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IPCC AR5 references – WG1 introduction

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on October 8, 2013

IPCC reports have extensive reference lists but unfortunately they don’t include direct links to papers. Below are the references in IPCC AR5 WG1 Introduction chapter references with links to abstract pages and full texts where available.

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CCSP, 2009: Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Climate Decision Making. U.S. Climate Change Science Program. , 96 pp. [FULL TEXT]

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Collins, M., and M. R. Allen, 2002: Assessing the relative roles of initial and boundary conditions in interannual to decadal climate predictability. Journal of Climate, 15, 3104-3109. [FULL TEXT]

Covey, C., et al., 2003: An overview of results from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Global and Planetary Change, 37, 103-133.

Cubasch, U., et al., 2001: Projections of Future Climate Change. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

Dee, D. P., et al., 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137, 553-597. [FULL TEXT]

Denman, K. L., et al., 2007: Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

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Duarte, C. M., T. M. Lenton, P. Wadhams, and P. Wassmann, 2012: Commentary: Abrupt climate change in the Arctic. Nature Climate Change, 2, 60-62.

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Ettema, J., M. R. van den Broeke, E. van Meijgaard, W. J. van de Berg, J. L. Bamber, J. E. Box, and R. C. Bales, 2009: Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by high-resolution climate modeling. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L12501. [FULL TEXT]

Foley, J., et al., 2005: Global consequences of land use. Science, 309, 570-574. [FULL TEXT]

Folland, C. K., et al., 2001: Observed Climate Variability and Change. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

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Frame, D. J., and D. A. Stone, 2013: Assessment of the first consensus prediction on climate change. Nature Clim. Change, 3, 357-359.

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Fujino, J., R. Nair, M. Kainuma, T. Masui, and Y. Matsuoka, 2006: Multi-gas mitigation analysis on stabilization scenarios using aim global model. Energy Journal, 0, 343-353.

GCOS, 2009: Progress Report on the Implementation of the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC 2004-2008, GCOS-129 (WMO/TD-No. 1489; GOOS-173; GTOS-70). [FULL TEXT]

——, 2011: Systematic Observation Requirements for Satellite-based Products for Climate Supplemental details to the satellite-based component of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC – 2011 Update, (GCOS-154) – December 2011. [FULL TEXT]

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Granier, C., et al., 2011: Evolution of anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of air pollutants at global and regional scales during the 1980-2010 period. Climatic Change, 109, 163-190.

Haas, C., A. Pfaffling, S. Hendricks, L. Rabenstein, J. L. Etienne, and I. Rigor, 2008: Reduced ice thickness in Arctic Transpolar Drift favors rapid ice retreat. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L17501. [FULL TEXT]

Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change. Reviews of Geophysics, 48, RG4004. [FULL TEXT]

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Hansen, J., M. Sato, R. Ruedy, K. Lo, D. W. Lea, and M. Medina-Elizade, 2006: Global temperature change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103, 14288-14293. [FULL TEXT]

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Hawkins, E., and R. Sutton, 2011: The potential to narrow uncertainty in projections of regional precipitation change. Climate Dynamics, 37, 407-418. [FULL TEXT]

Hegerl, G. C., et al., 2007: Understanding and Attributing Climate Change. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

Hijioka, Y., Y. Matsuoka, H. Nishomoto, M. Masui, and M. Kainuma, 2008: Global GHG Emission Scenarios under GHG Concentration Stabilization Targets. Journal of Global Environment Engineering [ONLY JOURNAL TOC AVAILABLE ONLINE], 13, 97-108.

Hoelzle, M., G. Darms, M. P. Lüthi, and S. Suter, 2011: Evidence of accelerated englacial warming in the Monte Rosa area, Switzerland/Italy. Cryosphere, 5, 231-243. [FULL TEXT]

Houghton, R., 2003: Revised estimates of the annual net flux of carbon to the atmosphere from changes in land use and land management 1850-2000. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 55, 378-390. [FULL TEXT]

Huntingford, C., J. Lowe, B. Booth, C. Jones, G. Harris, L. Gohar, and P. Meir, 2009: Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0889.2009.00414.x, 355-360. [FULL TEXT]

Hurtt, G. C., et al., 2011: Harmonization of land-use scenarios for the period 1500-2100: 600 years of global gridded annual land-use transitions, wood harvest, and resulting secondary lands. Climatic Change, 109, 117-161. [FULL TEXT]

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——, 2012a: Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC reports.

——, 2012b: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 582 pp.

JCGM, 2008: JCGM 100: 2008. GUM 1995 with minor corrections. Evaluation of measurement data — Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement. Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology.

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Knutti, R., et al., 2008: A review of uncertainties in global temperature projections over the twenty-first century. Journal of Climate, 21, 2651-2663. [FULL TEXT]

Kopp, G., and J. L. Lean, 2011: A new, lower value of total solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance. Geophysical Research Letters, 38. [FULL TEXT]

Kwok, R., G. F. Cunningham, M. Wensnahan, I. Rigor, H. J. Zwally, and D. Yi, 2009: Thinning and volume loss of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover: 2003-2008. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 114, C07005.

Lamarque, J. F., et al., 2011: Global and regional evolution of short-lived radiatively-active gases and aerosols in the Representative Concentration Pathways. Climatic Change, 109, 191-212. [FULL TEXT]

Lambert, F., et al., 2008: Dust-climate couplings over the past 800,000 years from the EPICA Dome C ice core. Nature, 452, 616-619. [FULL TEXT]

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Lemke, P., et al., 2007: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

Lenton, T., H. Held, E. Kriegler, J. Hall, W. Lucht, S. Rahmstorf, and H. Schellnhuber, 2008: Tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, 1786-1793. [FULL TEXT]

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New climate papers, part 5 – other papers

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 27, 2013

In March I published a batch of early 2013 papers on climate related issues. It’s time to give another update. Since March, there has been lot of new papers, so I’ll divide them to 5 posts. There are 734 papers altogether, so these posts should keep you busy for a while:

Part 1. Reality of climate change (temperature, other climate parameters, climate extremes, future projections).
Part 2. Impacts of climate change (cryosphere, oceans, mankind, ecosystems, other issues).
Part 3. Mitigation and adaptation (greenhouse gases, mankind reaction, energy, technologies and products, adaptation, general mitigation).
Part 4. Past climate changes.
Part 5. Other papers (feedbacks and forcings, general climate science, other issues).

Part 5 contains other papers that weren’t included to parts 1-4. There are 102 papers in part 5. Subsections are feedbacks and forcings (62 papers), general climate science (25 papers), and other issues (15 papers).

See About New research from last week series for some information of my new research stream (the post discusses weekly posts which I don’t do anymore, but the parts about what papers get included are valid also currently).


Dependence of Cloud Vertical Distribution on Sea Surface Temperature and Tropospheric Dynamics

Extending water vapor trend observations to tropopause: trend uncertainties & radiative forcing

Vegetation controls on northern high latitude snow-albedo feedback

Impact of soil moisture-climate feedbacks on CMIP5 projections

Short-wave radiative forcing at the surface for cloudy systems at a midlatitude site

Determination of a lower bound on Earth’s climate sensitivity

Imaging spectroscopy of albedo and radiative forcing by light-absorbing impurities in mountain snow

Estimating Three-Dimensional Cloud Structure via Statistically Blended Satellite Observations

Black carbon aerosols over the Himalayas: direct and surface albedo forcing (open access)

Arctic Black carbon: underestimated role of gas flaring and residential combustion (open access)

Burning of olive tree branches: a major organic aerosol source in Mediterranean (open access)

Brown carbon: a significant atmospheric absorber of solar radiation?

Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming (open access)

Decrease in Earth’s cloud, aerosol, and surface 340 nm reflectivity during past 33 yr (open access)

A Formal Analysis of the Feedback Concept in Climate Models

On the global character of overlap between low and high clouds

Black Carbon has overall heating effect over Hyderabad, India

How important is vegetation phenology for European climate and heatwaves?

Relative contribution of feedback processes to Arctic amplification of temperature change

Implications for Arctic amplification of changes in the strength of the water vapor feedback

The role of reduced aerosol precursor emissions in driving near-term warming (open access)

Disconcerting learning on climate sensitivity and the uncertain future of uncertainty

Cloud feedback keeps tropical SST’s steady when poleward ocean heat transport increases

A conference paper reports satellite measurements of GHG effect to outgoing longwave radiation

Four perspectives on climate feedbacks

Cloud Radiative Forcing of the Diurnal Cycle Climate of the Canadian Prairies

Climate sensitivity: 4-6°C with ice sheet/vegetation albedo feedback, even higher with GHG feedbacks

Simulated Arctic atmospheric feedbacks associated with late summer sea-ice anomalies

On the role of vegetation density on net snowcover radiation at the forest floor

Implications for arctic amplification of changes in the strength of the water vapor feedback

No correlation found between the galactic Cosmic Ray flux and the low altitude cloud fraction

A simple model of global aerosol indirect effects

Simulation of the influence of historical land cover changes on the global climate (open access)

Influence of anthropogenic aerosol on historical global climate (open access)

Quantifying contributions of climate feedbacks to tropospheric warming in the NCAR CCSM3.0

Human contribution to cloud condensation nuclei (open access)

Imaging spectroscopy of albedo and radiative forcing by light absorbing impurities in mountain snow

Post-1950 temperatures are almost completely produced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols

Observational constraints on Arctic Ocean clouds and radiative fluxes during the early 21st century

Observational evidence that enhanced subsidence reduces subtropical marine boundary layer cloudiness

Cosmic rays do not affect atmospheric clouds significantly according to CLOUD results

The nonlinear and nonlocal nature of climate feedbacks

On the longwave climate feedbacks

Warming-induced increase in aerosol number concentration likely to moderate climate change

Aerosol and ozone changes as forcing for climate evolution between 1850 and 2100 (open access)

Interpretation of positive low-cloud feedback predicted by climate model (open access)

No significant connection between solar activity and winter severity in Europe (open access)

Attribution of observed sea level pressure trends to greenhouse gas, aerosol and ozone changes

Anthropogenic aerosols and southward shift of tropical precipitation in late 20th Century

Recent variability of solar spectral irradiance and its impact on climate modelling (open access)

Observational estimate of climate sensitivity from changes in the rate of ocean heat uptake

Mechanism of tropical low-cloud response to surface warming using weather and climate simulations

Aerosol effect on climate extremes in Europe under different future scenarios

Assessment of different metrics for physical climate feedbacks (open access)

CLARA-SAL: a global 28 yr timeseries of Earth’s black-sky surface albedo (open access)

What is the effect of unresolved internal climate variability on climate sensitivity estimates?

Theoretical study of solar light reflectance from vertical snow surfaces (open access)

Yet another study that robustly attributes global temperature changes to human influence

Natural aerosol direct and indirect radiative effects

Temperature tagging – the latest fashion in attribution?

Land-use effect on climate: fossil fuel forcing dominates land-use forcing

Surface albedo feedback is the largest contributor to the annual mean polar warming amplification


North Atlantic SSTs as a link between wintertime NAO and the following spring climate in Europe

Imprint of AMO and PDO on southwestern US climate (open access)

Central Antarctic climate response to the solar cycle

The Arctic/Atlantic thermohaline circulation

Why were some La Niñas followed by another La Niña?

Large differences in the sea surface temperature datasets across the tropical Pacific during 2012

Examining Internal and External Contributors to Greenland Climate Variability

North Atlantic overtakes ENSO as dominant area of seasonal predictability by 2095

An updated climatology of tropical cyclone impacts on the southwestern United States

On the insignifcance of Herschel’s sunspot correlation

Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Beijing Urban Heat Island Intensity

Atmosphere – sea ice interaction in early summer in the Antarctic

Weather Bike: A Bicycle Based Weather Station for Observing Local Temperature Variations

The effect of volcanic eruptions on global precipitation

How Caspian Sea affects regional climate

The role of the Barents Sea in the Arctic climate system

Cool North European summers and possible links to explosive volcanic eruptions

Early Spanish meteorological records (1780–1850)

Are there really instrumental temperature records from 1632 to 1648?

A robust mode of climate variability in the Arctic: The Barents Oscillation (open access)

Detecting and correcting sensor drifts in long-term weather data

Re-discovery of a Forgotten U.S. Civil War Florida Hurricane

Anthropological contributions to the study of climate

Links between North Atlantic climatic oscillations and climate variability of Northern France and England

Comment on Humlum et al. humbug


Tropospheric SF6: Age of air from the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude surface

Differences in heat stress associated with white sportswear and being semi-nude in exercising humans

Increasing summer river discharge in southern California, USA linked to urbanization

Recommendations for reporting “black carbon” measurements (open access)

Virtual water trade flows and savings under climate change (open access)

Somali pirates don’t perform well in windy weather

“Weather girls” on the big screen: stereotypes, sex appeal, and science

World Population Growth; Past, Present and Future

Centralization in the global avoided deforestation collaboration network

Happiness is greater in natural environments

The 1970 Clean Air Act and termination of rainfall suppression in a U.S. urban area

A futurist perspective on the Anthropocene

Pollution transport from North America to Greenland during summer 2008 (open access)

Could working less reduce pressures on the environment?

Identification and possible recurrence of an oversized tsunami on the Pacific coast of northern Japan

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New climate papers, part 4 – past climate changes

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 26, 2013

In March I published a batch of early 2013 papers on climate related issues. It’s time to give another update. Since March, there has been lot of new papers, so I’ll divide them to 5 posts. There are 734 papers altogether, so these posts should keep you busy for a while:

Part 1. Reality of climate change (temperature, other climate parameters, climate extremes, future projections).
Part 2. Impacts of climate change (cryosphere, oceans, mankind, ecosystems, other issues).
Part 3. Mitigation and adaptation (greenhouse gases, mankind reaction, energy, technologies and products, adaptation, general mitigation).
Part 4. Past climate changes.
Part 5. Other papers (feedbacks and forcings, general climate science, other issues).

Part 4 contains papers that deal with past climate changes. There are 68 papers in part 4. There are no subsections in this post.

See About New research from last week series for some information of my new research stream (the post discusses weekly posts which I don’t do anymore, but the parts about what papers get included are valid also currently).

