximity of a system to a critical transition using a variety of so-called ‘early warning signals’, and successful empirical examples suggest a potential for practical applicability. However, while the range of proposed methods for predicting critical transitions is rapidly expanding, opinions on their practical use differ widely, and there is no comparative study that tests the limitations of the different methods to identify approaching critical transitions using time-series data. Here, we summarize a range of currently available early warning methods and apply them to two simulated time series that are typical of systems undergoing a critical transition. In addition to a methodological guide, our work offers a practical toolbox that may be used in a wide range of fields to help detect early warning signals of critical transitions in time series data
Response to Comment on “Global Resilience of Tropical Forest and Savanna to Critical Transitions”
Nes, E.H. van; Holmgren, M. ; Hirota, M. ; Scheffer, M. - \ 2012
Science 336 (2012)6081. - ISSN 0036-8075 - p. 541 - 541.
ecosystems - states
Ratajczak and Nippert note that transient states between treeless and savanna states are more common than between savanna and forest, and suggest that this can be explained by a slower rate of change in the intermediate conditions at drier sites. We show that probability distributions of tree cover rather reflect the interplay between intrinsic rates of change and perturbation regimes.
Differential response to climatic variation of free-floating and submerged macrophytes in ditches
Netten, J.J.C. ; Zuidam, J.P. van; Kosten, S. ; Peeters, E.T.H.M. - \ 2011
Freshwater Biology 56 (2011)9. - ISSN 0046-5070 - p. 1761 - 1768.
waterplanten - klimaatverandering - sloten - zoetwaterecologie - nederland - aquatic plants - climatic change - ditches - freshwater ecology - netherlands - north-atlantic oscillation - plankton dynamics - drainage ditches - shallow lakes - eutrophication - temperature - mesocosms - dominance - states - model
1. Experimental studies have indicated in freshwater ecosystems that a shift in dominance from submerged to free-floating macrophytes may occur with climate change because of increased water surface temperatures and eutrophication. Field evidence is, however, rare. 2. Here, we analysed long-term (26 years) dynamics of macrophyte cover in Dutch ditches in relation to Dutch weather variables and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) winter index. The latter appears to be a good proxy for Dutch weather conditions. 3. Cover of both free-floating macrophytes and evergreen overwintering submerged macrophytes was positively related to mild winters (positive NAO winter index). On the other hand, high cover of submerged macrophytes that die back in winter coincided with cold winters (negative NAO winter index). Our results therefore suggest that the effect of weather on macrophyte species depends strongly on their overwintering strategy. 4. The positive relation of free-floating macrophytes with the NAO winter index was significantly stronger in ditches in organic soil than in those in inorganic soil. This may be because of increased nutrient loading associated with increased decomposition of organic matter and increased run-off to these ditches during mild wet winters. 5. Our results suggest that mild winters in a changing climate may cause submerged macrophytes with an evergreen overwintering strategy and free-floating macrophytes to outcompete submerged macrophytes that die back in winter.
Comparing government agendas: executive speeches in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Denmark
Mortensen, P.B. ; Green-Pedersen, C. ; Breeman, G.E. ; Chaqués Bonafont, L. ; Jennings, W. ; John, P. ; Palau, A. ; Timmermans, A. - \ 2011
Comparative Political Studies 44 (2011)8. - ISSN 0010-4140 - p. 973 - 1000.
political attention - queens speech - policy - parties - competition - programs - states - matter - model - us
At the beginning of each parliamentary session, almost all European governments give a speech in which they present the government’s policy priorities and legislative agenda for the year ahead. Despite the body of literature on governments in European parliamentary democracies, systematic research on these executive policy agendas is surprisingly limited. In this article the authors study the executive policy agendas—measured through the policy content of annual government speeches—over the past 50 years in three Western European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Contrary to the expectations derived from the well-established “politics matters” approach, the analyses show that elections and change in partisan color have little effect on the executive issue agendas, except to a limited extent for the United Kingdom. In contrast, the authors demonstrate empirically how the policy agenda of governments responds to changes in public problems, and this affects how political parties define these problems as political issues. In other words, policy responsibility that follows from having government power seems much more important for governments’ issue agendas than the partisan and institutional characteristics of governments
Assessment of the development of aquifer management councils (COTAS) for sustainable groundwater management in Guanajuato, Mexico
Wester, P. ; Sandoval Minero, R. ; Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. - \ 2011
Hydrogeology Journal 19 (2011)4. - ISSN 1431-2174 - p. 889 - 899.
