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Papers on Russia 2010 heatwave

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on April 11, 2012

This is a list of papers on Russia 2010 heatwave with an emphasis on the causes of the event. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.

UPDATE (May 16, 2012): Huijnen et al. (2012) added.

Hindcast experiments of tropospheric composition during the summer 2010 fires over western Russia – Huijnen et al. (2012) “The severe wildfires in western Russia during July–August 2010 coincided with a strong heat wave and led to large emissions of aerosols and trace gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides into the troposphere. This extreme event is used to evaluate the ability of the global MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate) atmospheric composition forecasting system to provide analyses of large-scale pollution episodes and to test the respective influence of a priori emission information and data assimilation on the results. Daily 4-day hindcasts were conducted using assimilated aerosol optical depth (AOD), CO, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) data from a range of satellite instruments. Daily fire emissions were used from the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) version 1.0, derived from satellite fire radiative power retrievals. The impact of accurate wildfire emissions is dominant on the composition in the boundary layer, whereas the assimilation system influences concentrations throughout the troposphere, reflecting the vertical sensitivity of the satellite instruments. The application of the daily fire emissions reduces the area-average mean bias by 63% (for CO), 60% (O3) and 75% (NO2) during the first 24 h with respect to independent satellite observations, compared to a reference simulation with a multi-annual mean climatology of biomass burning emissions. When initial tracer concentrations are further constrained by data assimilation, biases are reduced by 87, 67 and 90%. The forecast accuracy, quantified by the mean bias up to 96 h lead time, was best for all compounds when using both the GFAS emissions and assimilation. The model simulations suggest an indirect positive impact of O3 and CO assimilation on hindcasts of NO2 via changes in the oxidizing capacity. However, the quality of local hindcasts was strongly dependent on the assumptions made for forecasted fire emissions. This was well visible from a relatively poor forecast accuracy quantified by the root mean square error, as well as the temporal correlation with respect to ground-based CO total column data and AOD. This calls for a more advanced method to forecast fire emissions than the currently adopted persistency approach. The combined analysis of fire radiative power observations, multiple trace gas and aerosol satellite observations, as provided by the MACC system, results in a detailed quantitative description of the impact of major fires on atmospheric composition, and demonstrate the capabilities for the real-time analysis and forecasts of large-scale fire events.” Huijnen, V., Flemming, J., Kaiser, J. W., Inness, A., Leitão, J., Heil, A., Eskes, H. J., Schultz, M. G., Benedetti, A., Hadji-Lazaro, J., Dufour, G., and Eremenko, M.: Hindcast experiments of tropospheric composition during the summer 2010 fires over western Russia, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4341-4364, doi:10.5194/acp-12-4341-2012, 2012. [Full text]

Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave – Otto et al. (2012) “In the summer 2010 Western Russia was hit by an extraordinary heat wave, with the region experiencing by far the warmest July since records began. Whether and to what extent this event is attributable to anthropogenic climate change is controversial. Dole et al. (2011) report the 2010 Russian heat wave was “mainly natural in origin” whereas Rahmstorf and Coumou (2011) write that with a probability of 80% “the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred” without the large-scale climate warming since 1980, most of which has been attributed to the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. The latter explicitly state that their results “contradict those of Dole et al. (2011).” Here we use the results from a large ensemble simulation experiment with an atmospheric general circulation model to show that there is no substantive contradiction between these two papers, in that the same event can be both mostly internally-generated in terms of magnitude and mostly externally-driven in terms of occurrence-probability. The difference in conclusion between these two papers illustrates the importance of specifying precisely what question is being asked in addressing the issue of attribution of individual weather events to external drivers of climate.” Otto, F. E. L., N. Massey, G. J. van Oldenborgh, R. G. Jones, and M. R. Allen (2012), Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L04702, doi:10.1029/2011GL050422. [Full text]

The 2010 Pakistan Flood and Russian Heat Wave: Teleconnection of Hydrometeorological Extremes – Lau & Kim (2012) “In this paper, preliminary results are presented showing that the two record-setting extreme events during 2010 summer (i.e., the Russian heat wave–wildfires and Pakistan flood) were physically connected. It is found that the Russian heat wave was associated with the development of an extraordinarily strong and prolonged extratropical atmospheric blocking event in association with the excitation of a large-scale atmospheric Rossby wave train spanning western Russia, Kazakhstan, and the northwestern China–Tibetan Plateau region. The southward penetration of upper-level vorticity perturbations in the leading trough of the Rossby wave was instrumental in triggering anomalously heavy rain events over northern Pakistan and vicinity in mid- to late July. Also shown are evidences that the Russian heat wave was amplified by a positive feedback through changes in surface energy fluxes between the atmospheric blocking pattern and an underlying extensive land region with below-normal soil moisture. The Pakistan heavy rain events were amplified and sustained by strong anomalous southeasterly flow along the Himalayan foothills and abundant moisture transport from the Bay of Bengal in connection with the northward propagation of the monsoonal intraseasonal oscillation.” Lau, William K. M., Kyu-Myong Kim, 2012: The 2010 Pakistan Flood and Russian Heat Wave: Teleconnection of Hydrometeorological Extremes. J. Hydrometeor, 13, 392–403.

