Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation

Innsbruck, Austria

Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation

Innsbruck, Austria

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Meinel U.,alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Meinel U.,University of Innsbruck | Abegg B.,alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Abegg B.,University of Innsbruck
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2017

Recent works on organizational adaptation to climate change have repeatedly stressed that – despite concerns about large-scale impacts of climate change on supply chain networks – studies on climate change adaptation in manufacturing industries are still surprisingly scarce. The following study develops a systemic analytical framework based on which climate risks for manufacturing industries are reviewed and drivers (defined as supportive factors) of entrepreneurial robustness are examined. The analysis builds upon a case study in the alpine Austrian state of Tyrol where an intense regional rise of average temperatures occurs, going along with increased risks of natural mountain hazards and exposed settlement structures. In this climate-sensitive setting the authors conducted a survey on risk perceptions among 102 managers from manufacturing firms. Based on a comparison of the sectors metal and engineering, timber products, and construction, the authors argue that drivers of entrepreneurial robustness can be subsumed under five major strategic principles: (a) the deployment of slack resources, (b) vertical supply chain integration, (c) manufacturing flexibility, (d) material efficiency, and (e) technological risk prevention. Departing from the empirical results, the authors argue that across these principles the development of drivers depends on an interplay of structural prerequisites and human decisions on the levels of the focal firm, the supply chain network, and the political, economic, and geographic environment. In this sense, the authors conceptualize different forms of contingencies – thus effects influencing the development of drivers – within an ontology which may support further system-oriented analysis of climate change adaptation in industry. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Ganthaler A.,University of Innsbruck | Ganthaler A.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Mayr S.,University of Innsbruck
Forest Pathology | Year: 2015

The fungal pathogen Chrysomyxa rhododendri undergoes a host shift between Rhododendron spp. and Picea abies and has a considerable negative impact on the latter by infecting the new sprouting needles and reducing photosynthesis, growth and seedling survival. Repeated high infection rates in the Central European Alps were reported in recent years, and although the life cycle of the pathogen is well understood, knowledge on temporal patterns of host infection, spore dispersal and influence of weather conditions is limited. We analysed the period of needle infection by a staggered application of fungicide on twigs of Norway spruce. Seasonal and diurnal patterns of spore dispersal were investigated using a Burkard volumetric spore trap, and airborne spore concentrations were correlated with several weather parameters. Needle infection occurred within 3 weeks (19 June-9 July). Basidiospores (infecting Norway spruce) were trapped from May to July, and airborne spore concentration was positively correlated with air temperature, global radiation and wind speed, and negatively with air humidity and precipitation. Aeciospores (infecting rhododendrons) appeared from August to October, and high concentrations were significantly associated with rain events. Needle infection started with bud sprouting and was limited either by decreasing spore concentrations or morphological and chemical differentiation of the needles, which prevented infection. Both spore types showed distinct periods of dispersal based on the life cycle of the pathogen, and the variability in concentration within these periods was explained by local weather conditions. The correlation analysis indicated different mechanisms of spore dispersal for both spore types and, with respect to global warming, more favourable conditions for the pathogen in future. The results can explain the high year- and site-specific variation in Chrysomyxa infection intensities of P. abies and may be helpful for developing successful strategies to control the pathogen and protect alpine spruce forests. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Wyss R.,University of Applied science Chur | Wyss R.,Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt | Luthe T.,University of Applied science Chur | Abegg B.,University of Innsbruck | Abegg B.,alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation
Local Environment | Year: 2014

While there is ample - though partially contradictory - evidence regarding the effects climate change will have on various regions of the world, there is only very limited work dedicated to the analysis of different governance structures, and how these structures are likely to influence the resilience of alpine tourism systems in the face of climate change. We present an analytical framework based on network theory, and apply this to the Swiss case study destination of Engelberg, in order to deduct a number of insights for the future assessment of resilience based on the cooperation of local actors. The main aim of the paper is to come up with comparable resilience metrics based on social network analysis in order to assess the structural strengths and weaknesses of a geographically delimited tourism system in the face of climate change. Together with the action potential of the individual actors these structural properties influence the adaptive capacity of both individual actors, and the tourism system as a whole. In line with comparable studies, we identify structural strengths and weaknesses around the core-periphery distribution (centrality), subgroups (modularity) and information flows (path length). We find that the Engelberg network follows an almost ideal-typical scale-free structure and the overall cooperation rate (density) is comparable to other tourism networks. The main weaknesses of the network with regard to climate change resilience are the lacking integration of public sector actors and the relatively high number of actors in the periphery of the network. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Helfricht K.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Helfricht K.,University of Innsbruck | Schober J.,TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG | Schneider K.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Glaciology | Year: 2014