Seasonal climate change across the Roman Warm Period/Vandal Minimum transition in Florida

Redistribution of prehistoric Tarim people in response to climate change

Sea ice in the paleoclimate system: the challenge of reconstructing sea ice from proxies

Understanding long-term carbon cycle trends: The late paleocene through the early eocene

Glaciology and geological signature of the Last Glacial Maximum Antarctic ice sheet

Mid-Holocene ocean and vegetation feedbacks over East Asia (open access)

Early Last Interglacial Greenland Ice Sheet melting & meridional overturning weakening

Faint young sun problem and possible climates of Archean Earth

Atmospheric nitric oxide and ozone at the WAIS Divide deep coring site (open access)

Reconstruction of extratropical Indo-Pacific sea-level pressure patterns during Medieval Climate Anomaly

Oxygen & carbon stable isotopes in coast redwood tree-rings respond to spring & summer climate

The role of deep ocean circulation in setting glacial climates

20th century treeline advances are greater than in last 4000 years in Great Basin, USA (open access)

On the Milankovitch sensitivity of the Quaternary deep-sea record (open access)

Retreat history of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum

Droughts in the Czech Lands 1090–2012 – currently important drought period ongoing (open access)

Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

Today’s biodiversity has been shaped by anthropogenic forcing over the millennia

A model–data comparison of the Holocene global sea surface temperature evolution (open access)

Reconstruction of 14C production and TSI from Holocene 14C and CO2 records (open access)

Albedo and heat transport in 3-D model simulations of the early Archean climate (open access)

Climate change at the end of the Old Kingdom in Egypt around 4200 BP

Abrupt deglaciation on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau at the beginning of Holocene

Larger variations in Arctic sea ice cover during last decades than throughout Holocene

Volcanic cooling signal in tree-ring temperature records for the past millennium

Impact of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate (open access)

Climate–ice-sheet simulation shows limited Greenland ice loss during the Eemian (open access)

On the effect of orbital forcing on mid-Pliocene climate, vegetation and ice sheets (open access)

Special issue on Australasian palaeoclimatology in Quaternary Science Reviews

Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles: Interactions between ocean and sea ice intrinsic to Nordic Seas

East Antarctic ice sheet was sensitive to climatic warmth during the Pliocene

Climate model and proxy data constraints on ocean warming across Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Can an Earth System Model simulate better climate change at mid-Holocene than an AOGCM? (open access)

Absent growth rings are rare in Northern Hemisphere forests outside the American Southwest

Variation of East Asian monsoon precipitation during the past 21 k.y. and potential CO2 forcing

Elevated pCO2 leading to Late Triassic extinction, persistent photic zone euxinia, & rising sea levels

Alpine permafrost thawing during the MWP identified from cryogenic cave carbonates (open access)

Rapid early Holocene ice retreat in West Greenland

Tree-ring dating and radiocarbon wiggle matching of Buddhist arhat statues

Mismatch between modeled and reconstructed response to volcanic forcing over past 1000yr (@MichaelEMann)

Siberian north is currently warmer than MWP but rather similar to Holocene climate optimum

Greenland ice core evidence of the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption (open access)

Distribution and chronology of Pleistocene permafrost features in France

Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future

Detecting temporal changes in climate – tree growth reactions

Temperature changes over the past 2000 yr in China (open access)

Testing hypothesis of post-volcanic missing rings in temperature sensitive dendrochronological data

The role of vegetation feedbacks on Greenland glaciation

Briffa et al. make a revisit to Yamal tree ring data

A new paleothermometer for forest paleosols and its implications for Cenozoic climate

Climate of last millennium: ensemble consistency of simulations and reconstructions (open access)

Amplification of Arctic terrestrial surface temperatures by reduced sea-ice extent during Pliocene

Southern Ocean sector centennial climate variability and recent decadal trends

Amplified inception of European Little Ice Age by sea ice-ocean-atmosphere feedbacks

How water isotopes from Alpine ice cores reproduce instrumental temperature series? (open access)

There were no globally synchronous Medieval Warm Period

Extremely high temperatures and paleoclimate trends recorded in Permian ephemeral lake halite

Evidence for atmospheric carbon injection during the end-Permian extinction

Climatic and biotic velocities for woody taxa distributions over last 16 000 yr in eastern North America

Pacific decadal oscillation variation since 1853 in coral record from northern South China Sea

Holocene climate changes and land use drove shifts in diversity of testate amoebae in subalpine pond

Past climate variability had profound effect on terrestrial ecosystems in continental SE Europe

Discovery of Holocene millennial climate cycles in the Asian continental interior

Arctic climate variability was likely much different in past climates and is likely to be so in the future

Abrupt temperature changes during the last 1,500 years

Century-scale anthropogenic warming of the global ocean up to the present day

Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (open access)

Paleoclimate data–model comparison and the role of climate forcings over the past 1500 years

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New climate papers, part 3 – mitigation and adaptation

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 25, 2013

In March I published a batch of early 2013 papers on climate related issues. It’s time to give another update. Since March, there has been lot of new papers, so I’ll divide them to 5 posts. There are 734 papers altogether, so these posts should keep you busy for a while:

Part 1. Reality of climate change (temperature, other climate parameters, climate extremes, future projections).
Part 2. Impacts of climate change (cryosphere, oceans, mankind, ecosystems, other issues).
Part 3. Mitigation and adaptation (greenhouse gases, mankind reaction, energy, technologies and products, adaptation, general mitigation).
Part 4. Past climate changes.
Part 5. Other papers (feedbacks and forcings, general climate science, other issues).

Part 3 contains papers that deal with climate change related mitigation and adaptation. There are 142 papers in part 3. Subsections are greenhouse gases (62 papers), mankind reaction (18 papers), energy (16 papers), technologies and products (9 papers), adaptation (23 papers), and general mitigation (14 papers).

See About New research from last week series for some information of my new research stream (the post discusses weekly posts which I don’t do anymore, but the parts about what papers get included are valid also currently).


A multi-tower measurement network estimate of California’s methane emissions

High ozone concentrations on hot days: The role of electric power demand and NOx emissions

Land-use change and nitrogen feedbacks constrain the trajectory of the land carbon sink

Carbon footprints of cities and other human settlements in the UK (open access)

El Nino, 2006 Indonesian Peat Fires, and distribution of atmospheric methane (open access)

Global CO2 fluxes estimated from GOSAT retrievals of total column CO2 (open access)

Isotopic constraints on the pre-industrial oceanic nitrogen budget (open access)

Carbon dioxide emission to Earth’s surface by deep-sea volcanism

Methane concentrations over Monsoon Asia: Signals of methane emission from rice cultivation

Climate change and ocean acidification reduce export of organic C to deep ocean (open access)

Potential for forest carbon plantings to offset greenhouse emissions in Australia

Global modeling of soil nitrous oxide emissions from natural processes

Non-microbial methane emissions from soils

Evidence for strong seasonality in carbon storage and carbon use efficiency of Amazonian forest

Carbon stocks of trees killed by bark beetles and wildfire in western United States (open access)

Carbon footprint of a Cavendish banana supply chain

Real-time monitoring system of urban emissions of CO2 from Davos, Switzerland

Tundra ecosystems observed to be CO2 sources due to differential amplification of carbon cycle

Climate change, ecosystem services, and costs of action and inaction

Are recent Arctic ozone losses caused by increasing greenhouse gases? (probably not)

A 60 yr record of atmospheric carbon monoxide reconstructed from Greenland firn air (open access)

CH4 emissions from a western US natural gas field estimated as 6.2-11.7% of gas production

Soil organic carbon dust emission: an omitted global source of atmospheric CO2

Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra (open access)

CO, NOx and 13CO2 as tracers for fossil fuel CO2 (open access)

If anthropogenic CO2 emissions cease, will atmospheric CO2 concentration continue to increase?

Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape at the South Kara Sea shelf

Methane from permafrost degradation doesn’t cause much additional warming (open access)

Changes in European greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions 1960–2010

The role of HFCs in mitigating 21st century climate change (open access)

Sea–air CO2 fluxes in the Southern Ocean for the period 1990–2009 (open access)

How much CO2 emissions do we reduce by saving electricity? A focus on methods

Emissions of ozone depleting HCFC-22 are still rising due to increased use in developing countries

SF6 usage and emission trends in the TFT-LCD industry

The acceleration of oceanic denitrification during deglacial warming

Short-term variations of atmospheric CO2 and dominant causes in summer and winter

Why unprecedented ozone loss in the Arctic in 2011? Is it related to climate change? (open access)

Searching for causes of renewed growth of atmospheric methane since 2007

Role of external factors in evolution of ozone layer and stratospheric circulation (open access)

How much CO was emitted by the 2010 fires around Moscow? (open access)

Boreal carbon loss due to poleward shift in low-carbon ecosystems

Satellite observations of ozone in the upper mesosphere

Annual carbon balance of a peatland 10 yr following restoration (open access)

CO2 and N2O fluxes are expected to increase from urban grasslands with climate change

Evolution of Antarctic ozone in September–December predicted for the 21st century (open access)

Global sink for N2O in soils is less than 2% of current sources of N2O in the atmosphere

Analysis of 39-year atmospheric CO2 record from Baring Head, New Zealand (open access)

Diurnal tracking of anthropogenic CO2 emissions (open access)

Soil invertebrate fauna affect N2O emissions from soil

Stratospheric loss and atmospheric lifetimes of CFC-11 and CFC-12 (open access)

The influence of plants on atmospheric methane in an agriculture-dominated landscape

Nitrous oxide emissions from European agriculture (open access)

Detection of methane depletion associated with Stratospheric intrusion

Shorter snow season -> longer growth season -> stronger grassland carbon sink (open access)

Elevated CO2 increases belowground C sequestration by making plants grow longer and thicker roots

Abiotic methane on Earth

Global ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon (open access)

Models show higher CO2 emissions from land use when nitrogen cycle is included

The response of atmospheric nitrous oxide to climate variations during the last glacial period

Global ocean carbon uptake: magnitude, variability and trends (open access)

Impact of an abrupt cooling event on interglacial methane emissions in northern peatlands (open access)

Why are some marginal seas sources of atmospheric CO2?


Subregional differences in Australian climate risk perceptions

Pro-environmental behavior and public understanding of climate change

Opinions and Knowledge About Climate Change Science in High School Students

Media attention for climate change around the world

Rethinking US climate advocacy (open access)

Climate modification and climate change debates among Soviet physical geographers, 1940s–1960s

US students are less likely to believe anthropogenic climate change is happening than Chinese students

Weathercaster-delivered climate change education can have positive effects on viewing audiences

The politics of climate change in China

Perceived scientific agreement and support for government action on climate change in the USA

Public climate change skepticism has not become a mainstream phenomenon in Germany

Climate science, Russian politics, and the framing of climate change

Majority of American evangelicals support a range of climate and energy policies

If climate action becomes urgent: the importance of response times for various climate strategies

Mobilizing citizens for a low and clean energy future

Despite peaking fossil fuels, concern over climate change is still warranted

Does climate change violate human rights?

Cross-cultural insights into climate change skepticism


Biofuel’s carbon balance: doubts, certainties and implications (open access)

Integrating place-specific livelihood & equity outcomes into global assessments of bioenergy deployment (OA)

Consumptive water use for oil shale could impact water availability in lower Colorado River Basin

Changing set-aside grassland to annual and perennial cellulosic biofuel cropland induces large C emissions

The military and energy: Moving the United States beyond oil

The impact of North Atlantic Oscillation on renewable energy resources in south–western Europe

Quantifying biodiversity impacts of climate change and bioenergy

Tackling climate change with bioenergy for limiting biodiversity loss could have opposite effect (OA)

The importance of nuclear energy for the expansion of Brazil’s electricity grid

Why the oil companies lost solar

There is considerable potential for energy savings in buildings

German nuclear phase-out will be replaced mainly by coal- and lignite-based electricity generation

Differences in perception: How the experts look at energy efficiency

Climate consequences of natural gas as a bridge fuel

Effect of climate change, its mitigation and population distribution on building energy use in U.S. and China

Climate considerations in safety assessments for nuclear waste repositories (open access)


Molten Air – A new, highest energy class of rechargeable batteries

Assessing CO2 emission reduction potential of passenger vehicle replacement programs

Comparison of environmental impacts of imported and domestic foods in UK

Heavy oil production by carbon dioxide injection

Climate impact of transportation

Contrail ice particles in aircraft wakes and their climatic importance

The climate impact of aviation aerosols

Shipping contributes to ocean acidification

Shipping emission reductions cause warming effect for decades before effect switches to cooling (open access)


Coastal climate hazards and urban planning: how planning responses can lead to maladaptation

The role of small scale sand dams in securing water supply under climate change in Ethiopia

The art of adaptation: Living with climate change in the rural American Southwest

Adapting science to a warming world

A coral reef refuge in the Red Sea

Role of social norms in climate adaptation: Mediating risk perception and flood insurance purchase

How robust are global conservation priorities to climate change?

How are we adapting to climate change? A global assessment

Climate change adaptation support tools in Australia

Changing sowing date and cultivar selection reverses decreasing maize yield due to warming in NE China

An overview of US state drought plans: crisis or risk management?

Making decisions to conserve species under climate change (open access)

Farmers in SW France think that their arable cropping systems are already adapted to climate change

Monitoring temporal development of natural hazard risks as basis indicator for climate change adaptation

Exploring barriers to climate change adaptation in the Swiss tourism sector (open access)

Re-thinking colonialism to prepare for the impacts of rapid environmental change

A spatially explicit scenario-driven model of adaptive capacity to global change in Europe

Adaptation of maize to climate change impacts in Iran

Adaptation to the infectious disease impacts of climate change

Counteracting urban climate change: adaptation measures and their effect on thermal comfort (open access)

Assessment of climate change adaptation costs for the U.S. road network

Coastal retreat and improved water quality mitigate losses of seagrass from sea level rise

The emergence of climate change adaptation as a policy field


Economic mitigation challenges: how further delay closes door for climate targets (open access)

The adaptation and mitigation potential of traditional agriculture in a changing climate

Agricultural risk management policies under climate uncertainty

Climate change mitigation potential in the United States Great Plains wetlands (open access)

The cost of mitigation strategies for agricultural adaptation to global change

Trade-offs between mitigation costs and temperature change (open access)

Some whats, whys and worries of geoengineering

Climate mitigation policy implications for global irrigation water demand

When you stop geoengineering by solar radiation management, rapid warming follows

Governing geoengineering research: why, when and how?

Could aerosol emissions be used for regional heat wave mitigation? (open access)

A bibliometric analysis of climate engineering research

Why geoengineering is not ‘global public good’, and why it’s ethically misleading to frame it as one

Carbon sequestration via wood harvest and storage: An assessment of its harvest potential

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New climate papers, part 2 – impacts of climate change

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 24, 2013

In March I published a batch of early 2013 papers on climate related issues. It’s time to give another update. Since March, there has been lot of new papers, so I’ll divide them to 5 posts. There are 734 papers altogether, so these posts should keep you busy for a while:

Part 1. Reality of climate change (temperature, other climate parameters, climate extremes, future projections).
Part 2. Impacts of climate change (cryosphere, oceans, mankind, ecosystems, other issues).
Part 3. Mitigation and adaptation (greenhouse gases, mankind reaction, energy, technologies and products, adaptation, general mitigation).
Part 4. Past climate changes.
Part 5. Other papers (feedbacks and forcings, general climate science, other issues).

Part 2 contains papers that deal with impacts of climate change. There are 277 papers in part 2. Subsections are cryosphere (65 papers), oceans (29 papers), mankind (40 papers), ecosystems (122 papers), and other issues (21 papers).

See About New research from last week series for some information of my new research stream (the post discusses weekly posts which I don’t do anymore, but the parts about what papers get included are valid also currently).


