Arnald Puy

Arnald Puy
University of Birmingham · School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

PhD
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About

63
Publications
16,434
Reads
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780
Citations
Citations since 2017
45 Research Items
739 Citations
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Introduction
My researchgate profile will no longer be updated. Check out https://www.arnaldpuy.com for information on my scientific background, ongoing research projects and latest publications!
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - present
University of Haifa
Position
  • Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow (IEF)
May 2014 - September 2015
University of Cologne
Position
  • Humboldt Research Fellow
September 2012 - April 2014
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
Full-text available
Predictions of global irrigated areas are widely used to guide strategies that aim to secure environmental welfare and manage climate change. Here we show that these predictions, which range between 240 and 450 million hectares (Mha), underestimate the potential extension of irrigation by ignoring basic parametric and model uncertainties. We found...
Article
Full-text available
Pandemic politics highlight how predictions need to be transparent and humble to invite insight, not blame. Pandemic politics highlight how predictions need to be transparent and humble to invite insight, not blame.
Article
Full-text available
Mathematical models are getting increasingly detailed to better predict phenomena or gain more accurate insights into the dynamics of a system of interest, even when there are no validation or training data available. Here, we show through ANOVA and statistical theory that this practice promotes fuzzier estimates because it generally increases the...
Article
Full-text available
Miscalculating the volumes of water withdrawn for irrigation, the largest consumer of freshwater in the world, jeopardizes sustainable water management. Hydrological models quantify water withdrawals, but their estimates are unduly precise. Model imperfections need to be appreciated to avoid policy misjudgements.
Article
Full-text available
A sustainable management of global freshwater resources requires reliable estimates of the water demanded by irrigated agriculture. This has been attempted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through country surveys and censuses, or through Global Models, which compute irrigation water withdrawals with sub-models on crop types and calend...
Article
Full-text available
The present work looks at what we call “the multiverse of quantification”, where visible and invisible numbers permeate all aspects and venues of life. We review the contributions of different authors who focus on the roles of quantification in society, with the aim of capturing different and sometimes separate voices. Several scholars, including e...
Article
Full-text available
Acknowledging the conditionality of model-based evidence facilitates the dialogue between model developers and model users, especially when models are used to guide decisions at the science-policy interface. In general, model users have limited access to verify the realism of a model, being only exposed to model plausibility and trustworthiness; in...
Preprint
Full-text available
While Sensitivity Analysis (SA) improves the transparency and reliability of mathematical models, its uptake by modelers is still scarce. This is partially explained by its technical requirements, which may be hard to decipher and interpret for the non-specialist. Here we draw on the concept of discrepancy and propose a sensitivity measure that is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Here we briefly reflect on the philosophical foundations that ground the quest towards ever-detailed models and identify four practical dangers derived from this pursuit: explosion of the model's uncertainty space, model black-boxing, computational exhaustion and model attachment. We argue that the growth of a mathematical model should be carefully...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Irrigation agriculture is the most important user of the global freshwater resources worldwide, which makes it one of the key actors conditioning sustainable development and water security. The anticipated future climate change, population growth, and rapidly rising global demand for food will likely lead to agricultural expansion by allowing the d...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution, we present an innovative data-driven model to reconstruct a reliable temporal pattern for time-lagged statistical monetary figures. Our research cuts across several domains regarding the production of robust economic inferences and the bridging of top-down aggregated information from central databases with disaggregated inform...
Article
Full-text available
An assessment of the human impact on the global water cycle requires estimating the volume of water withdrawn for irrigated agriculture. A key parameter in this calculation is the irrigation efficiency, which corrects for the fraction of water lost between irrigation withdrawals and the crop due to management, distribution or conveyance losses. Her...
Article
Full-text available
The R package sensobol provides several functions to conduct variance-based uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, from the estimation of sensitivity indices to the visual representation of the results. It implements several state-of-the-art first and total-order estimators and allows the computation of up to fourth-order effects, as well as of the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Variance-based sensitivity indices have established themselves as a reference among practitioners of sensitivity analysis of model outputs. A variance-based sensitivity analysis typically produces the first-order sensitivity indices $S_j$ and the so-called total-effect sensitivity indices $T_j$ for the uncertain factors of the mathematical model un...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper explores how the modelling of energy systems may lead to undue closure of alternatives by generating an excess of certainty around some of the possible policy options. We exemplify the problem with two cases: first, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) global modelling in the 1980s; and second, the modelling a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The R package "sensobol" provides several functions to conduct variance-based uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, from the estimation of sensitivity indices to the visual representation of the results. It implements several state-of-the-art first and total-order estimators and allows the computation of up to third-order effects, as well as of the...
