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Chen Zhang, Hua Liao, Fang-Zhi Wang, and Ru Li

Abstract

Human behaviors are believed to be sensitive to environmental conditions. However, little is known about the role of temperature in individual daily behaviors. We examine the links between temperature and food intake using nearly one million purchasing records from China. The results show that a 1°C increase in temperature would cause a 0.11% decrease in food intake, which amounts to USD 4.2 million of daily food expenditures nationwide. Moreover, females appear to be more sensitive to the temperature in their food intake than males. In addition, we observe a U-shaped relationship between the temperature and the willingness to order a takeout online, and this observation is robust under multiple alternative estimations. Our results indicate that a higher temperature would reduce energy demand for body thermoregulation, resulting in less food intake. Both extreme high and low temperatures can cause disutility. Therefore, the consumers who still want to satisfy their needs for food intake feel compelled to alter their willingness to pay under the extreme temperature events. The quantitative analysis can provide helpful references for modeling the climate–consumer relationship in integrated assessment models. Thus, it is an interesting avenue for future research to bridge the climate and consumers to identify welfare loss and inequality due to climate change.

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Katie A. Wilson, Burkely T. Gallo, Patrick Skinner, Adam Clark, Pamela Heinselman, and Jessica J. Choate

Abstract

Convection-allowing model ensemble guidance, such as that provided by the Warn-on-Forecast System (WoFS), is designed to provide predictions of individual thunderstorm hazards within the next 0–6 h. The WoFS web viewer provides a large suite of storm and environmental attribute products, but the applicability of these products to the National Weather Service forecast process has not been objectively documented. Therefore, this study describes an experimental forecasting task designed to investigate what WoFS products forecasters accessed and how they accessed them for a total of 26 cases (comprising 13 weather events, each worked by two forecasters). Analysis of web access log data revealed that, in all 26 cases, product accesses were dominated in the reflectivity, rotation, hail, and surface wind categories. However, the number of different product types viewed and the number of transitions between products varied in each case. Therefore, the Levenshtein (edit distance) method was used to compute similarity scores across all 26 cases, which helped to identify what it meant for relatively similar versus dissimilar navigation of WoFS products. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient R results found that forecasters working the same weather event had higher similarity scores for events that produced more tornado reports and for events in which forecasters had higher performance scores. The findings from this study will influence subsequent efforts for further improving WoFS products and developing an efficient and effective user interface for operational applications.

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Zeke Baker

Abstract

A major implication of climate change is the declining capacity for communities to anticipate future conditions and scenarios. In the Bering Sea region of western Alaska, this situation is acute and holds manifold consequences, particularly for the region’s primarily Indigenous residents. Based upon interviews and fieldwork in two Bering Sea communities and among regional weather forecasters, this paper explores the intertwined temporalities of weather, climate, and social life. I demonstrate that anticipatory culture, which otherwise structures anticipatory practices with regard to climate, local weather, and social life, is beset by temporal dissonance across three time scales. First, dramatic climatic and ecosystem shifts reshape how Indigenous Peoples envision themselves as culturally inhabiting a long-range history and future. Second, changes in weather patterns, ecological cycles, and sea ice dynamics upset evaluations of seasonality, leading to a pervasive sense of unpredictability. Third, on the everyday time scale, social and technological change complicates mariners’ evaluations of risk and economic (commercial and subsistence) decision-making. I conclude by connecting these three socioenvironmental temporalities to the temporal frames that primarily characterize weather and climate services, with an emphasis on the U.S. National Weather Service. The paper discusses how such services may further orient toward engaging socially embedded practices of anticipation in addition to formal prediction. Such an orientation can help to shape an anticipatory culture that more closely aligns meteorological and social patterns.