Thinning of Arctic sea ice observed in Fram Strait: 1990-2011

Rapid decrease of observed mass balance in Urumqi Glacier No. 1, Tianshan Mountains, central Asia

Response of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation in winter to Arctic sea ice decline

Interannual variability of arctic landfast ice between 1976 and 2007

Arctic marginal ice zone trending wider in summer and narrower in winter

Atlantic influence on spring snowfall over the Alps in the past 150 years (open access)

Critical mechanisms for extreme arctic sea-ice extent in summers of 2007 & 1996 (open access)

Charred forests increase snowmelt

Future projections of Greenland surface mass balance

Causes and consequences of mid-21st-century rapid ice loss events

CHAMP confirms CRACE results of Greenland ice mass loss

Accelerated mass loss of Kamchatka Peninsula glaciers in recent decades

Glacier response to current climate change and future scenarios in the northwestern Italian Alps

Meteorological controls on glacier mass balance in High Asia

Forests on thawing permafrost: fragmentation, edge effects, and net forest loss

Recent changes (1991-2010) in glacier mass balance and air temperature in the European Alps

Region-wide glacier mass balances over the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya during 1999–2011 (open access)

Glacier mass balance of Norway 1961-2010 calculated by a temperature-index model

Alpine snow cover in a changing climate

Decreasing trends in North American snowpacks

Observed variations in multidecadal Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979–2012

Characterization of recent glacier decline in the Cordillera Real, Bolivian Andes

Modelling and mapping climate change impacts on permafrost at high resolution (open access)

Limits in detecting acceleration of ice sheet mass loss due to climate variability

Glaciers retreating and shrinking in Columbia Icefield, Canada (open access, h/t @realglacier)

Observed variations in multi-decadal Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979–2012

Changes in glaciers, climate and runoff in 2nd half of 20th century in Naryn basin, Central Asia

Future sea ice conditions in western Hudson Bay and consequences for polar bears

Antarctic sea ice trends seem to be still within natural variability

Atmospheric winter response to a projected future Antarctic sea-ice reduction

Model simulated atmospheric impacts of an Arctic sea ice minimum

Future Changes in Northern Hemisphere Snowfall (mostly decrease but high latitude increase)

Reduced North American snow pack since 1979

Role of sea ice in global biogeochemical cycles: emerging views and challenges

Recent snowfall anomalies in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

Time-variable gravity observations of ice sheet mass balance: precision and limitations of GRACE data

Energy budget of first-year Arctic sea ice in advanced stages of melt

Rapid loss of firn pore space accelerates 21st century Greenland mass loss

Frozen ground boundary shifting in response to temperature variations at northern China and Mongolia

Modelling past sea ice changes

Satellite estimates of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent during September 1964 (open access)

The absence of memory in the climatic forcing of glaciers

Recent strong anticyclonic circulation has accelerated the decrease in summer Arctic sea ice

Future surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and its influence on sea level change

Rapid thinning of lake-calving Yakutat Glacier and the collapse of the Yakutat Icefield in Alaska

Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century

Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000 years

Apparent Eurasian October snow cover extent increase might be dataset artifact (open access)

Arctic sea ice circulation and drift speed: Decadal trends and ocean currents

Snow cover variability in the Himalayan–Tibetan region

Physical mechanisms of European winter snow cover variability and its relationship to the NAO

An updated and quality controlled surface mass balance dataset for Antarctica (open access)

Surface mass balance model intercomparison for the Greenland ice sheet (open access)

Global glacier volume is projected to reduce by 29-41% during this century

Regional patterns and proximal causes of the recent snowpack decline in the Rocky Mountains, USA

Important role for ocean warming and increased ice-shelf melt in Antarctic sea-ice expansion

Sea ice thickness estimations over the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas, 2003-2009

Shorter snowfall season associated with higher temperatures over northern Eurasia (open access)

An observed negative trend in West Antarctic accumulation rates from 1975 to 2010

A negative feedback which might slow Arctic sea ice loss

A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland (open access)

Modeling Antarctic ice shelf responses to future climate changes and impacts on the ocean

Detection and attribution of observed changes in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover

Recent, very rapid retreat of a temperate glacier in SE Iceland

Impact of freshwater discharge from the Greenland ice sheet on North Atlantic climate variability


Mechanisms of global mean steric sea level change

Contribution of the pacific decadal oscillation to global mean sea level trends

Atmosphere drives recent interannual variability of AMOC at 26.5°N

Tropical cyclones cause CaCO3 undersaturation of coral reef seawater in a high-CO2 world

Sea level changes at Tenerife Island (NE Tropical Atlantic) since 1927

ENSO Variability and Reversibility in Response to CO2 Concentration Changes

New study confirms the existence of a global sea–level acceleration

Australia’s unique influence on global sea level in 2010–2011

Anthropogenic acceleration of sea level rise quantified

Trends in the deep Southern Ocean: Implications for Antarctic bottom water properties & volume export

Accurate Determination of Sea Level Rise Vulnerability: A Solomon Islands Example

20th century sea-level rise inferred from tide gauge, geologically derived and thermosteric sea-level changes

Climate change and decadal to centennial-scale climate periodicities in NE Pacific

With sea level rise, the episodic swell will increasingly cause major impacts to Pacific islands

Influence of Southern Annular Mode on projected weakening of AMOC

Northern North Atlantic sea-surface height and ocean heat content variability

Semi-empirical and process-based global sea level projections

Trends of ocean acidification in California’s Santa Monica Bay timeseries

Large contribution of ice sheet and mountain glacier melt to recent sea level rise

Observed mean sea level changes around the North Sea coastline from 1800 to present

Global trends in surface ocean pCO2 from in situ data

Oceanic hindcast simulations at high resolution suggest that the Atlantic MOC is bistable

Interaction network based early warning indicators for the Atlantic MOC collapse

Initialisation and predictability of the AMOC over the last 50 years in a climate model

Climate-model induced differences in 21st century glacier contributions to sea-level rise

Role of mode and intermediate waters in future ocean acidification

Increased rate of SLR since 1990 is not natural cycle but response to increased radiative forcing (open access)

AMOC appears statistically stable over the last 19 years

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is expected to weaken during 21st century


Global warming-induced impacts on winter storm losses in German private household sector (OA)

Climate change & river floods in EU: Socio-economic consequences & costs & benefits of adaptation

Identifying the exposure of two subsistence villages in Alaska to climate change

Temperatures and the Growth and Development of Maize and Rice: A Review

Measuring household vulnerability to climate change—Why markets matter

The science and economics of extreme warming

Impacts of extreme weather events and climate change concerning thermal power plants

Climatic Change has special issue on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States

Extreme weather impacts on freight railways in Europe

Vulnerability of the oil and gas sector to climate change and extreme weather events

Vulnerability of solar energy infrastructure and output to climate change

Characterizing drought stress and trait influence on maize yield under current and future conditions

Understanding the relationship between environmental change and migration

Climate change will significantly affect future crop production in southern Africa

China’s regional vulnerability to drought and its mitigation strategies under climate change

The Impact of Recent Heat Waves on Human Health in California

Fatalities in the United States from Atlantic tropical cyclones (open access)

Year patterns of climate impact on wheat yields

The potential effects of climate change on malaria transmission in Africa (open access)

Projected shifts of wine regions in response to climate change

Climate change impacts on global agriculture: higher food prices, significant losses in welfare

The impact of climate change on the European energy system

Does diurnal temperature range influence seasonal suicide mortality?

Impact of elevated CO2, temperature and precipitation on winter wheat yield in North China Plain

Global crop and high temperatures: historical trends and future projections (open access)

Temperature-related mortality in summer over the past 17 years has declined in Seoul, South Korea

Changes in the timing of hay cutting in Germany do not keep pace with climate warming

Modeling climate effects on hip fracture rate

The Irish famine of 1740–1741: famine vulnerability and “climate migration” (open access)

Climate change and water resources in the Bagmati River Basin, Nepal

Shifts in the seasonal distribution of deaths in Australia, 1968–2007

Climate change and infectious diseases: Can we meet the needs for better prediction?

The North Atlantic Oscillation affects the quality of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)

Increasing atmospheric CO2 helps common allergenic fungal species to induce allergies

Climate has affected global crop yield variability over past 50 years (open access)

Climatic impacts on winter wheat yields in Picardy, France and Rostov, Russia: 1973–2010

Regional disparities in the CO2 fertilization effect and implications for crop yields (open access)

Increasing aerosols offset benefits of warming on rice yields in Jiangsu Province, China

The impact of heat waves on children’s health

Climate change: an amplifier of existing health risks in developing countries


Unusual forest growth decline in boreal North America covaries with the retreat of Arctic sea ice

Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s

Tipping points in tropical tree cover: linking theory to data

Forecasting The Viability Of Sea Turtle Eggs In A Warming World

Drought footprint on European ecosystems between 1999 and 2010

Incorporating adaptive responses into future projections of coral bleaching

Asynchronous exposure to global warming: freshwater resources and land ecosystems (open access)

Earlier flowering of Cranberry causes ecological mismatch with bog copper butterfly

Dual impacts of climate change: forest migration and turnover through life history

Shifts in Arctic phenology in response to climate and anthropogenic factors (open access)

Phenology predicts the native and invasive range limits of common ragweed

Warming increases biomass+reduces diversity in experimental wetland communities

Earlier tree leaf out with warmer spring temperatures

Climate change & fishing are necessary for explaining decadal biological variability in N Pacific

Vegetation response to extreme climate events on Mongolian Plateau 2000-2010 (open access)

Savanna vegetation phenology across the North Australian Tropical Transect

Respiration of Mediterranean cold-water corals is not affected by ocean acidification as projected for the end of the century (open access)

Temperature effects on food supply and chick mortality in tree swallows (open access)

Consistent response of vegetation dynamics to recent climate change in tropical mountain regions

Atlantic salmon emigration is responding to the current global climate changes

Biodiversity ensures plant–pollinator phenological synchrony against climate change

Expected impact of climate change on Japanese cherry phenology

Widespread decline in Mongolian grasslands largely due to overgrazing (only small role for climate)

Effects of ocean warming and acidification on the energy budget of an excavating sponge

The role of CO2 variability and exposure time for biological impacts of ocean acidification

Responses of vegetation distribution to climate change in China

Trends in landings of fish species potentially affected by climate change in Portuguese fisheries

Coralline algal structure is more sensitive to rate than magnitude of acidification (open access)

Seasonality of North Atlantic phytoplankton from space

Climate as a driver of phenological change in southern seabirds

Elevated CO2 increases invasive potential of Phragmites australis in coastal marshes of N America

Bergmann’s rule is maintained during a rapid range expansion in a damselfly

Temperature modulates response of a sea urchin early life stages to CO2-driven acidification

Vulnerability of 208 endemic or endangered species in China to the effects of climate change

Climate change may induce contrasting seasonal impacts on fish bio-ecology and physiology

Hysteresis between coral reef calcification and the seawater aragonite saturation state

Predicting current and future global distributions of whale sharks

Shaping of genetic variation in edge-of-range populations under past and future climate change

Future for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification (open access)

Heat freezes niche evolution

Intra-guild interactions and projected impact of climate and land use on North American pochard ducks

Declining pine growth in Central Spain coincides with increasing diurnal temperature range since the 1970s

When you take forest out of rainforest, also rain leaves

Benthic buffers and boosters of ocean acidification on coral reefs (open access)

Climatic change causes abrupt changes in forest composition

Simulated changes in Northwest US climate in response to Amazon deforestation

Linking climate change to population cycles of hares and lynx

Observed climate-induced changes in plant phenology in the Netherlands

Melaleuca genus might be able to adapt to climate change

Eucalyptus trees grown outside their native range have limited adjustment to elevated CO2 and climate warming

Past locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands: do they indicate particular climatic patterns?

Vegetation changes and their responses to climate change from 1982 to 2011 in middle Himalayans

Estimation of potential impacts of climate change on growth and yield of temperate tree species

Parasites and global warming

Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia

Projected climate change dramatically exceed past rates of vertebrate species’ climatic niche evolution

Compositional shifts in Costa Rican forests due to climate-driven species migrations

Can marine cloud brightening reduce coral bleaching?

Climate change effect on birch and oak pollen seasons in the United States

Increasing Arctic cloudiness damps phytoplankton production increase due to sea ice receding (open access)

Climate-driven faunal movement routes and human-dominated landscapes

Climate and ecosystem linkages explain declines in North American Atlantic salmon populations

Increased temperature reduces herbivore host-plant quality

Temporal variability of thermal refuges and water temperature patterns in Atlantic salmon river

Elevated CO2 level impairs the ability of damselfish to learn the identity of predators

Population dynamics can be more important than physiological limits for determining range shifts under climate change

Diatoms can be an important exception to temperature-size rules

Predicting species-specific responses of fungi to climatic variation using historical records

Regional decline in growth rates of massive Porites corals in Southeast Asia

Climate-Mediated Shifts In Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches And Human Development

The spatial pattern of leaf phenology and its response to climate change in China

Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests: A Historical Perspective

Climate change might not affect the calling behaviour of anuran amphibians

Drought response of Norway spruce and European larch indicates high vulnerability

Dampening effects of long-term experimental drought on growth and mortality rates of Holm oak forest

Native bees buffer negative impact of climate warming on honey bee pollination of watermelon crops

Range expansion through fragmented landscapes under a variable climate

Thermal controls of Yellowstone cutthroat trout and invasive fishes under climate change

Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish

Climate driven recent increase in Swiss fungi fruiting may have amplified forest carbon cycling

Earlier springs decrease peak summer productivity in North American boreal forests (open access)

Microclimatic challenges in global change biology

Does thermal history influence the tolerance of temperate gorgonians to future warming?

CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

Predicting shifts in North American deer parasite distribution with climate change

Ocean acidification, warming, and tidal downwelling as factors in the future of cold-water corals

Earlier Arctic springs cause phenological mismatch in long-distance migrants

Do invasive species perform better in their new ranges?

The impact of climate change measured at relevant spatial scales: new hope for tropical lizards

Greater phenological sensitivity to temperature on higher Scottish mountains

Global warming might cause sharp decline to tropical-forest productivity in coming decades

Warmer spring limits tree growth due to drier soil in mountain forests of NW China (open access)

Global change affects the feeding ecology and contaminant exposures of East Greenland polar bears

Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores

Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change

Factors challenging our ability to detect long-term trends in ocean chlorophyll (open access)

Influence of climate factors on spatial distribution of Texas cattle breeds

Early onset of spring increases the phenological mismatch between plants and pollinators

Large-scale heterogeneity of Amazonian phenology (open access)

Climate change induced changes in Columbia Basin streamflows challenge the future of salmon (open access)

Pollen season and climate: Is the timing of birch pollen release in the UK approaching its limit?

Plant phenological records in northern Finland since the 18th century

Evaluation of recent trends in Australian pome fruit spring phenology

Evaluating phenological responses using a lifelong study of first flowering dates

Olive tree phenology and climate variations in the Mediterranean area over the last two decades

Response of phytoplankton to climate variability associated with North Atlantic Oscillation

Disparity in elevational shifts of European trees in response to recent climate warming

Large turnover in local phytoplankton community composition in a warming ocean

Migrate or evolve: options for plant pathogens under climate change

Rapid warming accelerates tree growth decline in semi-arid forests of Inner Asia

A novel algorithm to assess gross primary production for terrestrial ecosystems from MODIS imagery

The response of a mid- and high latitude peat bog to predicted climate change

Could some coral reefs become sponge reefs as our climate changes?

Temporal Distribution and Weather Correlates of Norway Rat Infestations in Madrid, Spain

The simulated atmospheric response to expansion of the Arctic boreal forest biome

Recent climate and fire disturbance impacts on boreal and arctic ecosystem productivity

Effects of seasonal snow on the growing season of temperate vegetation in China

Effects of climate change on birds in protected areas of Colombia

Annual plants change in size over a century of observations

Rapid change is more likely to trigger transitions to alternative ecosystem states than gradual change

The plant phenological online database (open access)

Rapid climate driven shifts in wintering distributions of three common waterbird species


Recent global dust trend and connections to climate forcing

Trends in storm-triggered landslides over southern California

Climate-induced increase of hypoxia in the Lake of Zurich

Temporal and spatial variability of the global water balance

Historic and future increase in global land area affected by monthly heat extremes (open access)

Will Future Climate Favor More Erratic Wildfires in the Western United States? (answer=yes)

Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

Extremely warm temperatures as a potential cause of recent high mountain rockfall

Global hydrological cycle response to rapid and slow global warming

Controls on recent Alaskan lake changes identified from water isotopes and remote sensing

Soil moisture’s underestimated role in climate change impact modelling in low energy systems

Variability of vegetation fires with rain and deforestation in Brazil’s state of Amazonas

Projected 21st-century changes to Arctic marine access (open access)

Rapid ice melting drives Earth’s pole to the east

Climate change increases North Sea hypoxia risk, less nutrient loading decreases the risk (open access)

Climate change increases frequency of shallow spring landslides in the French Alps

Increased mass over the Tibetan Plateau: from lakes or glaciers?