Article
Full-text available
The Variogram Analysis of Response Surfaces (VARS) has been proposed by Razavi and Gupta as a new comprehensive framework in sensitivity analysis. According to these authors, VARS provides a more intuitive notion of sensitivity and it is much more computationally efficient than Sobol’ indices. Here we review these arguments and critically compare t...
Article
Full-text available
Sensitivity analysis (SA) is en route to becoming an integral part of mathematical modeling. The tremendous potential benefits of SA are, however, yet to be fully realized, both for advancing mechanistic and data-driven modeling of human and natural systems, and in support of decision making. In this perspective paper, a multidisciplinary group of...
Chapter
Full-text available
Historical irrigated agricultural systems in Mediterranean regions provide a long record of sustainability and adaptation to changing climatic, environmental, and social conditions. These agricultural systems are currently confronted with chal- lenges that may threaten their persistence over the next decades. Here, we propose a first assessment of...
Article
Full-text available
Variance-based sensitivity indices have established themselves as a reference among practitioners of sensitivity analysis of model outputs. A variance-based sensitivity analysis typically produces the first-order sensitivity indices S_j and the so-called total-effect sensitivity indices T_j for the uncertain factors of the mathematical model under...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Variogram Analysis of Response Surfaces (VARS) has been proposed by Razavi and Gupta as a new comprehensive framework in sensitivity analysis. According to these authors, VARS provides a more intuitive notion of sensitivity and it is much more computationally efficient than Sobol' indices. Here we review these arguments and critically compare t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensitivity analysis helps decision-makers to understand how a given model output responds when there is variation in the model inputs. One of the most authoritative measures in global sensitivity analysis is the Sobol' total-order index ($T_i$), which can be computed with several different estimators. Although previous comparisons exist, it is har...
Technical Report
In this contribution, we study the time lag between the local expenditures of European funds by beneficiaries in Italian regions and the corresponding payments reported in the European Commission (EC) database. We propose a model to reconstruct the timing of these local expenditures by back-dating the observed EC reimbursements. Our estimates are v...
Article
Full-text available
The PAWN index is gaining traction among the modelling community as a sensitivity measure. However, the robustness to its design parameters has not yet been scrutinized: the size (N) and sampling (ε) of the model output, the number of conditioning intervals (n) or the summary statistic (θ). Here we fill this gap by running a sensitivity analysis of...
Preprint
Full-text available
De Graaf et al. (2019) suggest that groundwater pumping will bring 42--79\% of worldwide watersheds close to environmental exhaustion by 2050. We are skeptical of these figures due to several non-unique assumptions behind the calculation of irrigation water demands and the perfunctory exploration of the model's uncertainty space. Their sensitivity...
Preprint
Full-text available
Variance-based sensitivity indices have established themselves as a reference among practitioners of sensitivity analysis of model output. It is not unusual to consider a variance-based sensitivity analysis as informative if it produces at least the first order sensitivity indices S_j and the so-called total-effect sensitivity indices T_j for all t...
Preprint
Micromorphological report of the Hof ter Coign site (Belgium)
Preprint
A study of the kinship, social and proximity links of the individuals that used gold currency as their basis of accountancy in Catalonia between the 10th and 13th centuries AD.
Article
Desert oases are fragile agrarian areas, very vulnerable to sand encroachment by wind. Ensuring their conservation highly depends on our capacity to identify sand encroachment patterns, e.g. the origin of sand and its spatial distribution in the irrigated plots. Here we show how to tackle this issue using the case study of Erg Chebbi (Morocco), whe...
Preprint
Micromorphological description of the thin sections retrieved from the Tour Anneesseens site (Brussels, Belgium)
Article
Full-text available
Unfolding regularities between population and irrigated agriculture might increase our capacity to predict their co-evolution and better ensure food security and environmental welfare. Here I use three different datasets with detailed information at the national level for c. 70% of the countries of Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe between 1950...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction and Presentation of a new key study site for star dune development
Article
The debate on human environmental impact has often been locked into cause-effect reasoning, aiming at factoring human impact on top of climatic variability. Here we use evidence from Minorca and the Mediterranean region to show the potential for amplified environmental change emerging from complex feedbacks between climatic and historical events. A...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a systematic study of the relation between the size of irrigation systems and the management of uncertainty. We specifically focus on studying, through a stylized theoretical model, how stochasticity in water availability and taxation interacts with the stochastic behavior of the population within irrigation systems. Our results...
Article
Found worldwide, terraced landscapes are a hallmark of intensive agriculture with deep historical, anthropological and archaeo- logical roots. With their geometric lineout, terraced landscapes also represent one of the most obvious expressions of human transformation of the environment and of human environmental management. Seen from the ground, th...
Article
Full-text available
Historical and traditional flood-irrigated (FI) schemes are progressively being upgraded by means of drip irrigation (DI) to tackle current water and demographic challenges. This modernization process is likely to foster several changes of environmental relevance at the system level. In this paper we assess the effects derived from DI uptake on soi...
