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- Item2000 - 2017 inventory of extreme weather events in Ireland(2019-01-01) Pasik, Adam; Hickey, Kieran; Leahy, Paul; Environmental Protection AgencyGlobally, extreme weather events are responsible for far more financial losses than the increase in mean temperature. In the context of climate change, attribution of the ever-increasing losses from these high-impact events is still contested. Some research finds climate change to drive the rising costs while other attributes this trend to socioeconomic factors such as higher population densities, demographical shift, accumulation of wealth and exposure of assets. As of yet no systematic inquiry into this matter has been carried out in Ireland. This research compiles a dataset of extreme weather events in Ireland between 2000 and 2017 based on an applied financial threshold of €30m. The overall annual losses are adjusted for inflation and emerging trends are identified and discussed. Population change and per capita GDP are considered as important variables in this research due to their potential to exacerbate losses even without any change in their frequency or climate. Temporal trends in population and per capita GDP are discussed as well as emerging spatial patterns in population distribution. Furthermore, loss values are normalized by adjusting them for inflation, population rise and GDP growth to better understand the relationship between losses from weather extremes and societal and economic factors. The results are contextualized in relevant peer-reviewed literature and compared to similar studies carried out elsewhere in the world. This study, in agreement with similar research implemented elsewhere, establishes an increasing trend in annual losses from weather extremes in Ireland, while also demonstrating that this trend is nullified by population rise and economic growth. During the study period population of Ireland has increased by 26.4%, resulting in 1 million new residents, meanwhile, the per capita GDP has more than doubled. Larger and wealthier populations hold more assets which can be potentially damaged. Losses from weather extremes in Ireland adjusted for population and wealth increase no longer show a rising trend, highlighting the importance of population densities and wealth accumulation as key factors driving the increase in financial damages stemming from weather and climatic extremes.
- ItemAddressing the Faustian bargain of the modern food system: connecting sustainable agriculture with sustainable consumption(Taylor & Francis Group, 2012-05-28) Sage, Colin
- ItemAdvancing beyond static representations of movement in spatial analysis(Geographical Information Science Research UK, 2020) Holloway, PaulMethods used to generate movement and couple it with the environment are strongly integrated within GIScience. This study explores how systematically altering the conceptualisation of movement, environmental space, and temporal resolution affects the results of habitat selection analyses using both real-world case studies and simulated data. Only segment conceptualisations modelled the expected movement-environment relationship with increasing linear feature resistance. This suggests that spatial statistics employed to investigate movement-environment relationships should advance beyond conceptualising movement as the (relatively) static conceptualisation of vectors and moves and replace these with (more) dynamic aggregations of longer-lasting movement processes such as segments and areal representations.
- ItemAggregating the conceptualisation of movement data better captures real world and simulated animal-environment relationships(Taylor & Francis, 2019-05-29) Holloway, Paul; University College CorkHabitat selection analysis is a widely applied statistical framework used in spatial ecology. Many of the methods used to generate movement and couple it with the environment are strongly integrated within GIScience. The choice of movement conceptualisation and environmental space can potentially have long-lasting implications on the spatial statistics used to infer movement–environment relationships. The aim of this study was to explore how systematically altering the conceptualisation of movement, environmental space and temporal resolution affects the results of habitat selection analyses using both real-world case studies and a virtual ecologist approach. Model performance and coefficient estimates did not differ between the finest conceptualisations of movement (e.g. vector and move), while substantial differences were found for the more aggregated representations (e.g. segment and area). Only segments modelled the expected movement–environment relationship with increasing linear feature resistance in the virtual ecologist approach and altering the temporal resolution identified inversions in the movement–environment relationship for vectors and moves. The results suggest that spatial statistics employed to investigate movement–environment relationships should advance beyond conceptualising movement as the (relatively) static conceptualisation of vectors and moves and replace these with (more) dynamic aggregations of longer-lasting movement processes such as segments and areal representations.
