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Climate Change, Water and Productivity in the Mediterranean: Capacity Building for Geospatial Modelling

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Climate change in the eastern Mediterranean

Sitting at the juncture between marine and continental climates, the Turkey eastern Mediterranean region has high mountains and vast semi-arid plains. Researchers identified best strategies for halting the decline of local ecosystems in the area.

Climate Change and Environment

The CLIMED project investigated both hydrological and biochemical cycling rates to determine the relationship between climate change and ecosystem productivity. It used remotely sensed data, geographic information systems (GIS) and process-based simulation models to assess ecological changes over time and space at a large scale. Researchers modelled the current and future dynamics of the net primary productivity (NPP) and hydrology of the Seyhan River Basin on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. CLIMED's aim was to produce a highly detailed case study connecting hydrology with vegetation structure and function in a Mediterranean mountain catchment. Project partners developed two sets of tools based on geospatial technologies for understanding climate change. Water scarcity is a particular challenge in the Mediterranean region where resources are limited. The first set of tools focused on climate change and water management, and modelled water, and solute and erosion dynamics supported by GIS analysis and remote sensing. The second group of tools linked climate change and ecosystem productivity by quantifying and analysing land use, and collecting climate, soil and biological data. Researchers also quantified carbon and nitrogen budgets, and carried out simulations of temperature rise scenarios. Data was generated from 45 climate stations in the study area and applied to a regional climate model for the year 2070. The model was used to predict precipitation, evapotranspiration and run-off generation. The monthly NPP flux, defined as net fixation of carbon dioxide by vegetation, was also determined. CLIMED also built research capacity through the exchanging of young scientists. This resulted in valuable links between the hydrology and remote sensing communities in England, Germany, Turkey and the United States. The tools developed by CLIMED will therefore help to increase understanding of the consequences of climate change on ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean.

Keywords

Climate change, eastern Mediterranean, ecosystem, hydrological, biochemical cycling, ecosystem productivity, ecological changes, net primary productivity, hydrology, vegetation structure, geospatial technologies, water management, climate model

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