A significant increase in wave height in the North Atlantic Ocean over the 20th century

Landscape influences on climate-related lake shrinkage at high latitudes

Projection of global wave climate change towards the end of the 21st century

Observed ocean deoxygenation is not likely to be due to natural internal variability (open access)

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New climate papers, part 1 – reality of climate change

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 23, 2013

In March I published a batch of early 2013 papers on climate related issues. It’s time to give another update. Since March, there has been lot of new papers, so I’ll divide them to 5 posts. There are 734 papers altogether, so these posts should keep you busy for a while:

Part 1. Reality of climate change (temperature, other climate parameters, climate extremes, future projections).
Part 2. Impacts of climate change (cryosphere, oceans, mankind, ecosystems, other issues).
Part 3. Mitigation and adaptation (greenhouse gases, mankind reaction, energy, technologies and products, adaptation, general mitigation).
Part 4. Past climate changes.
Part 5. Other papers (feedbacks and forcings, general climate science, other issues).

Part 1 contains papers that deal with reality of climate change in the climate system (albeit in a quite broad sense). There are 145 papers in part 1. Subsections are temperature (58 papers), other climate parameters (30 papers), climate extremes (41 papers), and future projections (16 papers; this section also includes some model development papers).

See About New research from last week series for some information of my new research stream (the post discusses weekly posts which I don’t do anymore, but the parts about what papers get included are valid also currently).


Decadal evolution of ocean thermal anomalies in the North Atlantic

Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions (open access + video abstract)

Climate change: changing means and changing extremes

Upper tropospheric warming intensifies sea surface warming

Temperature trends & water vapor and ozone in tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

Review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for OHC estimates and climate change

Climate change trend in China, warming since 1960s, accelerating since 1980s

General increase in soil temperatures in Büyük Menderes Basin, Turkey

Urbanization impact on temperature change in China with emphasis on land cover change and human activity

Comparing historical and modern methods of sea surface temperature measurement – Part 1 (open access)

Comparing historical and modern methods of sea surface temperature measurement – Part 2 (open access)

Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures

Anthropogenic contributions to Australia’s record summer temperatures of 2013

U.S. station temperature trends: significant cooling in SE and significant warming elsewhere

Evaluation of historical diurnal temperature range trends in CMIP5 models

Climate of Macaronesia is warming faster than global climate

Increasing temperature trend through last century cannot be explained by long-range memory

Trend detection in surface air temperature in Ontario & Quebec finds significant positive trends

Transient 21st century changes in daily-scale temperature extremes in the United States

Greenland Sea surface temperature change and accompanying changes in northern hemispheric climate

Changes in Temperature Records and Extremes: Are They Statistically Significant?

Large gaps in the monthly temperature observations for Uganda

Anthropogenic signal is detected in global and northern continental means of extreme temperature changes

Remarkable and highly significant increase in very warm nights during 1986–2008 in Arabian Peninsula

Ed Hawkins & Phil Jones: On increasing global temperatures: 75 years after Callendar (open access)

The effects of urbanization on temperature trends in northwestern China

Analysis and modeling of extreme temperatures in several cities in northwestern Mexico

Climate variability analysis of winter temperatures in the central Mediterranean since 1500 AD

Vertical amplification of warming in tropical troposphere is exaggerated in models

Rise in air temperature in Saudi Arabia is not likely due to urbanization changes

Evidence for two abrupt warming events of SST in the last century

Urban heat islands and heat waves interact to create larger effect than their sum

Temperature extremes (hot and cold) in Saudi Arabia have increased significantly

On the scaling effect in global surface air temperature anomalies (open access)

Temporal and spatial patterns of modern climatic warming: case study of Northern Eurasia

Impact of anthropogenic heat emissions on London’s temperatures

Variability of daily and monthly observed near-surface temperatures in Uganda 1960–2008

Strengthening of ocean heat uptake efficiency associated with the recent climate hiatus

Temperature change on the Antarctic Peninsula linked to the tropical Pacific

Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures

Spatial and temporal patterns of the recent warming of the Amazon forest

Remotely induced warming of Antarctic Bottom Water in the eastern Weddell gyre

Global warming + urbanization = hot nights in the future of Sydney

Development of global hourly 0.5-degree land surface air temperature datasets

Warming in Europe is accelerating compared to the warming over the global land masses

Upper-air temperature trends above Switzerland 1959-2011

U.S. Climate Reference Network after one decade of operations

Observed warming in Atlantic Ocean is consistent with climate model simulations

Temperature variability over Africa during the last 2000 years

Exceptionally hot summers in Central and Eastern Europe are more frequent today (open access)

Revisiting the Controversial Issue of Tropical Tropospheric Temperature Trends

Long-range memory in Earth’s surface temperature

Impact of future warming on winter chilling in Australia

Rate of warming at Summit, Greenland, has been six times the global average

Independent confirmation of global land warming without the use of station temperatures

Estimation of the Absolute Surface Air Temperature of the Earth

Origin of temperature difference between the hemispheres in present-day climate

Low and high altitude warming rates similar during 20th century in French Alps


The atmospheric energy constraint on global-mean precipitation change

Projections of global changes in precipitation extremes from CMIP5 models

Spatial and temporal patterns of global onshore wind speed distribution (open access)

Near-term acceleration of hydroclimatic change in the western U.S.

Significant rainfall decreases and variations of the atmospheric circulation in Mediterranean

Have greenhouse gases intensified the contrast between wet and dry regions?

Wind speed trends over Turkey from 1975 to 2006

European isotherms move northwards by up to 15 km per year

A possible mechanism for the North Pacific regime shift in winter of 1998/99

Decadal scale oscillations and trend in the Indian monsoon rainfall

Tropical belt has widened during last few decades

West African Sahel experienced a drying trend over the 20th century

Climate change regional review: Russia

The nexus between atmospheric rivers and extreme precipitation across Europe

Enhanced future variability during India’s rainy season

Long-term changes in global precipitation during past 3 decades

Variability in the width of the tropics and the annular modes

The Artic oscillation, Climate change and the effects on precipitation in Israel

Consistency of 20th century sea level pressure trends as simulated by a coupled and uncoupled GCM

How do weather characteristics change in a warming climate?

The changing rainy season climatology of mid-Ghana

Recent changes in daily precipitation and surface air temperature extremes in mainland Portugal

Role of climate change and ozone recovery for the future timing of Major Stratospheric Warmings

Trend and variability of China’s summer precipitation during 1955–2008

All midlatitude jets are projected to migrate poleward with climate change

Summer-like atmospheric conditions have appeared earlier and ended later since 1948

Temporal change of climate zones in China in the context of climate warming

Record-breaking summer of 2012 in Greenland (open access)

Spatial and temporal changes in aridity index in northwest China: 1960 to 2010

Interannual variability and expected regional climate change over North America


Changes in weather and climate extremes: phenomenology and empirical approaches

Typhoon season rain extremes in Taiwan over last 60 years: longer droughts, more intense rain

Multi-model seasonal forecasting of global drought onset

Pan-continental droughts in North America over the last millennium

Impact of ocean warm layer thickness on intensity of hurricane Katrina in regional coupled model

Recent increase in high tropical cyclone heat potential area in NW Pacific Ocean (open access)

No significant long-term trends are found for tropical cyclone sizes in a new study

Simulation of rainfall anomalies leading to the 2005 drought in Amazonia

Has land cover change influenced recent precipitation extremes in the Amazon?

Variability of winter storminess in the eastern United States during the 20th century

Apparently 2012 Great Plains Drought was not caused by global warming

Arctic amplification might not slow down planetary waves after all

Arctic sea-ice reduction and extreme climate events over the Mediterranean region

Sounding-derived parameters associated with tornado occurrence in Poland and universal tornadic index

Influence of atmospheric and sea surface temperature on the size of Hurricane Catarina

Arctic warming and your weather: public belief in the connection

Future changes in atmospheric rivers and implications for winter flooding in Britain (open access)

CMIP5 Climate Model Analyses: Climate Extremes in the United States

Severe and extreme droughts have become more serious since late 1990s for all of China

What caused the winter drought in Western Nepal during recent years? Mankind among other factors

Urban Heat Island of North-Central Texas Region and its Relation to 2011 Severe Texas Drought

Tropical cyclones are projected to decrease in frequency globally by 9% when CO2 is doubled

Large increase in extreme rainfall is projected over northern parts of central United States

Longer dry spells are projected for Burkina Faso with changing climate (open access)

Arctic sea ice decrease affects wind patterns which affects winter weather in Europe and East Asia

Great Plains 2012 drought could plausibly have arisen from atmospheric noise alone

European dry spell regimes (1951-2000): Clustering process and time trends

Global changes in propagation of stationary waves in a warming scenario

Climate change and extreme weather in the USA

Regional frequency analysis and spatial pattern characterization of Dry Spells in Iran

Heat waves in the United States: definitions, patterns and trends

A framework for global river flood risk assessments (open access)

Extreme winds over Europe in the ENSEMBLES regional climate models (open access)

Changes in extreme precipitation over Northeast China, 1960–2011

Fewer hurricanes but increasing number of violent storms are projected by 2100 to Mediterranean region

US billion-dollar weather and climate disasters

Evapotranspiration amplifies European summer drought

AO 2010 winter to summer polarity reversal and its relation to hemispheric extreme summer weather (open access)

Number of warm-core cyclones is expected to decrease over Mediterranean region

A scPDSI-based global dataset of dry and wet spells for 1901-2009

Summer heat waves have increased over western Turkey between 1965 and 2006


Uncertainties in CMIP5 climate projections due to carbon cycle feedbacks

On predicting climate under climate change (open access)

Trapped between two tails: trading off scientific uncertainties via climate targets (open access)

CMIP5 Projection of Significant Reduction in Extratropical Cyclone Activity over North America

Impact of potential 21st century “grand solar minimum” on surface temperatures and stratospheric ozone

Can Top of Atmosphere Radiation Measurements Constrain Climate Predictions?

Physical constraints for temperature biases in climate models

Potential influences of global warming on future climate and extreme events in Nigeria

Simulation of present and future climate of Saudi Arabia with regional climate model (open access);jsessionid=DA5E24909D3558B699BC06B09130C5E4.d01t03

Probabilistic projections of transient climate change

Peninsular Florida is projected to dry in the future climate

Intermediate complexity Earth models simulate 20th century trends reasonably well (open access)

How well are daily intense rainfall events captured by current climate models over Africa?

Decadal prediction of interannual tropical and North Pacific sea surface temperature

Reliability of regional climate model trends (open access)

On the interpretation of inter-model spread in CMIP5 climate sensitivity estimates

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Papers on renewed growth of atmospheric methane

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on September 4, 2013

This is a list of papers on renewed growth of atmospheric methane after being stable for almost a decade before 2006. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.

Renewed methane increase for five years (2007–2011) observed by solar FTIR spectrometry – Sussmann et al. (2012) “Trends of column-averaged methane for the time period (1996, Sep 2011) are derived from the mid-infrared (mid-IR) solar FTIR time series at the Zugspitze (47.42° N, 10.98° E, 2964 m a.s.l.) and Garmisch (47.48° N, 11.06° E, 743 m a.s.l.). Trend analysis comprises a fit to the de-seasonalized time series along with bootstrap resampling for quantifying trend uncertainties. We find a positive trend during [1996, 1998] of 9.0 [3.2, 14.7] ppb yr−1 for Zugspitze (95% confidence interval), an insignificant growth during [1999, mid 2006] of 0.8 [−0.1, 1.7] ppb yr−1 (Zugspitze), and a significant renewed increase during [mid 2006, Sep 2011] of 5.1 [4.2, 6.0] ppb yr−1 for Garmisch, which is in agreement with 4.8 [3.8, 5.9] ppb yr−1 for Zugspitze. The agreement of methane trends at the two closely neighboring FTIR sites Zugspitze and Garmisch within the uncertainties indicates a good station-to-station consistency as a basis for future trend analyses by the ground-based mid-IR FTIR network on the global scale. Furthermore, the Zugspitze FTIR trend for the time interval [Jul 2006, Jun 2009] is found to agree with the trend derived from SCIAMACHY (WFM-DOAS v2.0.2) data within the 95% confidence intervals. In case a 1000-km pixel selection radius around the Zugspitze is used, the confidence interval is narrower for the FTIR trend (6.9 [4.2, 9.5]  ppb yr−1) compared to SCIAMACHY (7.1 [5.1, 8.6] ppb yr−1). If, however, a loosened pixel selection is used (≈1000-km half-width latitudinal band), the SCIAMACHY trend significance interval is narrower (6.8 [5.1, 8.6] ppb yr−1) compared to Zugspitze FTIR (5.7 [3.0, 8.3] ppb yr−1). While earlier studies using surface network data revealed changes of 8.0 ± 0.6 ppb in 2007, 6.4 ± 0.6 ppb in 2008, and 4.7 ± 0.6 ppb in 2009 (Dlugokencky et al., 2011), our updated result proves that the renewed methane increase meanwhile has been persisting for >5 years [mid 2006, Sep 2011].  This is either the longest and largest positive trend anomaly since the beginning of systematic observations more than 25 years ago or the onset of a new period of strongly increasing CH4 levels in the atmosphere. Several scenarios have been developed to explain the persistent increase observed, mainly invoking an increase in emissions from natural wetlands, an increase in fossil fuel-related emissions or a decrease in OH concentrations. However, more work is needed to fully attribute this increase to a particular source or sink.” Sussmann, R., Forster, F., Rettinger, M., and Bousquet, P.: Renewed methane increase for five years (2007–2011) observed by solar FTIR spectrometry, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4885-4891, doi:10.5194/acp-12-4885-2012, 2012. [Full text]

Global column-averaged methane mixing ratios from 2003 to 2009 as derived from SCIAMACHY: Trends and variability – Frankenberg et al. (2011) “After a decade of stable or slightly decreasing global methane concentrations, ground-based in situ data show that CH4 began increasing again in 2007 and that this increase continued through 2009. So far, space-based retrievals sensitive to the lower troposphere in the time period under consideration have not been available. Here we report a long-term data set of column-averaged methane mixing ratios retrieved from spectra of the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument onboard Envisat. The retrieval quality after 2005 was severely affected by degrading detector pixels within the methane 2ν3 absorption band. We identified the most crucial problems in SCIAMACHY detector degradation and overcame the problem by applying a strict pixel mask as well as a new dark current characterization. Even though retrieval precision after the end of 2005 is invariably degraded, consistent methane retrievals from 2003 through 2009 are now possible. Regional time series in the Sahara, Australia, tropical Africa, South America, and Asia show the methane increase in 2007–2009, but we cannot yet draw a firm conclusion concerning the origin of the increase. Tropical Africa even seems to exhibit a negative anomaly in 2006, but an impact from changes in SCIAMACHY detector degradation cannot be excluded yet. Over Assakrem, Algeria, we observed strong similarities between SCIAMACHY measurements and ground-based data in deseasonalized time series. We further show long-term SCIAMACHY xCH4 averages at high spatial resolution that provide further insight into methane variations on regional scales. The Red Basin in China exhibits, on average, the highest methane abundance worldwide, while other localized features such as the Sudd wetlands in southern Sudan can also be identified in SCIAMACHY xCH4 averages.” C. Frankenberg, I. Aben, P. Bergamaschi, E. J. Dlugokencky, R. van Hees, S. Houweling, P. van der Meer, R. Snel, P. Tol, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), Volume 116, Issue D4, 27 February 2011, DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014849. [Full text]

