Environment. Water loss from the Great Lakes

Author: Gronewold, A.D.; Stow, C.A. Description: The literature on pesticide losses in runoff waters from agricultural fields is reviewed. For the majority of commercial pesticides, total losses are 0.5%0 or less of the amounts applied, unless severe rainfall conditions occur within 1–2 weeks after application. Exceptions are the organochlorine insecticides, which may lose about 1% regardless of weather pattern because of their long persistence; and soil surface-applied, wettable-powder formulations of herbicides, which may lose up to 5%, depending on weather and slope, because of the ease of washoff of the…

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Consequences of future climate change and changing climate variability on maize yields in the midwestern United States

Author: Southworth, J.; Randolph, J.C.; Habeck, M.; Doering, O.C.; Pfeifer, R.A.; Rao, D.G.; Johnston, J.J. Description: Any change in climate will have implications for climate-sensitive systems such as agriculture, forestry, and some other natural resources. With respect to agriculture, changes in solar radiation, temperature, and precipitation will produce changes in crop yields, crop mix, cropping systems, scheduling of field operations, grain moisture content at harvest, and hence, on the economics of agriculture including changes in farm profitability. Such issues are addressed for 10 representative agricultural areas across the midwestern Great…

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Accessing adaptation: Multiple stressors on livelihoods in the Bolivian highlands under a changing climate

Author: McDowell, Julia Z.; Hess, Jeremy J. Description: Smallholder farmers continuously confront multiple social and environmental stressors that necessitate changes in livelihood strategies to prevent damages and take advantage of new opportunities, or adaptation. Vulnerability, meaning susceptibility to harm, is attributable to social determinants that limit access to assets, leading to greater exposure and sensitivity to stressors and a limited capacity to adapt. Stressors and adaptation are intertwined because stressors deplete resources available for adaptation, while adaptation may erode resources available to respond to future stressors. We present empirical evidence…

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The impact of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Marchiori, Luca; Maystadt, Jean-Francois; Schumacher, Ingmar Description: This paper analyzes the effects of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa. We present a theoretical model that demonstrates how weather anomalies induce rural-urban migration that subsequently triggers international migration. We distinguish two transmission channels, an amenity channel and an economic geography channel. Based on annual, cross-country panel data for sub-Saharan Africa, we present an empirical model that suggests that weather anomalies increased internal and international migration through both channels. We estimate that temperature and rainfall anomalies caused a total net…

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Interactions between soil properties and moisture content in crust formation, runoff and interrill erosion from tilled loess soils

Author: Le Bissonnais, Y.; Renaux, B.; Delouche, H. Description: Soil-surface seals and crusts resulting from aggregate breakdown reduce the soil infiltration rate and may induce erosion by increasing runoff. The cultivated loess areas of northwestern Europe are particularly prone to these processes. Surface samples of ten tilled silty loamy loess soils, ranging in clay content from 120 to 350 g kg-1 and in organic carbon from 10 to 20 g kg-1, were packed into 0.5 m2 plots with 5% slopes and subjected to simulated rainfall applied at 30 mm h-1….

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Natural weed seed burial: effect of soil texture, rain and seed characteristics

Author: Benvenuti, Stefano Description: Trials were carried out to investigate natural weed seed burial in a no-till agricultural system. With this aim, 30 important weed species were selected to explore if, and to what extent, seed vertical movement is conditioned by soil texture, cumulative rainfall or by seed characteristics. Without soil tillage, the vertical position of the seeds was only a few millimetres below the surface, but it was dependent on soil texture. Seed burial was much slower (and to lesser depths) in clay soils than in sandy soils. Seeds…

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The relationship of soil loss by interrill erosion to slope gradient

Author: Fox, Dennis M.; Bryan, Rorke B. Description: The influence of slope gradient on erosion rate differs for rill and interrill conditions. Rill erosion increases substantially more with increasing slope gradient than interrill erosion. Combining the two erosion processes into single data sets led to the development of regression equations (e.g., USLE) that overestimated the effect of slope gradient on erosion rate for low slope gradients and short slopes. This study investigated the change in interrill erosion rate with slope gradient and examined its relationship to runoff velocity. A sandy…

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Termites mitigate the effects of drought in tropical rainforest

Author: Ashton, L. A., Griffiths, H. M., Parr, C. L., Evans, T. A., Didham, R. K., Hasan, F., Teh, Y. A., Tin, H. S., Vairappan, C. S., & Eggleton, P. Description: Termites perform key ecological functions in tropical ecosystems, are strongly affected by variation in rainfall, and respond negatively to habitat disturbance. However, it is not known how the projected increase in frequency and severity of droughts in tropical rainforests will alter termite communities and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Using a large-scale termite suppression experiment, we found that termite…

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Climate of the weakly-forced yet high-impact convective storms throughout the Ohio River Valley and Mid-Atlantic United States

Author: Pokharel, B.; Wang, S. Y. S.; Meyer, J.; Gillies, R. & Lin, Y.-H. Description: The 1-in-1000-year precipitation event in late June 2016 over West Virginia caused tremendous flooding damage. Like the 2012 mid- Atlantic derecho that blacked out much of the DC area, similar events can be traced to small, mid-tropospheric perturbations (MPs) embedded in the large-scale ridge pattern. Under this “weakly-forced” pattern, severe weather outbreaks commonly occur alongside eastward propagating MPs acting as a triggering mechanism for progressive mesoscale convective systems, which move across the central and eastern…

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The Uneven Nature of Daily Precipitation and Its Change

Author: Pendergrass, A. G. & Knutti, R. Description: A few days with heavy rain contribute disproportionately to total precipitation, while many days with light drizzle contribute much less. What is not appreciated is just how asymmetric this distribution is in time, and the even more asymmetric nature of trends due to climate change. We diagnose the temporal asymmetry in models and observations. Half of annual precipitation falls in the wettest 12 days each year in the median across observing stations worldwide. Climate models project changes in precipitation that are more…

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