Special Issue "Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Xiaodong Yan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Interests: biogeochemistry; climate downscaling; ecological climatology
Dr. Jia Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forestry, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
Interests: remote sensing and GIS applications in land ecosystems; land cover and land use change; terrestrial ecosystem modeling; fire ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Shaofei Jin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Ocean College, Minjiang University, Fuzhou 350108, China
Interests: climate change; natural disaster; carbon cycle; sustainable agriculture; biomineralization; food quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and extreme events are receiving increasingly more attention in the global sustainable development sphere. Identifying the impacts of climate change and extreme events is not only important in terms of natural processes, such as heat waves and earthquakes, but also in terms of societal processes and societal consequences of natural disasters. One recent extreme event, the February 2021 North American cold wave, led to widespread power outages for millions of people in Texas, USA. Another remarkable extreme event, the recent Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19), is shaping the entire environmental and societal sustainability situation worldwide. With the intensity and magnitude of climate change and extreme events being unknown, neither the changing themselves nor the corresponding impacts are clear under the current circumstances.

Hence, we propose to organize a Special Issue of Sustainability on the changing climate and extremes. This Special Issue is planned to cover climate and extreme change processes, including natural processes, such as flood, heat wave, earthquake or landslide, and also to consider their impacts on natural and human dimensions: the societal and economic processes, such as economic vulnerability and social sustainable development.

Already this Special Issue has collected some papers that were presented and discussed in two workshops (held in April and May). The titles and abstracts are filed in Appendix.

See Appendix.

Contributions to this Special Issue are invited to discuss the changing climate and extreme events, as well as their impacts on natural and human dimension sustainability, including the incorporated social–ecologic and socioeconomic processes. For this purpose, studies related, but not limited, to the following topics are invited for submission:

  1. Climate and extreme change, processes and assessments;
  2. Natural dimension response, e.g., agriculture, forest, wetland, grassland, etc.;
  3. Human dimension responses, e.g., economy, population, health, management, etc.;
  4. Related natural disasters and their impacts;
  5. COVID-2019 and ecological and social–ecological impacts.

Prof. Dr. Xiaodong Yan
Dr. Jia Yang
Dr. Shaofei Jin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • extremes
  • natural disasters
  • sustainability
  • natural dimension
  • human dimension
  • ecosystem
  • agricultural system
  • social system
  • economy
  • health
  • COVID-2019