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Nikolai Bobylev, Sebastien Gadal, Valery Konyshev, Maria Lagutina, and Alexander Sergunin

Abstract

The Russian Arctic is a highly urbanized region, with most towns built in the Soviet era to facilitate extraction industries as well as to provide and maintain military facilities. Global environmental and developmental changes, as well as national political decisions, open up Russia’s Arctic to massive investment and industrial and socioeconomic development. How do Russian Arctic cities, towns, and municipalities reflect on new opportunities in terms of designing their climate change adaptation strategies at a local level? Starting with theoretical discourse on urban climate change adaptation strategy, this research examines state-of-the-art challenges and trends in planning for adaptation measures in Russia’s Arctic industrial centers. Special attention is given to a comparative analysis of the cities’ climate change adaptation strategies. The role of civil society institutions and business community in the adaptation strategy planning process is explored. Moreover, conflict-sensitive approaches to ensure participatory processes for designing and implementing adaptation measures are discussed. The field component of research is based on the cities of Apatity, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Norilsk, Salekhard, and Severodvinsk and the towns of Monchegorsk, Nickel, and Vorkuta. The study concludes that, despite significant challenges identified, the total “balance sheet” of the Arctic cities’ efforts to enhance their adaptive capacities is very positive: Russian northern urban settlements do their best in addressing existing challenges via planning for sustainability approach. However, there is more to do, and municipalities should learn from one another’s experiences, as the different approaches can be helpful in developing adequate climate change adaptation strategies at the local level.

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Scott Knowles and Mark Skidmore

Abstract

The North Dakota Cloud Modification Project was established in 1951 to reduce severe hail damage and increase precipitation in specific counties in North Dakota. Every year, participating counties receive cloud-seeding treatment during the months of June, July, and August. Although some atmospheric studies have examined the efficacy of the treatment, few have used statistical procedures to determine how the program affected crop yields and crop losses. We use the panel nature of historical cloud-seeding participation and crop data to estimate a two-way fixed-effects regression with county-specific time trends to examine the effect of cloud seeding on wheat and barley yields. In addition, we use federal crop insurance data to estimate the effect of cloud seeding on losses for those same crops. Our evaluation indicates that the cloud-seeding program had significant positive effects on crop yields and improved loss ratios.

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Yu-Wen Su

Abstract

The continuously increasing temperatures worldwide indicate that the frequently extreme heat in summer will become a new normal. The extreme high temperature (EHT) could be dangerous to human health, especially for outdoor workers or commuters, and could increase the risk of grid collapse. Thus, the possibility of a day off due to EHT has started to be discussed in Taiwan, based on the experience of typhoon day off, but discussions have not yet concluded. In this study, the effects of the EHT day off on electricity consumption in the industrial, service, and residential sectors were investigated through two determinants: First, high temperature would increase the electricity consumption in space cooling. Second, a day off would change people’s behavior of electricity consumption from workday to nonworkday modes. Combining the effects of cooling hours and nonworkdays, the net influence of the EHT day off on electricity consumption can be evaluated. Estimated results indicated that an EHT day off can reduce aggregate electricity consumption by between 0.41% and 1.08%. The reduction of electricity consumption due to the off day offsets the increase driven by high temperatures. Thus, an EHT day off will mitigate the pressure on the power grid and benefit electricity conservation.

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Mohd Zeeshan, Huanyuan Zhang, Liqing Sha, Gnanamoorthy Palingamoorthy, Zayar Phyo, Ziwei Chen, Goldin Quadros, and P. A. Azeez

Abstract

Substantial temperature rise is reported in the Himalayas, and the vulnerability of the region to climate change is well recognized. An apt adaptation strategy to cope with climate change calls for informed people’s participation, which was rarely investigated in the western Himalayas. Having been better informed, people in developed areas adopt better actions against climate change that are well guided by their perception. In contrast, Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir represents a relatively impoverished and climate change–vulnerable region. Therefore, we gauged people’s perceptions and actions in this area from a household survey from 717 randomly selected individuals. Further, consistency of perception was compared with meteorological records on temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, and aboveground biomass from 1983 to 2013. The findings revealed that temperature increased significantly while changes in rainfall, wind speed, and relative humidity were insignificant. Although people sensed a rise in temperature and deforestation correctly, most of them differ with respect to rainfall, wind speed, and humidity. They reported rising pollution and traffic but no change in crop productivity or crop varieties. Of the respondents, 91% considered climate change as a risk, 86.8% reported reactive actions to it, and 82.8% reported proactive actions. Locals from varied socioeconomic backgrounds are not much informed about climate change; hence, the reasonability of their responses and positive adaptation actions needs further research. To engage people in climate adaptation actions, we suggest disseminating precise scientific information about local climate through awareness programs and by engaging them in climate change activities through suitable organizations.