Interannual variability and trends in atmospheric methane over the western Pacific from 1994 to 2010 – Terao et al. (2011) “We present an analysis of interannual variability (IAV) and trends in atmospheric methane (CH4) mixing ratios over the western Pacific between 55°N and 35°S from 1994 to 2010. Observations were made by the Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER) of the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), using voluntary observation ships sailing between Japan and Australia/New Zealand and between Japan and North America, sampling background maritime air quasi-monthly (∼10 times per year) with high latitudinal resolution. In addition, simulations of CH4 were performed using NIES atmospheric transport model. A large CH4 increase was observed in the tropics (10°N–5°S) during 1997 (between 15 ± 3 and 19 ± 3 ppb yr−1) and during 1998 for other regions (40°N–50°N: 10 ± 2–16 ± 1 ppb yr−1; 10°S–25°S: 12 ± 2–22 ± 4 ppb yr−1). The CH4 increase leveled off from 1999 to 2006 at all latitudes. The CH4 growth rate was enhanced in 2007 (25°N–50°N: 10 ± 1–12 ± 3 ppb yr−1; 15°S–35°S: 7 ± 1–8 ± 1 ppb yr−1) but diminished thereafter; however, a large CH4 growth (10 ± 1–17 ± 1 ppb yr−1) was observed in 2009 over the northern tropics (0°–15°N). These observations, combined with the simulation results, suggest that to explain the CH4 increase in 2007 would require an increase in surface emissions of ∼20 ± 3 Tg-CH4 yr−1 globally and an increase in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) of 4–7 ± 3 Tg-CH4 yr−1 more than that in the Southern Hemisphere (SH), assuming no change in OH concentrations; alternatively, a decrease in OH concentrations of 4.5 ± 0.6%–5.5 ± 0.5% yr−1 globally would be required if we assume no change in surface emissions. Over the western Pacific, the IAV in CH4 within the northern tropics was characterized by a high growth rate in mid-1997 and a reduced growth in 2007. The present data indicate that these events were strongly influenced by the IAV in atmospheric circulation associated with El Niño and La Niña events. Our observations captured the CH4 anomaly in 1997 associated with forest fires in Indonesia. The IAV and trends in CH4 as seen by our data sets capture the global features of background CH4 levels in the northern midlatitudes and the SH, and regional features of CH4 variations in the western tropical Pacific.” Yukio Terao, Hitoshi Mukai, Yukihiro Nojiri, Toshinobu Machida, Yasunori Tohjima, Tazu Saeki, Shamil Maksyutov, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), Volume 116, Issue D14, 27 July 2011, DOI: 10.1029/2010JD015467.

Constraining global methane emissions and uptake by ecosystems – Spahni et al. (2011) “Natural methane (CH4) emissions from wet ecosystems are an important part of today’s global CH4 budget. Climate affects the exchange of CH4 between ecosystems and the atmosphere by influencing CH4 production, oxidation, and transport in the soil. The net CH4 exchange depends on ecosystem hydrology, soil and vegetation characteristics. Here, the LPJ-WHyMe global dynamical vegetation model is used to simulate global net CH4 emissions for different ecosystems: northern peatlands (45°–90° N), naturally inundated wetlands (60° S–45° N), rice agriculture and wet mineral soils. Mineral soils are a potential CH4 sink, but can also be a source with the direction of the net exchange depending on soil moisture content. The geographical and seasonal distributions are evaluated against multi-dimensional atmospheric inversions for 2003–2005, using two independent four-dimensional variational assimilation systems. The atmospheric inversions are constrained by the atmospheric CH4 observations of the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument and global surface networks. Compared to LPJ-WHyMe the inversions result in a~significant reduction in the emissions from northern peatlands and suggest that LPJ-WHyMe maximum annual emissions peak about one month late. The inversions do not put strong constraints on the division of sources between inundated wetlands and wet mineral soils in the tropics. Based on the inversion results we diagnose model parameters in LPJ-WHyMe and simulate the surface exchange of CH4 over the period 1990–2008. Over the whole period we infer an increase of global ecosystem CH4 emissions of +1.11 Tg CH4 yr−1, not considering potential additional changes in wetland extent. The increase in simulated CH4 emissions is attributed to enhanced soil respiration resulting from the observed rise in land temperature and in atmospheric carbon dioxide that were used as input. The long-term decline of the atmospheric CH4 growth rate from 1990 to 2006 cannot be fully explained with the simulated ecosystem emissions. However, these emissions show an increasing trend of +3.62 Tg CH4 yr−1 over 2005–2008 which can partly explain the renewed increase in atmospheric CH4 concentration during recent years.” Spahni, R., Wania, R., Neef, L., van Weele, M., Pison, I., Bousquet, P., Frankenberg, C., Foster, P. N., Joos, F., Prentice, I. C., and van Velthoven, P.: Constraining global methane emissions and uptake by ecosystems, Biogeosciences, 8, 1643-1665, doi:10.5194/bg-8-1643-2011, 2011. [Full text]

Long-term analysis of carbon dioxide and methane column-averaged mole fractions retrieved from SCIAMACHY – Schneising et al. (2011) “Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change. SCIAMACHY onboard ENVISAT (launch 2002) was the first and is now with TANSO onboard GOSAT (launch 2009) one of only two satellite instruments currently in space whose measurements are sensitive to CO2 and CH4 concentration changes in the lowest atmospheric layers where the variability due to sources and sinks is largest. We present long-term SCIAMACHY retrievals (2003–2009) of column-averaged dry air mole fractions of both gases (denoted XCO2 and XCH4) derived from absorption bands in the near-infrared/shortwave-infrared (NIR/SWIR) spectral region focusing on large-scale features. The results are obtained using an upgraded version (v2) of the retrieval algorithm WFM-DOAS including several improvements, while simultaneously maintaining its high processing speed. The retrieved mole fractions are compared to global model simulations (CarbonTracker XCO2 and TM5 XCH4) being optimised by assimilating highly accurate surface measurements from the NOAA/ESRL network and taking the SCIAMACHY averaging kernels into account. The comparisons address seasonal variations and long-term characteristics. … The retrieved XCH4 results show that after years of stability, atmospheric methane has started to rise again in recent years which is consistent with surface measurements. The largest increase is observed for the tropics and northern mid- and high-latitudes amounting to about 7.5±1.5 ppb yr−1 since 2007. Due care has been exercised to minimise the influence of detector degradation on the quantitative estimate of this anomaly.” Schneising, O., Buchwitz, M., Reuter, M., Heymann, J., Bovensmann, H., and Burrows, J. P.: Long-term analysis of carbon dioxide and methane column-averaged mole fractions retrieved from SCIAMACHY, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 2863-2880, doi:10.5194/acp-11-2863-2011, 2011. [Full text]

Source attribution of the changes in atmospheric methane for 2006–2008 – Bousquet et al. (2011) “The recent increase of atmospheric methane is investigated by using two atmospheric inversions to quantify the distribution of sources and sinks for the 2006–2008 period, and a process-based model of methane emissions by natural wetland ecosystems. Methane emissions derived from the two inversions are consistent at a global scale: emissions are decreased in 2006 (−7 Tg) and increased in 2007 (+21 Tg) and 2008 (+18 Tg), as compared to the 1999–2006 period. The agreement on the latitudinal partition of the flux anomalies for the two inversions is fair in 2006, good in 2007, and not good in 2008. In 2007, a positive anomaly of tropical emissions is found to be the main contributor to the global emission anomalies (~60–80%) for both inversions, with a dominant share attributed to natural wetlands (~2/3), and a significant contribution from high latitudes (~25%). The wetland ecosystem model produces smaller and more balanced positive emission anomalies between the tropics and the high latitudes for 2006, 2007 and 2008, mainly due to precipitation changes during these years. At a global scale, the agreement between the ecosystem model and the inversions is good in 2008 but not satisfying in 2006 and 2007. Tropical South America and Boreal Eurasia appear to be major contributors to variations in methane emissions consistently in the inversions and the ecosystem model. Finally, changes in OH radicals during 2006–2008 are found to be less than 1% in inversions, with only a small impact on the inferred methane emissions.” Bousquet, P., Ringeval, B., Pison, I., Dlugokencky, E. J., Brunke, E.-G., Carouge, C., Chevallier, F., Fortems-Cheiney, A., Frankenberg, C., Hauglustaine, D. A., Krummel, P. B., Langenfelds, R. L., Ramonet, M., Schmidt, M., Steele, L. P., Szopa, S., Yver, C., Viovy, N., and Ciais, P.: Source attribution of the changes in atmospheric methane for 2006–2008, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 3689-3700, doi:10.5194/acp-11-3689-2011, 2011. [Full text]

Large-Scale Controls of Methanogenesis Inferred from Methane and Gravity Spaceborne Data – Bloom et al. (2010) “Wetlands are the largest individual source of methane (CH4), but the magnitude and distribution of this source are poorly understood on continental scales. We isolated the wetland and rice paddy contributions to spaceborne CH4 measurements over 2003–2005 using satellite observations of gravity anomalies, a proxy for water-table depth Γ, and surface temperature analyses TS. We find that tropical and higher-latitude CH4 variations are largely described by Γ and TS variations, respectively. Our work suggests that tropical wetlands contribute 52 to 58% of global emissions, with the remainder coming from the extra-tropics, 2% of which is from Arctic latitudes. We estimate a 7% rise in wetland CH4 emissions over 2003–2007, due to warming of mid-latitude and Arctic wetland regions, which we find is consistent with recent changes in atmospheric CH4.” A. Anthony Bloom, Paul I. Palmer, Annemarie Fraser, David S. Reay, Christian Frankenberg, Science 15 January 2010: Vol. 327 no. 5963 pp. 322-325, DOI: 10.1126/science.1175176. [Full text]

Seven Years’ Observation of Mid-Upper Tropospheric Methane from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder – Xiong et al. (2010) “The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on EOS/Aqua platform provides a measurement of global methane (CH4)in the mid-upper troposphere since September, 2002. As a thermal infrared sounder, the most sensitivity of AIRS to atmospheric CH4 is in the mid-upper troposphere with the degree of freedom of ~1.0. Validation of AIRS CH4 product versus thousands of aircraft profiles (convolved using the AIRS averaging kernels) demonstrates that its RMS error (RMSE) is mostly less than 1.5%, and its quality is pretty stable from 2003 to 2009. For scientific analysis of the spatial and temporal variation of mid-upper tropospheric CH4 (MUT-CH4) in the High Northern Hemisphere (HNH), it is more valuable to use the AIRS retrieved CH4 in a layer of about 100 hPa below tropopause (“Representative Layer”) than in a fixed pressure layer. Further analysis of deseasonalized time-series of AIRS CH4 in both a fixed pressure layer and the “Representative Layer” of AIRS (only for the HNH) from 2003 to 2009 indicates that, similar to the CH4 in the marine boundary layer (MBL) that was found to increase in 2007–2008, MUT-CH4 was also observed to have a recent increase but the most significant increase occurred in 2008. MUT-CH4 continued to increase in 2009, especially in the HNH. Moreover, the trend of MUT-CH4 from 2006 to 2008 is lower than the trend of CH4 in the MBL by 30–40% in both the southern hemisphere and HNH. This delay for the MUT-CH4 increase of about one year than CH4 in the MBL as well as the smaller increase trend for MUT-CH4 suggest that surface emission is likely a major driver for the recent CH4 increase. It is also found that the seasonal cycle of MUT-CH4 is different from CH4 in the MBL due to the impact of transport, in addition to the surface emission and the photochemical loss.” Xiaozhen Xiong, Chris Barnet, Eric Maddy, Jennifer Wei, Xingpin Liu and Thomas S. Pagano, Remote Sens. 2010, 2(11), 2509-2530; doi:10.3390/rs2112509. [Full text]

Recent changes in methane mixing ratio and its 13C content observed in the southwest Pacific region – Lassey et al. (2010) “After nearly a decade without growth in atmospheric methane, there are indications of renewed growth from 2007. Reports of this renewal portray it as global in extent, and due wholly or largely to growth in emissions. Surface methane mixing ratios and constituent δ13C values have been measured approximately twice monthly at Baring Head, New Zealand (41°S, 175°E) since 1989. Surface mixing ratios have been measured continuously at Lauder, New Zealand (45°S, 170°E) since 2007. Also at Lauder, tropospheric-mean mole fractions of methane have been retrieved from ground-based near-infrared solar spectra since 2004. These mixing ratio datasets are consistent with growth rates of about 7.5 and 4.9 ppb year−1 during 2007 and 2008. We consider the possible origins of this growth based on their imprint on δ13C values.” K.R. Lassey, G. W. Brailsford, A.M. Bromley, R.J. Martin, R.C. Moss, A.J. Gomez, V. Sherlock, W. Allan, S. E. Nichol, H. Schaefer, B.J. Connor, J. Robinson & D. Smale, Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, Volume 7, Supplement 1, 2010, DOI:10.1080/19438151003621441.

Observational constraints on recent increases in the atmospheric CH4 burden – Dlugokencky et al. (2009) “Measurements of atmospheric CH4 from air samples collected weekly at 46 remote surface sites show that, after a decade of near-zero growth, globally averaged atmospheric methane increased during 2007 and 2008. During 2007, CH4 increased by 8.3 ± 0.6 ppb. CH4 mole fractions averaged over polar northern latitudes and the Southern Hemisphere increased more than other zonally averaged regions. In 2008, globally averaged CH4 increased by 4.4 ± 0.6 ppb; the largest increase was in the tropics, while polar northern latitudes did not increase. Satellite and in situ CO observations suggest only a minor contribution to increased CH4 from biomass burning. The most likely drivers of the CH4 anomalies observed during 2007 and 2008 are anomalously high temperatures in the Arctic and greater than average precipitation in the tropics. Near-zero CH4 growth in the Arctic during 2008 suggests we have not yet activated strong climate feedbacks from permafrost and CH4 hydrates.” E. J. Dlugokencky, L. Bruhwiler, J. W. C. White, L. K. Emmons, P. C. Novelli, S. A. Montzka, K. A. Masarie, P. M. Lang, A. M. Crotwell, J. B. Miller, L. V. Gatti, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Issue 18, September 2009, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL039780. [Full text]

Renewed growth of atmospheric methane – Rigby et al. (2008) “Following almost a decade with little change in global atmospheric methane mole fraction, we present measurements from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) networks that show renewed growth starting near the beginning of 2007. Remarkably, a similar growth rate is found at all monitoring locations from this time until the latest measurements. We use these data, along with an inverse method applied to a simple model of atmospheric chemistry and transport, to investigate the possible drivers of the rise. Specifically, the relative roles of an increase in emission rate or a decrease in concentration of the hydroxyl radical, the largest methane sink, are examined. We conclude that: 1) if the annual mean hydroxyl radical concentration did not change, a substantial increase in emissions was required simultaneously in both hemispheres between 2006 and 2007; 2) if a small drop in the hydroxyl radical concentration occurred, consistent with AGAGE methyl chloroform measurements, the emission increase is more strongly biased to the Northern Hemisphere.” M. Rigby, R. G. Prinn, P. J. Fraser, P. G. Simmonds, R. L. Langenfelds, J. Huang, D. M. Cunnold, L. P. Steele, P. B. Krummel, R. F. Weiss, S. O’Doherty, P. K. Salameh, H. J. Wang, C. M. Harth, J. Mühle, L. W. Porter, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 35, Issue 22, November 2008, DOI: 10.1029/2008GL036037. [Full text]

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Papers on early 20th century warming

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on August 29, 2013

This is a list of papers on early 20th century warming. List contains both observational and theoretical studies. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.

UPDATE (April 8, 2014): Suo et al. (2013), Kelly et al. (1980), Petterssen (1949), Ahlmann (1948) added.