Increase of extreme events in a warming world – Rahmstorf & Coumou (2011) “We develop a theoretical approach to quantify the effect of long-term trends on the expected number of extremes in generic time series, using analytical solutions and Monte Carlo simulations. We apply our method to study the effect of warming trends on heat records. We find that the number of record-breaking events increases approximately in proportion to the ratio of warming trend to short-term standard deviation. Short-term variability thus decreases the number of heat extremes, whereas a climatic warming increases it. For extremes exceeding a predefined threshold, the dependence on the warming trend is highly nonlinear. We further find that the sum of warm plus cold extremes increases with any climate change, whether warming or cooling. We estimate that climatic warming has increased the number of new global-mean temperature records expected in the last decade from 0.1 to 2.8. For July temperature in Moscow, we estimate that the local warming trend has increased the number of records expected in the past decade fivefold, which implies an approximate 80% probability that the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred without climate warming.” Stefan Rahmstorf and Dim Coumou, PNAS November 1, 2011 vol. 108 no. 44 17905-17909, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1101766108. [Full text]

Was there a basis for anticipating the 2010 Russian heat wave? – Dole et al. (2011) “The 2010 summer heat wave in western Russia was extraordinary, with the region experiencing the warmest July since at least 1880 and numerous locations setting all-time maximum temperature records. This study explores whether early warning could have been provided through knowledge of natural and human-caused climate forcings. Model simulations and observational data are used to determine the impact of observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea ice conditions and greenhouse gas concentrations. Analysis of forced model simulations indicates that neither human influences nor other slowly evolving ocean boundary conditions contributed substantially to the magnitude of this heat wave. They also provide evidence that such an intense event could be produced through natural variability alone. Analysis of observations indicate that this heat wave was mainly due to internal atmospheric dynamical processes that produced and maintained a strong and long-lived blocking event, and that similar atmospheric patterns have occurred with prior heat waves in this region. We conclude that the intense 2010 Russian heat wave was mainly due to natural internal atmospheric variability. Slowly varying boundary conditions that could have provided predictability and the potential for early warning did not appear to play an appreciable role in this event.” Dole, R., M. Hoerling, J. Perlwitz, J. Eischeid, P. Pegion, T. Zhang, X.-W. Quan, T. Xu, and D. Murray (2011), Was there a basis for anticipating the 2010 Russian heat wave?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06702, doi:10.1029/2010GL046582. [Full text]

Influence of subtropical and polar sea-surface temperature anomalies on temperatures in Eurasia – Sedláček et al. (2011) “In summer 2010 an exceptional heatwave occurred over western Russia. At the same time sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) were anomalously warm in the Barents Sea and the Arabian Sea. We investigate a possible link between these two SST anomalies by prescribing SST anomalies separately and combined in an ensemble of climate model simulations. The positive surface air temperature response over western Russia is strengthened if both SST forcings are combined. While the SST anomalies in the Arabian Sea are likely due to natural variability the sea surface in the Barents Sea is expected to warm in future and the sea-ice cover to decline enhancing the warming. Thus, we hypothesize that heatwaves over Europe and Russia will likely become more frequent as a result of the dynamic response of the atmosphere in addition to what is expected from the change in mean temperature.” Sedláček, J., O. Martius, and R. Knutti (2011), Influence of subtropical and polar sea-surface temperature anomalies on temperatures in Eurasia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L12803, doi:10.1029/2011GL047764. [Full text]

The Hot Summer of 2010: Redrawing the Temperature Record Map of Europe – Barriopedro et al. (2011) “The summer of 2010 was exceptionally warm in eastern Europe and large parts of Russia. We provide evidence that the anomalous 2010 warmth that caused adverse impacts exceeded the amplitude and spatial extent of the previous hottest summer of 2003. “Mega-heatwaves” such as the 2003 and 2010 events likely broke the 500-year-long seasonal temperature records over approximately 50% of Europe. According to regional multi-model experiments, the probability of a summer experiencing mega-heatwaves will increase by a factor of 5 to 10 within the next 40 years. However, the magnitude of the 2010 event was so extreme that despite this increase, the likelihood of an analog over the same region remains fairly low until the second half of the 21st century.” David Barriopedro, Erich M. Fischer, Jürg Luterbacher, Ricardo M. Trigo, and Ricardo García-Herrera, Science 8 April 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6026 pp. 220-224, DOI: 10.1126/science.1201224. [Full text]

