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The Eawag Workshop on Climate and Water Preliminary summary of results and implications for bundling relevant future research at Eawag

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Title: The Eawag Workshop on Climate and Water Preliminary summary of results and implications for bundling relevant future research at Eawag


1
The Eawag Workshop on Climate and
Water Preliminary summary of results and
implications for bundling relevant future
research at Eawag
2
Special thanks to the working group
leaders Jürg Beer (Global issues) Flavio
Anselmetti (Palæolimnology) Bas Ibelings (Aquatic
ecosystems) Ole Seehausen (Fish) Olaf Cirpka
(Groundwater) Urs von Gunten (Drinking water and
water technology) Andreas Klinke (Societal
issues) and to all the rest of you who
participated!
3
Brief history of the topic Preliminary summary of
main results of workshop Some suggestions for
common research Plenary discussion Summary
4
Climate and zooplankton, UK
George Harris (1985) Nature 316, 536-539.
"Year-to-year fluctuations in the biomass of
crustacean zooplankton in Lake Windermere are
strongly correlated with variations in water
temperature, but poorly correlated with the
abundance of the dominant planktivorous fish.
George Taylor (1995) Nature 378, 139.
Air and water temperatures in the Lake District
are strongly related to the sea-surface
temperature to the west of the UK, implying a
large-scale climatic influence. "This
represents the first conclusive evidence of
climatologically induced variability in a
freshwater planktonic system."
Zooplankton biomass related to position of the
north wall of the Gulf Stream
5
Climate-related regional coherence
Magnuson, Benson Kratz (1990) Freshw. Biol.
23, 145-159.
"Coherence between lakes was greater for
limnological variables directly influenced by
climatic factors than for variables either
indirectly affected by climate of complexly
influenced by other types of factors"
Lakes in N. Wisconsin connected by (i) common
climatic forcing (ii) groundwater flow
6
Lake 239 (ELA, Ontario), 1969-1988
Schindler, Beaty, Fee, Cruikshank, DeBruyn,
Findlay, Linsey, Shearer, Stainton Turner
(1990) Science 250, 967-970.
7
EU projects (with Eawag involvement)
  • Coordinated by Glen George
  • EU FP4 project "REFLECT" (19982000)
  • EU FP5 project "CLIME" (2001-2003)
  • Coordinated by Rick Battarbee
  • EU FP3 project "MOLAR" (1996-1999)
  • EU FP5 project "EMERGE" (2000-2003)
  • EU FP6 project "Euro-limpacs" (2004-2009)
  • Relevant international research networks
  • (initiated by John Magnuson and coworkers)
  • LTER (Long Term Ecological Research)
  • LIAG (Lake Ice Analysis Group)
  • GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory
    Network)

8
Global aspects What contribution can we make to
solving global-scale climate-change problems?
  • 1) Work is already ongoing on global-scale
    problems relevant to climate change
  • For example
  • - Greenhouse gases (CH4)
  • - Solar forcing (Be in Greenland ice)
  • - Adapt approach to existing global-scale
    problems to allow for the expected impacts of
    climate change? E.g. SODIS Arsenic in
    groundwater.
  • 2) The predicted main changes are a shift in mean
    values and, more importantly, an increase in
    variability
  • - Reconstruction of past climate change and
    intelligent monitoring of present climate
    change at carefully selected sites
  • Space-for-time substitution and
    Space-for-space substitution
  • Climate change results in a horizontal shift of
    climate zones over hundreds to thousands of
    kilometres. Translated to altitude, the same
    shifts correspond merely to hundreds of metres.
  • The selection of 3-4 ecosystems at different
    altitudes in the Alps would offer the opportunity
    to study large-scale climate shifts within
    Switzerland (analogues)
  • 4) Water availability and water quality in
    mountain regions
  • Many aspects apparently specific to the Alps are
    actually also relevant to other mountain regions
    transfer of know-how.

