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Climate Extremes along the Mining Chain over the Eastern Amazon: Projections to 2050

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: The mineral industry is of great importance for the economy and for the development of Brazil. However, climate change further accentuates the impacts caused by extreme weather and climate events on the logistics and operation processes of the mineral production chain (from the mine to the port). In order to reduce these effects, it is essential to have information about the future climate that will help this economic sector to carry out better long-term planning of its activities. However, the current scientific literature still lacks studies with this approach applied to the mineral industry. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the future seasonal patterns of climate extremes in eastern Amazonia, exploring their impacts on the mineral production chain in the near future (2019-2050). To categorize the dry and rainy climate extremes, the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) was calculated for the precipitation data series of Climate Prediction Center (CPC) observations and the PRECIS regional modeling system, considering the IPCC RCP4.5. The 1981-2005 period was defined as the present climate and used to assess the performance of the modeling system in reproducing the extremes. The analyses were based on the relative frequency of the categories of dry and rainy extremes. The performance evaluation of PRECIS showed that it had better accuracy in representing seasonal extremes of drought than extremes of rain. Along the mineral chain in eastern Amazonia, its accuracy was better over the port region, except for the dry extremes experienced from June to August (JJA), and from December to February (DJF) and March to May (MAM) for rainy extremes. The analysis of the frequency of occurrence of these events for the future indicates a greater probability of rain extremes along the mineral chain compared to another category of extremes. In addition, JJA will be the most suitable period to optimize operational processes in eastern Amazonia, as extremes are less likely to occur. On the other hand, the greater probability of extreme rain events from September through to November (SON) and MAM make these two periods less suitable for activity in the mining regions and areas north of the railway. The results of this study suggest an increasing risk to the processes of the mineral chain until 2050 associated with the occurrence of climate extremes, since it is susceptible to adverse weather conditions.

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