Global Climate (global + climate)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Terms modified by Global Climate

  • global climate change
  • global climate model
  • global climate models

  • Selected Abstracts

    On the climate and weather of mountain and sub-arctic lakes in Europe and their susceptibility to future climate change

    FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 12 2009
    Summary 1.,The complex terrain and heterogeneous nature of the mountain environment coupled with remoteness from major centres of human activity makes mountains challenging locations for meteorological investigations. Mountainous areas tend to have more varied and more extreme weather than lowlands. 2.,The EMERGE program has the primary aim of assessing the status of remote mountain and sub-arctic lakes throughout Europe for the first time. In this study, we describe the main features of the climate, ice-cover durations and recent temperature trends of these areas. The main weather characteristics of European mountain and sub-arctic lakes are their cold temperatures and year-round precipitation. Mean annual temperatures are generally close to 0 °C, and maximum summer temperatures reasonably close to 10 °C. 3.,Maritime versus continental settings determine the main differences in annual-temperature range among lake districts (10.5 °C in Scotland to 26.7 °C in Northern Finland), and a similar factor for ice-cover duration. Radiation ranges from low (120 W m,2) in the high latitude sub-arctic and high (237 W m,2) in the southern ranges of the Pyrenees and Rila. Similarly, precipitation is high in the main Alpine chain (250 cm year,1 in the Central Southern Alps) and low in the continental sub-arctic (65 cm year,1 in Northern Finland). 4.,The main temporal patterns in air temperature follow those of the adjacent lowlands. All the lake districts warmed during the last century. Spring temperature trends were highest in Finland; summer trends were weak everywhere; autumn trends were strongest in the west, in the Pyrenees and western Alps; while winter trends varied markedly, being high in the Pyrenees and Alps, low in Scotland and Norway and negative in Finland. 5.,Two new, limnological case studies on Lake Redon, in the Pyrenees, highlight the sensitivity of remote lakes to projected changes in the global climate. These two case studies involve close linkages between extreme chemical-precipitation events and synoptic wind-patterns, and between thermocline behaviour and features of the large-scale circulation. 6.,Individual lakes can be ultra-responsive to climate change. Even modest changes in future air temperatures will lead to major changes in lake temperatures and ice-cover duration and hence probably affect their ecological status. [source]


    ABSTRACT. This paper examines new geomorphological, chronological and modelling data on glacier fluctuations in southernmost South America in latitudes 46,55°S during the last glacial,interglacial transition. Establishing leads and lags between the northern and southern hemispheres and between southern mid-latitudes and Antarctica is key to an appreciation of the mechanisms and resilience of global climate. This is particularly important in the southern hemisphere where there is a paucity of empirical data. The overall structure of the last glacial cycle in Patagonia has a northern hemisphere signal. Glaciers reached or approached their Last Glacial Maxima on two or more occasions at 25,23 ka (calendar) and there was a third less extensive advance at 17.5 ka. Deglaciation occurred in two steps at 17.5 ka and at 11.4 ka. This structure is the same as that recognized in the northern hemisphere and taking place in spite of glacier advances occurring at a time of high southern hemisphere summer insolation and deglaciation at a time of decreasing summer insolation. The implication is that at orbital time scales the,northern' signal dominates any southern hemisphere signal. During deglaciation, at a millennial scale, the glacier fluctuations mirror an antiphase 'southern' climatic signal as revealed in Antarctic ice cores. There is a glacier advance coincident with the Antarctic Cold Reversal at 15.3,12.2 ka. Furthermore, deglaciation begins in the middle of the Younger Dryas. The implication is that, during the last glacial,interglacial transition, southernmost South America was under the influence of sea surface temperatures, sea ice and southern westerlies responding to conditions in the 'southern' Antarctic domain. Such asynchrony may reflect a situation whereby, during deglaciation, the world is more sensitized to fluctuations in the oceanic thermohaline circulation, perhaps related to the bipolar seesaw, than at orbital timescales. [source]

