Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Ecoenergetic Comparison of HVAC Systems in Data Centers
Climate 2021, 9(3), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9030042 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
The topic of sustainability is of high importance today. Global efforts such as the Montreal Protocol (1987) and the Kigali Amendment (2016) are examples of joint work by countries to reduce environmental impacts and improve the level of the ozone layer, the choice [...] Read more.
The topic of sustainability is of high importance today. Global efforts such as the Montreal Protocol (1987) and the Kigali Amendment (2016) are examples of joint work by countries to reduce environmental impacts and improve the level of the ozone layer, the choice of refrigerants and air conditioning systems, which is essential for this purpose. But what indicators are to be used to measure something so necessary? In this article, the types of air conditioning and GWP (Global Warming Potential) levels of equipment in the project phase were discussed, the issue of TEWI (Total Equivalent Warming Impact) that measures the direct and indirect environmental impacts of refrigeration equipment and air conditioning and a new methodology for the indicator was developed, the TEWI DC (DC is the direct application for Data Center), and using the formulas of this new adapted indicator it was demonstrated that the TEWI DC for Chicago (USA) was 2,784,102,640 kg CO2/10 years and Curitiba (Brazil) is 1,252,409,640 kg CO2/10 years. This difference in value corresponds to 222.30% higher annual emissions in Chicago than in Curitiba, showing that it is much more advantageous to install a Data Center in Curitiba than in Chicago in terms of environmental impact. The TEWI indicator provides a more holistic view, helping to combine energy and emissions into the same indicator. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Statistical Downscaling on the Weighting of Multi-Model Ensembles of Precipitation
Climate 2020, 8(12), 138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8120138 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Recently, assessments of global climate model (GCM) ensembles have transitioned from using unweighted means to weighted means designed to account for skill and interdependence among models. Although ensemble-weighting schemes are typically derived using a GCM ensemble, statistically downscaled projections are used in climate [...] Read more.
Recently, assessments of global climate model (GCM) ensembles have transitioned from using unweighted means to weighted means designed to account for skill and interdependence among models. Although ensemble-weighting schemes are typically derived using a GCM ensemble, statistically downscaled projections are used in climate change assessments. This study applies four ensemble-weighting schemes for model averaging to precipitation projections in the south-central United States. The weighting schemes are applied to (1) a 26-member GCM ensemble and (2) those 26 members downscaled using Localized Canonical Analogs (LOCA). This study is distinct from prior research because it compares the interactions of ensemble-weighting schemes with GCMs and statistical downscaling to produce summarized climate projection products. The analysis indicates that statistical downscaling improves the ensemble accuracy (LOCA average root mean square error is 100 mm less than the CMIP5 average root mean square error) and reduces the uncertainty of the projected ensemble-mean change. Furthermore, averaging the LOCA ensemble using Bayesian Model Averaging reduces the uncertainty beyond any other combination of weighting schemes and ensemble (standard deviation of the mean projected change in the domain is reduced by 40–50 mm). The results also indicate that it is inappropriate to assume that a weighting scheme derived from a GCM ensemble matches the same weights derived using a downscaled ensemble. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Dynamics and Modelling)
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Article
Assessing Property Level Economic Impacts of Climate in the US, New Insights and Evidence from a Comprehensive Flood Risk Assessment Tool
Climate 2020, 8(10), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8100116 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Hurricanes and flood-related events cause more direct economic damage than any other type of natural disaster. In the United States, that damage totals more than USD 1 trillion in damages since 1980. On average, direct flood losses have risen from USD 4 billion [...] Read more.
