Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2

Extreme meteorological and hydrological events in Poland

Preface

Preface

Jacek A. Jania, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 5-8 | Full text

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Keywords:

Jacek A. Jania, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia ul. Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland

Articles

Extreme Hydro-meteorological Events and their Impacts. From the Global down to the Regional Scale

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Jacek A. Jania

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 9-24 | Full text

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Abstract:

Despite the progress in technology, the risk of weather-related disasters has not beeneradicated and never will be. On the global scale, disasters are becoming both more frequentand more destructive, annually causing material losses worth tens of billions of Euros, as well asseveral thousand fatalities. Furthermore, catastrophic weather events have been the subject of arapid upward trend, with the value of material damage increasing by an order of magnitude overthe last four decades, in inflation-adjusted monetary units. There is now an increasing body ofevidence of ongoing planetary climate change (global warming), which has brought about considerablechanges where extreme hydro-meteorological events are concerned, and is likely to leadto even more marked changes in the future. Typically, changes in extremes are more pronouncedand exert more impact than changes in mean values. Among the extremes on the rise are thenumber of hot days and tropical nights; the duration and intensity of heatwaves; precipitationintensity (and resulting floods, landslides and mudflows); the frequency, length and severity ofdroughts; glacier and snow melt; tropical cyclone intensity and sea level and storm surges. In turn,a ubiquitous decrease in cold extremes (number of cool days and nights, and frost days) is projected.Increases in climate extremes associated with climate change are likely to cause physicaldamage and population displacement, as well as having adverse effects on food production andthe availability and quality of fresh water. A discussion of hydro-meteorological extremes andtheir impacts is therefore provided here in relation to a range of scales, and with the context foradaptation and mitigation also being alluded to.

Keywords: extreme events; hydrometeorology; climate variability; climate change; climate change impacts

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Jacek A. Jania, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia ul. Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

Access to and Re-use of Public-sector Environmental Data and Information. Policy Developments with a Focus on the European Hydro-meteorological Scene

Ton W. Donker

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 25-34 | Full text

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Thus far, the process of obtaining basic data and information from governmental agencieswith a view to its being used in the information industry has seemingly been a troublesomeand sometimes discouraging operation in most European countries. Re-users in both the publicand private sectors are faced with extensive barriers reflecting increasing commercialization inthe operations of government agencies, data protection, high license fees and a short-sightedappeal to profitability principles. However, a trend towards the provision of “free data” at deliverycost only now appears to be gaining currency both in society and with governments. It can beargued that “free data provision”, unlike short-term cost recovery policies, will generate optimalsocio-economic benefits. But “free data” in our digital era is one side of the picture. The otheris that national governments will be forced to re-think their role in the information society, andlast but not least in their relationship with the private information industry. Neither full publicdominance nor a private monopoly seem optimal solutions from the societal viewpoint.

Keywords: data re-use policy drivers, data protection, government commercialization, information society, digital era, creation of derived and new data sets, knowledge-based economies, socio- economic benefits, information industries, value-added information servic

Ton W. Donker, Stakeholder and Contract Management, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE De Bilt, Netherlands

Estimation of Damage Caused by Extreme Weather Events, with an Emphasis on Floods

Piotr Matczak, Roman Mańczak, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 35-46 | Full text

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Damage caused by extreme weather events is projected to increase on account of climatechange. However, the assessment of losses is a weak point of the systems concerning preparednessfor and management of weather extremes. Methods of ex post loss assessment arediscussed here, with particular emphasis on floods. Approaches based on restoration value andmarket value are presented. Methods addressing indirect tangible losses and intangible damageare also reviewed. Restrictions and ambiguities connected with the methods are presented, anddifficulties with data collection discussed.

