Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
possible to downscale the results to local situations, analyzing nonperiodic
time variations of climatic records to identify variations and to give quan-
titative evaluation of their levels; in this way, it is possible to extrapolate
the evolutionary trends of the phenomena and, most of all, to provide sce-
narios of the environmental variations that are likely to happen in a few
To obtain such results, first of all it is necessary to collect the climatic
and environmental data available and to submit them systematically to crit-
ical analysis, homogenization, and georeferentiation before using them to
feed a properly designed, multidisciplinary geodatabase. The use of
advanced geographic information systems is instrumental not only to
manage the vast amount of data but also to perform simulations, to calcu-
late ancillary and derivate layers of information, to carry out statistical and
geostatistical analyses, and to produce thematic maps. All the climatic
records collected at every station should be thoroughly analyzed to obtain
the statistical parameters that are needed to describe the local climate , as
well as to identify both cyclic and nonperiodic variations. The latter consti-
tute the basis for the elaboration of a mathematical model describing future
local climatic trends. In parallel, environmental data (physical and biolog-
ical) should be used to create, test, and calibrate a complex algorithmic
model of the spatial distribution and variability of the main features influ-
encing micro- and topoclimates. This model, in turn, is applied to climatic
data to regionalize them, thus obtaining detailed maps that quantitatively
depict their spatial variation. The same algorithms should finally be applied
to the forecast values of climatic parameters and bioclimatic indices to
produce maps of the probable scenarios, and to describe the spatial distri-
bution of the probability of any given climatic variation.
Detailed information on the spatial and time distribution and variability
of climatic parameters and bioclimatic indices, when properly cross-
refenced with the other relevant information, make it possible to adopt opti-
mal strategies for territorial governance as well as to draft the best possible
plans for sustainable development and the exploitation of environment and
territory. In particular, it makes it easier and more effectual to delimit and
characterize areas prone to natural hazard (also quantifying the related risk,
thus reducing the overall average cost paid for safety and remediation), to
choose adequate agricultural practices as a function of local land use suit-
ability features (making it easier to maximize both land profitability and
sustainability), and to plan and realize artifacts and interventions that are
more adequate to present and future needs and situations, to achieve the
maximum result with the minimum possible effort and impact, and to
obtain an actual improvement in quality of life and landscape.
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