    Current and Future Trends of Climatic Extremes in Switzerland

    Martin Beniston
    This article provides an overview of extreme climatic events that are a feature of current and future climate that require full understanding if they are to be assessed in terms of social and economic costs. A review is made of the type of events that are important in mid-latitudes, with examples taken from the heat waves, floods and wind-storms that have affected Switzerland during the twentieth century. Regional climate model results are also presented for a scenario conducted over Europe. These simulations suggest that there may be significant shifts in the frequency and intensity of many forms of extremes as a warmer global climate progressively replaces current climate. In view of the potential losses in human, economic and environmental terms, extreme events and their future evolution need to carefully assessed in order to formulate appropriate adaptation strategies aimed at minimizing the negative impacts that extremes are capable of generating. [source]

    Will climate change be beneficial or detrimental to the invasive swede midge in North America?

    Contrasting predictions using climate projections from different general circulation models
    Abstract Climate change may dramatically affect the distribution and abundance of organisms. With the world's population size expected to increase significantly during the next 100 years, we need to know how climate change might impact our food production systems. In particular, we need estimates of how future climate might alter the distribution of agricultural pests. We used the climate projections from two general circulation models (GCMs) of global climate, the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis GCM (CGCM2) and the Hadley Centre model (HadCM3), for the A2 and B2 scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios in conjunction with a previously published bioclimatic envelope model (BEM) to predict the potential changes in distribution and abundance of the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, in North America. The BEM in conjunction with either GCM predicted that C. nasturtii would spread from its current initial invasion in southern Ontario and northwestern New York State into the Canadian prairies, northern Canada, and midwestern United States, but the magnitude of risk depended strongly on the GCM and the scenario used. When the CGCM2 projections were used, the BEM predicted an extensive shift in the location of the midges' climatic envelope through most of Ontario, Quebec, and the maritime and prairie provinces by the 2080s. In the United States, C. nasturtii was predicted to spread to all the Great Lake states, into midwestern states as far south as Colorado, and west into Washington State. When the HadCM3 was applied, southern Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Washington State were not as favourable for C. nasturtii by the 2080s. Indeed, when used with the HadCM3 climate projections, the BEM predicted the virtual disappearance of ,very favourable' regions for C. nasturtii. The CGCM2 projections generally caused the BEM to predict a small increase in the mean number of midge generations throughout the course of the century, whereas, the HadCM3 projections resulted in roughly the same mean number of generations but decreased variance. Predictions of the likely potential of C. nasturtii spatial spread are thus strongly dependent on the source of climate projections. This study illustrates the importance of using multiple GCMs in combination with multiple scenarios when studying the potential for spatial spread of an organism in response to climate change. [source]

    Downscaling simulations of future global climate with application to hydrologic modelling

    Eric P. Salathé Jr
    Abstract This study approaches the problem of downscaling global climate model simulations with an emphasis on validating and selecting global models. The downscaling method makes minimal, physically based corrections to the global simulation while preserving much of the statistics of interannual variability in the climate model. Differences among the downscaled results for simulations of present-day climate form a basis for model evaluation. The downscaled results are used to simulate streamflow in the Yakima River, a mountainous basin in Washington, USA, to illustrate how model differences affect streamflow simulations. The downscaling is applied to the output of three models (ECHAM4, HADCM3, and NCAR-PCM) for simulations of historic conditions (1900,2000) and two future emissions scenarios (A2 and B2 for 2000,2100) from the IPCC assessment. The ECHAM4 simulation closely reproduces the observed statistics of temperature and precipitation for the 42 year period 1949,90. Streamflow computed from this climate simulation likewise produces similar statistics to streamflow computed from the observed data. Downscaled climate-change scenarios from these models are examined in light of the differences in the present-day simulations. Streamflows simulated from the ECHAM4 results show the greatest sensitivity to climate change, with the peak in summertime flow occurring 2 months earlier by the end of the 21st century. Copyright © 2005 Royal Meteorological Society. [source]

