205 research outputs found

    Variability and trend of the north west Australia rainfall: observations and coupled climate modeling

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    Since 1950, there has been an increase in rainfall over North West Australia (NWA), occurring mainly during the Southern Hemisphere (SH) summer season. A recent study using 20th century multi-member ensemble simulations in a global climate model forced with and without increasing anthropogenic aerosols suggests that the rainfall increase is attributable to increasing Northern Hemisphere aerosols. The present study investigates the dynamics of the observed trend toward increased rainfall and compares the observed trend with that generated in the model forced with increasing aerosols. We find that the observed positive trend in rainfall is projected onto two modes of variability. The first mode is associated with an anomalously low mean sea level pressure (MSLP) off NWA instigated by the enhanced sea surface temperature (SST) gradients towards the coast. The associated cyclonic flows bring high moisture air to northern Australia, leading to an increase in rainfall. The second mode is associated with an anomalously high MSLP over much of the Australian continent; the anticyclonic circulation pattern with northwesterly flows west of 130°E and generally opposite flows in northeastern Australia, determine that when rainfall is anomalously high, west of 130oE, rainfall is anomalously low east of this longitude. The sum of the upward trends in these two modes compares well to the observed increasing trend pattern. The modeled rainfall trend, however, is generated by a different process. The model suffers from an equatorial cold-tongue bias: the tongue of anomalies associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation extends too far west into the eastern Indian Ocean. Consequently, there is an unrealistic relationship in the SH summer between Australian rainfall and eastern Indian Ocean SST: the rise in SST is associated with an increasing rainfall over NWA. In the presence of increasing aerosols, a significant SST increase occurs in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. As a result, the modeled rainfall increase in the presence of aerosol forcing is accounted for by these unrealistic relationships. It is not clear whether, in a model without such defects, the observed trend can be generated by increasing aerosols. Thus, the impact of aerosols on Australian rainfall remains an open question

    Influence of internal climate variability on Indian Ocean Dipole properties

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    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is the dominant mode of interannual variability over the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) and its future changes are projected to impact the climate and weather of Australia, East Africa, and Indonesia. Understanding the response of the IOD to a warmer climate has been largely limited to studies of individual coupled general circulation models or multi-model ensembles. This has provided valuable insight into the IOD’s projected response to increasing greenhouse gases but has limitations in accounting for the role of internal climate variability. Using the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE), the IOD is examined in thirty-five present-day and future simulations to determine how internal variability influences properties of the IOD and their response to a warmer climate. Despite small perturbations in the initial conditions as the only difference between ensemble members, significant relationships between the mean state of the IO and the IOD arise, leading to a spread in the projected IOD responses to increasing greenhouse gases. This is driven by the positive Bjerknes feedback, where small differences in mean thermocline depth, which are caused by internal climate variability, generate significant variations in IOD amplitude, skewness, and the climatological zonal sea surface temperature gradient

    Extreme swings of the South Pacific Convergence Zone and the different types of El Niño events

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    There have been three extreme equatorward swings of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) during the satellite era. These zonal SPCZ (zSPCZ) events coincided with an El Niño of different magnitude and spatial pattern, in which strong anomalous warming reduced the off-equatorial-to-equatorial meridional sea surface temperature (SST) gradient near the dateline, enabling convection to shift equatorward. It is not known, given the short observational record, how and whether different types of El Niño are associated with zSPCZ events. Using perturbed physics ensembles experiments in which SST biases are reduced, we find that zSPCZ events are concurrent with notable eastern Pacific (EP) warming. Central Pacific warming alone is rarely able to produce a swing, even as the climate warms under a CO2 increase scenario. Only El Niño events with strong EP warming can shift the convective zone. Such co-occurring events are found to increase in frequency under greenhouse warming. Key Points Extreme swings of the SPCZ occur with El Niño eastern Pacific warming Extreme El Niño is not required to induce an extreme swing of the SPCZ Extreme swings occur more often with EP-type El Niño under greenhouse warming ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.Australian Climate Change Science ProgrammeARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System ScienceNatural Environment Research Council (NERC

    Human-caused Indo-Pacific warm pool expansion

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    The Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) has warmed and grown substantially during the past century. The IPWP is Earth's largest region of warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs), has the highest rainfall, and is fundamental to global atmospheric circulation and hydrological cycle. The region has also experienced the world's highest rates of sea-level rise in recent decades, indicating large increases in ocean heat content and leading to substantial impacts on small island states in the region. Previous studies have considered mechanisms for the basin-scale ocean warming, but not the causes of the observed IPWP expansion, where expansion in the Indian Ocean has far exceeded that in the Pacific Ocean. We identify human and natural contributions to the observed IPWP changes since the 1950s by comparing observations with climate model simulations using an optimal fingerprinting technique. Greenhouse gas forcing is found to be the dominant cause of the observed increases in IPWP intensity and size, whereas natural fluctuations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation have played a smaller yet significant role. Further, we show that the shape and impact of human-induced IPWP growth could be asymmetric between the Indian and Pacific basins, the causes of which remain uncertain. Human-induced changes in the IPWP have important implications for understanding and projecting related changes in monsoonal rainfall, and frequency or intensity of tropical storms, which have profound socioeconomic consequences.116Yscopu