Hurricanes and flood-related events cause more direct economic damage than any other type of natural disaster. In the United States, that damage totals more than USD 1 trillion in damages since 1980. On average, direct flood losses have risen from USD 4 billion annually in the 1980s to roughly USD 17 billion annually from 2010 to 2018. Despite flooding’s tremendous economic impact on US properties and communities, current estimates of expected damages are lacking due to the fact that flood risk in many parts of the US is unidentified, underestimated, or available models associated with high quality assessment tools are proprietary. This study introduces an economic-focused Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approach that builds upon an our existing understanding of prior assessment methods by taking advantage of a newly available, climate adjusted, parcel-level flood risk assessment model (First Street Foundation, 2020a and 2020b) in order to quantify property level economic impacts today, and into the climate adjusted future, using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and NASA’s Global Climate Model ensemble (CMIP5). This approach represents a first of its kind—a publicly available high precision flood risk assessment tool at the property level developed completely with open data sources and open methods. The economic impact assessment presented here has been carried out using residential buildings in New Jersey as a testbed; however, the environmental assessment tool on which it is based is a national scale property level flood assessment model at a 3 m resolution. As evidence of the reliability of the EIA tool, the 2020 estimated economic impact (USD 5481 annual expectation) was compared to actual average per claim-year NFIP payouts from flooding and found an average of USD 5540 over the life of the program (difference of less than USD 100). Additionally, the tool finds a 41.4% increase in average economic flood damage through the year 2050 when environmental change is included in the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate and Economics)
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Article
Expected Impacts of Mixing European Beech with Silver Fir on Regional Air Quality and Radiation Balance
Climate 2020, 8(10), 105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8100105 - 26 Sep 2020
Abstract
The anticipated climate change during the next decades is posing crucial challenges to ecosystems. In order to decrease the vulnerability of forests, introducing tree species’ mixtures are a viable strategy, with deep-rooting native Silver fir (Abies alba) being a primary candidate [...] Read more.
The anticipated climate change during the next decades is posing crucial challenges to ecosystems. In order to decrease the vulnerability of forests, introducing tree species’ mixtures are a viable strategy, with deep-rooting native Silver fir (Abies alba) being a primary candidate for admixture into current pure stands of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) especially in mountainous areas. Such a change in forest structure also has effects on the regional scale, which, however, have been seldomly quantified. Therefore, we measured and modeled radiative balance and air chemistry impacts of admixing Silver fir to European beech stands, including changes in biogenic volatile organic compound emissions. An increased fraction of Silver fir caused a smaller albedo and a (simulated) larger evapotranspiration, leading to a dryer and warmer forest. While isoprene emission was negligible for both species, sesquiterpene and monoterpene emissions were larger for fir than for beech. From these differences, we derived that ozone concentration as well as secondary organic aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei would increase regionally. Overall, we demonstrated that even a relatively mild scenario of tree species change will alter the energy balance and air quality in a way that could potentially influence the climate on a landscape scale. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Analysis of Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Tehran
Climate 2020, 8(10), 104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8100104 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Since the impacts of climate change will last for many years, adaptation to this phenomenon should be prioritized in urban management plans. Although Tehran, the capital of Iran, has been subject to a variety of climate change impacts in recent years, appropriate adaptation [...] Read more.
Since the impacts of climate change will last for many years, adaptation to this phenomenon should be prioritized in urban management plans. Although Tehran, the capital of Iran, has been subject to a variety of climate change impacts in recent years, appropriate adaptation measures to address them are yet to be taken. This study primarily aims to categorize the barriers to climate change adaptation in Tehran and analyze the way they interact with each other. The study was done in three steps: first, the focus group discussion (FGD) method was used to identify the barriers; next, the survey and the structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to validate the barriers, identify their importance, and examine their possible inter-relationships; and finally, the interpretive structural modeling (ISM) was applied to categorize and visualize the relationships between the barriers. Results show that barriers related to the ‘structure and culture of research’, ‘laws and regulations’, and ‘planning’ belong to the cluster of independent barriers and are of greater significance. The ‘social’ barrier and barriers related to ‘resources and resource management’ are identified as dependent barriers and are of lesser importance. Barriers related to ‘governance’, ‘awareness’, ‘education and knowledge’, ‘communication and interaction’, and ‘economy’ are identified at the intermediate cluster. The findings of this study can provide planners and decision makers with invaluable insights as to how to develop strategies for climate change adaptation in Tehran. Despite the scope of the study being confined to Tehran, its implications go far beyond this metropolis. Full article
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Article
Ranchers Adapting to Climate Variability in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Utah
Climate 2020, 8(9), 96; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8090096 - 21 Aug 2020
Abstract
In the Upper Colorado River Basin, agriculture is a major contributor to Utah’s economy, which may be stressed due to the changing climate. In this study, two data-mining techniques and interview data are used to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and [...] Read more.
