Geographia Polonica

Geographia Polonica has been published since 1964; in the years 1964–1998 as a serial publication. Since 1999 – as a journal with two issues per year (Spring and Autumn), and since 2012 there are four issues per year (March, July, October, December). Contributions to the journal on both human and physical geography topics as well as related fields (e.g. urban and regional planning, ecology) should be submitted to the Editor. Papers dealing with Central and Eastern Europe are particularly welcomed.


CALL FOR PAPERS: Borders in Central and Eastern Europe

tl_files/igipz/ZPZ/GP/map.gifThe objective of this coming issue of GEOGRAPHIA POLONICA is to come back over the borders and cross-border relationships, in a context where the traditional representation of borders seen as the ground for categorization and delimitation is now questioned by multiple flows processes, dynamics and changes.

Political and socio-economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe has deeply transformed existence and functioning of borders and borderland areas. General systemic changes in Central Europe help with the use of endogenous potential, which can be modified through an uncovering of new resources and innovations. Increases in traffic: international, cross-border and national, help in the development of new economy that services it, both in “old” border regions and in new emerging cross-border regions. This processes are supported by economic and social changes that help increase the significance of development of borderlands. Given wise policies and investments, these processes become impulses behind the appearance and increase of new cross-border relationships. European Union funding (funds) has been the main component to investments in the borderland areas in many CEE regions. At the same time new crated interactions are becoming a primary focus of transboundary collaboration and integration.

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Geographia Polonica appreciated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

tl_files/igipz/ZPZ/GP/mse.jpgOn 23 December, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education announced a new list of scientific journals, along with the number of points awarded for articles in these journals.  With pleasure and great satisfaction we announce that Geographia Polonica has received the highest score, which is 15 points. It is the highest possible score for a Polish journal outside of the  Philadelphia List, but also the absolute highest possible score for a general geographical periodical. It is worth noting that our magazine has the highest metrics of Polish general geographical periodicals in Scopus database (SJR and IPP).We hope that this is another step to strengthen position of Geographia Polonica also on the international area.

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Current Issue

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1


Mediterranean cyclones, the atmospheric moisture content and precipitation in Poland

Jan Degirmendžić, Krzysztof Kożuchowski

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 5-20

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The article describes changes in the frequency and activity of cyclones moving from the Mediterranean Sea basin to the area of Central and Eastern Europe in the period 1958-2008. Furthermore, long-term trends in the amount of precipitation in Poland are analyzed, as well as the moisture content in the atmosphere over Poland related to the activity of Mediterranean cyclones. A relationship was observed between the amount of precipitation,the precipitable water in the atmosphere over Poland and the cyclone trajectories. In the analyzed period, the number of Mediterranean cyclones reaching Central and Eastern Europe decreased. Moreover, signs of decreasing activity of these cyclones were also noted. The average moisture content in the atmosphere over Poland also showed a downward trend. The precipitation totals associated with the activity of Mediterranean cyclones became lower, while the intensity of precipitation did not change significantly. Mediterranean cyclones are associated with high moisture content in the atmosphere. This surplus amounts to an averageof nearly 15%, and in periods with the highest precipitation it reaches ca. 40%. The maximum daily precipitation reaches nearly 8 times the value of the current moisture content in the atmosphere.

Keywords: Mediterranean cyclones, cyclone trajectories, precipitation, precipitable water, long-term trends, Poland

Jan Degirmendžić, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geographical Sciences University of Łódź Narutowicza 88, 90-139 Łódź: Poland
Krzysztof Kożuchowski [], Institute of Forest Sciences, University of Łódź, Branch in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, ul. Konstytucji 3 Maja 65/67, 97-200 Tomaszów Mazowiecki

Cloud cover over Spitsbergen and its relation to atmospheric circulation (1983-2015)

Ewa Łupikasza, Oskar Lipiński

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 21-38

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This paper discusses the cloud cover and its relation to atmospheric circulation over Spitsbergen during 1983-2015. It focuses on monthly and seasonal cloud covers and on the frequency of days with specific cloud cover (cloudless, clear, cloudy and completely overcast sky) and their relation to various circulation types. In the research period the cloud cover characteristics were differentiated over the island on both monthly and seasonal scales, and they strongly depended on the direction of air advection. The highest mean daily cloud cover was reported for circulation types with air advection from the south (S+SWc and S+SWa). The greatest variation in the cloud cover distribution was observed during the polar night (at Svalbard Lufthavn and Ny-Ålesund) or in the autumn (Hornsund). The long-term variability in the cloud cover significantly depends on the frequency of N+NEa type (negative correlation) and on S+SWc and W+NWc and Cc+Bc types (positive correlation), particularly in spring.