9
Palæolimnology Using the past as the key to the
future
1) Lake sediments enable us to quantify natural
climate variability, thus allowing predicted
changes to be put into historical
perspective Warmer time windows in the Holocene
can be used as analogues for future climate
scenarios (How will the future be? Look into the
past!) 2) Climate change as a driver of
ecosystem change in the past Lake sediments
archive various proxies that document past
physical, chemical and biological changes in the
ecosystem in response to various past climates.
This allows the impact of past climate change on
these ecosystems to be assessed. 3) A gap to be
filled past and future changes in
precipitation The natural range in precipitation
(extreme events/floods and background values)
have so far not been quantified, although these
are crucial in future climate scenarios and for
the assessment of natural hazards. Investigation
of critical proxies for precipitation. 4)
Again space-for-space substitution Climate
change has a stronger impact at high latitudes
than at low latitudes. The impact of past
climates on a vertical gradient of environments
(rather than a horizontal one) could be
investigated in the Alpine area.
10
Aquatic ecosystems From monitoring to
understanding, predicting and managing the
effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems
1) Monitoring - Set up and maintain clever
monitoring systems that will capture the true
dynamics of changing aquatic ecosystems, e.g.
community dynamics. (GLEON...) 2) Understanding
- Which changes in water quality and in aquatic
ecosystems can be demonstrably attributed to
climate change? - What determines the resilience
of the response of ecosystems to change? - What
is the capacity of ecosystems to adapt? 3)
Predicting Use a deepened understanding of the
effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems
to improve, calibrate and validate ecosystem
models. 4) Managing Incorporate the adaptive
responses of society into the study of ecosystem
change.
11
Fish Background, objectives and current
limitations
  • Broad agreement that
  • Fish communities are changing rapidly. Patterns
    are poorly documented, drivers are poorly
    understood. There are strong indications that
    climate change is an important driver.
  • Switzerland is a hotspot of diversity and
    endemism of cold-adapted fish species. Several
    have already become extinct
  • Switzerland is geographically uniquely positioned
    for research on climate change impacts on fish,
    and we think it is highly relevant to Eawags
    mission
  • Objective of a research program climate and
    fish
  • Understanding and predicting responses of fish
    assemblages to climate change
  • Current limitations
  • Lack of quantitative data on fish communities in
    Swiss lakes and rivers
  • Limited understanding of relative importance of
    and interaction between abiotic and biotic
    climate-driven stressors
  • Limited understanding of potential responses of
    fish species to climate change

12
Fish An integrated programme climate and fish
would include
  • Literature analyses and formal meta-analyses,
    relying on data mostly from other regions of the
    world, but also Swiss grey literature. These
    would address a number of key issues that would
    guide the data collection strategy.
  • Generation of a time zero baseline data set on
    fish community composition and genetic diversity
    in the major Swiss lakes and rivers.
  • Establishment of long-term data series in a
    network of waters covering elevational gradients
    and the biogeographical regions.
  • Hypothesis-driven experimental work to quantify
    the potential of evolutionary response to climate
    change in key species.
  • Theoretical and quantitative ecological and
    genetic modelling to integrate these parallel
    approaches.

13
Groundwater The impact of climate and
environmental change on aquifers
1) Direct impacts of climate change on
groundwater bodies are probably less important
than indirect impacts - Changes in land use,
agricultural practice, legislation - Factor
environmental change into integrated water
resources management 2) In CH Impact of
droughts is more important than the impact of
warming - Needed Vulnerability study of Swiss
aquifers 3) Key project in CH Follow the
process chain from environmental changes to
groundwater quality - Needed Well studied
aquifer system calibrated model - Hypothesis
Change in hydrology ? change in groundwater
hydrogeochemistry ? threat to current practice of
groundwater use 4) Eawags contribution to
climate and groundwater in semi-arid regions
Geogenic pollution in a changing climate
14
Drinking water and water technology issues
1) Changes in river discharge (proportion of
wastewater) ? Effect on groundwater quality?
Upgrading of wastewater treatment? 2) Changes
in agricultural practices (irrigation, changes in
application of fertiliser, manure, pesticides) ?
Effects on groundwater quality and quantity 3)
Changes in temperature and mixing regimes of
lakes ? Effect on phytoplankton and
cyanobacterial population, taste and odour,
cyanotoxins. Adequate treatment? 4)
Institutional/organisational problems in coping
with the effects of climate change on water
supplies
15
Societal issues Governance and research approaches
1) Governance in Switzerland - Resilience and
flexibility of current water management
systems - Adequacy of current regulations and
management practices (including monitoring) to
tackle the relationship between water resources
and climate - Integration of stakeholders to
understand and deal with emerging problems
better - Integrated water resource
management 2) Governance in developing and
transition countries - High vulnerability of
urban water systems - Development of
technological and organisational solutions -
Capacity building and empowerment 3)
Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research
approaches 4) Involvement of Eawag with
international bodies (e.g., WMO, IPCC, FAO,
UNESCO, UNEP...)
16
Some common and important issues
1) Reconstructing the past and monitoring the
present - intelligent monitoring (referring to
human intelligence) and clever monitoring
(referring to the capabilities of the monitoring
system) 2) Understanding processes - because
understanding is a prerequisite to robust
modelling 3) Broadness of approach -
interdisciplinary, international, cooperative,
involving stakeholders and external partners 4)
Distinguish between (i) environmental change
that is the direct result of climate change
(ii) environmental change that is the indirect
result of climate change and (iii)
environmental change that is unconnected with
climate change.
17
Some common and important issues
4) Distinguish between (i) environmental change
that is the direct result of climate change
(ii) environmental change that is the indirect
result of climate change and (iii)
environmental change that is unconnected with
climate change. Direct - Interface between
climate and aquatic physics (e.g., shifts in the
heat balance of lakes and rivers shifts in the
phenology of ice and of mixing). But there are
some direct biological and chemical effects (e.g.
impact of changes in cloud cover on
photosynthesis impact of changing air
temperature on pH in catchments). Indirect -
Interface between aquatic physics and other
aquatic disciplines - climate is not directly
involved. E.g. Impacts of higher water
temperatures on phytoplankton (mesocosm
experiments) or on fish habitats. Unconnected -
Impacts of urbanisation, new technologies, global
and local economics, population shifts,
legislation changes, agricultural practices etc.
etc. etc..... Essentially unpredictable in the
long term.
18
Some common and important issues
4) Distinguish between (i) environmental change
that is the direct result of climate change
(ii) environmental change that is the indirect
result of climate change and (iii)
environmental change that is unconnected with
climate change. So why should we bother
studying the impacts of climate change on water
resources when the impacts of other types of
environmental change (e.g. social change) that
are much less quantifiable are likely to be
greater? - What we can predict, we should. - It
is important to establish a framework of
thought well in advance of the strongest impacts
- i.e., to be intellectually prepared. The models
(even intellectual, conceptual models) have to be
in place in good time so they can be employed,
refined and made more quantifiable closer to the
time of impact, when the social changes are
easier to predict than now.
19
Water resources as an endangered species
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial / urban / natural contamination
  • Conflicts ecology ? groundwater protection
  • Climate quantity (spring water!) Quality
    (change in redox, input of
    nutrients, physical conditions,
    hygiene, etc...)