- ItemAgro-food systems(Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018-04-25) Sage, ColinThe agro-food system comprises all those activities related to the production, processing, distribution, sale, preparation and consumption of food. The prefix ‘agro-‘ (or ‘agri-‘) to the term ‘food systems’, however, invites us to place somewhat greater importance upon the farm sector and the production of primary foods than to subsequent stages where these materials are refined, manufactured into final foods for ultimate consumption. Moreover, as Robinson (2004) reminds us, agriculture is distinct from many other economic activities as it deals with living organisms, that is the plants and animals that possess particular biological characteristics. The degree to which these are adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions will largely determine their productivity. Consequently, agro-food systems encourage us to pay attention to their particular geographical context. Yet while climate, moisture, soils and other ecological services provide the key physical parameters of production potential, farmers influence this environment through limiting biological (and genetic) diversity and managing inputs to create a farmed agroecosystem. The nature and extent of farmer intervention is itself a consequence of the social and economic circumstances in which they find themselves, such that agricultural systems can range from extensive, low-input cultivation to highly intensive and industrialised operations. An understanding of agro-food systems must consequently appreciate the array of environmental and socio-economic factors that influence the ways in which these systems develop.
- ItemAnalysis of the sea surface temperature variations around Ireland's coastline 2002-2020(University College Cork, 2022-07-13) Murphy, Aisling M.; Hickey, KieranThis thesis analyses the sea surface temperature variations around Ireland’s coastline from 2002-2020, using time series analysis of the one inactive and five currently active marine buoys. In depth analysis of the annual and seasonal sea surface temperature variations were assessed as well as spells of maximum and minimum sea surface temperature for each buoy. Both short term and long-term causations were identified as contributors to the variations in sea surface temperature experienced around Ireland’s coastline. Particular focus on the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, The NAO Index, the North Atlantic hurricane season and the position of the jet stream were assessed and correlated with sea surface temperature changes around Ireland’s coastline from 2002-2020. These processes are interconnected and display a proportional relationship to each other as there is a high correlation between changes in these processes and a domino effect of other atmospheric and oceanic processes that influence sea surface temperatures around Ireland’s coastline. There were variations in the annual average SST between the buoys. The buoys M4 and M5 both recorded an overall increase in mean annual SST from 2002-2020. Buoys M2, M3 and M6 recorded an overall decrease in the mean annual SST from 2002-2020. No clear connection between the different annual SST trends between the buoys were identified, however their individual location in relation to the continental shelf was a local factor that may have contributed to the variations between the buoys. In depth analysis of the long- and short-term contributors to variations in SST around Ireland’s coastline showed that the most significant influencing factors of SST variations around Ireland’s coastline were the North Atlantic hurricane season track positions and the varying position of the jet stream. Both of these factors displayed a significant impact on the annual SST variations and the spells of either maximum or minimum SST for each buoy. These factors also contributed to changes in the NAO Index, which further influenced SST variations around Ireland’s coastline. The hurricane events contribute to the mixing of waters around Ireland’s coastline, causing unstable conditions and a high level of mixing waters during negative NAO Index occurrences. The AMV signal impacts on air temperature, causing an increase in the effect and frequency of hurricane events in the North Atlantic which influence SST around Ireland’s coastline. Assessment of ongoing changes in the position of the jet stream would be a critical factor in evaluation of future SST variations around Ireland’s coastline.
- ItemAn assessment of multiple drivers determining woody species composition and structure: a case study from the Kalahari, Botswana(MDPI, 2019-08-05) Meyer, Thoralf; Holloway, Paul; Christiansen, Thomas B.; Miller, Jennifer A.; D’Odorico, Paolo; Okin, Gregory S.; National Science FoundationSavannas are extremely important socio-economic landscapes, with pastoralist societies relying on these ecosystems to sustain their livelihoods and economy. Globally, there is an increase of woody vegetation in these ecosystems, degrading the potential of these multi-functional landscapes to sustain societies and wildlife. Several mechanisms have been invoked to explain the processes responsible for woody vegetation composition; however, these are often investigated separately at scales not best suited to land-managers, thereby impeding the evaluation of their relative importance. We ran six transects at 15 sites along the Kalahari transect, collecting data on species identity, diversity, and abundance. We used Poisson and Tobit regression models to investigate the relationship among woody vegetation, precipitation, grazing, borehole density, and fire. We identified 44 species across 78 transects, with the highest species richness and abundance occurring at Kuke (middle of the rainfall gradient). Precipitation was the most important environmental variable across all species and various morphological groups, while increased borehole density and livestock resulted in lower bipinnate species abundance, contradicting the consensus that these managed features increase the presence of such species. Rotating cattle between boreholes subsequently reduces the impact of trampling and grazing on the soil and maintains and/or reduces woody vegetation abundance.
