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Flooding is assessed as the most important natural hazard in Europe, causing thousands of deaths, affecting millions of people and accounting for large economic losses in the past decade. Little is known about the damage processes associated with extreme rainfall in cities, due to a lack of accurate, comparable and consistent damage data. The objective of this study is to investigate the impacts of extreme rainfall on residential buildings and how affected households coped with these impacts in terms of precautionary and emergency actions.

Despite the spectacular success of the green revolution and achieving self-sufficiency in food production, there are increasing concerns on sustaining the pace of agricultural growth to feed the large population of our country. Lack of yield breakthroughs, deteriorating soil health, groundwater depletion, declining size of operational holdings and labour shortage are some of the prime reasons for slow growth of agriculture. (Editorial)

Original Source

Intermittent disruptions to rainfall patterns and intensity over the Pacific Ocean lasting up to B 1 year have major impacts on severe weather, agricultural production, ecosystems, and disease within the Pacific, and in many countries beyond. The frequency with which major disruptions to Pacific rainfall occur has been projected to increase over the 21st century, in response to global warming caused by large 21st century greenhouse gas emissions.

The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner.

Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are located in regions with alternating wet and dry seasons, with dry seasons that last several months or more. By the end of the 21st century, climate models predict substantial changes in rainfall regimes across these regions, but little is known about how individuals, species, and communities in SDTF will cope with the hotter, drier conditions predicted by climate models.

Peatlands are carbon-rich ecosystems that cover just three per cent of Earth’s land surface, but store one-third of soil carbon. Peat soils are formed by the build-up of partially decomposed organic matter under waterlogged anoxic conditions. Most peat is found in cool climatic regions where unimpeded decomposition is slower, but deposits are also found under some tropical swamp forests. Here we present field measurements from one of the world’s most extensive regions of swamp forest, the Cuvette Centrale depression in the central Congo Basin.

There is great uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP). Spanning from the early to middle Holocene, the AHP was a period of enhanced moisture over most of northern and eastern Africa. However, beginning 8000 years ago the moisture balance shifted due to changing orbital precession and vegetation feedbacks. Some proxy records indicate a rapid transition from wet to dry conditions, while others indicate a more gradual changeover.

Large accumulations of rainfall over a precipitation event can impact human infrastructure. Unlike precipitation intensity distributions, probability distributions for accumulations at first drop slowly with increasing size. At a certain size—the cutoff scale—the behavior regime changes, and the probabilities drop rapidly. In current climate, every region is protected from excessively large accumulations by this cutoff scale, and human activities are adapted to this.

A simultaneous analysis of 13 years of remotely sensed data of land cover, fires, precipitation, and aerosols from the MODIS, TRMM, and MISR satellites and the AERONET network over Southeast Asia is performed, leading to a set of robust relationships between land-use change and fire being found on inter-annual and intra-annual scales over Southeast Asia, reflecting the heavy amounts of anthropogenic influence over land-use change and fires in this region of the world.

Reconstructing the history of tropical hydroclimates has been difficult, particularly for the Amazon basin—one of Earth’s major centres of deep atmospheric convection. For example, whether the Amazon basin was substantially drier or remained wet during glacial times has been controversial, largely because most study sites have been located on the periphery of the basin, and because interpretations can be complicated by sediment preservation, uncertainties in chronology, and topographical setting.

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