In the Upper Colorado River Basin, agriculture is a major contributor to Utah’s economy, which may be stressed due to the changing climate. In this study, two data-mining techniques and interview data are used to explore how climate variability affects agricultural production and the way the farmers have been adapting their practices to these changes. In the first part of the study, we used multilinear regression and random forest regression to understand the relationship between climate and agricultural production using temperature, precipitation, water availability, hay production, and cattle herd size. The quantitative results showed weak relations among variables. In the second part of the study, we interviewed ranchers to fill the gaps in the quantitative analysis. Over the 35 years (1981–2015), the quantitative analysis shows that temperature has affected cattle and hay production more than precipitation. Among non-climatic variables, resource availability and commodity prices are the most important factors that influence year-to-year production. Farmers are well-aware of these effects and have adapted accordingly. They have changed irrigation practices, cropping patterns, and are experimenting to produce a hybrid species of cattle, that are resilient to a hotter temperature and can use a wider variety of forage. Full article
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Article
Potential Risks of Plant Invasions in Protected Areas of Sri Lanka under Climate Change with Special Reference to Threatened Vertebrates
Climate 2020, 8(4), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8040051 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
There is substantial global concern over the potential impacts of plant invasions on native biodiversity in protected areas (PAs). Protected areas in tropical island countries that host rich biodiversity face an imminent risk from the potential spread of invasive alien plant species. Thus, [...] Read more.
There is substantial global concern over the potential impacts of plant invasions on native biodiversity in protected areas (PAs). Protected areas in tropical island countries that host rich biodiversity face an imminent risk from the potential spread of invasive alien plant species. Thus, the aim of this study was to gain a general understanding of the potential risks of multiple plant invasions in PAs located in the tropical island of Sri Lanka under projected climate change. We conducted a further analysis of a multi-species climate suitability assessment, based on a previous study using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling approach, and tested how species invasion may change in protected areas under climate change. We evaluated how the climate suitability of 14 nationally recognized invasive alien plant species (IAPS) will vary within PAs and outside PAs by 2050 under two climate change scenarios, representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5. Our findings suggest that there will be increased risks from multiple IAPS inside PAs and outside PAs in Sri Lanka in the future; however, the potential risk is comparatively less in PAs. We provide an overview of the species richness of selected threatened vertebrate groups, which can be potentially impacted by IAPS in PAs. The findings of this study highlight important implications for the strategic management of plant invasions in PAs in order to safeguard native biodiversity, with special reference to vertebrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales)
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Article
The Role of Individual and Small-Area Social and Environmental Factors on Heat Vulnerability to Mortality Within and Outside of the Home in Boston, MA
Climate 2020, 8(2), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8020029 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Climate change is resulting in heatwaves that are more frequent, severe, and longer lasting, which is projected to double-to-triple the heat-related mortality in Boston, MA if adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are not implemented. A case-only analysis was used to examine [...] Read more.
Climate change is resulting in heatwaves that are more frequent, severe, and longer lasting, which is projected to double-to-triple the heat-related mortality in Boston, MA if adequate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are not implemented. A case-only analysis was used to examine subject and small-area neighborhood characteristics that modified the association between hot days and mortality. Deaths of Boston, Massachusetts residents that occurred from 2000–2015 were analyzed in relation to the daily temperature and heat index during the warm season as part of the case-only analysis. The modification by small-area (census tract, CT) social, and environmental (natural and built) factors was assessed. At-home mortality on hot days was driven by both social and environmental factors, differentially across the City of Boston census tracts, with a greater proportion of low-to-no income individuals or those with limited English proficiency being more highly represented among those who died during the study period; but small-area built environment features, like street trees and enhanced energy efficiency, were able to reduce the relative odds of death within and outside the home. At temperatures below current local thresholds used for heat warnings and advisories, there was increased relative odds of death from substance abuse and assault-related altercations. Geographic weighted regression analyses were used to examine these relationships spatially within a subset of at-home deaths with high-resolution temperature and humidity data. This revealed spatially heterogeneous associations between at-home mortality and social and environmental vulnerability factors. Full article
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Article
Climate Change and Sustaining Heritage Resources: A Framework for Boosting Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation in Central Italy
Climate 2020, 8(2), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8020026 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 20
Abstract
Climate change has dramatically affected the rainfall patterns and water systems in Central Italy. The vulnerability of this area to climate change and natural hazards necessitates that appropriate adaptation policies be put in place to protect heritage sites. This study aims to develop [...] Read more.