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
How the Updated Earth System Models Project Terrestrial Gross Primary Productivity in China under 1.5 and 2 °C Global Warming
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11744; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111744 - 24 Oct 2021
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Three Earth system models (ESMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) were chosen to project ecosystem changes under 1.5 and 2 °C global warming targets in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 4.5 W m−2 (SSP245) scenario. Annual terrestrial gross primary [...] Read more.
Three Earth system models (ESMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) were chosen to project ecosystem changes under 1.5 and 2 °C global warming targets in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 4.5 W m−2 (SSP245) scenario. Annual terrestrial gross primary productivity (GPP) was taken as the representative ecological indicator of the ecosystem. Under 1.5 °C global warming, GPP in four climate zones—i.e., temperate continental; temperate monsoonal; subtropical–tropical monsoonal; high-cold Tibetan Plateau—showed a marked increase, the smallest magnitude of which was around 12.3%. The increase was greater under 2 °C of global warming, which suggests that from the perspective of ecosystem productivity, global warming poses no ecological risk in China. Specifically, in comparison with historical GPP (1986–2005), under 1.5 °C global warming GPP was projected to increase by 16.1–23.8% in the temperate continental zone, 12.3–16.1% in the temperate monsoonal zone, 12.5–14.7% in the subtropical–tropical monsoonal zone, and 20.0–37.0% on the Tibetan Plateau. Under 2 °C global warming, the projected GPP increase was 23.0–34.3% in the temperate continental zone, 21.2–24.4% in the temperate monsoonal zone, 16.1–28.4% in the subtropical–tropical monsoonal zone, and 28.4–63.0% on the Tibetan Plateau. The GPP increase contributed by climate change was further quantified and attributed. The ESM prediction from the Max Planck Institute suggested that the climate contribution could range from −12.8% in the temperate continental zone up to 61.1% on the Tibetan Plateau; however, the ESMs differed markedly regarding their climate contribution to GPP change. Although precipitation has a higher sensitivity coefficient, temperature generally plays a more important role in GPP change, primarily because of the larger relative change in temperature in comparison with that of precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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Article
Changes in the Frequency of Extreme Cooling Events in Winter over China and Their Relationship with Arctic Oscillation
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11491; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132011491 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Extreme weather and climate events are becoming increasingly frequent and have gained an increasing amount of attention. Extreme cooling (EC) events are a major challenge to socioeconomic sustainability and human health. Based on meteorological stations and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data, this study analyzed the [...] Read more.
Extreme weather and climate events are becoming increasingly frequent and have gained an increasing amount of attention. Extreme cooling (EC) events are a major challenge to socioeconomic sustainability and human health. Based on meteorological stations and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data, this study analyzed the temporal and spatial distributions of EC events in winter in China by using the relative threshold and the relationship between EC events and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index during the period of 1961–2017. The results show that the frequency of EC events in China decreased by 0.730 d in these 57 years, with a trend of −0.1 d/10 y. Northeast China had the highest frequency of EC events in winter, with an average of 4 d. In addition, EC events are significantly negatively correlated with the AO index in China, with a correlation coefficient of −0.5, and the AO index accounts for approximately 21% of the EC event variance. The strongest correlations are mainly located in Northwest China. Our research shows that significant changes in the mid–high latitude atmospheric circulation anomalies, which are associated with the AO, are responsible for EC events. These findings provide theoretical guidance for the prediction and simulation of EC events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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Article
Locomotion of Slope Geohazards Responding to Climate Change in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Its Adjacent Regions
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10488; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910488 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Slope geohazards, which cause significant social, economic and environmental losses, have been increasing worldwide over the last few decades. Climate change-induced higher temperatures and shifted precipitation patterns enhance the slope geohazard risks. This study traced the spatial transference of slope geohazards in the [...] Read more.
Slope geohazards, which cause significant social, economic and environmental losses, have been increasing worldwide over the last few decades. Climate change-induced higher temperatures and shifted precipitation patterns enhance the slope geohazard risks. This study traced the spatial transference of slope geohazards in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) and investigated the potential climatic factors. The results show that 93% of slope geohazards occurred in seasonally frozen regions, 2.6% of which were located in permafrost regions, with an average altitude of 3818 m. The slope geohazards are mainly concentrated at 1493–1988 m. Over time, the altitude of the slope geohazards was gradually increased, and the mean altitude tended to spread from 1984 m to 2562 m by 2009, while the slope gradient varied only slightly. The number of slope geohazards increased with time and was most obvious in spring, especially in the areas above an altitude of 3000 m. The increase in temperature and precipitation in spring may be an important reason for this phenomenon, because the results suggest that the rate of air warming and precipitation at geohazard sites increased gradually. Based on the observation of the spatial location, altitude and temperature growth rate of slope geohazards, it is noted that new geohazard clusters (NGCs) appear in the study area, and there is still a possibility of migration under the future climate conditions. Based on future climate forecast data, we estimate that the low-, moderate- and high-sensitivity areas of the QTP will be mainly south of 30° N in 2030, will extend to the south of 33° N in 2060 and will continue to expand to the south of 35° N in 2099; we also estimate that the proportion of high-sensitivity areas will increase from 10.93% in 2030 to 14.17% in 2060 and 17.48% in 2099. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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Article
Integrated Assessments of Meteorological Hazards across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810402 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Recent decades have witnessed accelerated climate changes across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) and elevated socioeconomic exposure to meteorological hazards. The QTP is called the “the third pole”, exerting remarkable impact on environmental changes in its surrounding regions. While few reports are available for [...] Read more.
Recent decades have witnessed accelerated climate changes across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) and elevated socioeconomic exposure to meteorological hazards. The QTP is called the “the third pole”, exerting remarkable impact on environmental changes in its surrounding regions. While few reports are available for addressing multi-hazard risks over the QTP, we develop an integrated indicator system involving multiple meteorological hazards, i.e., droughts, rainstorms, snowstorms and hailstorms, investigating the spatiotemporal patterns of major hazards over the QTP. The hazard zones of droughts and rainstorms are identified in the southern Gangdise Mountains, the South Tibet Valley, the eastern Nyenchen-Tanglha Mountains, the Hengduan Mountains and West Sichuan Basin. Snowstorm hazard zones distribute in the Himalayas, the Bayan Har Mountains and the central Nyenchen-Tanglha Mountains, while hailstorm hazard zones cluster in central part of the QTP. Since the 21st century, intensified rainstorms are detectable in the densely populated cities of Xining and Lhasa and their adjacent areas, while amplified droughts are observed in grain production areas of the South Tibet Valley and the Hengduan Mountains. Snowstorm hazards show large interannual variations and an increase in pastoral areas, although the overall trend is declining slightly. The frequency of hailstorms gradually decreases in human settlements due to thermal and landscape effects. Mapping meteorological hazards regionalization could help to understand climate risks in the QTP, and provide scientific reference for human adaptation to climate changes in highly sensitive areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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Article
The Impact on Carbon Emissions of China with the Trade Situation versus the U.S.
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10324; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810324 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
The China–US trade conflict will inevitably have a negative impact on China’s trade imports and exports, industrial development, and economic growth, and will affect the achievement of climate change goals. In the short term, the impact of the trade conflict on China’s import [...] Read more.
The China–US trade conflict will inevitably have a negative impact on China’s trade imports and exports, industrial development, and economic growth, and will affect the achievement of climate change goals. In the short term, the impact of the trade conflict on China’s import and export trade will cause the carbon emissions contained in traded commodities to change accordingly. To assess the impact of the trade conflict on China’s climate policy, this paper combines a model from the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) and the input–output analysis method and calculates the carbon emissions in international trade before and after the conflict. The conclusions are as follows: (1) The trade war has led to a sharp decline in China–US trade, but for China as a whole, imports and exports have not changed much; (2) China’s export emissions have changed little, its import emissions have dropped slightly, and its net emissions have increased; and (3) China’s exports are still concentrated in energy-intensive industries. Changes in trade will bring challenges to China’s balancing of climate and trade exigencies. China–US cooperation based on energy and technology will help China cope with climate change after the trade conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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