New research, January 29 – February 4, 2018
A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.
Climate change impacts
"We calculated the ITCC of spring wheat in Wuchuan County as an example and identified warming and drying trends in Wuchuan County from 1961 to 2013, especially during the period from 1991 to 2013 (i.e., the period after mutation or the change period). Over the past 53 years, spring wheat yield increased with an average rate of 81.3 kg ha−1 dec−1. Over the change period, however, yield decreased with an average rate of 13.8 kg ha−1 dec−1 and the fluctuation range increased. The appropriate threshold for average temperature during the growth period of spring wheat was 11.4 °C, and the stressed thresholds were 8.2 and 14.6 °C. The appropriate threshold for precipitation during the growth period was 391.1 mm, and the stressed thresholds were 247.4 and 534.9 mm. During the period before mutation (i.e., the basic period), the average temperature was below the upper temperature threshold, and precipitation was 26.9 mm above the lower precipitation threshold. During the change period, the average temperature was 0.3 °C above the upper temperature threshold, and precipitation was 9.8 mm above the lower precipitation threshold."
"Projected climatic changes will influence agricultural productivity directly as well as indirectly due to changes in weed pressure, insect populations, and diseases. A warmer, longer growing season will change the crops and distribution of those crops grown within the region. An increase in the number of extreme temperature events (high daytime highs or nighttime lows) will decrease crop yields due to increased plant stress during critical pollination and grain fill periods."
"Using over three decades of continuous satellite observations, we show that increased inflow and temperature of Atlantic waters in the Barents Sea resulted in a striking poleward shift in the distribution of blooms of Emiliania huxleyi, a marine calcifying phytoplankton species. This species’ blooms are typically associated with temperate waters and have expanded north to 76°N, five degrees further north of its first bloom occurrence in 1989. E. huxleyi’s blooms keep pace with the changing climate of the Barents Sea, namely ocean warming and shifts in the position of the Polar Front, resulting in an exceptionally rapid range shift compared to what is generally detected in the marine realm."
"This safe carbon budget is low if uncertainty about the transient climate response is high and risk tolerance (willingness to accept risk of overshooting the temperature target) is low."
"Partisan polarization in both congress and the public and changes in the Republican Party will likely preclude an environmental backlash similar to that experienced by Reagan. Instead, environmental advocacy groups and the courts will function as the primary bulwarks against environmental policy retrenchment. Despite their efforts, the Trump Administration is likely to have significant impacts on environmental policy through executive action."
"The results suggest that, given the uncertainties in climate sensitivity, “net zero emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the second half of this century” is a more actionable goal for society than the 2 or 1.5 °C temperature goals themselves. If the climate sensitivity is proven to be relatively high and the temperature goals are not met even when the net zero emission goal is achieved, the options left are: (A) accepting/adapting to a warmer world, (B) boosting mitigation, and (C) climate geoengineering, or any combination of these."
Temperature and Precipitation
Climate Forcings and Feedbacks
"An emerging literature suggests that estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) derived from recent observations and energy balance models are biased low because models project more positive climate feedbacks in the far future. Here, we use simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to show that across models, ECS inferred from the recent historical period (1979-2005) is indeed almost uniformly lower than that inferred from simulations subject to abrupt increases in CO2 radiative forcing. However, ECS inferred from simulations in which sea surface temperatures are prescribed according to observations is lower still. ECS inferred from simulations with prescribed sea surface temperatures is strongly linked to changes to tropical marine low clouds. However, feedbacks from these clouds are a weak constraint on long-term model ECS. One interpretation is that observations of recent climate changes constitute a poor direct proxy for long term sensitivity."
"Here we find that TCR explains more variability across CMIP5 than ECS for global temperature change since pre-industrial, for 50- or 100-year global trends up to the present, and for projected change under representative concentration pathways in regions of delayed warming such as the Southern Ocean. However, unexpectedly we find that ECS correlates higher than TCR for projected change from the present in the global mean and in most regions. This higher correlation doesn’t relate to aerosol forcing, and the physical cause requires further investigation."
Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation
"The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is responsible for a variable and climatically important northward transport of heat. Using data from an array of instruments that span the Atlantic at 26°N, we show that the AMOC has been in a state of reduced overturning since 2008 as compared to 2004-2008. This change of AMOC state is concurrent with other changes in the North Atlantic such as a northward shift and broadening of the Gulf Stream, and altered patterns of heat content and sea-surface temperature. These changes resemble the response to a declining AMOC predicted by coupled climate models. Concurrent changes in air-sea fluxes close to the western boundary reveal that the changes in ocean heat transport and SST have altered the pattern of ocean-atmosphere heat exchange over the North Atlantic. These results provide strong observational evidence that the AMOC is a major factor in decadal scale variability of North Atlantic climate."
"Consistent with the findings of Antico and Torres, we find a positive correlation between sunspots and the decadal δ18OTR cycle from 1903 to 2012 (r=0.60, p<0.001). However, the relationship does not persist into the preceding century, and even becomes weakly negative (r=–0.30, p=0.11, 1799–1902). This result casts considerable doubt over the mechanism by which sunspots are purported to influence Amazon hydrology."
"We find that the total amount of crater wall degradation in the Late Noachian is very small in comparison to the circumpolar regions in the Late Amazonian, an observation that we interpret to mean that the Late Noachian climate was not characterized by persistent and continuous warm and wet conditions. A confirmed elevational zonality in degradation in the Early Hesperian is interpreted to mean that the atmosphere was denser than today."
via Skeptical Science http://ift.tt/qyNqmM