Air Pollution Climate Group

Zürich, Switzerland

Air Pollution Climate Group

Zürich, Switzerland
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Smith P.C.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Smith P.C.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Ciais P.,French Climate and Environment Sciences Laboratory | Peylin P.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

Aiming at producing improved estimates of carbon source/sink spatial and interannual patterns across Europe (35% croplands), this work uses the ORCHIDEE-STICS terrestrial biosphere model including a more realistic representation of croplands, described in part 1 (Smith et al., 2010). Crop yield is derived from annual Net Primary Productivity and compared with wheat and grain maize harvest data for five European countries. Over a 34 year period, the best correlation coefficient obtained between observed and simulated yield time series is for irrigated maize in Italy (R = 0.73). In the data as well as in the model, 1976 and 2003 appear as climate anomalies causing a 40% yield drop in the most affected regions. Simulated interannual yield anomalies and the spatial pattern of the yield drop in 2003 are found to be more realistic than the results from ORCHIDEE with no representation of croplands. The simulated 2003 anomalous carbon source from European ecosystems to the atmosphere due to the 2003 summer heat wave is in good agreement with atmospheric inversions (0.20GtC, from May to October). The anomaly is twice too large in the ORCHIDEE alone simulation, owing to the unrealistically high exposure of herbaceous plants to the extreme summer conditions. The mechanisms linking abnormally high summer temperatures, the crop productivity drop, and significant carbon source from European ecosystems in 2003 are discussed. Overall, this study highlights the importance of accounting for the specific phenologies of crops sown both in winter and in spring and for irrigation applied to summer crops in regional/global models of the terrestrial carbon cycle. © Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Diaz-De-Quijano M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Diaz-De-Quijano M.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Schaub M.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Bassin S.,Air Pollution Climate Group | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2012

Concentrations of ozone often exceed the thresholds of forest protection in the Pyrenees, but the effect of ozone on Pinus uncinata, the dominant species in subalpine forests in this mountainous range, has not yet been studied. We conducted an experiment of free-air ozone fumigation with saplings of P. uncinata fumigated with ambient O 3 (AOT40 May-Oct: 9.2 ppm h), 1.5 × O 3amb (AOT40 May-Oct: 19.2 ppm h), and 1.8 × O 3amb (AOT40 May-Oct: 32.5 ppm h) during two growing seasons. We measured chlorophyll content and fluorescence, visible injury, gas exchange, and above- and below-ground biomass. Increased exposures to ozone led to a higher occurrence and intensity of visible injury from O 3 and a 24-29% reduction of root biomass, which may render trees more susceptible to other stresses such as drought. P. uncinata is thus a species sensitive to O 3, concentrations of which in the Pyrenees are already likely affecting this species. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Smith P.C.,Air pollution Climate Group | Smith P.C.,University of Geneva | Smith P.C.,University of Graz | Heinrich G.,University of Graz | And 5 more authors.
Climatic Change | Year: 2014

Irrigation water requirements (IWR) are expected to be influenced by changes in the climate variables driving water availability in the soil-plant system. Most of the agricultural surface areas of the heterogeneous Swiss Rhone catchment are already exposed to drought. Aiming at investigating future pressures on the water resources to fill the growing gap between rain-fed and optimum water supply for cultivation, we downscaled and bias corrected 16 regional climate scenarios from the ENSEMBLES dataset for the period 1951–2050 using a Quantile Mapping methodology calibrated with daily observations from 5 contrasting weather stations. The data reveal an increased evaporative demand over the growing season for almost all stations and scenarios (2021–2049 vs. 1981–2009). The picture is less clear for precipitation, with a projected decrease or increase depending on the scenario, station and month. The main results indicate that bias correction of climate scenarios not only reduces the remaining error between baseline and observations but also enhances the change signal in seasonal IWR estimates. This is due to a higher and more realistic sensitivity of IWR to the atmospheric water budget, the slope of this relationship being steeper in the observations than in the uncorrected data. The seasonal cycle of the IWR change signal shows different sensitivities and climate drivers across crops (grassland and maize) and stations, but a consistent trend towards an increase despite uncertainty. This increased water demand will have to be reconciled with possibly decreased or shifted future water availability from glacier and snow melt. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Lehmann N.,ETH Zurich | Finger R.,Wageningen University | Klein T.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Calanca P.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Walter A.,ETH Zurich
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2013