Climate change has dramatically affected the rainfall patterns and water systems in Central Italy. The vulnerability of this area to climate change and natural hazards necessitates that appropriate adaptation policies be put in place to protect heritage sites. This study aims to develop a cultural and natural heritage conservation framework for Central Italy that enhances the capacity of climate change adaptation for heritage resources. For this purpose, a comparison was made between the UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Convention of 1972 and the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe to achieve a coherent vision for the protection of heritage resources in Europe. After describing the impacts of climate change on heritage resources in Central Italy, we analyze and suggest improvements to the conservation framework for wisely protecting heritage resources in a changing climate. The findings reveal that conservation sectors require assessments of the value of heritage resources at the territorial scale to effectively define conservation priorities, assess the vulnerabilities, and more precisely direct funding. In this respect, the integration of the European Landscape Convention with territorial planning may boost the unity of a conservation framework in terms of climate change while providing new opportunities for conservation authorities to develop adaptation policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Article
Mitigating Climate Change in the Cultural Built Heritage Sector
Climate 2019, 7(7), 90; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli7070090 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Climate change mitigation targets have put pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings. Commonly adopted measures to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of historical buildings are targeted at improving their energy efficiency through insulating the building envelope, and upgrading [...] Read more.
Climate change mitigation targets have put pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings. Commonly adopted measures to decrease the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of historical buildings are targeted at improving their energy efficiency through insulating the building envelope, and upgrading their heating, cooling and lighting systems. However, there are complex issues that arise when mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. For instance, preserving the authenticity of heritage buildings, maintaining their traditional passive behaviours, and choosing adaptive solutions compatible with the characteristics of heritage materials to avoid an acceleration of decay processes. It is thus important to understand what the enablers, or the barriers, are to reduce the carbon footprint of cultural heritage buildings to meet climate change mitigation targets. This paper investigates how climate change mitigation is considered in the management and preservation of the built heritage through semi-structured interviews with cultural heritage experts from the UK, Italy and Norway. Best-practice approaches for the refurbishment of historical buildings with the aim of decreasing their energy consumption are presented, as perceived by the interviewees, as well as the identification of the enablers and barriers in mitigating climate change in the cultural built heritage sector. The findings emphasise that adapting the cultural built heritage to reduce GHG emissions is challenging, but possible if strong and concerted action involving research and government can be undertaken to overcome the barriers identified in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Heritage and Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation)
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Article
FCVLP: A Fuzzy Random Conditional Value-at-Risk-Based Linear Programming Model for Municipal Solid Waste Management
Climate 2019, 7(6), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli7060080 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this study for dealing with municipal solid waste (MSW) management problems under uncertainty. FCVLP improves upon the existing fuzzy linear programming and fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk methods by allowing analysis of [...] Read more.
A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this study for dealing with municipal solid waste (MSW) management problems under uncertainty. FCVLP improves upon the existing fuzzy linear programming and fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk methods by allowing analysis of the risks of violating constraints that contain fuzzy parameters. A long-term MSW management problem was used to illustrate the applicability of FCVLP. The optimal feasibility solutions under various significance risk levels could be generated in order to analysis the trade-offs among the system cost, the feasibility degree of capacity constraints, and the risk level of waste-disposal-demand constraints. The results demonstrated that (1) a lower system cost may lead to a lower feasibility of waste-facility-capacity constraint and a higher risk of waste-disposal-demand constraint; (2) effects on system cost from vague information in incinerator capacity inputs would be greater than those in landfill capacity inputs; (3) the total allowable waste allocation would vary significantly because of the variations of risk levels and feasibility degrees. The proposed FCVLP method could be used to identify optimal waste allocation scenarios associated with a variety of complexities in MSW management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment Pollution and Climate Change)
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Article
Green Infrastructure Financing as an Imperative to Achieve Green Goals
Climate 2019, 7(3), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli7030039 - 09 Mar 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Green infrastructure (GI) has increasingly gained popularity for achieving adaptation and mitigation goals associated with climate change and extreme weather events. To continue implementing GI, financial tools are needed for upfront project capital or development costs and later for maintenance. This study’s purpose [...] Read more.