External forcing of the early 20th century Arctic warming – Suo et al. (2013) “The observed Arctic warming during the early 20th century was comparable to present-day warming in terms of magnitude. The causes and mechanisms for the early 20th century Arctic warming are less clear and need to be better understood when considering projections of future climate change in the Arctic. The simulations using the Bergen Climate Model (BCM) can reproduce the surface air temperature (SAT) fluctuations in the Arctic during the 20th century reasonably well. The results presented here, based on the model simulations and observations, indicate that intensified solar radiation and a lull in volcanic activity during the 1920s–1950s can explain much of the early 20th century Arctic warming. The anthropogenic forcing could play a role in getting the timing of the peak warming correct. According to the model the local solar irradiation changes play a crucial role in driving the Arctic early 20th century warming. The SAT co-varied closely with local solar irradiation changes when natural external forcings are included in the model either alone or in combination with anthropogenic external forcings. The increased Barents Sea warm inflow and the anomalous atmosphere circulation patterns in the northern Europe and north Atlantic can also contribute to the warming. In summary, the early 20th century warming was largely externally forced.” Lingling Suo, Odd Helge Otterå, Mats Bentsen, Yongqi Gao, Ola M. Johannessen, Tellus A 2013, 65, 20578, [Full text]

Early 20th century warming in the Arctic: A review – Yamanouchi (2011) “From the 1920s to the 1940s, the Artic experienced significant warming that is comparable to the recent 30-year warming. The former warming was concentrated mostly in high latitudes, in contrast to the recent 30-year warming, which has occurred in all latitudes. Several explanations have been proposed; however, one of these proposed explanations, single external forcing, which could once explain the global average, failed to explain the early 20th century scenario. A second possible explanation was internal atmospheric variability with low frequency. Another candidate for the explanation was still forcing by black carbon deposited on snow and ice surfaces. The answer is most likely to be a combination of intrinsic internal natural climate variability and positive feedbacks that amplified the radiative and atmospheric forcing. We must continue our study by discovering historical data, analyzing ice cores, reanalyzing the Arctic system together with long-term reanalysis dating back to the 1880s, and also determine the contributions of each factor.” Takashi Yamanouchi, Polar Science, Volume 5, Issue 1, April 2011, Pages 53–71,

Early 20th century Arctic warming in retrospect – Wood & Overland (2010) “The major early 20th century climatic fluctuation (∼1920–1940) has been the subject of scientific enquiry from the time it was detected in the 1920s. The papers of scientists who studied the event first-hand have faded into obscurity but their insights are relevant today. We review this event through a rediscovery of early research and new assessments of the instrumental record. Much of the inter-annual to decadal scale variability in surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly patterns and related ecosystem effects in the Arctic and elsewhere can be attributed to the superposition of leading modes of variability in the atmospheric circulation. Meridional circulation patterns were an important factor in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic during the early climatic fluctuation. Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies that appeared during this period were congruent with low-frequency variability in the climate system but were themselves most likely the result of anomalous forcing by the atmosphere. The high-resolution data necessary to verify this hypothesis are lacking, but the consistency of multiple lines of evidence provides strong support. Our findings indicate that early climatic fluctuation is best interpreted as a large but random climate excursion imposed on top of the steadily rising global mean temperature associated with anthropogenic forcing.” Kevin R. Wood, James E. Overland, International Journal of Climatology, Volume 30, Issue 9, pages 1269–1279, July 2010, DOI: 10.1002/joc.1973.

Influence of volcanic activity and changes in solar irradiance on surface air temperatures in the early twentieth century – Shiogama et al. (2006) “Causes of the global surface air temperature warming in the early half of the 20th century are examined using a climate model and an optimal detection/attribution methodology. While the anthropogenic response seems to be underestimated in our model, our previous study detected the influence due to natural external forcing, including the combined effects of solar irradiance changes and the recovery from large volcanic activity. We further partition the responses between these two natural external factors, detecting both the solar and the volcanic signal in the observed early warming. A diagnosis of the sensitivity to solar forcing and a volcanic super-eruption simulation suggest that our model possesses larger climate sensitivities to solar forcing and longer relaxation times to volcanic forcing than HadCM3, enabling us to detect both the solar and volcanic forcing responses.” Hideo Shiogama, Tatsuya Nagashima, Tokuta Yokohata, Simon A. Crooks, Toru Nozawa, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Issue 9, May 2006, DOI: 10.1029/2005GL025622.

Detecting natural influence on surface air temperature change in the early twentieth century – Nozawa et al. (2005) “We analyze surface air temperature datasets simulated by a coupled climate model forced with different external forcings, to diagnose the relative importance of these forcings to the observed warming in the early 20th century. The geographical distribution of linear temperature trends in the simulations forced only by natural contributions (volcanic eruptions and solar variability) shows better agreement with observed trends than that does the simulations forced only by well-mixed greenhouse gases. Using an optimal fingerprinting technique we robustly detect a significant natural contribution to the early 20th century warming. In addition, the amplitude of our simulated natural signal is consistent with the observations. Over the same period, however, we could not detect a greenhouse gas signal in the observed surface temperature in the presence of the external natural forcings. Hence our analysis suggests that external natural factors caused more warming in the early 20th century than anthropogenic factors.” Toru Nozawa, Tatsuya Nagashima, Hideo Shiogama, Simon A. Crooks, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 32, Issue 20, October 2005, DOI: 10.1029/2005GL023540. [Full text]

The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism – Bengtsson et al. (2004) “The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C. Whether this event is an example of an internal climate mode or is externally forced, such as by enhanced solar effects, is presently under debate. This study suggests that natural variability is a likely cause, with reduced sea ice cover being crucial for the warming. A robust sea ice–air temperature relationship was demonstrated by a set of four simulations with the atmospheric ECHAM model forced with observed SST and sea ice concentrations. An analysis of the spatial characteristics of the observed early twentieth-century surface air temperature anomaly revealed that it was associated with similar sea ice variations. Further investigation of the variability of Arctic surface temperature and sea ice cover was performed by analyzing data from a coupled ocean–atmosphere model. By analyzing climate anomalies in the model that are similar to those that occurred in the early twentieth century, it was found that the simulated temperature increase in the Arctic was related to enhanced wind-driven oceanic inflow into the Barents Sea with an associated sea ice retreat. The magnitude of the inflow is linked to the strength of westerlies into the Barents Sea. This study proposes a mechanism sustaining the enhanced westerly winds by a cyclonic atmospheric circulation in the Barents Sea region created by a strong surface heat flux over the ice-free areas. Observational data suggest a similar series of events during the early twentieth-century Arctic warming, including increasing westerly winds between Spitsbergen and Norway, reduced sea ice, and enhanced cyclonic circulation over the Barents Sea. At the same time, the North Atlantic Oscillation was weakening.” Bengtsson, Lennart, Vladimir A. Semenov, Ola M. Johannessen, 2004: The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism. J. Climate, 17, 4045–4057. doi:;2. [Full text]

Solar and Greenhouse Gas Forcing and Climate Response in the Twentieth Century – Meehl et al. (2003) “Ensemble experiments with a global coupled climate model are performed for the twentieth century with time-evolving solar, greenhouse gas, sulfate aerosol (direct effect), and ozone (tropospheric and stratospheric) forcing. Observed global warming in the twentieth century occurred in two periods, one in the early twentieth century from about the early 1900s to the 1940s, and one later in the century from, roughly, the late 1960s to the end of the century. The model’s response requires the combination of solar and anthropogenic forcing to approximate the early twentieth-century warming, while the radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gases is dominant for the response in the late twentieth century, confirming previous studies. Of particular interest here is the model’s amplification of solar forcing when this acts in combination with anthropogenic forcing. This difference is traced to the fact that solar forcing is more spatially heterogeneous (i.e., acting most strongly in areas where sunlight reaches the surface) while greenhouse gas forcing is more spatially uniform. Consequently, solar forcing is subject to coupled regional feedbacks involving the combination of temperature gradients, circulation regimes, and clouds. The magnitude of these feedbacks depends on the climate’s base state. Over relatively cloud-free oceanic regions in the subtropics, the enhanced solar forcing produces greater evaporation. More moisture then converges into the precipitation convergence zones, intensifying the regional monsoon and Hadley and Walker circulations, causing cloud reductions over the subtropical ocean regions, and, hence, more solar input. An additional response to solar forcing in northern summer is an enhancement of the meridional temperature gradients due to greater solar forcing over land regions that contribute to stronger West African and South Asian monsoons. Since the greenhouse gases are more spatially uniform, such regional circulation feedbacks are not as strong. These regional responses are most evident when the solar forcing occurs in concert with increased greenhouse gas forcing. The net effect of enhanced solar forcing in the early twentieth century is to produce larger solar-induced increases of tropical precipitation when calculated as a residual than for early century solar-only forcing, even though the size of the imposed solar forcing is the same. As a consequence, overall precipitation increases in the early twentieth century in the Asian monsoon regions are greater than late century increases, qualitatively consistent with observed trends in all-India rainfall. Similar effects occur in West Africa, the tropical Pacific, and the Southern Ocean tropical convergence zones.” Meehl, Gerald A., Warren M. Washington, T. M. L. Wigley, Julie M. Arblaster, Aiguo Dai, 2003: Solar and Greenhouse Gas Forcing and Climate Response in the Twentieth Century. J. Climate, 16, 426–444. doi:;2. [Full text]

Estimation of natural and anthropogenic contributions to twentieth century temperature change – Tett et al. (2002) “Using a coupled atmosphere/ocean general circulation model, we have simulated the climatic response to natural and anthropogenic forcings from 1860 to 1997. The model, HadCM3, requires no flux adjustment and has an interactive sulphur cycle, a simple parameterization of the effect of aerosols on cloud albedo (first indirect effect), and a radiation scheme that allows explicit representation of well-mixed greenhouse gases. Simulations were carried out in which the model was forced with changes in natural forcings (solar irradiance and stratospheric aerosol due to explosive volcanic eruptions), well-mixed greenhouse gases alone, tropospheric anthropogenic forcings (tropospheric ozone, well-mixed greenhouse gases, and the direct and first indirect effects of sulphate aerosol), and anthropogenic forcings (tropospheric anthropogenic forcings and stratospheric ozone decline). Using an “optimal detection” methodology to examine temperature changes near the surface and throughout the free atmosphere, we find that we can detect the effects of changes in well-mixed greenhouse gases, other anthropogenic forcings (mainly the effects of sulphate aerosols on cloud albedo), and natural forcings. Thus these have all had a significant impact on temperature. We estimate the linear trend in global mean near-surface temperature from well-mixed greenhouse gases to be 0.9 ± 0.24 K/century, offset by cooling from other anthropogenic forcings of 0.4 ± 0.26 K/century, giving a total anthropogenic warming trend of 0.5 ± 0.15 K/century. Over the entire century, natural forcings give a linear trend close to zero. We found no evidence that simulated changes in near-surface temperature due to anthropogenic forcings were in error. However, the simulated tropospheric response, since the 1960s, is ∼50% too large. Our analysis suggests that the early twentieth century warming can best be explained by a combination of warming due to increases in greenhouse gases and natural forcing, some cooling due to other anthropogenic forcings, and a substantial, but not implausible, contribution from internal variability. In the second half of the century we find that the warming is largely caused by changes in greenhouse gases, with changes in sulphates and, perhaps, volcanic aerosol offsetting approximately one third of the warming. Warming in the troposphere, since the 1960s, is probably mainly due to anthropogenic forcings, with a negligible contribution from natural forcings.” Simon F. B. Tett, Gareth S. Jones, Peter A. Stott, David C. Hill, John F. B. Mitchell, Myles R. Allen, William J. Ingram, Tim C. Johns, Colin E. Johnson, Andy Jones, David L. Roberts, David M. H. Sexton, Margaret J. Woodage, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), Volume 107, Issue D16, pages ACL 10-1–ACL 10-24, 27 August 2002, DOI: 10.1029/2000JD000028. [Full text]

Simulation of Early 20th Century Global Warming – Delworth & Knutson (2000) “The observed global warming of the past century occurred primarily in two distinct 20-year periods, from 1925 to 1944 and from 1978 to the present. Although the latter warming is often attributed to a human-induced increase of greenhouse gases, causes of the earlier warming are less clear because this period precedes the time of strongest increases in human-induced greenhouse gas (radiative) forcing. Results from a set of six integrations of a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model suggest that the warming of the early 20th century could have resulted from a combination of human-induced radiative forcing and an unusually large realization of internal multidecadal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. This conclusion is dependent on the model’s climate sensitivity, internal variability, and the specification of the time-varying human-induced radiative forcing.” Thomas L. Delworth, Thomas R. Knutson, Science 24 March 2000: Vol. 287 no. 5461 pp. 2246-2250, DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5461.2246.

Changes in atmospheric circulation over northern hemisphere oceans associated with the rapid warming of the 1920s – Fu et al. (1999)
Global mean surface temperature has increased since the late 19th century. The warming occurred largely during two periods: 1920–1940, and since the mid-1970s. Although most recent studies have focused on the latter period, it is of interest to analyse the earlier period and compare its major features to the recent warming episode. The warming during 1920–1940 occurred most rapidly during the 1920s. It was strongest at high northern latitudes in winter, a pattern now believed to be characteristic of ‘greenhouse warming’. This warming of the Arctic was much discussed during the 1930s and 1940s, but the data available at that time were mostly derived from land areas. In this paper, we use the COADS marine data set and recent compilations of land surface temperature data sets to examine the behaviour of the surface fields over the ocean during this event. Considering the thermal and atmospheric fields at the surface, the strongest signal occurs in the North Atlantic Ocean during winter, being distinct but more gradual in the other oceans and seasons. The Northern Hemisphere continental record shows that both middle and high latitudes experienced rapid warming in the early 20th century warming interval (the 1920s and 1930s, hereafter referred to as ETCW). Temperature data for northern tropics, while displaying similar general characteristics, exhibit some differences with regard to timing and rates of change. There is a suggestion of weakening of the westerlies and the trade wind system in the 1930s, following an intensification of the westerlies across the North Atlantic during the previous two decades. This weakening may be related to a lessening of atmospheric baroclinicity in association with the fact that the amplitude of warming at high latitudes was much greater than that in low latitudes, reducing the mean meridional thermal gradient, and therefore the geostrophic pressure gradient. There is some indication that the North Atlantic and North Pacific high-pressure systems shifted northward. Coincident with this northward shift of the subtropical highs, typhoons in the Northwest Pacific and hurricanes in the North Atlantic became more numerous in this period of rising temperature, which we suggest is linked to a northward shift of the respective near-equatorial convergence zones. Concomitant to the weakening of the westerlies and trade wind systems, the Asian monsoon troughs deepened substantially, a situation generally favourable to the development of active monsoons. It is thought that the combination of these two features—enhanced continental monsoons and implied lowered vertical wind shear over the oceans—would tend to enhance the release of latent heat in the tropics, representing strengthened Hadley and Walker circulations, which may have been at least partly responsible for greater aridity in subtropical land areas of both hemispheres during this period. The latter is also consistent with an expansion and/or strengthening of the subtropical high-pressure belt into the continents.” Congbin Fu, Henry F. Diaz, Dongfeng Dong, Joseph O. Fletcher, International Journal of Climatology, Volume 19, Issue 6, pages 581–606, May 1999, DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199905)19:63.0.CO;2-P.