Satellite monitoring of wildfires during the anomalous heat wave of 2010 in Russia – Bondur (2011) “We describe the specific features of the summer 2010 emergency conditions in the European part of the Russian Federation, when an anomalous heat wave (the monthly mean temperatures in the summer months were 5–9°C higher than those for 2002–2009) and prolonged blocking anticyclones led to large wildfires. We analyze their causes and consequences. The features of the satellite system for operational fire monitoring (constructed at the Aerospace Scientific Center) and examples of its application in summer 2010 are presented. On the basis of the results of processing of satellite images of low (250–1000 m), medium (∼30–50 m), and high (∼6 m) resolutions, we found that the total area covered by fire from March to November of 2010 amounted to approximately 10.9 million hectares for the entire territory of the country and and 2.2 million hectares for its European part. Daily histograms of areas covered by fire in the summer months of 2010 were constructed. On the basis of these data and empirical models, we estimate the daily emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) from wildfires in the summer months of 2010 for the European part of Russia and Moscow oblast. On some days in August 2010, these emissions reached 15000–27000 t for the European part of Russia and 3000–7500 t for Moscow oblast. On the basis of analysis of data from the AIRS spectrometer (Aqua satellite), we derived the spatial distribution of CO concentrations at heights of 2 to 10 km above the territory of the Eastern and Central Europe. Moscow was shown to have been most severely affected by smoke from wildfires occurring on August 6–9, 2010, when the concentrations of harmful gases (CO2, CO, CH4, and O3) and aerosols in the air significantly exceeded both the daily and the one-hour maximum allowable concentrations.” V. G. Bondur, Izvestiya Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, Volume 47, Number 9, 1039-1048, DOI: 10.1134/S0001433811090040.

Anomalies of trace gases in the air of the European part of Russia and Ukraine in summer 2010 – Zvyagintsev et al. (2011) “Time series of concentrations of some trace gases in the Moscow and Kirov Regions, Kyiv and the Crimea under conditions of the abnormally hot summer of 2010 have been analyzed. Concentrations of ozone, particulate matter (PM10), carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides, almost continuously exceeded national standards of maximum permissible levels in July–August 2010 in the Moscow Region. The highest pollution was observed on August 2–11, when some heavy plumes of forest and peatbog fires covered the region, as in 2002. Concentrations of pollutants, first, ozone, exceeded the levels usually observed in Western Europe during periods of high photochemical air pollution. This air pollution event adversely affected human health, and finally resulted in an increase in mortality due to, first of all, increased PM10 and ozone concentrations. Air quality in the Kirov Region, Kyiv, and the Crimea, not affected by the fire plumes, was quite satisfactory despite weather conditions similar to those in Moscow.” A. M. Zvyagintsev, O. B. Blum, A. A. Glazkova, S. N. Kotel’nikov, I. N. Kuznetsova, V. A. Lapchenko, E. A. Lezina, E. A. Miller, V. A. Milyaev and A. P. Popikov, et al., Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics, Volume 24, Number 6, 536-542, DOI: 10.1134/S1024856011060145.

Predictability of Euro-Russian blocking in summer of 2010 – Matsueda (2011) “Eastern Europe and Western Russia experienced a strong heat wave during the summer of 2010. Maximum temperatures exceeded 40°C in early August, resulting in over 15,000 deaths and many wildfires, inflicting large economic losses on Russia. The heat wave resulted from strong atmospheric blocking that persisted over the Euro-Russian region from late June to early August. This study investigates the predictabilities of extreme Euro-Russian blocking and of the blocking-induced extreme surface temperatures in the summer of 2010, using medium-range ensemble forecasts. The results show that the blocking in June–August (JJA) of 2010 was easily predictable, even for a lead time of +216 hr; however, the blocking that occurred from 30th July to 9th August showed a lower predictability in forecasts over +144 hr compared with other blocking occurrences in JJA of 2010. This low predictability resulted in the failure to predict the extreme temperatures associated with the mature blocking in early August. Most of the forecasts predicted a decay of the blocking earlier than that observed.” Matsueda, M. (2011), Predictability of Euro-Russian blocking in summer of 2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06801, doi:10.1029/2010GL046557.

One Response to “Papers on Russia 2010 heatwave”

  1. Ari Jokimäki said

    I added Huijnen et al. (2012).

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