Increasing Risk of Natural Hazards and the Impact Assessment in a Changing Climate

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 7006

Special Issue Editors

Institute for Disaster Risk Management, School of Geographical Science, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Interests: climate change impact; natural hazards; landslides; statistical modelling; spatial analysis; extreme precipitation
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Guest Editor
School of National Safety and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai 519087, China
Interests: infrastructure risk analysis and assessment; emergency evacuation; mathematical modeling
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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Interests: stochastic hydrology and hydroclimatology; climate change and climatic impact; hydrological and climatic extremes; catchment hydrology and water quality

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Guest Editor
School of Geographical Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
Interests: climate change impact; short-term climate prediction; extreme heatwave; forest dynamic simulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Extensive observations and climate model projections indicate that climate change continues to have increasingly severe impacts on human societies, including more frequent temperature and precipitation extremes and the resulting droughts, floods, and landslides. Appropriate adaptation to climate change is urgently needed to mitigate the potential impacts and risks associated with climate change. However, the understanding of the compounding effects and chain evolving process of climate change characteristics such as trends, variability, and extremes, as well as its impacts and risks as determined by the changes in vulnerability and adaptive capacity of human societies, is still poor, which hinders the development of adaptation measures.

This Special Issue aims to collect research on climate change impacts and risks driven by the compound and chain evolution of natural hazards due to trends, variability, and extreme characteristics of climate change, and its co-dependence on changes in dynamic human societal vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The potential research topics include but are not limited to:

  • Climate change impacts and risks;
  • Variability and impacts of extreme temperature and extreme precipitation events;
  • Changes and impacts of droughts, floods, landslides, etc.;
  • Susceptibility and hazard modeling;
  • Assessment of vulnerability and adaptive capacity;
  • Environmental impacts and risks under climate change;
  • Effect of climate change on critical infrastructure.