Keywords: Loss estimation, extreme weather events, floods, intangible damage, tangible damage

Roman Mańczak, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, 60-809 Poznań ul. Bukowska 19, Poland
Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland

Poland’s Climate Extremes Index, 1951–2005

Rajmund Przybylak, Zsuzsanna Vízi, Andrzej Araźny, Marek Kejna, Rafał Maszewski, Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 47-58 | Full text

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The paper seeks to synthesise contemporary (1951–2005) trends regarding the occurrenceof extreme meteorological events in Poland using the complex Climate Extremes Index(CEI) proposed by Karl et al. (1996). Poland’s CEI Was the greatest in the 1990s. The trendnoted for it in the period from 1951 to 2005 is an upward one, but does not achieve statisticalsignificance. Similar tendencies for the index have been observed in the 20th century for the USA(1910–90), the Russian Federation (1950–96), and Central Europe (1951–2000).

Keywords: climate extremes index (CEI), temperature, precipitation, moisture index, Poland.

Rajmund Przybylak, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Zsuzsanna Vízi, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Rafał Maszewski, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

Variability to Global Solar Radiation in Central Europe During the Period 1951–2005 (On the Basis of Data from NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Project)

Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska, Rajmund Przybylak, Zsuzsanna Vízi, Andrzej Araźny, Marek Kejna, Rafał Maszewski

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 59-68 | Full text

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Abstract:

The paper presents the variability to Global Solar Radiation (GSR) in Central Europein the period 1951–2005. The basic material comprises the data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysisof 35 grid points. The research shows a statistically significant increase in GSR income in theentire study period in the research area. This increase, which started in the late 1980s, was alsoobserved across Europe as a whole. One of the reasons for this change might be the decrease inpollutant emissions to the atmosphere. Moreover, an upward trend in the numbers of days withGSR over the 90th percentile is to be observed in the study period, while the number of days withGSR lower than the 10th percentile shows a negative trend. In both cases, the recorded trendsare statistically significant at the 0.05 level.

Keywords: global solar radiation, Central Europe, NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data

Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Rajmund Przybylak, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Zsuzsanna Vízi, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Rafał Maszewski, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

Mean and Extreme Wind Velocities in Central Europe 1951–2005 (On The Basis of Data from NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Project)

Andrzej Araźny, Rajmund Przybylak, Zsuzsanna Vízi, Marek Kejna, Rafał Maszewski, Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 69-78 | Full text

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The paper presents the results of research on variability of wind speed in CentralEurope between 1951 and 2005. According to NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data from 35 grids, CentralEurope has witnessed increases in mean wind speed as well as in the number of days withstrong wind, both statistically significant. This attests to the fact that the number of extremephenomena connected with high wind velocities has increased recently.

Keywords: wind speed, NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, Central Europe.

Rajmund Przybylak, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Zsuzsanna Vízi, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Rafał Maszewski, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska, Department of Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

River Training Vs. Flood Risk in the Upper Vistula Basin, Poland

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 79-96 | Full text

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This paper assesses the effect of river training in the 20th century on the evolution offlood risk in the middle and lower courses of certain Polish mountain and upland rivers, and inthe lowland Carpathian foreland. The overall anthropogenic impact on the flood risk is a combinationof two contradictory trends: (a) the shortening of the floodplain inundation time (betweenthe levees) as a result of the deepening of the trained channel; and (b) the increasing height of theflood water and frequency of flood culminations, a result of the flood wave transformation. Theauthor, in his flood risk analysis, regards the former trend as the more influential. The highestlevels of all types of flood risks were found along the valley reaches with unembanked channelsthat displayed a tendency to reduce both their depth and gradient. This type of reach occurs immediatelydownstream of embanked reaches with a deepened channel. The author also addressesways to mitigate flood risk levels, taking into account limitations stemming from local land developmentand legal conservation status.

Keywords: flood risk, flood, upper Vistula basin, river training

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

Studies on Historical Floods in Gdańsk (a Methodological Background)

Katarzyna Marosz

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 110-116 | Full text

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The analysis and reconstruction of historical floods not only enriches historical documentation,but can also be perceived as a useful auxiliary tool in the planning of contemporaryflood management techniques. The reconstruction of floods on the basis of historical documentscan be carried out with the help of a GIS (Geographical Information System) equipped with thespatial analysis tools allowing the extent of flooding to be mapped. The present study reviews historicalfloods in Gdańsk briefly, before attempting to reconstruct one particular historical flood.

