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CIRCE case study on the impact of climate change in the Judean Foothills

Landscape around the Judean Foothills

The Judean foothills are located in the southern part of Israel between the Mediterranean and the Judean Mountains, and are rich in both natural ecosystems and cultural heritage.

Water availability is the major factor limiting biological growth, and the region is vulnerable to drought and extreme temperatures. Previous work shows that precipitation totals have declined between 1960 and 1990, and that temperatures have increased in summer and decreased in winter.

Research in this case study will evaluate the relationship between changes in: rainfall amount and distribution; temperature; and the frequency, duration and intensity of extreme events on biological variables in natural, forest and agricultural ecosystems. The association between climate and biological responses will be tested using two approaches: historical records and the precipitation gradient. Climate-driven changes in ecosystems are expected to significantly affect tourism and the rural economy, and initiate policy responses.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the CIRCE partner leading on this case study.

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