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[en] This paper discusses the characteristics of the unique “Regional East Gale (REG) with Blowing Snow” natural disaster that occurs in Jeminay County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The damage caused by such REG events is described, followed by discussion on the possible prevention measures for this kind of disaster. This work provides a theoretical basis for continuing development of the service that forecasts REG disasters and thus helps with mitigating against their impacts.
[en] The National Flash Flood Prevention Project, which mainly consists of non-structural and supplementary structural measures, has been conducted for 6 years in China. Some preliminary achievements have contributed to the prevention of flash flood in China. Based on the latest information, this article introduces China’s flash flood prevention system, primarily from the perspective of its development process, components, investment, and characteristics. To date, the system has incorporated many distinguished large-scale features such as the largest rain gauge network (approximately 0.5 million stations) in the world, massive disaster observation and preparedness networks, people-and-expert combined monitoring and forecasting data integration system, and a vast implementation area. Based on its early achievements and some typical case investigations of such flash flood prevention system, the article also discusses China’s prospects for preventing flash flood disasters in the future.
[en] Sparse gauge networks in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) limit our ability to identify changing precipitation extremes with in situ observations. Given the potential for satellite and satellite-gauge precipitation products to help, we investigate how daily gridded gauge and satellite products compare for seven core climate change precipitation indices. According to a new gauge-only product, the Rainfall Estimates on a Gridded Network (REGEN), there were notable changes in SSA precipitation characteristics between 1950 and 2013 in well-gauged areas. We examine these trends and how these vary for wet, intermediate, and dry areas. For a 31 year period of overlap, we compare REGEN data, other gridded products and three satellite products. Then for 1998–2013, we compare a set of 12 satellite products. Finally, we compare spatial patterns of 1983–2013 trends across all of SSA. Robust 1950–2013 trends indicate that in well-gauged areas extreme events became wetter, particularly in wet areas. Annual totals decreased due to fewer rain days. Between 1983 and 2013 there were positive trends in average precipitation intensity and annual maximum 1 d totals. These trends only represent 15% of SSA, however, and only one tenth of the main wet areas. Unfortunately, gauge and satellite products do not provide consensus for wet area trends. A promising result for identifying regional changes is that numerous satellite products do well at interannual variations in precipitation totals and number of rain days, even as well as some gauge-only products. Products are less accurate for dry spell length and average intensity and least accurate for annual maximum 1 d totals. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (3B42-V7) and Climate Hazards center Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS v2.0) ranked highest for multiple indices. Several products have seemingly unrealistic trends outside of the well-gauged areas that may be due to influence of non-stationary systematic biases. Social media abstract. Sparse data show increasing Africa rainfall extremes and satellite products fill some missing pieces. (letter)
[en] Crucial to most landslide early warning system (EWS) is the precise prediction of rainfall in space and time. Researchers are aware of the importance of the spatial variability of rainfall in landslide studies. Commonly, however, it is neglected by implementing simplified approaches (e.g. representative rain gauges for an entire area). With spatially differentiated rainfall information, real-time comparison with rainfall thresholds or the implementation in process-based approaches might form the basis for improved landslide warnings. This study suggests an automated workflow from the hourly, web-based collection of rain gauge data to the generation of spatially differentiated rainfall predictions based on deterministic and geostatistical methods. With kriging usually being a labour-intensive, manual task, a simplified variogram modelling routine was applied for the automated processing of up-to-date point information data. Validation showed quite satisfactory results, yet it also revealed the drawbacks that are associated with univariate geostatistical interpolation techniques which solely rely on rain gauges (e.g. smoothing of data, difficulties in resolving small-scale, highly intermittent rainfall). In the perspective, the potential use of citizen scientific data is highlighted for the improvement of studies on landslide EWS.
[en] Many studies have proven that the dynamic control of flood-limited water level (DC-FLWL) is an effective methodology to balance flood control and water conservation for reservoir operations during the flood season. However, these studies have focused on determining the bound of FLWL; few studies have investigated the implementation of real-time DC-FLWL, which actually is the core of DC-FLWL. To implement real-time DC-FLWL, a new method for considering rain forecast is presented in the present study. The proposed method includes two procedures: prerelease and prefill, which constitute the prerelease–refill and the prefill–prerelease schemes. For each scheme, the categorical rain forecast with a lead time of 24 h is used as the trigger for different actions, while hydrological forecast and discharge are used to calculate the action details, including the water level reserved and the amount of discharge water. The method is examined via the operation of the flood event “19960810,” which occurred in the catchment of the Biliuhe reservoir in China. The results show that although the maximum water level and the maximum discharge of the three schemes have the same value, the water level at the end of both the prerelease–refill and the prefill–prerelease schemes of DC-FLWL is 68.8 and 68.5 m, which are both higher than the planning scheme, i.e., 68.1 m. These findings further confirm the effectiveness of DC-FLWL and also prove that the proposed method is suitable for implementing real-time DC-FLWL.