user associations - governance - challenges - issues - institutions - countries - policies - states - india
Collective groundwater management by water users—self-regulation—is increasingly advocated as a complement to state regulation. This article analyzes the attempts by the Guanajuato State Water Commission (CEAG) in central Mexico to promote user self-regulation through the establishment and development of 14 Consejos Técnicos de Aguas (COTAS; Technical Water Councils). Based on a joint assessment by a former senior CEAG policy-maker and two researchers, Guanajuato’s groundwater-management policy is reviewed to understand why user self-regulation was less successful than expected. It concludes that increasing awareness and improving the knowledge base on groundwater is not enough to trigger self-regulation by groundwater users. A wider delegation of responsibilities to the COTAS is necessary, combined with: (1) functioning mechanisms for enforcing groundwater legislation, especially concerning well permits and pumped volumes, and (2) mechanisms that ensure the legitimacy and accountability of users’ representatives to both users and state agencies
Estimating space-time mean concentrations of nutrients in surface waters of variable depth
Knotters, M. ; Brus, D.J. - \ 2010
Water Resources Research 46 (2010). - ISSN 0043-1397 - 8 p.
natural-resources - states
A monitoring scheme has been designed to test whether the space-time mean concentration total Nitrogen (N-total) in the surface water in the Northern Frisian Woodlands (NFW, The Netherlands) complies with standards of the European Water Framework directive. Since in statistical testing for compliance monitoring valid estimators for the mean and its variance are important, a design-based method is preferred above a model-based method. In the NFW-area the surface water depth varies in both space and time and can periodically equal zero, due to variation in precipitation and evapotranspiration. To account for this, space-time mean concentrations are estimated by the ratio of the estimated total mass of nutrient and the estimated total volume of water. The method is applied in the period from 1 April to 30 September 2008 to four hydrologically different subareas. Besides, the aim was to use the information on the spatial and temporal variance of N-total concentrations to optimize the numbers of sampling rounds and sampling locations per sampling round in future monitoring campaigns, given budgetary constraints. A bootstrap procedure was applied to account for uncertainty about the temporal and spatial variances in estimating the optimal number of sampling rounds and sampling locations. For two subareas the accuracy of the estimated space-time means can be improved by sampling more frequently at less locations (compared to the design applied in 2008), whereas for one subarea sampling less frequently at more locations increases the precision. For one subarea the sample data were rather inconclusive about the optimal sample sizes.
Insights into the influence of priors in posterior mapping of discrete morphological characters: a case study in Annonaceae
Couvreur, T.L.P. ; Gort, G. ; Richardson, J.E. ; Sosef, M.S.M. ; Chatrou, L.W. - \ 2010
PLoS ONE 5 (2010)5. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 13 p.
bayesian phylogenetics - prior distributions - flowering plants - evolution - likelihood - states - reconstruction - inference - model - rates
Background - Posterior mapping is an increasingly popular hierarchical Bayesian based method used to infer character histories and reconstruct ancestral states at nodes of molecular phylogenies, notably of morphological characters. As for all Bayesian analyses specification of prior values is an integrative and important part of the analysis. He we provide an example of how alternative prior choices can seriously influence results and mislead interpretations. Methods/Principal Findings - For two contrasting discrete morphological characters, namely a slow and a fast evolving character found in the plant family Annonaceae, we specified a total of eight different prior distributions per character. We investigated how these prior settings affected important summary statistics. Our analyses showed that the different prior distributions had marked effects on the results in terms of average number of character state changes. These differences arise because priors play a crucial role in determining which areas of parameter space the values of the simulation will be drawn from, independent of the data at hand. However, priors seemed to fit the data better if they would result in a more even sampling of parameter space (normal posterior distribution), in which case alternative standard deviation values had little effect on the results. The most probable character history for each character was affected differently by the prior. For the slower evolving character, the same character history always had the highest posterior probability independent of the priors used. In contrast, the faster evolving character showed different most probable character histories depending on the prior. These differences could be related to the level of homoplasy exhibited by each character. Conclusions - Although our analyses were restricted to two morphological characters within a single family, our results underline the importance of carefully choosing prior values for posterior mapping. Prior specification will be of crucial importance when interpreting the results in a meaningful way. It is hard to suggest a statistically sound method for prior specification without more detailed studies. Meanwhile, we propose that the data could be used to estimate the prior value of the gamma distribution placed on the transformation rate in posterior mapping
Analysing the space-time distribution of soil water storage of a forest ecosystem using spatio-temporal kriging
Jost, G. ; Heuvelink, G.B.M. ; Papritz, A. - \ 2005
Geoderma 128 (2005)3/4. - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 258 - 273.