Keywords: flood, reconstruction, historical documents, DEM, GIS, Gdańsk, Poland

Katarzyna Marosz, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk, Poland, Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland

Hydrological Droughts in Central Poland—Temporal and Spatial Patterns

Edmund Tomaszewski

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 117-124 | Full text

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The aim of this contribution has been to identify severe hydrological droughts in centralPoland, and to analyse the temporal and spatial patterns they display. The distinguishing of lowflowperiods was based on the threshold level method, where the SNQ (mean value of the minimumannual runoff) was used as the criterion. Basic calculations were made for daily dischargeseries at 29 gauging stations situated in the basins of the Rivers Warta, Pilica and Bzura over thetime period 1966–1983. Analysis involved such parameters as: mean and maximum low-flow durationin half-years, low-flow type index, date of commencement and termination and characteristicsconnected with minimum runoff: date of occurrence, index of position as well as recessiontime index. The problems of hydrological drought stability over a multi-annual timeframe, as wellas the spatial pattern thereto were also analysed.

Keywords: hydrological drought, low flows, central Poland

Edmund Tomaszewski, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, University of Łódź, 90-139 Łódź, ul. Narutowicza 88, Poland

A Description of Hydrological Droughts in the Białowieża Primeval Forest in the Years 2003—2005

Andrzej Ciepielowski, Ewa Kaznowska

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 125-136 | Full text

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The Białowieża National Park is located in northeastern Poland, in the Narewka RiverBasin upstream of the Narewka gauge profile. Discharge records at this gauge were investigatedand streamflow drought parameters, such as minimum and average discharges occurring duringthe drought, drought durations and deficit volumes were determined. These parameters definehydrological droughts and can serve in an indirect way to assess the degree of deformation offorest site types. The investigations covered the extremely dry 2003–2005 period, during whichhydrological droughts occurred in each year. In order to check whether these droughts weremore intense than those observed previously, characteristics were compared with those correspondingto the earlier period 1951–2002. The characteristics of intensity, minimum and averagestreamflow drought in the recent years were not found to have been more extreme than in thelast multi-decade period. However, the streamflow droughts of 2003 and 2004 were extremelyprotracted, lasting 134 and 67 days. The drought of 2003 was in the nature of a “disaster”, thoughwas still not an event more extreme than any noted in past records.

Keywords: streamflow drought, hydrological drought, Białowieża Forest

Andrzej Ciepielowski, Faculty of Engineering and Environmental Science, Warsaw Agricultural University, Ul. Nowoursynowska 159, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Ewa Kaznowska, Faculty of Engineering and Environmental Science, Warsaw Agricultural University, Ul. Nowoursynowska 159, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland

Geomorphic activity of debris flows in the Tatra Mts and in other European mountains

Adam Kotarba

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 137-150 | Full text

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Debris flows constitute the dominant high-energy slope processes in the high-mountainbelt of the Tatra Mountains, the Alps and other European mountain massifs. Rainfall intensitiesresponsible for triggering recent flows include that of ca 35–40 mm in one hour. Undersuch a condition, whole talus slopes several hundred meters long are affected by rapid flow inthe High Tatras, on both the Polish and Slovak sides, and the maximum volume of debris removedand accumulated by such events is ca. 25,000 m3 . Debris flows with a maximum volume ofca. 500,000 m3 are triggered by rainstorms of similar totals and intensities in the Alps.