Keywords: cloud cover, atmospheric circulation, Spitsbergen, the Arctic

Ewa Łupikasza, Department of Climatology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Oskar Lipiński, Department of Climatology, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Factors inhibiting convection under conditions of extreme atmospheric instability

Angelika Palarz, Daniel Celiński-Mysław

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 39-51

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The paper identifies mechanisms that potentially inhibit convection at a time when extreme values of selected atmospheric instability indices are recorded. The study involved six indices (LI, SI, CAPE, KI, SWEAT, TTI). Data sources involved records from three Polish data stations collecting upper air soundings and covered the period 2005-2014. Additional data were obtained from SYNOP codes on present and past weather and reportson severe meteorological phenomena from the European Severe Weather Database. The methodology adopted allowed the selection of 26 cases where no convective phenomena were observed despite extreme atmospheric instability. A detailed analysis demonstrated that the occurrence of isothermal or inversion layers in the lower and middle troposphere were the most frequent mechanisms inhibiting the vertical air movement. Convection was also inhibited when the area was free from the influence of atmospheric fronts, convergence zones, low pressure troughs or when high altitudes of LCL occurred.

Keywords: convection inhibition, atmospheric instability indices, Poland, upper air sounding

Angelika Palarz, Department of Climatology Jagiellonian University Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków: Poland
Daniel Celiński-Mysław, Department of Climatology Jagiellonian University Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków: Poland

Soil water storage in Poland over the years 2000-2015 in response to precipitation variability as retrieved from GLDAS Noah simulations

Urszula Somorowska

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 53-64

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This study assesses the soil water storage in Poland over the years 2000-2015. Soil water storage (SWS) data were acquired from the GLDAS Noah model simulations. The specific objectives were to provide a quantitative assessment of the SWS in the soil layer of 0-50 cm depth to detect extreme stages of SWS, and to provide an insight into the effects of precipitation deficit or surplus on the stage of SWS. Extremely low SWS was detected to occur in August 2003, July 2006, and September 2015. Contrasting high SWS stages appeared in May and June 2010, caused by excessive precipitation.

Keywords: soil water storage, variability, GLDAS Noah, Poland

Urszula Somorowska, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies University of Warsaw Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warsaw: Poland

From communism to a free-market economy: A reflection of socio-economic changes in land use structure in the vicinity of the city (Beskid Sądecki, Western Polish Carpathians)

Anna Bucała-Hrabia

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 65-79

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Agricultural land is declining in many mountainous regions of the world, often because political and economic changes make agriculture less profitable. This study compared the structure of land use in the Homerka catchment, an area of 19.3 km2 located in the West Polish Carpathians, using GIS techniques and cartographic materials between 1977 and 2009. This period covers the transformation of the Polish economy from a communist system to a free-market economy after 1989. The analysis indicates an increase in the forest area of the Homerka catchment by 18.14% and a decrease of cultivated land by 82.64%. The grasslands did not change significantly in their area, however, their spatial pattern was very dynamic related to their reduction due to forest expansion and enlargement due to cultivated land abandonment. The area of buildings revealed a continuous increase from 0.21% to 0.38%. The population density increased from 62 people/km2 in 1978to 79 people/km2 in 2009, while the population dependent on agriculture decreased from 35% to below 20% in the same period. The trend remains one of forest transition where, after a period of deforestation, large areas of land marginally suitable for agriculture are abandoned and left to forest regeneration. However, the driving of the labour force from agriculture to other economic sectors is not accompanied by migration from rural to urban areas.

Keywords: land use, agriculture, economic transformation, GIS, mountains

Anna Bucała-Hrabia [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Św. Jana 22, 31-018, Kraków: Poland

Moisture and circulation conditions during heavy precipitation events in Łódź

Piotr Piotrowski

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 81-92

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A detailed analysis was performed of precipitation data from the years 2011-2013 collected from 17 stations in the city of Łódź over six days with the highest six-hour precipitation periods. Each day was analyzed in respect of the synoptic conditions affecting the weather, with particular emphasis placed on moisture conditions. The highest precipitation was recorded during the May to August period. The convergence of thermally contrasting air masses and significant amounts of water vapor transported to the area of Central Europewere the main cause of extreme precipitation in the area of Łódź. During the advection of warm air masses, the significant amount of water vapor in the air originated not only from the warm sea basins, but also from evapotranspiration during the air masses travelling over hot land areas. A high content of precipitable water during heavy precipitation events was reported in the area of Poland and its neighborhood.

Keywords: extreme precipitation, water vapor flux, precipitable water, atmospheric circulation

Piotr Piotrowski, Department of Meteorology and Climatology, University of Łódź Narutowicza 88, 90-139 Łódź, Poland

Project Report

The role of man and extreme events in the transformation of environment at the margin of the Eastern Himalaya and their piedmont

Paweł Prokop

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 93-96

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Paweł Prokop [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland

Poland on maps

The first medium-scale topographic map of Galicia (1779-1783) – survey, availability and importance

Paweł Prokop

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 1, pp. 97-104

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Known in Poland as the “Mieg Map”, the first topographic map of Galicia, at a scale of 1:28,800 represented one result of The First Military Survey of the Habsburg Empire in the late 18th century. This paper discusses the history of that survey in brief, and describes the map’s content and first edition in Poland. Attention is also paid to the Galicia map’s status as a unique historical source suitable for GIS analysis and evaluation of developmental trends in the landscape.

Keywords: landscape changes, land use, historical maps, GIS

Paweł Prokop [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Jana 22, 31-018 Kraków: Poland