    The anatomy of predator,prey dynamics in a changing climate

    Summary 1Humans are increasingly influencing global climate and regional predator assemblages, yet a mechanistic understanding of how climate and predation interact to affect fluctuations in prey populations is currently lacking. 2Here we develop a modelling framework to explore the effects of different predation strategies on the response of age-structured prey populations to a changing climate. 3We show that predation acts in opposition to temporal correlation in climatic conditions to suppress prey population fluctuations. 4Ambush predators such as lions are shown to be more effective at suppressing fluctuations in their prey than cursorial predators such as wolves, which chase down prey over long distances, because they are more effective predators on prime-aged adults. 5We model climate as a Markov process and explore the consequences of future changes in climatic autocorrelation for population dynamics. We show that the presence of healthy predator populations will be particularly important in dampening prey population fluctuations if temporal correlation in climatic conditions increases in the future. [source]

    Mid-Holocene and glacial-maximum vegetation geography of the northern continents and Africa

    I. Colin Prentice
    Abstract BIOME 6000 is an international project to map vegetation globally at mid-Holocene (6000 14C yr bp) and last glacial maximum (LGM, 18,000 14C yr bp), with a view to evaluating coupled climate-biosphere model results. Primary palaeoecological data are assigned to biomes using an explicit algorithm based on plant functional types. This paper introduces the second Special Feature on BIOME 6000. Site-based global biome maps are shown with data from North America, Eurasia (except South and Southeast Asia) and Africa at both time periods. A map based on surface samples shows the method's skill in reconstructing present-day biomes. Cold and dry conditions at LGM favoured extensive tundra and steppe. These biomes intergraded in northern Eurasia. Northern hemisphere forest biomes were displaced southward. Boreal evergreen forests (taiga) and temperate deciduous forests were fragmented, while European and East Asian steppes were greatly extended. Tropical moist forests (i.e. tropical rain forest and tropical seasonal forest) in Africa were reduced. In south-western North America, desert and steppe were replaced by open conifer woodland, opposite to the general arid trend but consistent with modelled southward displacement of the jet stream. The Arctic forest limit was shifted slighly north at 6000 14C yr bp in some sectors, but not in all. Northern temperate forest zones were generally shifted greater distances north. Warmer winters as well as summers in several regions are required to explain these shifts. Temperate deciduous forests in Europe were greatly extended, into the Mediterranean region as well as to the north. Steppe encroached on forest biomes in interior North America, but not in central Asia. Enhanced monsoons extended forest biomes in China inland and Sahelian vegetation into the Sahara while the African tropical rain forest was also reduced, consistent with a modelled northward shift of the ITCZ and a more seasonal climate in the equatorial zone. Palaeobiome maps show the outcome of separate, independent migrations of plant taxa in response to climate change. The average composition of biomes at LGM was often markedly different from today. Refugia for the temperate deciduous and tropical rain forest biomes may have existed offshore at LGM, but their characteristic taxa also persisted as components of other biomes. Examples include temperate deciduous trees that survived in cool mixed forest in eastern Europe, and tropical evergreen trees that survived in tropical seasonal forest in Africa. The sequence of biome shifts during a glacial-interglacial cycle may help account for some disjunct distributions of plant taxa. For example, the now-arid Saharan mountains may have linked Mediterranean and African tropical montane floras during enhanced monsoon regimes. Major changes in physical land-surface conditions, shown by the palaeobiome data, have implications for the global climate. The data can be used directly to evaluate the output of coupled atmosphere-biosphere models. The data could also be objectively generalized to yield realistic gridded land-surface maps, for use in sensitivity experiments with atmospheric models. Recent analyses of vegetation-climate feedbacks have focused on the hypothesized positive feedback effects of climate-induced vegetation changes in the Sahara/Sahel region and the Arctic during the mid-Holocene. However, a far wider spectrum of interactions potentially exists and could be investigated, using these data, both for 6000 14C yr bp and for the LGM. [source]