- ItemAudio and ludic engagements with spiritual heritage at an Irish holy well(SAGE Publications, 2019-12-06) Scriven, Richard; Langan, Vicky; Department of Culture, Heritage and the GaeltachtThis article reflects on audio methods and field recordings as means of examining how a cultural-spiritual space can be experienced by young people through an arts heritage project undertaken with primary school children in rural Ireland. Contributing to the growing role of sound and audio in geographical research, we consider how a series of participatory workshops at a holy well fostered curiosity and ludic engagements with the place enhancing the understanding of this location in a process that merged creative practice, spiritual heritage and wonder.
- ItemBandon in the eighteenth century. The view from a terrier and a survey(Cumann Seanchais na Bandann, 1989) O'Flanagan, Patrick
- ItemBeneath the surface of the First World Ocean Assessment: An investigation into the global process’ support for sustainable development(Frontiers Media, 2019-10-15) Fawkes, Kyle William; Cummins, ValerieThe United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals have articulated sustainable development requirements at the international level. SDG14: life below water, has in particular, provided a future pathway for sustainable development of the ocean environment. With the establishment of this global perspective has come a renewed emphasis on the need for global ocean knowledge production. The 2015 First World Ocean Assessment (FWOA), which was produced by the first cycle of the United Nations’ Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-economic Aspects, is widely viewed as a primary tool to guiding action on SDG14. This research investigates how effective the FWOA has been at supporting these efforts toward sustainable development of the ocean environment. We use a combination of approaches, including document mining, an internationally distributed survey and semi-structured interviews to better understand the impact of the FWOA as well as the interrelated functioning of the Regular Process’ first cycle. While the FWOA was successful in compiling well accepted and credible ocean information, it was unable to generate the impact on sustainable ocean management activities that had originally been expected of it. Funding restrictions, participation issues and political anxieties seemed to derail the first cycle of the Regular Process from initial recommendations and directed the process into unorthodox operations and substantial political control. With the Second World Ocean Assessment (SWOA) well underway, it is imperative that trust is built and social learning is encouraged between participants in the Regular Process.
- ItemBuilding resilience for social-ecological sustainability in Atlantic Europe(University College Cork, 2016) Scollick, Andrew Dale; Sage, ColinThis thesis argues that complex adaptive social–ecological systems (SES) theory has important implications for the design of integrated ocean and coastal governance in the EU. Traditional systems of governance have struggled to deal with the global changes, complexity and uncertainties that challenge a transition towards sustainability in Europe’s maritime macro-regions. There is an apparent disconnect between governance strategies for sustainability in Europe’s maritime macro-regions and a sound theoretical basis for them. My premise is that the design of governance architecture for maritime regional sustainability should be informed by SES theory. Therefore, the aim of this research was to gain insight into a multilevel adaptive governance architecture that combines notions of sustainability and development in the context of the Atlantic Europe maritime macro-region. The central research question asked whether it is possible to achieve this insight by using a SES as a framework and analytical tool. This research adopted social ecology and sustainability science as a foundation for understanding society–nature relations. Concepts from complex adaptive systems, SES and resilience theories were integrated into a conceptual framework that guided the investigation and analysis. A study was conducted to conceptualise the European Atlantic social–ecological system (EASES). This was used to represent and understand the Atlantic Europe macro-region as a SES. The study examined the proposition that governance can be focused on building SES resilience to help achieve maritime regional sustainability. A workbook method was developed and used to elicit expert opinion regarding EASES. The study identified sources of resilience and resilience dynamics that require management in the context of multilevel adaptive governance. This research found that the Atlantic Europe macro-region is a key focal level for multilevel adaptive governance architecture. The majority of the findings are specific to Atlantic Europe and not generalisable to other maritime macro-regions in Europe.