Climate change will alter the environmental conditions for crop growth and require adjustments in management practices at the field scale. In this paper, we analyzed the impacts of two different climate change scenarios on optimal field management practices in winterwheat and grain maize production with case studies from Switzerland. Management options included nitrogen fertilization (amount, timing and allocation) as well as irrigation. Optimal solutions that maximize the farmer's utility were sought with the help of a bioeconomic modeling system that integrated the process-based crop growth model CropSyst into an economic decision model. The latter accounted not only for the crop specific average profit margins, but also for production risks, reflecting the utility (expressed as the certainty equivalent) of a risk-averse farmer's management decisions at field scale. In view of the non-linearity and complexity of the problem, we used a genetic algorithm as optimization technique. For grain maize, our results showed that climate change will foster the use of irrigation, not only at sites prone to water limitation already under current climatic conditions, but more in general for climate change scenarios projecting a substantial decrease in summer precipitation. For winterwheat, irrigation was never identified as an optimal management option. For both crops and sites, climate change reduced the optimum nitrogen fertilization amount and decreased for winterwheat the number of fertilization applications. In all cases, the farmer's certainty equivalent decreased between 7% and 25% under climate change, implying negative impacts on winterwheat and grain maize production even under the assumption of an adjustment of the optimum management practices. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fuhrer J.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Smith P.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Gobiet A.,University of Graz
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Coping with climate change in agriculture requires knowledge of trends in agro-climatic conditions with a focus at the smaller scales where decisions are taken. As part of the EU FP7 ACQWA project, the situation was analyzed for agriculture in the case of the Swiss Rhone catchment (Valais) where cultivation of permanent crops (orchards and vineyards) and livestock production are the most important agro-economic activities. The aim of this study was to use daily data from four downscaled and bias corrected transient climate change scenarios to analyze changes in water and temperature related indices over the period 1951-2050 for three locations (Aigle, Sion, Montana) that are representative of different production zones in the catchment. The results indicate that most relevant implications are caused by projected changes in temperature and not in precipitation. They indicate an extension of the thermal growing season with potentially positive effects on pasture and livestock production, most pronounced at the mountain site (Montana), but a trend towards increasing risks of frost in permanent crops and in heat stress for livestock at the valley bottom (Aigle, Sion). The increase in water requirement for irrigation in 2021-2050 relative to 1981-2009 is moderate (4-16%, depending on location). However, in years with low amounts of snow and rain, in small catchments with a nival regime, reduced water supply by rivers could restrict the surface area of grassland that can be irrigated, particularly during springtime. It is concluded that coping with heat-related risks may be most needed at the lower cropland and pasture sites while water-related issues would become more relevant in more elevated locations where pasture-based livestock production is the dominant type of agricultural land use. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | University of Graz and Air Pollution Climate Group
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2014

Coping with climate change in agriculture requires knowledge of trends in agro-climatic conditions with a focus at the smaller scales where decisions are taken. As part of the EU FP7 ACQWA project, the situation was analyzed for agriculture in the case of the Swiss Rhone catchment (Valais) where cultivation of permanent crops (orchards and vineyards) and livestock production are the most important agro-economic activities. The aim of this study was to use daily data from four downscaled and bias corrected transient climate change scenarios to analyze changes in water and temperature related indices over the period 1951-2050 for three locations (Aigle, Sion, Montana) that are representative of different production zones in the catchment. The results indicate that most relevant implications are caused by projected changes in temperature and not in precipitation. They indicate an extension of the thermal growing season with potentially positive effects on pasture and livestock production, most pronounced at the mountain site (Montana), but a trend towards increasing risks of frost in permanent crops and in heat stress for livestock at the valley bottom (Aigle, Sion). The increase in water requirement for irrigation in 2021-2050 relative to 1981-2009 is moderate (4-16%, depending on location). However, in years with low amounts of snow and rain, in small catchments with a nival regime, reduced water supply by rivers could restrict the surface area of grassland that can be irrigated, particularly during springtime. It is concluded that coping with heat-related risks may be most needed at the lower cropland and pasture sites while water-related issues would become more relevant in more elevated locations where pasture-based livestock production is the dominant type of agricultural land use.