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Susmita Mitra, Pradeep K. Mehta, and Sudipta Kumar Mishra

Abstract

Groundwater salinity, caused by overextraction and aggravated by climate change, negatively affects crop productivity and threatens global food security. Poor farmers are vulnerable because of low adaptive capacity. A better understanding of their perceptions and adaptation is important to inform policies for successful adaptation. This paper represents an important study by exploring the same in Mewat, a salinity-affected socioeconomically disadvantaged district of northern India. The study uses a mixed-method approach with both secondary data and a primary survey of 250 farmers. A large number of farmers perceived negative impacts on water, crop, income, and assets, and they adapt in various ways such as water, crop, and land management; livelihood diversification; and a shift toward surface water irrigation. Perceived impacts differed between richer and poorer farmers, whereas adaptation measures varied across the educational, social, and economic backgrounds of farmers. Lack of awareness, education, skill development, and livelihood opportunities are found to be hindrances, whereas institutional and infrastructural support are facilitators of adaptation. In comparing the findings with global experiences, we argued that developed countries intervene more in the policy level and infrastructure, whereas in developing countries, adaptation strategies are local, context specific, and low cost. The insights from our study will be useful for intervention in Mewat and similar areas across the developing world. We further argue that farmers make adaptation decisions on the basis of perceived impacts and cost–benefit analysis. Therefore, future research work on quantifying the negative impacts and cost–benefit analysis of various adaptation measures will be useful to ensure successful adaptation in the region and beyond.

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Alexia Karwat and Christian L. E. Franzke

Abstract

Over the last few decades, heat waves have intensified and have led to excess mortality. While the probability of being affected by heat stress has significantly increased, the risk of heat mortality is rarely quantified. This quantification of heat mortality risk is necessary for systematic adaptation measures. Furthermore, heat mortality records are sparse and short, which presents a challenge for assessing heat mortality risk for future climate projections. It is therefore crucial to derive indicators for a systematic heat mortality risk assessment. Here, risk indicators based on temperature and mortality data are developed and applied to major cities in Germany, France, and Spain using regional climate model simulations. Bias-corrected daily maximum, minimum, and wet-bulb temperatures show increasing trends in future climate projections for most considered cities. In addition, we derive a relationship between daily maximum temperatures and mortality for producing future projections of heat mortality risk from extreme temperatures that is based on low (representative concentration pathway RCP2.6) and high (RCP8.5) emission scenario future climate projections. Our results illustrate that heat mortality increases by about 0.9% decade−1 in Germany, 1.7% decade−1 in France, and 7.9% decade−1 in Spain for RCP8.5 by 2050. The future climate projections also show that wet-bulb temperatures above 30°C will be reached regularly, with maxima above 40°C likely by 2050. Our results suggest a significant increase of heat mortality in the future, especially in Spain. On average, our results indicate that the mortality risk trend is almost 2 times as high in all three countries for the RCP8.5 scenario relative to RCP2.6.

Open access
Emma Austin, Anthony S. Kiem, Jane Rich, David Perkins, and Brian Kelly

Abstract

Drought is a global threat to public health. Increasingly, the impact of drought on mental health and well-being is being recognized. This paper investigates the relationship between drought and well-being to determine which drought indices most effectively capture well-being outcomes. A thorough understanding of the relationship between drought and well-being must consider the (i) three aspects of drought (duration, frequency, and magnitude); (ii) different types of drought (meteorological, agricultural, etc.); and (iii) the individual context of specific locations, communities, and sectors. For this reason, we used a variety of drought types, drought indices, and time windows to identify the thresholds for wet and dry epochs that enhance and suppress impacts to well-being. Four postcodes in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, are used as case studies in the analysis to highlight the spatial variability in the relationship between drought and well-being. The results demonstrate that the relationship between drought indices and well-being outcomes differs temporally, spatially, and according to drought type. This paper objectively tests the relationship between commonly used drought indices and well-being outcomes to establish whether current methods of quantifying drought effectively capture well-being outcomes. For funding, community programs, and interventions to result in successful adaptation, it is essential to critically choose which drought index, time window, and well-being outcome to use in empirical studies. The uncertainties associated with these relationships must be accounted for, and it must also be realized that results will differ on the basis of these decisions.

Open access