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Volume XVIII |

Professor Constantin Savin Life and Activity

Abstract: In Memoriam

Volume XVIII |

A review of recent studies on heat wave definitions, mechanisms, changes, and impact on mortality

Abstract: Heat waves (HWs) represent a major danger to society and natural environment. The increasing occurrence of high magnitude and impact HWs has raised concerns worldwide and has attracted an increasing interest on this issue among climatologists over the past decade. In this review the research from 2007-2018 period on HWs definitions, driving mechanisms, present changes, future changes, and impact on human mortality is summarized. By reviewing the recent literature, it was found that whilst the atmospheric dynamic is considered to be the primary driver in HW occurrence, the sea surface temperature (SST) and land surface conditions are also essential driving components. The vastness of HW-definitions raises difficulties in selecting the appropriate methodology to identify heat episodes and to compare results from studies which used different definitions. However, by analyzing a sample of 109 papers, a preference for percentile-based definitions was observed. Therefore, 71.6% of the analyzed articles used only percentile-based definitions to identify HWs. Despite the wide variety of definitions, the analysis of changes in HWs converged to similar results. Thus, the existing recent literature provided extensive evidence of significant increase in HWs characteristics across large regions of the planet. Available scientific literature indicated that HWs have been responsible for a considerable increase in mortality in many regions of the world. In the future HWs are predicted to increase in their main characteristics leading to a greater impact on human mortality. Nevertheless, the implementation of rigorous adaptation measures can mitigate the negative impact on mortality. In conclusion, it was noted that a substantial progress has been done in the HW research, but there are still important gaps in this issue which need to be addressed.

Volume XVIII |

Climate parameters relevant for avalanche triggering in the Făgăraș Mountains (Southern Carpathians)

Abstract: The climate conditions may contribute significantly to the generation of several hazards in mountain areas, such landslides, wildfires, flash floods and avalanches. This study examines the variation of the main meteorological parameters with impact on avalanche triggering conditions at Bâlea-Lac Meteorological Station. At the best of our knowledge, this is the first overview of the basic climate parameters which are potentially avalanche triggers in the Făgăraș Mountains (Southern Carpathians). The study is based on data from only one weather station (Bâlea-Lac) from the period 1979-2017, assuming it is consistently relevant from climatic point of view for avalanche occurrence in the area. The results demonstrate that the theoretical circumstances for avalanche triggering (e.g. snow pack, fresh snow or wind) can be captured. This paper briefly describes the nivologic monitoring system run by the National Meteorological Administration and emphasises its utility for avalanche forecasting and alerts.

Volume XVIII |

Tracing the development of weather radar technology in Romania and worldwide

Abstract: Almost 90 years from the radar invention, the radar technology has evolved enormously and today it presents itself as an instrument of great importance in various research areas (meteorology, aviation, astronomy, air-ecology etc.). The main objective of the article is to identify the periods of development at the global level and also in Romania, as well as to identify the technology of most operational weather radars today. The article is based on publications from international journals and scientific books, covering the period of 1930-2018. The overview presentation demonstrates the reasons today’s weather radar is a powerful tool for studies concerning the atmospheric precipitations prediction, wind speed and direction, rainfall risk assessment and implementation of weather forecasts. Knowing the technological development is needed for the construction of the new generation radar and for exceeding the actual limits with regard to the accuracy of the radar data and the limits of observation. The purpose of this article is to summarize the evolution of the weather radar, with emphasis on the first experiments carried out during the analogue and digital period.

Volume XVIII |

In search of the last remaining giants. Modelling the conservation potential of century old trees within the Continental and Steppic Biogeographical Regions of Romania

Abstract: The present paper aims to model the potential for conservation of some very large specimens of either indigenous or human introduced tree species located within the Continental and Steppic Biogeographical Regions of Romania, areas characterized by considerable natural diversity. Centuries of human intervention have resulted in the major replacement of the natural vegetation with semi natural forests in the highlands, pastures and permanent crops at the hills and arable land in the lower areas. The once pristine landscapes present numerous remains in the form of old trees, while other exotic introduced species are common. In order to assess their conservation potential, we applied an encyclopedically approach centered on numerous field observations, measurements, scientific literature research, historical maps analyses and discussions with locals. The results certify the existence of different species characterized by a medium and high potential for conservation. Some of them are the subject of numerous researches and possess favorable conservation status while many are poorly or virtually unstudied and not protected. Such findings are usable in complex domains, mainly biodiversity conservation, durable ecosystem management and ecotourism.