International Global Change Institute Papers

The International Global Change Institute (IGCI) was an interdisciplinary research and teaching institute focusing on the human dimensions of global environmental change. IGCI's goal was to integrate knowledge on the natural and human dimensions of global environmental change for use in policy development and decision-making. It was a self-funding unit within the University of Waikato.

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 13
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    New developments of the SimCLIM model for simulating adaptation to risks arising from climate variability and change
    (Conference Contribution, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2005) Warrick, Richard A.; Ye, Wei; Kouwenhoven, P.; Hay, J.E.; Cheatham, C.
    This paper describes these improvements to SimCLIM and demonstrates their application through a pilot study of coastal flood risk from tropical cyclones in a community on the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Multiple simulations are conducted with and without climate change, and with and without adaptation. The results thereby give clear indications of the relative magnitude of present and future impacts of tropical cyclones and the relative costs and benefits of adaptation options for reducing the risks.
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    Effects of climate change on maize production, and potential adaptation measures: a case study in Jilin Province, China
    (Journal Article, Inter-Research, 2011) Wang, Meng; Li, Yinpeng; Ye, Wei; Bornman, Janet F.; Yan, Xiaodong
    Jilin is among the most important grain-producing provinces in China. Its maize production plays an important role in local and national food security. In this study, we developed a new approach to assess the vulnerability and adaptation options for Jilin maize yields with respect to climate change by modifying a site-based biophysical model to a spatial grid-based application. An ensemble approach that used a combination of 20 general circulation model results and 6 scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios was adopted in order to reflect the high uncertainties in future climate projections. The results show that the yield is highly likely to decline in the western and central regions of Jilin but to increase in the east, where maize is not currently grown as the main crop. Phenologically, the growing season will be reduced in the central and western parts, leading to a shortened grain-filling period. The average maize yield in the west and central regions is thus projected to decrease 15% or more by 2050 as predicted by 90% of 120 projected scenarios. In addition, CO₂ fertilization was investigated and demonstrated a noticeable compensation effect on the yield deduction. However, further field work and/or laboratory-based experiments are required to validate the modeled CO₂ fertilization effects. Two potential adaptation strategies, i.e. improving irrigation facilities and introducing cultivars, were identified from the vulnerability assessment and were further tested for the reduction areas. The results revealed that the increase in effective irrigation by upgrading the irrigation system would help to maintain the current production level, but in the long run, the maize cultivars need to be introduced in line with the future warming climate.
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    Statistical downscaling of regional daily precipitation over southeast Australia based on self-organizing maps
    (Journal Article, Springer, 2010) Yin, Chonghua; Li, Yinpeng; Ye, Wei; Bornman, Janet F.; Yan, Xiaodong
    This paper presents a novel statistical downscaling method based on a non-linear classification technique known as self-organizing maps (SOMs) and has therefore been named SOM-SD. The relationship between large-scale atmospheric circulation and local-scale surface variable was constructed in a relatively simple and transparent manner. For a specific atmospheric state, an ensemble of possible values was generated for the predictand following the Monte Carlo method. Such a stochastic simulation is essential to explore the uncertainties of climate change in the future through a series of random re-sampling experiments. The novel downscaling method was evaluated by downscaling daily precipitation over Southeast Australia. The large-scale predictors were extracted from the daily NCAR/NCEP reanalysis data, while the predictand was high-resolution gridded daily observed precipitation (1958–2008) from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The results showed that the method works reasonably well across a variety of climatic zones in the study area. Overall, there was no particular zone that stands out as a climatic entity where the downscaling skill in reproducing all statistical indices was consistently lower or higher across seasons than the other zones. The method displayed a high skill in reproducing not only the climatologic statistical properties of the observed precipitation, but also the characteristics of the extreme precipitation events. Furthermore, the model was able to reproduce, to a certain extent, the inter-annual variability of precipitation characteristics.
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    The nature of natural: defining natural character for the New Zealand context
    (Journal Article, New Zealand Ecological Society, 2010) Froude, Victoria A.; Rennie, Hamish Gordon; Bornman, Janet F.
    New Zealand has a long-standing statutory policy goal to preserve the natural character of the coastal environment and various freshwater environments and their margins. In the absence of an authoritative definition, it has not been possible to develop a method to measure natural character and its change, nor the outcomes of the long-standing national policy goal. Here we develop a definition of natural character that is relevant and useful in the New Zealand environmental, cultural and legal/policy context. Literature-derived interpretations of natural character and equivalent concepts are evaluated as to their potential suitability for developing a biophysical definition of natural character. Using a set of carefully designed criteria a subset of interpretations are condensed into a definition of natural character. The application of this definition is qualified following consideration of the literature addressing human perception and experiences of natural character. Appropriate reference conditions and baselines for evaluating natural character in different contexts are discussed.
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    Environmental effects of ozone depletion and its interactions with climate change: progress report, 2009
    (Journal Article, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010) Andrady, Anthony; Aucamp, Pieter J.; Bais, Alkiviadis F.; Ballare, Carlos L.; Bjorn, Lars Olof; Bornman, Janet F.; Caldwell, Martyn M.; Cullen, Anthony P.; Erickson, David J.; de Gruijl, Frank R.; Hader, Donat- P.; Ilyas, Mohammad; Kulandaivelu, G.; Kumar, H. D.; Longstreth, Janice; McKenzie, Richard L.; Norval, Mary; Paul, Nigel; Redhwi, Halim Hamid; Smith, Raymond C.; Solomon, Keith R.; Sulzberger, Barbara; Takizawa, Yukio; Tang, Xiaoyan; Teramura, Alan H.; Torikai, Ayako; van der Leun, Jan C.; Wilson, Stephen R.; Worrest, Robert C.; Zepp, Richard G.
    The parties to the Montreal Protocol are informed by three panels of experts. One of these is the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP), which deals with UV radiation and its effects on human health, animals, plants, biogeochemistry, air quality and materials. Since 2000, the analyses and interpretation of these effects have included interactions between UV radiation and global climate change. When considering the effects of climate change, it has become clear that processes resulting in changes in stratospheric ozone are more complex than believed previously. As a result of this, human health and environmental problems will likely be longer-lasting and more regionally variable. Like the other panels, the EEAP produces a detailed report every four years; the most recent was that for 2006 (Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2007, 6, 201–332). In the years in between, the EEAP produces a less detailed and shorter progress report, as is the case for this present one for 2009. A full quadrennial report will follow for 2010.
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