    ENSO in a changing climate

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    The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is a naturally occurring climate fluctuation, which originates in the tropical Pacific region and affects ecosystems, agriculture, freshwater supplies, hurricanes and other severe weather events worldwide (Goddard and Dilley 2005; McPhaden et al. 2006). Despite considerable progress in our understanding of the impact of climate change on many of the processes that contribute to ENSO variability (e.g., Collins et al. 2010), it is not yet possible to say whether ENSO activity will be enhanced or damped, or if the frequency or character of events will change in the coming decades (Vecchi and Wittenberg 2010). As changes in ENSO have the potential to be one of the largest manifestations of anthropogenic climate change, this status has profound impacts on the reliability of regional attribution of climate variability and change. Two main reasons can be invoked for these shortcomings. First there is a lack of long and comprehensive enough observations of the various ENSO processes to be able to detect past changes. It may be that we need to observe ENSO for another several decades to detect and attribute significant ENSO changes (Wittenberg 2009; Stevenson et al. 2012). Second, as ENSO involves a complex interplay of numerous ocean and atmospheric processes, accurately modeling this climate phenomenon with CGCMs, an

    Rainfall variations in central Indo-Pacific over the past 2,700 y

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    Tropical rainfall variability is closely linked to meridional shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and zonal movements of the Walker circulation. The characteristics and mechanisms of tropical rainfall variations on centennial to decadal scales are, however, still unclear. Here, we reconstruct a replicated stalagmite-based 2,700-y-long, continuous record of rainfall for the deeply convective northern central Indo-Pacific (NCIP) region. Our record reveals decreasing rainfall in the NCIP over the past 2,700 y, similar to other records from the northern tropics. Notable centennial- to decadal-scale dry climate episodes occurred in both the NCIP and the southern central Indo-Pacific (SCIP) during the 20th century [Current Warm Period (CWP)] and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), resembling enhanced El Niño-like conditions. Further, we developed a 2,000-y-long ITCZ shift index record that supports an overall southward ITCZ shift in the central Indo-Pacific and indicates southward mean ITCZ positions during the early MWP and the CWP. As a result, the drying trend since the 20th century in the northern tropics is similar to that observed during the past warm period, suggesting that a possible anthropogenic forcing of rainfall remains indistinguishable from natural variability

    Threat by marine heatwaves to adaptive large marine ecosystems in an eddy-resolving model.

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    Marine heatwaves (MHWs), episodic periods of abnormally high sea surface temperature (SST), severely affect marine ecosystems. Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) cover ~22% of the global ocean but account for 95% of global fisheries catches. Yet how climate change affects MHWs over LMEs remains unknown, because such LMEs are confined to the coast where low-resolution climate models are known to have biases. Here, using a high-resolution Earth system model and applying a "future threshold" that considers MHWs as anomalous warming above the long-term mean warming of SSTs, we find that future intensity and annual days of MHWs over majority of the LMEs remain higher than in the present-day climate. Better resolution of ocean mesoscale eddies enables simulation of more realistic MHWs than low-resolution models. These increases in MHWs under global warming poses a serious threat to LMEs, even if resident organisms could adapt fully to the long-term mean warming

    Adsorption, kinetics, and thermodynamic studies of cacao husk extracts in waterless sustainable dyeing of cotton fabric

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    Natural dyes exhibit a low dye uptake when cellulosic fiber dyeing is carried out using a conventional water bath dyeing process. In this research, cotton fabric was exhaust dyed in a microemulsion dyebath containing cacao husk extracts dye and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) to achieve higher dye exhaustion percentage on cotton fiber, which is an environmentally beneficial dyeing process. The adsorption behavior of cacao husk extract dye in a D5 microemulsion system was investigated under conditions of varied dye mass (1–8% o.w.f), dyeing time (5–500 min), and dyeing temperatures (333–373 K). Kinetic modelling of cacao husk extracts dye/D5 adsorption on cotton fiber was studied by fitting experimental data to pseudo first-order and pseudo second-order kinetics, and the intraparticle diffusion model. Early results indicated that the kinetic model of adsorption of cacao husk extracts dye on cotton fiber followed the pseudo second-order model. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin–Radushkevich adsorption isotherm models were employed to analyze the adsorption isotherms, and the results showed that the adsorption process fit well with the Langmuir model compared to the Freundlich isotherm. The mean adsorption energy from the Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherm model implied that adsorption of the cacao husk extracts onto cotton was accompanied with a physical process. The values of standard enthalpy (ΔH° > 0), standard entropy (ΔS° > 0), and Gibbs free energy (ΔG° < 0) strongly reflected that the adsorption of the cacao husk extracts onto cotton was thermodynamically favourable and feasible. Thus, waterless dyeing of cotton fabric using a natural dye/D5 system explores a sustainable dyeing technology with higher dye exhaustion percentage

    Global Meteorological Drought: A Synthesis of Current Understanding with a Focus on SST Drivers of Precipitation Deficits

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    Drought affects virtually every region of the world, and potential shifts in its character in a changing climate are a major concern. This article presents a synthesis of current understanding of meteorological drought, with a focus on the large-scale controls on precipitation afforded by sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, land surface feedbacks, and radiative forcings. The synthesis is primarily based on regionally focused articles submitted to the Global Drought Information System (GDIS) collection together with new results from a suite of atmospheric general circulation model experiments intended to integrate those studies into a coherent view of drought worldwide. On interannual time scales, the preeminence of ENSO as a driver of meteorological drought throughout much of the Americas, eastern Asia, Australia, and theMaritime Continent is now well established, whereas in other regions (e.g., Europe, Africa, and India), the response to ENSO is more ephemeral or nonexistent. Northern Eurasia, central Europe, and central and eastern Canada stand out as regions with few SST-forcedimpacts on precipitation oninterannual time scales.Decadal changesin SST appear to be a major factor in the occurrence of long-term drought, as highlighted by apparent impacts on precipitation of the late 1990s ‘‘climate shifts’’ in the Pacific and Atlantic SST. Key remaining research challenges include (i) better quantification of unforced and forced atmospheric variability as well as land–atmosphere feedbacks, (ii) better understanding of the physical basis for the leading modes of climate variability and their predictability, and (iii) quantification of the relative contributions of internal decadal SST variability and forced climate change to long-term drought