bodemwaterbalans - soortendiversiteit - evapotranspiratie - kriging - bossen - picea abies - fagus sylvatica - oostenrijk - geostatistiek - soil water balance - species diversity - evapotranspiration - kriging - forests - picea abies - fagus sylvatica - austria - geostatistics - moisture - field - variability - patterns - models - future - states
In forest the soil water balance is strongly influenced by tree species composition. For example, differences in transpiration rate lead to differences in soil water storage (SWS) and differences in canopy interception cause differences in infiltration. To analyse the influence of tree species composition on SWS at the scale of a forest stand, we compare spatio-temporal patterns in vegetation and SWS. Geostatistical space¿time models provide a probabilistic framework for mapping SWS from point observations. The accuracy of these models may be improved by incorporating knowledge about the process of evapotranspiration. In this paper we combine a physical-deterministic evapotranspiration model with space¿time geostatistical interpolation to predict soil water storage in the upper 30 cm of soil (SWS30) for a 0.5 ha plot in a mixed stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Kreisbach, Lower Austria. Soil water storage was measured at 198 locations by permanently installed wave guides. This was repeated 28 times, about every two weeks during the growing seasons of 2000 and 2001. Incorporation of a process-based model in space¿time prediction of SWS30 reduced the effect of precipitation on SWS30 predictions prior to precipitation. Spatial patterns of SWS30 between the permanent wilting point and field capacity depend on the precipitation and drying history, which is affected by vegetation. Early in the growing season spruce starts to transpire markedly, which is common for coniferous trees. During dry periods, spruce reduces transpiration earlier than beech. Overall beech transpires more than spruce during the growing season. The greater transpiration rates of beech are compensated for by greater soil water recharge after precipitation because less rainfall is intercepted. At low water contents near the permanent wilting point SWS30 was spatially quite uniform. This was also the case at water contents nearfield capacity, probably because the soil physical parameters varied little. Space¿time interpolation of SWS30 and the prediction of soil water discharge and soil water recharge during periods of drying and rewetting demonstrate the important role of vegetation on the spatial patterns of SWS30.
Refolding of adsorbed bovine alpha-lactalbumin during surfactant induced displacement from a hydrophobic interface
Engel, M.F.M. ; Visser, A.J.W.G. ; Mierlo, C.P.M. van - \ 2003
Langmuir 19 (2003)7. - ISSN 0743-7463 - p. 2929 - 2937.
beta-sheet formation - competitive adsorption - water-interface - protein - tween-20 - solubilization - conformation - desorption - detergent - states
Little is known about the changes in protein conformation that occur after displacement of a protein from an interface. Here, results are presented that give insight into the conformation of bovine a-lactalbumin (BLA) molecules that are displaced from a hydrophobic polystyrene interface. After the BLA molecules are adsorbed on polystyrene nanospheres, they are displaced from these nanospheres using two surfactants: Tween 20 and CHAPS. The properties of displaced BLA depend on the concentration of the surfactant used to displace the protein and on the incubation time during displacement, as can be concluded from intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and nondenaturing gel electrophoresis. CHAPS is more effective in displacing adsorbed BLA than Tween 20. The largest amount of displaced BLA (90% recovery) is obtained at a CHAPS concentration of 2 mM or higher. At a surfactant concentration of 1 or 2 mM, displaced BLA contains calcium and has native spectroscopic properties, indicating that BLA, which has a molten globulelike conformation in the adsorbed state, refolds to its native state upon displacement from the surface. However, non-native properties of displaced BLA are observed at a low surfactant concentration (0.3 mM) after prolonged incubation times. Under these conditions, the ensemble of displaced BLA molecules contains calcium, has a nativelike secondary structure, has a non-native tertiary structure, and contains a population of molecules that has a higher electrophoretic mobility on nondenaturing gels compared to that of native BLA. Intramolecular disulfide shuffling can cause the observed conformational changes. The disulfide shuffling is initiated by a few reactive groups on the surface of the nanospheres. It occurs during the homomolecular exchange of proteins at a surfactant concentration of 0.3 mM and is time dependent. Both Tween 20 and CHAPS are good candidates for the removal of proteins from interfaces, as long as the incubation time is short and the surfactant concentration is above a certain threshold. The displacement procedure presented here is essential for the future study of the atomic details of the conformation of proteins adsorbed on interfaces using NMR spectroscopy in combination with H/D exchange measurements.