Solar Forcing of Global Climate Change Since The Mid-17th Century – Reid et al. (1997) “Spacecraft measurements of the sun’s total irradiance since 1980 have revealed a long-term variation that is roughly in phase with the 11-year solar cycle. Its origin is uncertain, but may be related to the overall level of solar magnetic activity as well as to the concurrent activity on the visible disk. A low-pass Gaussian filtered time series of the annual sunspot number has been developed as a suitable proxy for solar magnetic activity that contains a long-term component related to the average level of activity as well as a short-term component related to the current phase of the 11-year cycle. This time series is also assumed to be a proxy for solar total irradiance, and the irradiance is reconstructed for the period since 1617 based on the estimate from climatic evidence that global temperatures during the Maunder Minimum of solar activity, which coincided with one of the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age, were about 1 °C colder than modern temperatures. This irradiance variation is used as the variable radiative forcing function in a one-dimensional ocean–climate model, leading to a reconstruction of global temperatures over the same period, and to a suggestion that solar forcing and anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing made roughly equal contributions to the rise in global temperature that took place between 1900 and 1955. The importance of solar variability as a factor in climate change over the last few decades may have been underestimated in recent studies.” George C. Reid, Climatic Change, October 1997, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 391-405, DOI: 10.1023/A:1005307009726.

Changes in Global Surface Temperature From 1880 to 1977 Derived From Historical Records of Sea Surface Temperature – Paltridge & Woodruff (1981) “A preliminary analysis based primarily on historical records of sea surface temperature (SST) gives estimates of the change since 1880 of global, hemispheric and zonal average surface temperatures. The global change with time is roughly similar in shape and magnitude to that derived by Mitchell from land station data alone, but lags the Mitchell curve by 10-20 years. That is, the present data show a minimumof temperature somewhere between 1900 and 1925 and a maximum somewhere between 1945 and 1970. Comparing the means of these 25-year periods, the rise from minimum to maximum was (roughly) 0.6 K for the Northern Hemisphere and 0.9 K for the Southern Hemisphere. Comparing the means of the 50 years before 1930 and the 48 years from 1930 to 1977, the rise was 0.3 K for the Northern Hemisphere and 0.6 K for the Southern Hemisphere. The figures do not take into account the polar regions which, on linear extrapolation from lower latitudes, may have risen in temperature by twice the hemispheric averages. The temperature of the tropical zone (l0°N-10°S) has not changed over the years, so that the meridionaltemperature gradient has decreased in both hemispheres. The detail of the various conclusions may be revised later in the light of further analysis of the errors associated with the SST data sets. This furtheranalysis is underway at the Environmental Research Laboratories of NOAA.” Paltridge, G., S. Woodruff, 1981: Changes in Global Surface Temperature From 1880 to 1977 Derived From Historical Records of Sea Surface Temperature. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109, 2427–2434. doi:;2. [Full text]

Variations in Surface Air Temperatures: Part 2. Arctic Regions, 1881–1980 – Kelly et al. (1980) “We describe annual and seasonal changes in air temperatures over high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere during the period 1881–1980. Trends (that is, fluctuations on time scales greater than 20 years) in the average temperature of the Arctic are compared with those of the Northern Hemisphere. Seasonal and regional departures from the long-term trends in the average temperature of the Arctic are identified. Spatial patterns of variation in the Arctic temperature field are determined by principal component analysis and the major characteristics of the time series of the dominant patterns are summarized. Trends in Arctic temperatures have been broadly similar to those for the Northern Hemisphere during the study period. The Arctic variations were, however, greater in magnitude and more rapid. The spatial pattern of change associated with the trend in Arctic temperatures is clearly identified by principal component analysis. It shows that the trends have, in general, been Arctic-wide, but that certain regions are particularly sensitive to long-term variations, most notably northwest Greenland and around the Kara Sea. There is some evidence that the pattern of Arctic cooling that occurred after 1940 was more complex than the warming that affected the whole Arctic during the 1920′s and 1930′s. Warming of the Arctic has occurred during the 1970′s, but is not yet of sufficient duration to be considered long term, except, perhaps, in spring. The average temperature of the Arctic during the 1970′s was equal to that of the 1960′s, indicating a cessation of the long-term cooling trend but not, as yet, a shift to long-term warming. Short-term variations in temperature appear to be most pronounced close to major regions of sea-ice production and decay.” Kelly, P. M., P. D. Jones, C. B. Sear, B. S. G. Cherry, R. K. Tavakol, 1982: Variations in Surface Air Temperatures: Part 2. Arctic Regions, 1881–1980. Mon. Wea. Rev., 110, 71–83. doi:;2. [Full text]

Temperature fluctuations and trends over the earth – Callendar (1961) “The annual temperature deviations at over 400 meteorological stations are combined on a regional basis to give the integrated fluctuations over large areas and zones. These are shown in graphical form, and it is concluded that a solar or atmospheric dust hypothesis is necessary to explain the world-wide fluctuations of a few years duration. An important change in the relationships of the zonal fluctuations has occurred since 1920. The overall temperature trends found from the data are considered in relation to the homogeneity of recording, and also to the evidence of glacial recession in different zones. It is concluded that the rising trend, shown by the instruments during recent decades, is significant from the Arctic to about 45°S lat., but quite small in most regions below 35°N. and not yet apparent in some. It is thought that the regional and zonal distribution of recent climatic trends is incompatible with the hypothesis of increased solar heating as the cause. On the other hand, the major features of this distribution are not incompatible with the hypothesis of increased carbon dioxide radiation, if the rate of atmospheric mixing between the hemispheres is a matter of decades rather than years.” G. S. Callendar, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 87, Issue 371, pages 1–12, January 1961, DOI: 10.1002/qj.49708737102.

Changes in the General Circulation Associated with the Recent Climatic Variation – Petterssen (1949) No abstract. S. Petterssen, Geografiska Annaler, Vol. 31, Glaciers and Climate: Geophysical and Geomorphological Essays (1949), pp. 212-221.

The Present Climatic Fluctuation – Ahlmann (1948) No abstract. Hans W:Son Ahlmann, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 112, No. 4/6 (Oct. – Dec., 1948), pp. 165-193.

The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature – Callendar (1938) “By fuel combustion man has added about 150,000 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air during the past half century. The author estimates from the best available data that approximately three quarters of this has remained in the atmosphere. The radiation absorption coefficients of carbon dioxide and water vapour are used to show the effect of carbon dioxide on “sky radiation.” From this the increase in mean temperature, due to the artificial production of carbon dioxide, is estimated to be at the rate of 0.003°C. per year at the present time. The temperature observations at 200 meteorological stations are used to show that world temperatures have actually increased at an average rate of 0.005°C. per year during the past half century.” G. S. Callendar, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 64, Issue 275, pages 223–240, April 1938, DOI: 10.1002/qj.49706427503. [Full text]

Posted in AGW evidence, Climate claims, Climate science | 2 Comments »

Global warming has not stopped

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on August 19, 2013

The apparent lack of warming in Earth’s surface temperature measurements since 1998 is not yet significant from climatic perspective. Surface temperature also seems to be changing according to IPCC projections. Climate model simulations show similar warming breaks, and have done so even before current break started, even if they include the effect of carbon dioxide. Models also can re-create the current break and the cause for the break seems to be known: warming has gone to the oceans instead of warming the surface. The ocean warming has been observed. Also the continuing warming effect of greenhouse gases has been observed. Global warming as a whole seems to continue despite the apparent break in surface measurements.

Several decades of long-term warming is evident in recent surface temperature measurements. However, since 1998 surface temperature records don’t show clear warming. This is not very clear because the time period is not very long and the possible trends might not be statistically significant. Skeptical Science trend calculator shows warming trends since 1998 but they are not statistically significant. Santer and others (2011) estimated that it takes 17 years of satellite measurements, before effect of mankind to lower atmosphere can be detected. In some cases, 15 years has been mentioned for the limit of statistical significance, so the situation seems to be quite borderline. For example, from 1983 and 1998, which was time of rapid warming, SkS trend calculator still shows a trend that is not statistically significant. From 1982 to 1998 trend is significant. (Even if statistically enough time would pass without warming, it still wouldn’t mean that increases in greenhouse gases wouldn’t have a warming effect. This we will see below in more detail.)

Climate is usually considered as average weather over longer period of time. Standard length for the climatic time period is 30 years. Let us see what this means for the surface temperature. Following figure shows Earth’s surface temperature as a running 30 year mean (this means that the value of each point in the graph is the average of the surrounding 30 years of temperature values, for example, the running 30 year mean value for year 1990 is the average of temperatures of 30 years between 1975 and 2004):


As we can see from the graph, there are no signs of global warming stopping or even slowing down in this kind of inspection. From climatic perspective global warming still continues. Those with sharp eyes notice that the time shown in X axis stops in the graph before 2000. This is because in 30 year running mean the year 1998 is currently last one that can be shown. However, the temperature evolution after 1998 is included and is affecting the graph starting from 1983. The fact that graph stops at 1998 means that we have to wait 15 years before we know how climate has evolved since 1998.

Although global surface temperature evolution since 1998 is not yet climatically important, there has been quite a lot of research on the issue. One question appearing in public has been that does the temperature follow earlier projections. Rahmstorf and others (2012) have analyzed how IPCC projections match the surface temperature measurements. Here is a graph of their results:

The evolution of Earth’s surface temperature and IPCC projections. Surface temperature without corrections is shown in pink (one year running mean averaged from all surface temperature analyses) and corrected surface temperature is shown in red (corrections are explained in text). Blue area and blue lines are IPCC third assessment report projections. Green area and green lines are IPCC fourth assessment report (AR4) projections.

As we can see from the graph, surface temperature changes shown in pink sometimes go outside the projections. This is because some factors are not included in IPCC projections. Such factors are solar activity changes and eruptions of volcanoes. Additionally, the variation of El Niño/La Niña is random and therefore it doesn’t change in simulations at the same time it does in real life. IPCC projections are combined results from many simulations, so the El Niño/La Niña variations of different simulations tend to cancel out when simulation results are combined. This means that the projections don’t actually include El Niño/La Niña variation either. It should be noted that even if surface temperature shown in pink doesn’t stay within limits of projections, it does stay within limits of all individual simulations (not shown in the Figure above).

The effects of the Sun, volcanoes, and El Niño/La Niña variation have been corrected for in the temperature evolution shown in red. This graph stays quite well within limits of projections especially during last few years. It sometimes goes outside the projections in the beginning of the time period. There still might be some factors which would need to be corrected for. On the average it does seem to follow the projections even in the beginning of the time period (at least it doesn’t deviate permanently to one direction).

Already happened temperature evolution can be recreated with models also so that internal variability of climate system and changes in solar activity and in volcanoes are included (afterwards we have knowledge for example when a volcanic eruption has happened). Lean & Rind (2009) have done this and the following Figure shows their results:

a) The observed surface temperature (black) and simulation of surface temperature from a simple model (orange). b) The factors affecting surface temperature. Graphs are from Lean & Rind (2009).

The result of the simple model shown in the graph is so close to observed surface temperature evolution that we have good reason to suspect this study might be able to answer us why surface temperature has not apparently increased since 1998. Lower part of the Figure shows the factors affecting surface temperature, and from there we can see that ENSO (that is, the variation of El Niño and La Niña) seems to have varied in quite a similar manner than surface temperature in the period in question. Also the cause of the longer-term temperature rise seems to be clear: the effect of mankind is the only one of the factors, which shows long-term increase.

Also the future projections of climate models show periods where surface temperature doesn’t increase, even if models have the effect of greenhouse gases included. Here are some examples of such simulations:

Projections of climate models show periods of slowed/paused warming similar to that in the observations since 1998. On the left: simulations with three different emission scenarios from IPCC AR4. Upper right: simulation example from Easterling & Wehner (2009). Lower right: simulation example from Meehl and others (2011).

All shown simulation examples show periods where long-term warming trend is paused even for decades, and warming continues after that. The Figure also shows simulation examples from model runs for IPCC AR4 projections. These show similar pauses. AR4 discusses the expected temperature evolution rather carelessly. From the texts of the report one might get an impression that surface temperature should rise certain amount in each decade. They of course mean that on average certain rise in temperature is expected per decade, even if it doesn’t occur during each decade. Some people have used the carelessly worded texts in IPCC AR4 to distort the issue, even when the same report shows the simulations presented above, where the truth in the matter can be seen.

Simulation examples shown above are all quite recent. Model simulations have shown similar features also earlier. Here we see an example from IPCC second assessment report (SAR), which was published in 1995, before current warming pause apparently started:

Model simulations from IPCC second assessment report. Year 0 means year 1990.

One interesting detail in the SAR model simulations is that one of them shows strong spike around 1995. This is comparable to the 1998 peak in observed temperatures. Even if the post-1995 evolution is difficult to see in the graph, we can be sure that the simulation in question shows quite long pause in the warming after 1995. In principle, we could say that the simulation in question predicted the warming pause, albeit being off by few years. It’s not genuine prediction of course, but just a coincidence. Nevertheless, it’s a quite curious detail.

So, the simulations of climate models show clearly that while the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases Earth’s surface temperature in the long run, other factors cause pauses to the warming every now and then. Similarly, those other factors also speed up the warming in other times. This has been explicitly stated in Easterling & Wehner (2009): “We show that the climate over the 21st century can and likely will produce periods of a decade or two where the globally averaged surface air temperature shows no trend or even slight cooling in the presence of longer-term warming”.

At the moment it seems that the factor causing the pause has been ENSO, which in practice means that the warming effect of greenhouse gases has gone deeper to the oceans instead of warming the surface. This has been the subject of some recent studies.

Already shown above were the results of Lean & Rind (2009) and Meehl and others (2011). Similar results have also been reported by Kaufmann and others (2011), Hunt (2011), Guemas and others (2013), and Watanabe and others (2013). According to all these studies, the primary cause for the apparent pause in the surface warming is that the warming has gone to the oceans. Solar activity has also been said to have played some role on the issue. Also, Solomon and others (2010) have suggested that changes in water vapor content in the atmosphere might have speeded up the warming during the 1990′s and slowed the warming during 2000′s.

The warming going into oceans has also been observed. Following Figure shows the ocean heat content in the top layer (0-700 m) of the oceans (from Lyman and others, 2010):


The graph shows that after 1998 the heat content in the oceans has increased substantially.

But when can we expect surface warming to continue? Surface warming continues when the sum of all factors affecting Earth’s surface temperature has a warming effect. It can take decades and decades, as long as there are other factors that have large enough cooling effect to mask the warming effect from greenhouse gases. However, our current knowledge suggests that there are no such factors that could have large enough cooling effect in order to make this pause much longer.

There are reasons to think that warming might continue soon. Earth’s surface temperature has been very high recently, close to record temperatures, while solar activity has been very low and La Niña has been the prevailing state of ENSO. Without the effect of greenhouse gases these factors would have cooled Earth’s surface substantially. We haven’t seen such cooling. When La Niña changes to El Niño, it is expected that warming will continue.

So it seems that the warming effect of greenhouse gases seems to be still there. Fortunately, we don’t need to guess this, as we also have observations of the effect of greenhouse gases, as we see next.

A group of researchers have studied spectral measurements of outgoing long-wave radiation taken from satellites (Chapman and others, 2013). They found out that the warming effect of carbon dioxide has continued to increase during the 2000′s. They calculated from the spectral measurements that between 2002 and 2012 the amount of outgoing long-wave radiation decreased in the characteristic absorption frequencies of greenhouse gases. This was the case at least for carbon dioxide, ozone, and methane. Largest warming effect was from carbon dioxide. Observed decreases in the outgoing long-wave radiation matched the expectation from the increased greenhouse gas concentrations during the study period. Here are their results in a graph:


It should be noted that the study of Chapman and others was presented in a conference in April 2013, and apparently official research paper has not been published yet. Information presented here is from the conference paper.