Article
Full-text available
To gain insights on long-term socio-ecological resilience, we examine adaptive responses of small-scale societies to dryland-related hazards in different regions and chronological periods, spanning from the mid-Holocene to the present. Based on evidence from Africa (Sahara and Sahel), Asia (South margin of the Thar desert) and Europe (South Spain),...
Article
The stratigraphy of Scandinavian open-air archaeological settlements is usually characterized as homogeneous, highly enriched in decomposing organic matter and poor in biogenic carbonates such as shells or bones. As a result, stratigraphies are often difficult to read in the field and settlement sequences may pass unnoticed to archaeologists. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Soils buried under terrace fills have been widely used to date the construction of ancient agrarian terraces. The reliability of the obtained radiocarbon dates entirely depends on the degree of preservation and isolation of the Ab horizons and on the amount of embedded older carbon. To assess these caveats, we analyzed 14 14 C dates (11 on charred...
Article
Soils buried under terrace fills have been widely used to date the construction of ancient agrarian terraces. The reliability of the obtained 14C dates entirely depends on the degree of preservation and isolation of the Ab horizons and on the amount of embedded older carbon. To assess these caveats we analysed 14 14C dates (11 on charred material a...
Research
Full-text available
Dataset from the XRF core-scanning of a 37 cm-long aluminium core collected from the Mesolithic site of Håkonshella, W Norway. Counts per second (cps) have been normalised by the total counts at each depth interval of all elements except Ag and Rh.
Article
The debate on human environmental impact has often been locked into cause-effect reasoning, aiming at factoring human impact on top of climatic variability. Here we use evidence from Minorca and the Mediterranean region to show the potential for amplified environmental change emerging from complex feedbacks between climatic and historical events. A...
Article
Mediterranean wetlands are characterised by two factors: (1) a remarkable seasonal fluctuation in the water table and (2) a long history of anthropisation. Being exceptional archives for palaeoenvironmental and archaeological research, humid areas have been thoroughly studied to assess the interplay between people and the environment during the Hol...
Article
Full-text available
The Andalusi hydraulic systems of the Iberian Peninsula, constructed by Arabs and Berbers between A.D. 711 and the feudal conquest of Al-Andalus (11–15th centuries A.D.), are today among the most productive agricultural areas in Europe. Their current extension is the result of several enlargements made to the original Andalusi design, irrigating la...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional irrigated terraces of Spain (known as 'huertas') are among the most emblematic and productive agricultural fields of the Mediterranean. Several of these huertas were first built by Arab and Berber tribes and clans that entered the Iberian Peninsula (al-Andalus) after 711 AD, coinciding with the spread of Islam during Middle Ages (>632 A...
Article
Full-text available
Irrigated terraces in the Iberian Peninsula are associated with al-Andalus; the name with which the region was known following the migration of Arabic–Berber tribes across the Strait of Gibraltar, starting from 711 AD. Several of these agricultural areas have remained in use in the west Mediterranean to the present day. Historical texts usually ref...
Article
Full-text available
The use of gold coinage in the Medieval Catalonian counties has received considerable academic attention over the past forty years. A crucial factor, the characterisation of individuals using gold currency as their basis of accountancy, however, has to date been neglected. The main aim of this paper is to tackle this issue on the basis of the Diplo...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
My interest lies in widening my knowledge of the modifications carried out in traditional hydraulic systems after the imposition of political authorities with the power to impose tax.

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Collection of publications and posters dealing with different topics in the field of geoarchaeology.
Project
Irrigated areas contribute c. 40% of the worldwide crop production and consume c. 70% of all freshwater resources. Knowing how to meet the food demands of an ever-growing population without compromising environmental integrity is thus a pressing issue of global concern. Following the line of evidence gathered for organisms, financial corporations and cities, size (e.g. the area, the dimensions) seems to be a master variable conditioning the behavior of irrigation systems as well. However, our knowledge on how size conditions irrigated systems is comparatively fragmentary and lacks in formalization due to overreliance in case studies. This sets our capacity to ensure their sustainability in very fragile ground. My project will break through this limitation by combining allometry, the study of global irrigation datasets and the collection of field data in irrigation systems of Spain with the techniques to be learned at the host institutions: dynamic modeling in Princeton University (USA) and uncertainty/sensitivity analysis in University of Bergen (Norway). My project will specifically tackle two questions: 1) Which attributes of ISs scale with size? 2) How does a change in size condition the behavior of ISs against shocks?. This research project will increase our knowledge on size as a universal constraint, and endow us with better understanding of the risks and benefits associated with the creation/management of small and large irrigation systems. Further information can be found at: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/214099_en.html