    Forecasting plant migration rates: managing uncertainty for risk assessment

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2003
    S. I. Higgins
    Summary 1Anthropogenic changes in the global climate are shifting the potential ranges of many plant species. 2Changing climates will allow some species the opportunity to expand their range, others may experience a contraction in their potential range, while the current and future ranges of some species may not overlap. Our capacity to generalize about the threat these range shifts pose to plant diversity is limited by many sources of uncertainty. 3In this paper we summarize sources of uncertainty for migration forecasts and suggest a research protocol for making forecasts in the context of uncertainty. [source]

    East Asian monsoon instability at the stage 5a/4 transition

    BOREAS, Issue 2 2002
    The physics involved in the abrupt climate changes of the late Quaternary have eluded paleoclimatologists for many years. More paleoclimatic records characteristic of different elements of the global climate system are needed for better understanding of the cause-feedback relationships in the system. The East Asian monsoon is an important part of the global climate system and the mechanical links between the East Asian monsoon and other climatic elements around the world may hold a key to our knowledge of abrupt climate changes in East Asia and probably over a larger part of the globe. Previous studies have detected millennial-scale winter monsoon oscillations during the last glaciation and probably also during the last interglaciation in loess sequences across China. However, less attention has been paid to the abrupt summer monsoon changes and the stage 5a/4 transition, an important period for the evolution of the East Asian monsoon when the global climate shifted towards the last glaciation. Here we report on two loess sections from eastern China which were dated using a thermoluminescence (TL) technique. The pedogenic and other sediment parameters suggest that the summer monsoon experienced a two-step abrupt retreat at the stage 5a/4 transition. The variations in the proxies for the winter monsoon are synchronized with the summer monsoon proxies during this brief interval, implying a direct and immediate link between high latitude and low latitude mechanisms. These changes may be correlated with similar climatic oscillations observed in the North Atlantic, Europe and Antarctica, raising the possibility that the forcing factors that induced these changes are global in extent. [source]

    Impacts of climate change on aeroallergens: past and future

    P. J. Beggs
    Summary Human activities are resulting in increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and changes in global climate. These, in turn, are likely to have had, and will continue to have, impacts on human health. While such impacts have received increasing attention in recent years, the impacts of climate change on aeroallergens and related allergic diseases have been somewhat neglected. Despite this, a number of studies have revealed potential impacts of climate change on aeroallergens that may have enormous clinical and public health significance. The purpose of this review is to synthesize this work and to outline a number of research challenges in this area. There is now considerable evidence to suggest that climate change will have, and has already had, impacts on aeroallergens. These include impacts on pollen amount, pollen allergenicity, pollen season, plant and pollen distribution, and other plant attributes. There is also some evidence of impacts on other aeroallergens, such as mould spores. There are many research challenges along the road to a more complete understanding of the impacts of climate change on aeroallergens and allergic diseases such as asthma and hayfever. It is important that public health authorities and allergy practitioners be aware of these changes in the environment, and that research scientists embrace the challenges that face further work in this area. [source]

    Influence of climate change on the incidence and impact of arenavirus diseases: a speculative assessment

    J. C. Clegg
    Abstract The current worldwide incidence of viral haemorrhagic fevers caused by arenaviruses is briefly reviewed. The recently published Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has described the changes in global climate that are expected to occur over the course of the present century and beyond. Climate modelling and forecasting have not yet reached the stage where confident predictions of regional changes at the level of a virus endemic area can be made. However, in the regions where pathogenic arenaviruses now circulate, significant effects are likely to include increases in surface temperature, changes in the extent and distribution of rainfall, the occurrence of extreme weather events, glacier retreat, and coastal flooding as a result of sea level rise. The possible impact of these changes on the geographical location and the incidence of arenavirus diseases and its human impact are discussed. [source]

    Palaeozoic tropical rainforests and their effect on global climates: is the past the key to the present?