Dr. Qigen Lin
Dr. Weiping Wang
Dr. Lingfeng Zhou
Dr. Leibin Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • assessment of impact and risk
  • trends, variability, and extremes
  • hazards, exposure, and vulnerability
  • critical infrastructure
  • GIS and remote sensing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 4524 KiB  
Article
Multiscale Flood Disaster Risk Assessment in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin: A Focus on Watershed and Community Levels
by Shengnan Wu and Yu Lei
Atmosphere 2023, 14(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040657 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Floods are one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards worldwide, causing significant damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and livelihoods. The Lancang-Mekong River is a major river in Southeast Asia, but the basin is prone to flood disasters that may be exacerbated by [...] Read more.
Floods are one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards worldwide, causing significant damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and livelihoods. The Lancang-Mekong River is a major river in Southeast Asia, but the basin is prone to flood disasters that may be exacerbated by climate change. Therefore, to better understand disaster risk and tailor disaster risk reduction measures, this study conducted multiscale flood disaster risk assessments at the watershed and community levels using indicator-based and hydrodynamic model-based methods. Both methods adopted open data with the supplement of local survey data. The results of the study showed that the flood risk is generally higher in the lower reach of the river due to high levels of both hazard and vulnerability. However, the community-scale risk assessment revealed that high flood-risk communities exist in low-risk zones, and vice versa, when the flood risk was assessed at the watershed scale. Such phenomena can lead to inadequate community preparedness for flooding or unnecessary allocation of resources for flood mitigation measures. These findings provide valuable insights for the development of disaster risk reduction strategies, policies, and plans based on an understanding of the risks. Furthermore, they offer a basis for prioritizing and targeting resources, particularly in areas with high population density or vulnerable communities. Full article
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20 pages, 3977 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study on the Coevolution and Drivers of Environmental Risks and Man–Land Relationship between China and the United States from the Perspective of LUCC
by Liang Zhao, Wei Wang, Meijiao Li and Gaofeng Xu
Atmosphere 2023, 14(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14020288 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
The study of geography is centered on the regional system of the human-land relationship, and the core of the study of the geographical system of the human-land relationship is land use change. Land use is the most direct manifestation of human activities, accompanied [...] Read more.
The study of geography is centered on the regional system of the human-land relationship, and the core of the study of the geographical system of the human-land relationship is land use change. Land use is the most direct manifestation of human activities, accompanied by changes in land cover. This is the most appropriate entry point to reveal the evolution of human-land relationships. The past 300 years have been the most intense period of social change in China and the United States. In this study, we investigated the differences and evolution of human-land relations between China and the United States from the perspective of land cover change. We found: (1) Cultivated land, forest land, and grassland areas in China and the United States have changed significantly in the past 300 years. The cultivated land area has generally increased, and the extent of forest land and grassland has declined. According to the speed of land cover change, it can be roughly divided into three different stages. The change in cultivated land in China is mainly based on the enhancement of cultivation intensity. The change in cultivated land in the United States is mainly based on expansion of cultivated land. (2) The difference in land cover change between China and the United States in the past 300 years is mainly caused by the difference in social development, interpreting human-land relationships with honest feedback and social feedback. In general, with the continuous development of land, environmental issues have become increasingly prominent, and people’s awareness of environmental protection has also increased. (3) The evolution of human-land relations in China and the United States has been influenced by natural and social factors for nearly 300 years. China is dominated by population, whereas the United States is dominated by technology. The relationship between humans and land differs between the two countries in some respects, with similarities in other areas. In both countries, this relationship can be characterized by the stages of relying on the environment, understanding the environment, transforming the environment, and protecting the environment. This evolution is in line with the law of social development, according to which human beings constantly recognize, utilize, and adapt to nature. Full article
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21 pages, 5291 KiB  
Article
Projected Rainfall Triggered Landslide Susceptibility Changes in the Hengduan Mountain Region, Southwest China under 1.5–4.0 °C Warming Scenarios Based on CMIP6 Models
by Huaxiang Yin, Jiahui Zhang, Sanjit Kumar Mondal, Bingwei Wang, Lingfeng Zhou, Leibin Wang and Qigen Lin
Atmosphere 2023, 14(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14020214 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
Landslides are one of the most prevalent environmental disasters in the Hengduan Mountain Region. Landslides lead to severe economic damage and property loss, as well as fatalities. Furthermore, they tend to increase in the context of climate change. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
Landslides are one of the most prevalent environmental disasters in the Hengduan Mountain Region. Landslides lead to severe economic damage and property loss, as well as fatalities. Furthermore, they tend to increase in the context of climate change. The purpose of this study is to comprehensively assess landslide susceptibility across the Hengduan Mountain Region in southwest China. Specifically, the analysis is focused on the eastern boundary of the Tibetan Plateau within the context of future climate change scenarios, which are based on the latest Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) global climate model ensemble. The Generalized Additive Model (GAM), Random Forest (RF), and Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LightGBM) were selected in order to map landslide susceptibility within the context of 1.5–4.0 °C warming scenarios. This was achieved by considering the changes in extreme rainfall that exceeded the landslide triggering thresholds. The results show that the frequency over extreme rainfall thresholds (FOERT) tend to increase in conjunction with warming targets, thereby ranging from 2.3/a (at a 1.5 °C warming) to 9.0/a (at a 4.0 °C warming) on average. Such elevated extreme precipitation events contribute to an increase in projected future zones of high landslide susceptibility when compared to the historical baseline period ranging from −1.2% (at a 1.5 °C warming) to 4.0% (at a 4.0 °C warming) using different machine learning models. Moreover, the extent of high susceptibility zones increases more significantly in the context of 4.0 °C warming when compared to the historical baseline results. These results indicate the importance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 as well as 2 °C. The high landslide susceptibility zones estimated by the CMIP6 multi-models ensemble are mainly located in the central and southeastern regions of the Hengduan Mountain Region. The possible changes in terms of introducing extreme precipitation in order to assess landslide susceptibility in the context of climate change that is proposed in this study may be further applied to additional study areas. These projections under different targets can provide scientific guidelines for the purposes of the development of climate change adaptation strategies. Full article
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14 pages, 1774 KiB  
Article
Impact-Based Critical Areal Rainfall for Early Flood Warning: A Case Study of Zhulong River Watershed in the Upper Reaches of the Xiong’an New Area
by Lili Si, Liang Zhao, Ziyan Chen, Xiaolei Chen, Tiesong Zhao, Wenjuan Xie, Bingwei Wang and Yanjun Wang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14010113 - 04 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
In this work, the largest tributary of the South Branch in the upper reaches of the Xiong’an New Area is selected as the study area. The impact-based critical areal rainfall indices for early flood warnings are proposed from the perspective of the impacts [...] Read more.
In this work, the largest tributary of the South Branch in the upper reaches of the Xiong’an New Area is selected as the study area. The impact-based critical areal rainfall indices for early flood warnings are proposed from the perspective of the impacts of floods on socio-economic factors. Specifically, four steps, including the determination of the damage-causing discharges, the establishment of the rainfall–discharge relationship, the computation of the critical areal rainfall and the validation of the early warning indices, were used to determine the critical areal rainfall for early flood warnings in the watershed. The results showed that the 1-day critical areal rainfall amounts were 31 mm, 63 mm, 92 mm and 160 mm for early flood warning levels 4, 3, 2 and 1, respectively, when the 1-day antecedent areal rainfall was ≤10 mm. The critical areal rainfall amounts were 20 mm, 54 mm, 87 mm and 160 mm for early flood warning levels 4, 3, 2 and 1, respectively, when the 1-day antecedent areal rainfall was >10 mm. The early warning effectiveness of the proposed critical indices was validated with historical catastrophic flood events and precipitation data during recent flood seasons. The results demonstrated that the impact-based critical indices had a high accuracy and could release warnings 1–2 days in advance, which could effectively avoid the occurrence of missed and underestimated warnings. Full article
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