Knowledge of the spatial snow distribution and its interannual persistence is of interest for a broad spectrum of issues in cryospheric sciences. In this study, snow depths derived from airborne laser scanning are analyzed for interannual persistence of the seasonal snow cover in a partly glacierized mountain area (∼36 km2). At the end of five accumulation periods, the snow-covered area varied by 16% of its temporal mean. Mean snow depth of the total area ranged by a factor of two (1.31-2.58 m), with a standard deviation of 0.42 m. Interannual correlation coefficients of snow depth distribution were in the range 0.68-0.84. Of the investigated area, 75% was found to be interannually persistent. The remaining area showed variable snow cover from year to year, caused by occasional avalanches and changes in surface topography as a result of glacier retreat. Snow cover underwent a change from a homogeneous distribution on the former glacier surface to a more heterogeneous snow cover in the recently deglaciated terrain. A geostatistical analysis shows interannual persistence in scaling behavior of snow depth in ice-free terrain with scale break distances at 20 m. Scale-invariant behavior of snow depth is indicated over > 100 m on smooth glacier surfaces.

Sailer R.,University of Innsbruck | Sailer R.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Rutzinger M.,University of Innsbruck | Rutzinger M.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms | Year: 2014

Digital terrain models (DTMs) are a standard data source for a variety of applications. DTM differencing is also widely used for detection and quantification of topographic changes. While several investigations have been made on the accuracy of DTMs, calculated from different kinds of input data, little has been published on the error of DTM differencing, specifically for the quantification of geomorphological processes. In this study, an extensive, multi-temporal set of airborne laser scanning (ALS) data is used to investigate the accuracy of topographic change calculations in a high alpine environment, caused by different geomorphic processes. Differences from DTMs with cell sizes ranging from 0.25 m to 10 m were calculated and compared to very accurate point-to-point calculations for a variety of processes and in nearby stable areas which show no significant surface changes. The representativeness of the DTM differences is then compared to the terrain slope and surface roughness of the investigated areas to show the influence of these parameters on the errors in the differences. Those errors are then taken into account for analyses of the applicability of different cell sizes for the investigation of geomorphic processes with different magnitudes and over different time periods. The analyses show that the error of DTM differences increases with lower point densities and higher roughness and slope values. The higher the error, the greater the differences between two elevation datasets have to be in order to quantify certain morphodynamic processes. Lower point densities and higher roughness and slope values require greater process rates or longer time intervals in order to obtain valid results. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Forster K.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Forster K.,University of Innsbruck | Hanzer F.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Hanzer F.,University of Innsbruck | And 4 more authors.
Geoscientific Model Development | Year: 2016

Meteorological time series with 1 h time steps are required in many applications in geoscientific modelling. These hourly time series generally cover shorter periods of time compared to daily meteorological time series. We present an open-source MEteoroLOgical observation time series DISaggregation Tool (MELODIST). This software package is written in Python and comprises simple methods to temporally downscale (disaggregate) daily meteorological time series to hourly data. MELODIST is capable of disaggregating the most commonly used meteorological variables for geoscientific modelling including temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and shortwave radiation. In this way, disaggregation is performed independently for each variable considering a single site without spatial dependencies. The algorithms are validated against observed meteorological time series for five sites in different climates. Results indicate a good reconstruction of diurnal features at those sites. This makes the methodology interesting to users of models operating at hourly time steps, who want to apply their models for longer periods of time not covered by hourly observations. © 2016 Author(s).

