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Risk assessment of critical ecological thresholds in Amazonia and Cerrado

Applicant Seneviratne Sonia
Number 186282
Funding scheme Resource not found: '73db8922-9c9a-4c27-a5dd-3e7f63f62a65'
Research institution Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.12.2020 - 30.11.2022
Approved amount 249'208.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (5)

climate change; compound events; Amazon; drought; risk

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Amazonas und die Cerrado Region sind besonders anfällig für Klimaextreme wie Trockenheit und Hitze, welche zu einem Veränderung der Struktur der Ökosysteme, Ernteausfällen und Waldsterben führen können. In einem wärmeren Klima werden Hitzewellen und Trockenheiten in der Region zunehmen. Eine Abschätzung von zukünftigen Klimarisiken und deren Auswirkungen auf die dortigen Ökosysteme ist daher von grosser Wichtigkeit.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Dieses Projekt wird in Zusammenarbeit mit brasilianischen Partnern multivariate klimatische Schwellwerte identifizieren, bei denen die Auswirkungen auf Waldsterben, Feueraktivität, landwirtschaftliche Produktion drastisch zunehmen. Ein besonderes Augenmerk wird auf Trockenheit und Hitze liegen. Die identifizierten Schwellwerte werden dann verwendet, um zukünftige Klimarisiken mit Hilfe von Klimasimulationen abzuschätzen.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Unsere Arbeit wird einen wichtigen Beitrag zu einer verbesserten Abschätzung von Klimarisiken durch multivariate extreme Wetterereignisse in der Amazonas und Cerrado Region leisten. Das ist wichtig für die Gegenwart, um die Sensitivität der regionalen Ökosysteme zu Klimaextremen besser zu verstehen, aber auch für die Zukunft, um möglichst früh auf grössere Veränderungen reagieren zu können. Unsere Ergebnisse sind daher insbesondere relevant für Zukunftsplaner in vielen Bereichen der Politik in der Region, zum Beispiel um mögliche Anpassungsstrategien zu entwickeln. 
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.09.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Gesuchsteller/innen Ausland

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
The impact of climate change in wheat and barley yields in the Iberian Peninsula
Bento Virgílio A., Ribeiro Andreia F. S., Russo Ana, Gouveia Célia M., Cardoso Rita M., Soares Pedro M. M. (2021), The impact of climate change in wheat and barley yields in the Iberian Peninsula, in Scientific Reports, 11(1), 15484-15484.
Towards a compound-event-oriented climate model evaluation: a decomposition of the underlying biases in multivariate fire and heat stress hazards
Villalobos-Herrera Roberto, Bevacqua Emanuele, Ribeiro Andreia F. S., Auld Graeme, Crocetti Laura, Mircheva Bilyana, Ha Minh, Zscheischler Jakob, De Michele Carlo (2021), Towards a compound-event-oriented climate model evaluation: a decomposition of the underlying biases in multivariate fire and heat stress hazards, in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 21(6), 1867-1885.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2021 Fall meeting Talk given at a conference Drought and Heat as Compounding Drivers of Tropical Fires Extremes in a Current and Future Climate 17.12.2021 New Orleans, United States of America Silva Ribeiro Andreia Filipa;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
179876 New metrics for constraining multiple drivers of hazard and compound hazards 01.11.2018 Ambizione

Abstract

The hydrological cycle is changing across the tropics due to interactions between global climate change and deforestation. The impacts on natural systems can be large, persistent, and may have major consequences for the carbon cycle and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Many of the largest impacts on forests, savannas, agricultural systems result from the occurrence of extreme weather events. Recent weather extreme events have already caused (a) fundamental changes in the structure of tropical forests, (b) widespread losses in agriculture output, and (c) catastrophic forest and savanna fires. Because both climate average and variability are changing with the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, weather extreme events are likely to become more common and intense in the near future. Yet, quantifying how changes in climate and weather will alter the likelihood of catastrophic events in the near future remains challenging. To date, most studies have assessed the exposure of tropical ecosystems and agricultural production to future climatic changes, but quantification of the sensitive of these ecosystems to weather extreme events remain poorly understood. In this project, we will use statistical models to quantify the multiple climatic drivers of large impacts to tropical forests, savannas, agriculture, and disturbance regimes. We will further assess how climate change may alter the likelihood of compounding, catastrophic weather events to occur in the near future across Amazonia and Cerrado. To do so, we propose the following specific objectives: 1) identification of historical multivariate thresholds in climatic variables that have caused reduced vegetation productivity, peaked tropical fire activity, and losses in agricultural output; 2) risk assessment of surpassing such potential thresholds in the present and near future according to different climatic scenarios; and 3) evaluation of how stabilization of global air temperatures below 1.5°C of warming may avoid major losses in forest resources, crop production, and environmental impacts associated with tropical fires. The main outcome of the project will therefore be a well-informed risk assessment of several key ecosystem services in the Amazon and Cerrado region under different climate change scenarios. This project will further connect Swiss-based researchers and institutions in Brazil, and contribute to the training of a diverse group of Swiss and Brazilian students and postdoctoral fellows.
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