- ItemCeltic pilgrimage, past and present: from historical geography to contemporary embodied practices(Taylor & Francis Group, 2016-02-02) Maddrell, Avril; Scriven, Richard; Irish Research Council; University College Cork; Geographical Society of Ireland; Arts and Humanities Research Council; Economic and Social Research CouncilPerigrinatio, the Latin term for pilgrimage was at the heart of the medieval Celtic church, but was this was understood and practised not only as a journey to a shrine, but more broadly as a spiritual journey, which could lead to an isolated hermitage or peripatetic evangelistic mission. In this paper, we outline the beliefs and practices of the broad assemblage known as the Celtic church, particularly the interleaving of pilgrimage, asceticism and landscape poetics, and how these have informed continued and renewed pilgrimage practices to sites of the early Celtic church by particular denominations, ecumenical groups and those interested in broader spiritualities. These sacred mobilities are explored through vignettes of embodied-emotional-spiritual practices situated in the landscapes and faith communities of Lough Derg, Ireland and the Isle of Man. They share geographical marginality, a focus on multiple Celtic saints and an enduring belief in the immanence of God, expressed through embodied spiritual practice in the landscape. However, they differ widely in matters of institutionalised structure, regulation, discursive scripting and gendered hierarchy, reflecting situated and denominational preferences for the ascetic and aesthetic spiritual legacies of the medieval Celtic church.
- ItemThe central lowlands of Ireland - An empty heartland?(The Old Athlone Society, 1973) O'Flanagan, Patrick
- ItemThe changing landscape of local and community development in Ireland: policy and practice(The Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS21), University College Cork, 2016-04) Forde, Catherine; O'Byrne, Déirdre; O'Connor, Ray; Ó hAdhmaill, Féilim; Power, Carol; University College Cork
- ItemCharacterisation and monitoring of forest disturbances in Ireland using active microwave satellite platforms(University College Cork, 2020) Malur Balaji, Preethi; Cawkwell, Fiona; Dwyer, Ned; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, IrelandForests are one of the major carbon sinks that significantly contribute towards achieving targets of the Kyoto Protocol, and its successors, in reducing greenhouse (GHG) emissions. In order to contribute to regular National Inventory Reporting, and as part of the on-going development of the Irish national GHG reporting system (CARBWARE), improvements in characterisation of changes in forest carbon stocks have been recommended to provide a comprehensive information flow into CARBWARE. The Irish National Forest Inventory (NFI) is updated once every six years, thus there is a need for an enhanced forest monitoring system to obtain annual forest updates to support government agencies and forest management companies in their strategic decision making and to comply with international GHG reporting standards. Sustainable forest management is imperative to promote net carbon absorption from forests. Based on the NFI data, Irish forests have removed or sequestered an average of 3.8 Mt of atmospheric CO2 per year between 2007 and 2016. However, unmanaged and degraded forests become a net emitter of carbon. Disturbances from human induced activities such as clear felling, thinning and deforestation results in carbon emissions back into the atmosphere. Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM, Ireland), this PhD study focuses on exploring the potential of data from L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite based sensors for monitoring changes in the small stand forests of Ireland. Historic data from ALOS PALSAR in the late 2000s and more recent data from ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 sensors have been used to map forest areas and characterise the different disturbances observed within three different regions of Ireland. Forest mapping and disturbance characterisation was achieved by combining the machine learning supervised Random Forests (RF) and unsupervised Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis (ISODATA) classification techniques. The lack of availability of ground truth data supported use of this unsupervised approach which forms natural clusters based on their multi-temporal signatures, with divergence statistics used to select the optimal number of clusters to represent different forest classes. This approach to forest monitoring using SAR imagery has not been reported in the peer-review literature and is particularly beneficial where there is a dearth of ground-based information. When applied to the forests, mapped with an accuracy of up to 97% by RF, the ISODATA technique successfully identified the unique multi-temporal pattern associated with clear-fells