    GEOBIOLOGY, Issue 1 2005
    ABSTRACT Wetland forests, known as coal forests, extended over large areas of the palaeotropics during the Late Carboniferous and the Permian Periods. They were initiated during the Serpukhovian Age as a response to lowering sea levels having exposed large areas of continental shelf. They expanded dramatically during the late Bashkirian Age, but then contracted by over one-half during the Kasimovian Age. The estimated loss of carbon sink probably resulted in an annual increase in atmospheric CO2 of about 2,5 ppm, and coincided with clear evidence of global warming in both the northern and southern high latitudes. A return to cooler conditions in very Early Permian times coincided with an expansion of the palaeotropical coal forests in the Far East, but this was short-lived and most of the rest of the Permian was a time of global warming. The Palaeozoic evidence clearly confirms that there is a correlation between levels of atmospheric CO2 and global climates. However, care must be taken in extrapolating this evidence to the present-day tropical forests, which do not act as a comparable unsaturated carbon sink. [source]

    Connecting Atmosphere and Wetland: Energy and Water Vapour Exchange

    Peter M. Lafleur
    Wetlands are ubiquitous over the globe, comprise a vast array of ecosystem types and are of great ecological and social importance. Their functioning is intimately tied to the atmosphere by the energy and mass exchanges that take place across the wetland,atmosphere boundary. This article examines recent research into these exchanges, with an emphasis on the water vapour exchange. Although broad classes of wetland type, such as fen, bog and marsh, can be defined using ecological or hydrologic metrics, distinct difference in energy exchanges between the classes cannot be found. This arises because there are many factors that control the energy exchanges and interplay of these factors is unique to every wetland ecosystem. Wetlands are more similar in their radiation balances than in the partitioning of this energy into conductive and turbulent heat fluxes. This is especially true of evapotranspiration (ET) rates, which vary considerably among and within wetland classes. A global survey of wetland ET studies shows that location has little to do with ET rates and that variation in rates is largely determined by local climate and wetland characteristics. Recent modelling studies suggest that although wetlands occupy a small portion of the global land surface, their water and energy exchanges may be important in regional and global climates. Although the number of studies of wetland,atmosphere interactions has increased in recent years more research is needed. Five key areas of study are identified: (i) the importance of moss covers, (ii) lack of study in tropical systems, (iii) inclusion of wetlands in global climate models, (iv) importance of microforms in wetlands and their scaling to the whole ecosystem, and (v) the paucity of annual ET measurements. [source]

    Effects of an experimental drought on soil emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and nitric oxide in a moist tropical forest

    Eric A. Davidson
    Abstract Changes in precipitation in the Amazon Basin resulting from regional deforestation, global warming, and El Niño events may affect emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and nitric oxide (NO) from soils. Changes in soil emissions of radiatively important gases could have feedback implications for regional and global climates. Here we report results of a large-scale (1 ha) throughfall exclusion experiment conducted in a mature evergreen forest near Santarém, Brazil. The exclusion manipulation lowered annual N2O emissions by >40% and increased rates of consumption of atmospheric CH4 by a factor of >4. No treatment effect has yet been detected for NO and CO2 fluxes. The responses of these microbial processes after three rainy seasons of the exclusion treatment are characteristic of a direct effect of soil aeration on denitrification, methanogenesis, and methanotrophy. An anticipated second phase response, in which drought-induced plant mortality is followed by increased mineralization of C and N substrates from dead fine roots and by increased foraging of termites on dead coarse roots, has not yet been detected. Analyses of depth profiles of N2O and CO2 concentrations with a diffusivity model revealed that the top 25 cm soil is the site of most of the wet season production of N2O, whereas significant CO2 production occurs down to 100 cm in both seasons, and small production of CO2 occurs to at least 1100 cm depth. The diffusivity-based estimates of CO2 production as a function of depth were strongly correlated with fine root biomass, indicating that trends in belowground C allocation may be inferred from monitoring and modeling profiles of H2O and CO2. [source]