Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

elevation Related Abstracts

3 Effect of Forests and Forest Cover Change on Rainfall in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Authors: Alemayehu Muluneh, Saskia Keesstra, Leo Stroosnijder, Woldeamlak Bewket, Ashenafi Burka


There are some scientific evidences and a belief by many that forests attract rain and deforestation contributes to a decline of rainfall. However, there is still a lack of concrete scientific evidence on the role of forests in rainfall amount. In this paper, we investigate the forest-rainfall relationships in the environmentally hot spot area of the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia. Specifically, we evaluate long term (1970-2009) rainfall variability and its relationship with historical forest cover and the relationship between existing forest cover and topographical variables and rainfall distribution. The study used 16 long term and 15 short term rainfall stations. The Mann-Kendall test, bi variate and multiple regression models were used. The results show forest and wood land cover continuously declined over the 40 years period (1970-2009), but annual rainfall in the rift valley floor increased by 6.42 mm/year. But, on the escarpment and highlands, annual rainfall decreased by 2.48 mm/year. The increase in annual rainfall in the rift valley floor is partly attributable to the increase in evaporation as a result of increasing temperatures from the 4 existing lakes in the rift valley floor. Though, annual rainfall is decreasing on the escarpment and highlands, there was no significant correlation between this rainfall decrease and forest and wood land decline and also rainfall variability in the region was not explained by forest cover. Hence, the decrease in annual rainfall on the escarpment and highlands is likely related to the global warming of the atmosphere and the surface waters of the Indian Ocean. Spatial variability of number of rainy days from systematically observed two-year’s rainfall data (2012-2013) was significantly (R2=-0.63) explained by forest cover (distance from forest). But, forest cover was not a significant variable (R2=-0.40) in explaining annual rainfall amount. Generally, past deforestation and existing forest cover showed very little effect on long term and short term rainfall distribution, but a significant effect on number of rainy days in the CRV of Ethiopia.

Keywords: Rainfall, slope, elevation, forest cover

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2 Grassland Phenology in Different Eco-Geographic Regions over the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Jiahua Zhang, Fengmei Yao, Qing Chang


Studying on the response of vegetation phenology to climate change at different temporal and spatial scales is important for understanding and predicting future terrestrial ecosystem dynamics andthe adaptation of ecosystems to global change. In this study, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset and climate data were used to analyze the dynamics of grassland phenology as well as their correlation with climatic factors in different eco-geographic regions and elevation units across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that during 2003–2012, the start of the grassland greening season (SOS) appeared later while the end of the growing season (EOS) appeared earlier following the plateau’s precipitation and heat gradients from southeast to northwest. The multi-year mean value of SOS showed differences between various eco-geographic regions and was significantly impacted by average elevation and regional average precipitation during spring. Regional mean differences for EOS were mainly regulated by mean temperature during autumn. Changes in trends of SOS in the central and eastern eco-geographic regions were coupled to the mean temperature during spring, advancing by about 7d/°C. However, in the two southwestern eco-geographic regions, SOS was delayed significantly due to the impact of spring precipitation. The results also showed that the SOS occurred later with increasing elevation, as expected, with a delay rate of 0.66 d/100m. For 2003–2012, SOS showed an advancing trend in low-elevation areas, but a delayed trend in high-elevation areas, while EOS was delayed in low-elevation areas, but advanced in high-elevation areas. Grassland SOS and EOS changes may be influenced by a variety of other environmental factors in each eco-geographic region.

Keywords: MODIS, elevation, grassland, phenology, eco-geographic regions, climatic factors, Tibetan Plateau

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1 Effect of Elevation and Wind Direction on Silicon Solar Panel Efficiency

Authors: Abdulrahman M. Homadi


As a great source of renewable energy, solar energy is considered to be one of the most important in the world, since it will be one of solutions cover the energy shortage in the future. Photovoltaic (PV) is the most popular and widely used among solar energy technologies. However, PV efficiency is fairly low and remains somewhat expensive. High temperature has a negative effect on PV efficiency and cooling system for these panels is vital, especially in warm weather conditions. This paper presents the results of a simulation study carried out on silicon solar cells to assess the effects of elevation on enhancing the efficiency of solar panels. The study included four different terrains. The study also took into account the direction of the wind hitting the solar panels. To ensure the simulation mimics reality, six silicon solar panels are designed in two columns and three rows, facing to the south at an angle of 30 o. The elevations are assumed to change from 10 meters to 200 meters. The results show that maximum increase in efficiency occurs when the wind comes from the north, hitting the back of the panels.

Keywords: Efficiency, solar panels, Wind Direction, elevation

Procedia PDF Downloads 166