IPCC second assessment report (over 50 MB PDF file, the graph shown here is on the PDF page 314, page 300 of the report).

IPCC AR4 simulations: Figure 10.5 with caption.

D. Chapman, P. Nguyen, M. Halem, A decade of measured greenhouse forcings from AIRS, Proc. SPIE 8743, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XIX, 874313 (May 18, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2017019. [abstract]

John A. Church, Neil J. White, Leonard F. Konikow, Catia M. Domingues, J. Graham Cogley, Eric Rignot, Jonathan M. Gregory, Michiel R. van den Broeke, Andrew J. Monaghan, Isabella Velicogna, Revisiting the Earth’s sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 38, Issue 18, 28 September 2011, DOI: 10.1029/2011GL048794. [abstract, full text]

David R. Easterling, Michael F. Wehner, 2009, Is the climate warming or cooling? Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Issue 8, April 2009, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037810. [abstract, full text]

Virginie Guemas, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Isabel Andreu-Burillo & Muhammad Asif, Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade, Nature Climate Change, 3, 649–653 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1863. [abstract]

B. G. Hunt, The role of natural climatic variation in perturbing the observed global mean temperature trend, Climate Dynamics, February 2011, Volume 36, Issue 3-4, pp 509-521, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0799-x. [abstract]

Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann, and James H. Stock, Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008, PNAS July 19, 2011 vol. 108 no. 29 11790-11793, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102467108. [abstract, full text]

John M. Lyman, Simon A. Good, Viktor V. Gouretski, Masayoshi Ishii, Gregory C. Johnson, Matthew D. Palmer, Doug M. Smith, & Josh K. Willis, Robust warming of the global upper ocean, Nature 465, 334–337 (20 May 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09043. [abstract, full text]

Gerald A. Meehl, Julie M. Arblaster, John T. Fasullo, Aixue Hu & Kevin E. Trenberth, 2011, Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods, Nature Climate Change, 1, 360–364 (2011) doi:10.1038/nclimate1229. [abstract, full text]

Stefan Rahmstorf et al 2012, Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011, Environ. Res. Lett. 7 044035 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044035. [abstract, full text]

B. D. Santer, C. Mears, C. Doutriaux, P. Caldwell, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, S. Solomon, N. P. Gillett, D. Ivanova, T. R. Karl, J. R. Lanzante, G. A. Meehl, P. A. Stott, K. E. Taylor, P. W. Thorne, M. F. Wehner, F. J. Wentz, 2011, Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), Volume 116, Issue D22, November 2011, DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016263. [abstract, full text]

Susan Solomon, Karen H. Rosenlof, Robert W. Portmann, John S. Daniel, Sean M. Davis, Todd J. Sanford, Gian-Kasper Plattner, Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming, Science 5 March 2010: Vol. 327 no. 5970 pp. 1219-1223, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182488. [abstract, full text]

Masahiro Watanabe, Youichi Kamae, Masakazu Yoshimori, Akira Oka, Makiko Sato, Masayoshi Ishii, Takashi Mochizuki, Masahide Kimoto, Strengthening of ocean heat uptake efficiency associated with the recent climate hiatus, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 40, Issue 12, pages 3175–3179, 28 June 2013, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50541. [abstract]

Posted in Climate claims, Climate science | 7 Comments »

Papers on global surface temperature since 1998

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on August 2, 2013

This is a list of papers on global surface temperature since 1998. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.

UPDATE (February 22, 2014): England et al. (2014) added.
UPDATE (November 14, 2013): Otto et al. (2013) and Cowtan & Way (2013) added.
UPDATE (October 3, 2013): Kosaka & Xie (2013) and Fyfe et al. (2013) added.

See also the list on global surface temperature for additional relevant papers.

Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus – England et al. (2014) “Despite ongoing increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, the Earth’s global average surface air temperature has remained more or less steady since 2001. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed to account for this slowdown in surface warming. A key component of the global hiatus that has been identified is cool eastern Pacific sea surface temperature, but it is unclear how the ocean has remained relatively cool there in spite of ongoing increases in radiative forcing. Here we show that a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades—unprecedented in observations/reanalysis data and not captured by climate models—is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming through increased subsurface ocean heat uptake. The extra uptake has come about through increased subduction in the Pacific shallow overturning cells, enhancing heat convergence in the equatorial thermocline. At the same time, the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering sea surface temperature there, which drives further cooling in other regions. The net effect of these anomalous winds is a cooling in the 2012 global average surface air temperature of 0.1–0.2 °C, which can account for much of the hiatus in surface warming observed since 2001. This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate.” Matthew H. England, Shayne McGregor, Paul Spence, Gerald A. Meehl, Axel Timmermann, Wenju Cai, Alex Sen Gupta, Michael J. McPhaden, Ariaan Purich & Agus Santoso, Nature Climate Change (2014), doi:10.1038/nclimate2106. [Full text]

Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends – Cowtan & Way (2013) “Incomplete global coverage is a potential source of bias in global temperature reconstructions if the unsampled regions are not uniformly distributed over the planet’s surface. The widely used HadCRUT4 dataset covers on average about 84% of the globe over recent decades, with the unsampled regions being concentrated at the poles and over Africa. Three existing reconstructions with near-global coverage are examined, each suggesting that HadCRUT4 is subject to bias due to its treatment of unobserved regions. Two alternative approaches for reconstructing global temperatures are explored, one based on an optimal interpolation algorithm and the other a hybrid method incorporating additional information from the satellite temperature record. The methods are validated on the basis of their skill at reconstructing omitted sets of observations. Both methods provide superior results than excluding the unsampled regions, with the hybrid method showing particular skill around the regions where no observations are available. Temperature trends are compared for the hybrid global temperature reconstruction and the raw HadCRUT4 data. The widely quoted trend since 1997 in the hybrid global reconstruction is two and a half times greater than the corresponding trend in the coverage-biased HadCRUT4 data. Coverage bias causes a cool bias in recent temperatures relative to the late 1990s which increases from around 1998 to the present. Trends starting in 1997 or 1998 are particularly biased with respect to the global trend. The issue is exacerbated by the strong El Niño event of 1997-1998, which also tends to suppress trends starting during those years.” Kevin Cowtan, Robert G. Way, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1002/qj.2297.

Energy budget constraints on climate response – Otto et al. (2013) “The rate of global mean warming has been lower over the past decade than previously. It has been argued that this observation might require a downwards revision of estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity, that is, the long-term (equilibrium) temperature response to a doubling of…” Alexander Otto, Friederike E. L. Otto, Olivier Boucher, John Church, Gabi Hegerl, Piers M. Forster, Nathan P. Gillett, Jonathan Gregory, Gregory C. Johnson, Reto Knutti, Nicholas Lewis, Ulrike Lohmann, Jochem Marotzke, Gunnar Myhre, Drew Shindell, Bjorn Stevens & Myles R. Allen, Nature Geoscience 6, 415–416 (2013), doi:10.1038/ngeo1836.

Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling – Kosaka & Xie (2013) “Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century, challenging the prevailing view that anthropogenic forcing causes climate warming. Various mechanisms have been proposed for this hiatus in global warming, but their relative importance has not been quantified, hampering observational estimates of climate sensitivity. Here we show that accounting for recent cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific reconciles climate simulations and observations. We present a novel method of uncovering mechanisms for global temperature change by prescribing, in addition to radiative forcing, the observed history of sea surface temperature over the central to eastern tropical Pacific in a climate model. Although the surface temperature prescription is limited to only 8.2% of the global surface, our model reproduces the annual-mean global temperature remarkably well with correlation coefficient r = 0.97 for 1970–2012 (which includes the current hiatus and a period of accelerated global warming). Moreover, our simulation captures major seasonal and regional characteristics of the hiatus, including the intensified Walker circulation, the winter cooling in northwestern North America and the prolonged drought in the southern USA. Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Niña-like decadal cooling. Although similar decadal hiatus events may occur in the future, the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase.” Yu Kosaka, Shang-Ping Xie, Nature 501,403–407 (19 September 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12534.

Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years – Fyfe et al. (2013) “Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability.” John C. Fyfe, Nathan P. Gillett, Francis W. Zwiers, Nature Climate Change 3,767–769(2013)doi:10.1038/nclimate1972. [Full text]

Strengthening of ocean heat uptake efficiency associated with the recent climate hiatus – Watanabe et al. (2013) “The rate of increase of global-mean surface air temperature (SATg) has apparently slowed during the last decade. We investigated the extent to which state-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) can capture this hiatus period by using multimodel ensembles of historical climate simulations. While the SATg linear trend for the last decade is not captured by their ensemble means regardless of differences in model generation and external forcing, it is barely represented by an 11-member ensemble of a GCM, suggesting an internal origin of the hiatus associated with active heat uptake by the oceans. Besides, we found opposite changes in ocean heat uptake efficiency (κ), weakening in models and strengthening in nature, which explain why the models tend to overestimate the SATg trend. The weakening of κ commonly found in GCMs seems to be an inevitable response of the climate system to global warming, suggesting the recovery from hiatus in coming decades.” Masahiro Watanabe, Youichi Kamae, Masakazu Yoshimori, Akira Oka, Makiko Sato, Masayoshi Ishii, Takashi Mochizuki, Masahide Kimoto, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 40, Issue 12, pages 3175–3179, 28 June 2013, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50541.

Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade – Guemas et al. (2013) “Despite a sustained production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period. To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer has been proposed to overcompensate for the Earth’s heat storage. Contributions have also been suggested from the deep prolonged solar minimum, the stratospheric water vapour, the stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols. However, a robust attribution of this warming slowdown has not been achievable up to now. Here we show successful retrospective predictions of this warming slowdown up to 5 years ahead, the analysis of which allows us to attribute the onset of this slowdown to an increase in ocean heat uptake. Sensitivity experiments accounting only for the external radiative forcings do not reproduce the slowdown. The top-of-atmosphere net energy input remained in the [0.5–1] W m−2 interval during the past decade, which is successfully captured by our predictions. Most of this excess energy was absorbed in the top 700 m of the ocean at the onset of the warming pause, 65% of it in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Our results hence point at the key role of the ocean heat uptake in the recent warming slowdown. The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.” Virginie Guemas, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Isabel Andreu-Burillo & Muhammad Asif, Nature Climate Change, 3, 649–653 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1863.

Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale – Santer et al. (2011) “We compare global-scale changes in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) with model simulations of forced and unforced TLT changes. While previous work has focused on a single period of record, we select analysis timescales ranging from 10 to 32 years, and then compare all possible observed TLT trends on each timescale with corresponding multi-model distributions of forced and unforced trends. We use observed estimates of the signal component of TLT changes and model estimates of climate noise to calculate timescale-dependent signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). These ratios are small (less than 1) on the 10-year timescale, increasing to more than 3.9 for 32-year trends. This large change in S/N is primarily due to a decrease in the amplitude of internally generated variability with increasing trend length. Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.” B. D. Santer, C. Mears, C. Doutriaux, P. Caldwell, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, S. Solomon, N. P. Gillett, D. Ivanova, T. R. Karl, J. R. Lanzante, G. A. Meehl, P. A. Stott, K. E. Taylor, P. W. Thorne, M. F. Wehner, F. J. Wentz, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), Volume 116, Issue D22, November 2011, DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016263. [Full text]

Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008 – Kaufmann et al. (2011) “Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations. As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consistent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.” Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann, and James H. Stock, PNAS July 19, 2011 vol. 108 no. 29 11790-11793, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102467108. [Full text]

The role of natural climatic variation in perturbing the observed global mean temperature trend – Hunt (2011) “Controversy continues to prevail concerning the reality of anthropogenically-induced climatic warming. One of the principal issues is the cause of the hiatus in the current global warming trend. There appears to be a widely held view that climatic change warming should exhibit an inexorable upwards trend, a view that implies there is no longer any input by climatic variability in the existing climatic system. The relative roles of climatic change and climatic variability are examined here using the same coupled global climatic model. For the former, the model is run using a specified CO2 growth scenario, while the latter consisted of a multi-millennial simulation where any climatic variability was attributable solely to internal processes within the climatic system. It is shown that internal climatic variability can produce global mean surface temperature anomalies of ±0.25 K and sustained positive and negative anomalies sufficient to account for the anomalous warming of the 1940s as well as the present hiatus in the observed global warming. The characteristics of the internally-induced negative temperature anomalies are such that if this internal natural variability is the cause of the observed hiatus, then a resumption of the observed global warming trend is to be expected within the next few years.” B. G. Hunt, Climate Dynamics, February 2011, Volume 36, Issue 3-4, pp 509-521, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0799-x.

Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods – Meehl et al. (2011) “There have been decades, such as 2000–2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a hiatus period). However, the observed energy imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere for this recent decade indicates that a net energy flux into the climate system of about 1 W m−2 (refs 2, 3) should be producing warming somewhere in the system. Here we analyse twenty-first-century climate-model simulations that maintain a consistent radiative imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere of about 1 W m−2 as observed for the past decade. Eight decades with a slightly negative global mean surface-temperature trend show that the ocean above 300 m takes up significantly less heat whereas the ocean below 300 m takes up significantly more, compared with non-hiatus decades. The model provides a plausible depiction of processes in the climate system causing the hiatus periods, and indicates that a hiatus period is a relatively common climate phenomenon and may be linked to La Niña-like conditions.” Gerald A. Meehl, Julie M. Arblaster, John T. Fasullo, Aixue Hu & Kevin E. Trenberth, Nature Climate Change, 1, 360–364 (2011) doi:10.1038/nclimate1229. [Full text]

Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming – Solomon et al. (2010) “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.” Susan Solomon, Karen H. Rosenlof, Robert W. Portmann, John S. Daniel, Sean M. Davis, Todd J. Sanford, Gian-Kasper Plattner, Science 5 March 2010: Vol. 327 no. 5970 pp. 1219-1223, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182488. [Full text]

An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy – Trenberth (2009) “Planned adaptation to climate change requires information about what is happening and why. While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability. However, such natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable. An assessment is given of our ability to track changes in reservoirs and flows of energy within the climate system. Arguments are given that developing the ability to do this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future.” Kevin E Trenberth, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2009, Pages 19–27, [Full text]

How will Earth’s surface temperature change in future decades? – Lean & Rind (2009) “Reliable forecasts of climate change in the immediate future are difficult, especially on regional scales, where natural climate variations may amplify or mitigate anthropogenic warming in ways that numerical models capture poorly. By decomposing recent observed surface temperatures into components associated with ENSO, volcanic and solar activity, and anthropogenic influences, we anticipate global and regional changes in the next two decades. From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ± 0.03°C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC. But as a result of declining solar activity in the subsequent five years, average temperature in 2019 is only 0.03 ± 0.01°C warmer than in 2014. This lack of overall warming is analogous to the period from 2002 to 2008 when decreasing solar irradiance also countered much of the anthropogenic warming. We further illustrate how a major volcanic eruption and a super ENSO would modify our global and regional temperature projections.” Judith L. Lean, David H. Rind, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Issue 15, 16 August 2009, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038932. [Full text]

Is the climate warming or cooling? – Easterling & Wehner (2009) “Numerous websites, blogs and articles in the media have claimed that the climate is no longer warming, and is now cooling. Here we show that periods of no trend or even cooling of the globally averaged surface air temperature are found in the last 34 years of the observed record, and in climate model simulations of the 20th and 21st century forced with increasing greenhouse gases. We show that the climate over the 21st century can and likely will produce periods of a decade or two where the globally averaged surface air temperature shows no trend or even slight cooling in the presence of longer-term warming.” David R. Easterling, Michael F. Wehner, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Issue 8, April 2009, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037810. [Full text]

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