Zerlauth M.,alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Zerlauth M.,University of Innsbruck | Ortner H.,University of Innsbruck | Pomella H.,University of Innsbruck | And 2 more authors.
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2014

Based upon tectonic as well as facies arguments, two different Helvetic nappes can be distinguished in western Austria (Vorarlberg) and in southwestern Germany (Upper Allgäu): the Hohenems nappe and the overlying Vorarlberg Säntis nappe. Both encompass Middle Jurassic to Eocene strata deposited on the internal to external shelf of the southward deepening European margin of the Eurasian plate. Synsedimentary normal faults caused changes in thickness and facies of the various strata, which play a crucial role in deformation behavior. Arcuate fold axes in map view and an almost 3 km thick sequence of stacked Middle Jurassic shales and sandstones drilled below a Jurassic anticlinorium in the southern part of the Bregenzerwald are thought to be indicative of an inverted Jurassic basin. Inversion occurred during the Cenozoic Alpine nappe formation along synsedimentary normal faults, reactivated as ramps and tear faults. A lateral ramp, segmented by tear faults, running along the Iller Valley, and a supposed lateral ramp in the subsurface of the Rhine Valley mark the extension of the inverted former basin. Fault deformation style changes across the Rhine Valley. East of it, i.e. in Vorarlberg, the Vorarlberg Säntis nappe comprises a coherent succession of Jurassic and Cretaceous strata detached along Middle Jurassic sediments. In the west, on the other hand, Cretaceous strata of the Swiss Säntis nappe were largely detached from their Jurassic substrate (Gonzen-Walenstadt imbricates) along the Säntis thrust. This allows to correlate the Helvetic nappe stack of eastern Switzerland, comprising the Swiss Säntis nappe (together with the Gonzen-Walenstadt imbricates) and the underlying Mürtschen nappe, with the Vorarlberg Säntis nappe and the Hohenems nappe of Austria. © 2014, Swiss Geological Society.

PubMed | Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation and University of Innsbruck
Type: | Journal: Bioresource technology | Year: 2015

Energy supply is a global hot topic. The social and political pressure forces a higher percentage of energy supplied by renewable resources. The production of renewable energy in form of biomethane can be increased by co-substrates such as municipal biowaste. However, a demand-driven energy production or its storage needs optimisation, the option to store the substrate with its inherent energy is investigated in this study. The calorific content of biowaste was found unchanged after 45 d of storage (19.90.19 kJ g(-1) total solids), and the methane yield obtained from stored biowaste was comparable to fresh biowaste or even higher (approx. 400 m(3) Mg(-1) volatile solids). Our results show that the storage supports the hydrolysis of the co-substrate via acidification and production of volatile fatty acids. The data indicate that storage of biowaste is an efficient way to produce bioenergy on demand. This could in strengthen the role of biomethane plants for electricity supply the future.

PubMed | alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation, DC WATER, University of Innsbruck, ARAconsult GmbH and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: Water research | Year: 2015

Making good use of existing water infrastructure by adding organic wastes to anaerobic digesters improves the energy balance of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) substantially. This paper explores co-digestion load limits targeting a good trade-off for boosting methane production, and limiting process-drawbacks on nitrogen-return loads, cake-production, solids-viscosity and polymer demand. Bio-methane potential tests using whey as a model co-substrate showed diversification and intensification of the anaerobic digestion process resulting in a synergistical enhancement in sewage sludge methanization. Full-scale case-studies demonstrate organic co-substrate addition of up to 94% of the organic sludge load resulted in tripling of the biogas production. At organic co-substrate addition of up to 25% no significant increase in cake production and only a minor increase in ammonia release of ca. 20% have been observed. Similar impacts were measured at a high-solids digester pilot with up-stream thermal hydrolyses where the organic loading rate was increased by 25% using co-substrate. Dynamic simulations were used to validate the synergistic impact of co-substrate addition on sludge methanization, and an increase in hydrolysis rate from 1.5 d(-1) to 2.5 d(-1) was identified for simulating measured gas production rate. This study demonstrates co-digestion for maximizing synergy as a step towards energy efficiency and ultimately towards carbon neutrality.

Theuretzbacher F.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Lizasoain J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Lizasoain J.,alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Lefever C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 5 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2015

Wheat straw can serve as a low-cost substrate for energy production without competing with food or feed production. This study investigated the effect of steam explosion pretreatment on the biological methane potential and the degradation kinetics of wheat straw during anaerobic digestion. It was observed that the biological methane potential of the non steam exploded, ground wheat straw (276lNkgVS-1) did not significantly differ from the best steam explosion treated sample (286lNkgVS-1) which was achieved at a pretreatment temperature of 140°C and a retention time of 60min. Nevertheless degradation speed was improved by the pretreatment. Furthermore it was observed that compounds resulting from chemical reactions during the pretreatment and classified as pseudo-lignin were also degraded during the anaerobic batch experiments. Based on the rumen simulation technique, a model was developed to characterise the degradation process. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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