[en] Degradation in drylands is a critically important global issue that threatens ecosystem and environmental in many ways. Researchers have tried to use remote sensing data and meteorological data to perform residual trend analysis and identify human-induced vegetation changes. However, complex interactions between vegetation and climate, soil units and topography have not yet been considered. Data used in the study included annual accumulated Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250 m normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from 2002 to 2013, accumulated rainfall from September to August, digital elevation model (DEM) and soil units. This paper presents linear mixed-effect (LME) modeling methods for the NDVI-rainfall relationship. We developed linear mixed-effects models that considered the random effects of sample points nested in soil units for nested two-level modeling and single-level modeling of soil units and sample points, respectively. Additionally, three functions, including the exponential function (exp), the power function (power), and the constant plus power function (CPP), were tested to remove heterogeneity, and an additional three correlation structures, including the first-order autoregressive structure [AR(1)], a combination of first-order autoregressive and moving average structures [ARMA(1,1)] and the compound symmetry structure (CS), were used to address the spatiotemporal correlations. It was concluded that the nested two-level model considering both heteroscedasticity with (CPP) and spatiotemporal correlation with [ARMA(1,1)] showed the best performance (AMR = 0.1881, RMSE = 0.2576, adj-R2 = 0.9593). Variations between soil units and sample points that may have an effect on the NDVI-rainfall relationship should be included in model structures, and linear mixed-effects modeling achieves this in an effective and accurate way.
[en] In this paper, results on yearly variability of measured attenuation at 13 GHz under rainy conditions over a microwave communication link path situated between Sarojini College and Airport of Dum Dum area in Kolkata have been presented. The link belongs to an user agency and suffers a large attenuation due to heavy rain. The variation microwave amplitude was monitored and rain rate measurements were made on regular basis simultaneously by a fast response rain gauge in the monsoon months during 2007 and 2008. The observed microwave radio signal was characterized with a steady signal level ∼−42 to −43 dBm with fade depth ∼1 to 2 dB under clear sky situation. The results on attenuation have been studied in relation to simultaneous rain rate measurements. Yearly variability of rain attenuation has also been highlighted. These results are also useful for designing and installation of future microwave communication links both for terrestrial and satellite paths in this part of India, where rain characteristics are similar to Indian eastern coastal station. The probability distribution of attenuation and rain rates has been deduced from measured observations. (author)
[en] A new low-cost L1/L2c receiver board is presented in this short letter, along with its first tests. The main strength of the board is its low price tag (around 200 EUR, in quantities of hundreds) as an effective dual-frequency receiver. The effectiveness of the receiver was at first proven by a pedestrian walk experiment on a closed loop, allowing the evaluation of closure errors. Raw measurements were collected and processed in a real-time scenario through a variometric approach implemented in VADASE software. Epoch-by-epoch velocities were estimated on the basis of dual-frequency phase observations and then the trajectory was reconstructed by numerical integration of the estimated velocities. A horizontal closure error lower than 25 cm was achieved; also, a global assessment of the overall 3D trajectory was carried out, performing a comparison to a standard differential solution with respect to a permanent GNSS station, and standard deviations of the differences between 10 and 20 cm for the 3D components (east, north and up) were achieved. Further, static experiments, both in terms of relative positioning and water vapor monitoring by precise point positioning, confirmed the good performance of the new receiver, with coordinates repeatability of a few millimetres for daily solutions, and estimated water vapor behaviour compatible with local rain events. (paper)
[en] Natural hazards, such as high winds, heavy rains and ice melting, can easily trigger the rockfall which usually leads to great personal injuries and property loss; therefore, the rockfall protection is of great significance and necessity. Among the types of protection, the flexible protection occupies a beneficial condition of application. This paper indicates the basics of flexible protection which includes its classification and advantages, subsequently, analyzing the mechanism of both active protection and passive protection, and then systematically summarizing the research accomplishments, and puts forward the research direction of the flexible protection, including: (1) apart from the traditional rigid protection, the flexible protection has a wide range of advantages, which makes the flexible protection a new and effective protective structure in the rockfall protection; (2) the current researches reveal that though the scholars have done a variety of achievements of flexible protection, there is still a lack of precise simulation of the whole model and local test of the component; (3) putting forward the prospective research direction minutely in both active protection and passive protection.
[en] This paper explores the traditional indicators that small-scale farmers in Gaza province in southern Mozambique use to predict drought events on their rain-fed farms. It analyzes the contextual situation regarding the accuracy and reliability of the traditional prediction methods under the current weather and conditions of climate uncertainty and variability, and the opportunities that their prediction methods can bring to reduce their current and future exposure and vulnerabilities to drought. Farmers use a total of 11 traditional environmental indicators to predict drought, either individually or combined, as required to increase their prediction certainty. However, the farmers perceive that current unpredictability, variability, and changes in weather and climate have negatively affected the interpretation, accuracy, and reliability of most of their prediction indicators, and thus their farming activities and their ability to predict and respond to drought. This, associated with the reduced number of elders in the community, is causing a decline in the diversity, and complexity of interpretation of indicators. Nonetheless, these difficulties have not impeded farmers from continuing to use their preferred prediction methods, as on some occasions they continue to be useful for their farming-related decisions and are also the main, or sometimes only, source of forecast. Considering the role these methods play in farmers’ activities, and the limited access to meteorological forecasts in most rural areas of Mozambique, and the fact that the weather and climate is expected to continually change, this paper concludes that it is important to enhance the use of traditional prediction methods. However, the increase of the accuracy and reliability, and continued existence of the methods depends on the farmers’ own abilities to enhance, preserve, and validate them by tailoring the traditional methods used to work with the new environmental, weather, and climatic conditions, or through the development of new methods.