Klein T.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Klein T.,University of Bern | Holzkamper A.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Holzkamper A.,University of Bern | And 4 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2014

Besides its primary role in producing food and fiber, agriculture also has relevant effects on several other functions, such as management of renewable natural resources. Climate change (CC) may lead to new trade-offs between agricultural functions or aggravate existing ones, but suitable agricultural management may maintain or even improve the ability of agroecosystems to supply these functions. Hence, it is necessary to identify relevant drivers (e.g., cropping practices, local conditions) and their interactions, and how they affect agricultural functions in a changing climate. The goal of this study was to use a modeling framework to analyze the sensitivity of indicators of three important agricultural functions, namely crop yield (food and fiber production function), soil erosion (soil conservation function), and nutrient leaching (clean water provision function), to a wide range of agricultural practices for current and future climate conditions. In a two-step approach, cropping practices that explain high proportions of variance of the different indicators were first identified by an analysis of variance-based sensitivity analysis. Then, most suitable combinations of practices to achieve best performance with respect to each indicator were extracted, and trade-offs were analyzed. The procedure was applied to a region in western Switzerland, considering two different soil types to test the importance of local environmental constraints. Results show that the sensitivity of crop yield and soil erosion due to management is high, while nutrient leaching mostly depends on soil type. We found that the influence of most agricultural practices does not change significantly with CC; only irrigation becomes more relevant as a consequence of decreasing summer rainfall. Trade-offs were identified when focusing on best performances of each indicator separately, and these were amplified under CC. For adaptation to CC in the selected study region, conservation soil management and the use of cropped grasslands appear to be the most suitable options to avoid trade-offs. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Volk M.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Wolff V.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Bassin S.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Ammann C.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Fuhrer J.,Air Pollution Climate Group
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2014

In a seven-year study, we tested effects of increased N and O3 deposition and climatic conditions on biomass of subalpine grassland. Ozone risk was assessed as exposure (AOT40) and as stomatal flux (POD0,1). We hypothesized that productivity is higher under N- and lower under O3 deposition, with interactions with climatic conditions. Aboveground biomass was best correlated with growing-degree days for May (GDDMay). Nitrogen deposition increased biomass up to 60% in the highest treatment, and 30% in the lowest addition. Also belowground biomass showed a positive N-response. Ozone enrichment had no effect on biomass, and no interaction between O3 and N was observed. Growth response to N deposition was not correlated to GDDMay or precipitation, but indicated a cumulative effect over time. Productivity of subalpine grassland is tolerant to increasing ozone exposure, independent of N input and climatic drivers. N deposition rates at current critical loads, strongly increase the grassland yield. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Volk M.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Enderle J.,Air Pollution Climate Group | Bassin S.,Air Pollution Climate Group
Biogeosciences | Year: 2016

Air pollution agents interact when affecting biological sinks for atmospheric CO2, e.g., the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of grassland ecosystems. Factors favoring plant productivity, like atmospheric N deposition, are usually considered to favor SOC storage. In a 7-year experiment in subalpine grassland under N- and O3-deposition treatment, we examined C fluxes and pools. Total N deposition was 4, 9, 14, 29 and 54 kgNha-1 yr-1 (N4, N9, etc.); annual mean phytotoxic O3 dose was 49, 65 and 89 mmol m-2 projected leaf area. We hypothesized that between years SOC of this mature ecosystem would not change in control treatments and that effects of air pollutants are similar for plant yield, net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and SOC content, leading to SOC content increasing with N deposition. Cumulative plant yield showed a significant N and N×N effect (+38% in N54) but no O3 effect. In the control treatment SOC increased significantly by 9% in 7 years. Cumulative NEP did show a strong, hump-shaped response pattern to N deposition with a +62% increase in N14 and only +39% increase in N54 (N effect statistically not significant, N×N interaction not testable). SOC had a similar but not significant response to N, with highest C gains at intermediate N deposition rates, suggesting a unimodal response with a marginal (P = 0.09) N×N interaction. We assume the strong, pollutant-independent soil C sink developed as a consequence of the management change from grazing to cutting. The non-parallel response of SOC and NEP compared to plant yield under N deposition is likely the result of increased respiratory SOC losses, following mitigated microbial N-limitation or priming effects, and a shift in plant C allocation leading to smaller C input from roots. © Author(s) 2016.

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