2020 / Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., S. Blackwell, T. Williams, M.H.S. Sinding, M. Skovrind, O.M. Tervo, E. Garde, R. Hansen, N.H. Nielsen, M.C. Ngo and S. Ditlevsen

Some like it cold: Temperature dependent habitat selection by narwhals

Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 10(15), 8073 - 8090
The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is a high‐Arctic species inhabiting areas that are experiencing increases in sea temperatures, which together with reduction in sea ice are expected to modify the niches of several Arctic marine apex predators. The Scoresby Sound fjord complex in East Greenland is the summer residence for an isolated population of narwhals. The movements of 12 whales instrumented with Fastloc‐GPS transmitters were studied during summer in Scoresby Sound and at their offshore winter ground in 2017–2019. An additional four narwhals provided detailed hydrographic profiles on both summer and winter grounds. Data on diving of the whales were obtained from 20 satellite‐linked time‐depth recorders and 16 Acousonde™ recorders that also provided information on the temperature and depth of buzzes. In summer, the foraging whales targeted depths between 300 and 850 m where the preferred areas visited by the whales had temperatures ranging between 0.6 and 1.5°C (mean = 1.1°C, SD = 0.22). The highest probability of buzzing activity during summer was at a temperature of 0.7°C and at depths > 300 m. The whales targeted similar depths at their offshore winter ground where the temperature was slightly higher (range: 0.7–1.7°C, mean = 1.3°C, SD = 0.29). Both the probability of buzzing events and the spatial distribution of the whales in both seasons demonstrated a preferential selection of cold water. This was particularly pronounced in winter where cold coastal water was selected and warm Atlantic water farther offshore was avoided. It is unknown if the small temperature niche of whales while feeding is because prey is concentrated at these temperature gradients and is easier to capture at low temperatures, or because there are limitations in the thermoregulation of the whales. In any case, the small niche requirements together with their strong site fidelity emphasize the sensitivity of narwhals to changes in the thermal characteristics of their habitats.
2020 / Van Den Brink, R., D. Dimitrov and A. Rusinowska

Winning coalitions in plurality voting democracies

Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 56, 509–530
We study the issue of assigning weights to players that identify winning coalitions in plurality voting democracies. For this, we consider plurality games which are simple games in partition function form such that in every partition there is at least one winning coalition. Such a game is said to be precisely supportive if it is possible to assign weights to players in such a way that a coalition being winning in a partition implies that the combined weight of its members is maximal over all coalitions in the partition. A plurality game is decisive if in every partition there is exactly one winning coalition. We show that decisive plurality games with at most four players, majority games with an arbitrary number of players, and almost symmetric decisive plurality games with an arbitrary number of players are precisely supportive. Complete characterizations of a partition's winning coalitions are provided as well.
2019 / Altaghlibi, M. and F. Wagener

Unconditional aid and green growth

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 105, 158-181
Environmentally motivated aid can help developing countries to achieve economic growth while mitigating the impact on emission levels. We argue that the usual practice of giving aid conditionally is not effective, and we therefore study aid that is given unconditionally. Our framework is a differential open-loop Stackelberg game between a fully developed leader country and a developing follower country. The leader chooses the amount of mitigation aid given to the follower, which the follower either consumes or invests in either costly non-polluting capital or cheap high-emission capital. We show that giving aid conditionally is only rarely effective and, if so, is based on a forced intertemporal savings effect. In all other cases it is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. Moreover, we find that the leader gives unconditional mitigation aid only when sufficiently rich or when caring sufficiently about environmental quality. If unconditional aid is given in steady state, it decreases the steady state level of high-emission capital and capital investments in the recipient country as well as the global pollution stock, but it has no effect on the levels of non-polluting capital and non-polluting investments. Transitional aid accelerates the economic growth of the follower. Moreover, we find that the increase in growth takes place in the non-polluting sector.
2019 / Ngo, M.C., M.P. Heide-Jørgensen and S. Ditlevsen

Understanding narwhal diving behaviour using Hidden Markov Models with dependent state distributions and long range dependence

PLoS Computational Biology, 15(3): e1006425
Diving behaviour of narwhals is still largely unknown. We use Hidden Markov models (HMMs) to describe the diving behaviour of a narwhal and fit the models to a three-dimensional response vector of maximum dive depth, duration of dives and post-dive surface time of 8,609 dives measured in East Greenland over 83 days, an extraordinarily long and rich data set. Narwhal diving patterns have not been analysed like this before, but in studies of other whale species, response variables have been assumed independent. We extend the existing models to allow for dependence between state distributions, and show that the dependence has an impact on the conclusions drawn about the diving behaviour. We try several HMMs with 2, 3 or 4 states, and with independent and dependent log-normal and gamma distributions, respectively, and different covariates to characterize dive patterns. In particular, diurnal patterns in diving behaviour is inferred, by using periodic B-splines with boundary knots in 0 and 24 hours.
2018 / Halleck-Vega, S., A. Mandel and K. Millock

Accelerating diffusion of climate-friendly technologies: A network perspective

Ecological Economics, Vol. 152, 235-245
We introduce a methodology to estimate the determinants of the formation of technology diffusion networks from the patterns of technology adoption. We apply this methodology to wind energy, which is one of the key technologies in climate change mitigation. Our results emphasize that, in particular, long-term relationships as measured by economic integration are key determinants of technological diffusion. Specific support measures are less relevant, at least to explain the extensive margin of diffusion. Our results also highlight that the scope of technological diffusion is much broader than what is suggested by the consideration of CDM projects alone, which are particularly focused on China and India. Finally, the network of technological diffusion inferred from our approach highlights the central role of European countries in the diffusion process and the absence of large hubs among developing countries.
2013 / Quax, R., D. Kandhai and P. M. Sloot

Information dissipation as an early-warning signal for the Lehman Brothers collapse in financial time series

Scientific reports, Vol. 3, 1898
In financial markets, participants locally optimize their profit which can result in a globally unstable state leading to a catastrophic change. The largest crash in the past decades is the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers which was followed by a trust-based crisis between banks due to high-risk trading in complex products. We introduce information dissipation length (IDL) as a leading indicator of global instability of dynamical systems based on the transmission of Shannon information and apply it to the time series of USD and EUR interest rate swaps (IRS). We find in both markets that the IDL steadily increases toward the bankruptcy, then peaks at the time of bankruptcy and decreases afterwards. Previously introduced indicators such as ‘critical slowing down’ do not provide a clear leading indicator. Our results suggest that the IDL may be used as an early-warning signal for critical transitions even in the absence of a predictive model.
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