Green infrastructure (GI) has increasingly gained popularity for achieving adaptation and mitigation goals associated with climate change and extreme weather events. To continue implementing GI, financial tools are needed for upfront project capital or development costs and later for maintenance. This study’s purpose is to evaluate financing tools used in a selected GI dataset and to assess how those tools are linked to various GI technologies and other GI project characteristics like cost and size. The dataset includes over 400 GI U.S. projects, comprising a convenience sample, from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). GI project characteristics were organized to answer a number of research questions using descriptive statistics. Results indicated that the number of projects and overall cost shares were mostly located in a few states. Grants were the most common financial tool with about two-thirds of the projects reporting information on financial tools receiving grant funding. Most projects reported financing from only one tool with a maximum of three tools. Projects primarily included multiple GI technologies averaging three and a maximum of nine. The most common GI technologies were bioswales, retention, rain gardens, and porous pavements. These findings are useful for decision-makers evaluating funding support for GI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Resilience and Urban Sustainability)
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Article
Constraints to Vegetation Growth Reduced by Region-Specific Changes in Seasonal Climate
Climate 2019, 7(2), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli7020027 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
We qualitatively and quantitatively assessed the factors related to vegetation growth using Earth system models and corroborated the results with historical climate observations. The Earth system models showed a systematic greening by the late 21st century, including increases of up to 100% in [...] Read more.
We qualitatively and quantitatively assessed the factors related to vegetation growth using Earth system models and corroborated the results with historical climate observations. The Earth system models showed a systematic greening by the late 21st century, including increases of up to 100% in Gross Primary Production (GPP) and 60% in Leaf Area Index (LAI). A subset of models revealed that the radiative effects of CO2 largely control changes in climate, but that the CO2 fertilization effect dominates the greening. The ensemble of Earth system model experiments revealed that the feedback of surface temperature contributed to 17% of GPP increase in temperature-limited regions, and radiation increase accounted for a 7% increase of GPP in radiation-limited areas. These effects are corroborated by historical observations. For example, observations confirm that cloud cover has decreased over most land areas in the last three decades, consistent with a CO2-induced reduction in transpiration. Our results suggest that vegetation may thrive in the starkly different climate expected over the coming decades, but only if plants harvest the sort of hypothesized physiological benefits of higher CO2 depicted by current Earth system models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Change in the 21th Century)
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Article
What Can Policy-Makers Do to Increase the Effectiveness of Building Renovation Subsidies?
Climate 2019, 7(2), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli7020028 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Heating is responsible for a substantial share of global energy consumption and still relies strongly on fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy consumption for heating, subsidies for building renovations are a common policy measure in Europe. Policy makers often combine them with [...] Read more.
Heating is responsible for a substantial share of global energy consumption and still relies strongly on fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy consumption for heating, subsidies for building renovations are a common policy measure in Europe. Policy makers often combine them with information and advice measures. Policy mixes of this kind have been acknowledged widely in the literature, but their effectiveness needs further empirical examination. Based on a survey of the recipients of renovation subsidies and on four focus groups, we examine the (cost) effectiveness of subsidies, as follows: The effectiveness of renovation subsidies was measured by the extent to which receiving subsidies contributed either to the decision to renovate at all, or to the decision to enhance the quality or scope of the renovation. Fifty percent of the recipients surveyed reported that the subsidies contributed to a more energy-efficient renovation than was initially intended. The other fifty percent must be considered as free riders. Multivariate analyses further show that homeowners who used advice services and attributed outstandingly positive characteristics to the policy implementer were more likely to spend subsidies to improve energy efficiency. The findings demonstrate the importance of applying a combination of financial and persuasive policy measures. Additionally, they illustrate the importance of non-financial and non-technical factors, such as the communication competencies of the implementer, when designing policy measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Navigating Climate Action in a Post-2015 Transforming Era)
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