Keywords: debris flows, extreme rainfall events, Tatra Mountains, European geomorphic hazards

Adam Kotarba [kotarba@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland

Extreme Rainfalls and their Impact on Slopes—Evaluation Based on Soil Erosion Measurements (As Exemplified by the Suwałki Lakeland, Poland)

Ewa Smolska

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 151-164 | Full text

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Monitoring of soil erosion on selected slopes of the Suwałki Lakeland (NE Poland)was conducted in the years 1987–1989 and 1998–1999. The extreme rainfall was characterisedby an efficiency of 35.7 mm and an average intensity of 0.5 mm per minute. This rainfall causederosion along the entire length of the slopes, and its volume was equal to the average annualvalue. Almost 75% of the material deposited in the lower, concave section of the slopes duringthe 5-year period of measurements was transferred beyond the slope base. Some of the slopesof length over 100 m was cut by networks of rills up to 50 cm deep, and the rate of soil loss was30 t ha-1. This rainstorm was most important in respect to the intensity and transfer of eroded soilmaterial, and was a decisive factor in soil loss and in the redistribution of soils on the slopes overthe entire period of measurement.

Keywords: rainfall, extreme events, soil loss, soil erosion and deposition, NE Poland

Models of Impacts of Hydrometeorological Extremes

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Roman Mańczak, Iwona Pińskwar, Maciej Radziejewski

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 165-180 | Full text

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Mathematical modelling of hydrometeorological extremes and their impacts was discussed.An introduction to the notion of modelling is proposed. Annual extremes in temperaturerecords were examined, also on the basis of qualitative indices, when quantitative data are notavailable due to cost restrictions. Trends in long time series of records were studied. Concepts asregards projections of risk of extreme events (such as floods) are also discussed; including synthesisof projection models for a range of climate impacts. The facets of uncertainty are also dealtwith. A conceptualization of the risk in the load-resistance framework is proposed.

Keywords: mathematical modelling; climate impact; hydrometeorological extremes; curve fitting; trend

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Roman Mańczak, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, 60-809 Poznań ul. Bukowska 19, Poland
Iwona Pińskwar, Research Centre for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Maciej Radziejewski, Research Centre for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland

Application of Hydrodynamic Model of the Baltic Sea to Storm Surge Representation along the Polish Baltic Coast

Halina Kowalewska-Kalkowska, Marek Kowalewski, Bernard Wiśniewski

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 181-190 | Full text

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A hydrodynamic model of the Baltic Sea based on the Princeton Ocean Model was appliedin analyses of extreme storm surges along the Polish Baltic coast. When the applicability ofthe model in cases of high-amplitude and rapid water level fluctuations, such as those observedat the beginning of November 2006, was tested a good fit was obtained between observed andcomputed data. The model correctly predicted the hydrodynamic situation; it also generatedrelatively good simulations of water-level variations. The best fit between the numerical calculationsand readings from the sea-level gauges was obtained for Gdańsk Nowy Port, while onlyslightly worse agreement characterized Świnoujscie and Ustka.

Keywords: numerical modelling, storm surges, low-pressure systems, southern Baltic Sea

Halina Kowalewska-Kalkowska, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Szczecin, Wąska 13, 71-415 Szczecin, Poland
Marek Kowalewski, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk, Al. Marszałka J. Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland
Bernard Wiśniewski, Maritime University of Szczecin, Wały Chrobrego 1, 70-500 Szczecin, Poland

Projections of Climate Extremes in Poland

Małgorzata Szwed, Dariusz Graczyk, Iwona Pińskwar, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 191-202 | Full text

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The climate change projections for Poland are consistent in foreseeing overall temperatureincrease in the coming decades. Precipitation is projected to decrease in summer (thoughthis finding is not robust, being model-dependent) and to increase in winter. It is expected thatthe occurrence of climate extremes over Poland may change in the future, warmer climate.In this study, daily temperature and precipitation data from the Hadley Centre HadRM3-PRECIS regional model simulations (for the SRES A2 scenario in three model experiments)in Poland were used to study temperature and precipitation extremes defined according to thespecification made in the Integrated Project entitled “Extreme meteorological and hydrologicalevents”. Climate extremes in the control period, 1961–1990, were compared with those in theprojection period, 2071–2100.

Keywords: climate change, climate model, extremes, precipitation, temperature, Poland

Małgorzata Szwed, Research Centre for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Dariusz Graczyk, Research Centre for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Iwona Pińskwar, Research Centre for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Research Centre for the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland