AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

New research from last week 40/2010

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on October 11, 2010

I’ll start making weekly (hopefully) posts on the research published during the preceding week. I’m not including everything that was published but just some papers that got my attention. Those who follow my Facebook page (and/or Twitter) have already seen most of these, as I post these there as soon as I write them. Here, I’ll just put them out in one batch. Sometimes I might also point out to some other news as well, but the new research will be the focus here. By the way, if this sort of thing interests you, be sure to check out A Few Things Illconsidered, they have a weekly posting containing lots of links to new research and other climate related news.

Published last week:

– A new global fossil fuel CO2 emission data set. To me, especially interesting part is this: “We describe the use of 14CO2 measurements to further constrain national emissions. Their value is greatest over large countries with heterogeneous emissions.”
Citation: Rayner, P. J., M. R. Raupach, M. Paget, P. Peylin, and E. Koffi (2010), A new global gridded data set of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion: Methodology and evaluation, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D19306, doi:10.1029/2009JD013439. [abstract]

– What happened the last time climate warmed suddenly in arctic Alaska? “Two episodes of extremely rapid floodplain alluviation occurred during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition, one between 14 and 12.8 cal ka BP and the other between 11.5 and 9.5 cal ka BP. These aggradation episodes coincided with periods of warming in summer when cottonwood (Populus balsamifera L.) expanded its range, peatlands became established, and widespread thermokarst occurred.”
Citation: Daniel H. Mann, Pamela Groves, Richard E. Reanier, and Michael L. Kunz, 2010, Floodplains, permafrost, cottonwood trees, and peat: What happened the last time climate warmed suddenly in arctic Alaska?, Quaternary Science Reviews, article in press, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.09.002. [abstract]

– A new study has made an effort to determine the effective number of climate models. 24 models were used in the study and it turned out that the effective number was far less. Amount of new information decreases when adding new models to the ensemble after the effective number. The effective number is 9 or 7.5 with two different methods. In tropics you need couple of models more.
Citation: Christopher Pennell and Thomas Reichler, On the Effective Number of Climate Models, Journal of Climate 2010, doi: 10.1175/2010JCLI3814.1. [abstract, full text]

– Graversen et al. have studied Greenland’s contribution to global sea level by the end of 21st century using an ice sheet model. Their result: “Greenland contributes 0–17 cm to global sea-level rise by the end of the 21st century. This range includes the uncertainties in climate-model projections, the uncertainty associated with scenarios of greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as the uncertainties in future outlet-glacier discharge. In addition, the range takes into account the uncertainty of the ice-sheet model and its boundary fields.”
Citation: Rune G. Graversen, Sybren Drijfhout, Wilco Hazeleger, Roderik van de Wal, Richard Bintanja and Michiel Helsen, Greenland’s contribution to global sea-level rise by the end of the 21st century,Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0918-8. [abstract]

– New climate model results suggest that there was global climate reorganization going on during the medieval warm period: “We present results from a full-physics coupled climate model showing that a slight warming of the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans relative to the other tropical ocean basins can induce a broad range of the medieval circulation and climate changes indicated by proxy data, including many of those not explained by a cooler tropical Pacific alone.” NOTE: this is an open access paper so full text should be available in abstract page.
Citation: N. E. Graham, C. M. Ammann, D. Fleitmann, K. M. Cobb and J. Luterbacher, Support for global climate reorganization during the “Medieval Climate Anomaly”, Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0914-z. [abstract]

– In a new study, a number of German winter tourism representatives were interviewed on their knowledge of climate change and its effect to their business. Some notes: “About half of the interviewees were not aware of the regional changes in natural snow conditions projected for the next 15–20 years. Nevertheless, the majority recognized climate change as a serious issue. Yet, stakeholders repeatedly emphasized their uncertainty about related scientific facts. They attributed their perception to mass media reports that suggest a lack of scientific consensus on climate change issues.”
Citation: Andreas Hoy, Stephanie Hänsel and Jörg Matschullat, How can winter tourism adapt to climate change in Saxony’s mountains?, Regional Environmental Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10113-010-0155-z. [abstract]

– Shindell et al. have studied how far spatially a local forcing influence extends. They used several models with a specific method they designed to simulate local aerosol and how far it affects surface temperature. In the extratropics the effects are difficult to see but in the tropics (roughly) they are clear: “Restricting the analysis to 30°S–60°N, where nearly all the forcing was applied, shows that forcing strongly influences response out to ∼4500 km away examining all directions. The meridional length of influence is somewhat shorter (∼3500 km or 30°), while it extends out to at least 12,000 km in the zonal direction.” While the models were quite different, they all showed similar responses in spatial effect.
Citation: Shindell, D., M. Schulz, Y. Ming, T. Takemura, G. Faluvegi, and V. Ramaswamy (2010), Spatial scales of climate response to inhomogeneous radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D19110, doi:10.1029/2010JD014108. [abstract]

Other news:

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