Contamination Ing, Sandec, U-Chem, U-Mik
Climate Siam
Wave 21
Agriculture U-Chem
Climate Surf, WT, Eco
Eco?GWP Eco, Surf, WT
Record
Contamination WT, WRQ
Climate WT
WRQ
Some questions addressed by QP Wave 21,
WRQ CCES Record
3 points to discuss 'WRQ' maps CH ? climate
Natural analogues Lakes integrated
models coupling
climate, physics, water quality biology
20
Vertical space-for-time or space-for-space
analogue Using altitudinal shifts as a proxy for
climate warming
Choose 4-5 lakes covering an altitudinal
gradient, e.g. Hagelseewli 2339 m a.s.l. / 19 m
/ 25x103 m2 Seebergsee 1831 m a.s.l. / 15 m /
58x103 m2 Hinterburgseeli 1514 m a.s.l. / 11 m
/ 45x103 m2 (Schwarzsee 1046 m a.s.l. / 10 m /
455x103 m2 ) Burgseewli 613 m a.s.l. / 19 m /
53x103 m2
21
Impact of climate change on water quality
  • Lakes
  • - Impacts of increased water temperatures in the
    epilimnion
  • - Cyanobacterial blooms (potentially toxic)
  • - Impacts of a longer stratification period and a
    shorter period of circulation on oxygen and
    nutrient concentrations
  • - Impacts of shifts in the timing of physical and
    biological events - match/mismatch
  • Rivers
  • - Impacts of increased water temperatures on fish
    habitat
  • Impacts of a reduction in residual water flow on
    biota
  • Impacts of an increased proportion of waste
    water during dry periods
  • - Cooling problems for large industrial complexes
  • Groundwater
  • Impacts of a sinking groundwater table on
    geogenic contamination (e.g., summer of 2003)
  • Increase in nutrient concentrations (e.g.
    nitrate)
  • Changing redox conditions due to higher
    temperatures
  • - WRQ maps for climate change in Switzerland

22
International cooperation
For example, cooperating internationally in
deploying high-resolution clever monitoring
involvement on a global scale, e.g. within the
expanding international network GLEON...
23
The Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network
(GLEON)
  • A grassroots network of
  • ecologists, engineers, information technology
    experts
  • institutions and programs
  • instruments
  • data
  • Linked by a common cyberinfrastructure
  • With a goal of understanding lake dynamics at
    local, regional, continental, and global scales

gleon.org
Yuan Yang Lake, Taiwan photo by Matt Van de
Bogert
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