which exhibited a decrease of 4 to 5 decibels (dB) between the images acquired before and after the event. The clustering algorithm effectively highlighted the occurrence of other disturbance events within forests with a decrease of 2±0.5dB between two consecutive years, as well as areas of tree growth and afforestation. A highlight of the work is the successful transferability of the algorithm, developed using ALOS PALSAR, to ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 data thereby demonstrating the potential continuity of annual forest monitoring. The higher spatial and radiometric resolutions of ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 data have shown improvements in forest mapping compared to ALOS PALSAR data. From mapping a minimum forest size of 1.8 ha with ALOS PALSAR, a minimum area of 1.1 ha was achieved with the ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 images. Moreover, even with some different backscatter characteristics of images acquired in different seasons, similar signature patterns between the sensors were retrieved that helped to define the cluster groups, thus demonstrating the robustness of the algorithm and its successful transferability. Having proven the potential to monitor forest disturbances, the results from both the sensors were used to detect deforestation over the time period 2007-2016. Permanent land-use changes pertaining to conversion of forests to agricultural lands and windfarms were identified which are important with respect to forest monitoring and carbon reporting in Ireland. Overall, this work has presented a viable approach to support forest monitoring operations in Ireland. By providing disturbance information from SAR, it can supplement projects working with optical images which are generally limited by cloud cover, particularly in parts of northern, western and upland Ireland. This approach adds value to ground based forest monitoring by mapping distinct forests over large areas on an annual basis. This study has demonstrated the ability to apply the algorithm to three different study areas, with a vision to operationalise the algorithm on a national scale. The main limitations experienced in this study were the lack of L-band SAR data availability and reference datasets. With typically only one image acquired per year, and discrepancies and omissions existing within reference datasets, understanding the behaviour of certain cluster groups representing disturbances was challenging. However, this approach has addressed some issues within the reference datasets, for example locating areas for which a felling licence was granted but where trees were never cut, by providing detailed systematic mapping of forests. Future satellites such as Tandem-L, SAOCOM-2A and 2B, P-band BIOMASS mission and ALOS-4 PALSAR-3 may overcome the issue of limited SAR image acquisitions provided more images per year are available, especially during the summer months.
- ItemCharacterizing near-surface firn using the scattered signal component of the glacier surface return from airborne radio-echo sounding(American Geophysical Union, 2016-12-30) Rutishauser, Anja; Grima, Cyril; Sharp, Martin; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.; Cawkwell, Fiona; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Natural Environment Research Council; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; University of Alberta; Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures; Environment CanadaWe derive the scattered component (hereafter referred to as the incoherent component) of glacier surface echoes from airborne radio-echo sounding measurements over Devon Ice Cap, Arctic Canada, and compare the scattering distribution to firn stratigraphy observations from ground-based radar data. Low scattering correlates to laterally homogeneous firn above 1800 m elevation containing thin, flat, and continuous ice layers and below 1200 m elevation where firn predominantly consists of ice. Increased scattering between elevations of 1200–1800 m corresponds to firn with inhomogeneous, undulating ice layers. No correlation was found to surface roughness and its theoretical incoherent backscattering values. This indicates that the scattering component is mainly influenced by the near-surface firn stratigraphy, whereas surface roughness effects are minor. Our results suggest that analyzing the scattered signal component of glacier surface echoes is a promising approach to characterize the spatial heterogeneity of firn that is affected by melting and refreezing processes.
- ItemCoastal flooding in Scotland: past, present and future(Thomas Telford (ICE Publishing), 2009-09) Ball, T.; Booth, L. M.; Duck, R. W.; Edwards, A.; Hickey, Kieran R.; Werrity, A.; Allsop, W.
- ItemThe concerns of Irish local and regional studies: a geographical perspective(Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement (GSIHS), 1995) O'Flanagan, Patrick