416,194 research outputs found

    Changes in temperature and precipitation extremes in the IPCC ensemble of global coupled model simulations

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    Temperature and precipitation extremes and their potential future changes are evaluated in an ensemble of global coupled climate models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) diagnostic exercise for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Climate extremes are expressed in terms of 20-yr return values of annual extremes of near-surface temperature and 24-h precipitation amounts. The simulated changes in extremes are documented for years 2046–65 and 2081–2100 relative to 1981–2000 in experiments with the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) B1, A1B, and A2 emission scenarios. Overall, the climate models simulate present-day warm extremes reasonably well on the global scale, as compared to estimates from reanalyses. The model discrepancies in simulating cold extremes are generally larger than those for warm extremes, especially in sea ice–covered areas. Simulated present-day precipita-tion extremes are plausible in the extratropics, but uncertainties in extreme precipitation in the Tropics are very large, both in the models and the available observationally based datasets. Changes in warm extremes generally follow changes in the mean summertime temperature. Cold ex-tremes warm faster than warm extremes by about 30%–40%, globally averaged. The excessive warming of cold extremes is generally confined to regions where snow and sea ice retreat with global warming. With th

    Thermodynamic analysis of snowball Earth hysteresis experiment: Efficiency, entropy production and irreversibility

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    We present an extensive thermodynamic analysis of a hysteresis experiment performed on a simplified yet Earth-like climate model. We slowly vary the solar constant by 20% around the present value and detect that for a large range of values of the solar constant the realization of snowball or of regular climate conditions depends on the history of the system. Using recent results on the global climate thermodynamics, we show that the two regimes feature radically different properties. The efficiency of the climate machine monotonically increases with decreasing solar constant in present climate conditions, whereas the opposite takes place in snowball conditions. Instead, entropy production is monotonically increasing with the solar constant in both branches of climate conditions, and its value is about four times larger in the warm branch than in the corresponding cold state. Finally, the degree of irreversibility of the system, measured as the fraction of excess entropy production due to irreversible heat transport processes, is much higher in the warm climate conditions, with an explosive growth in the upper range of the considered values of solar constants. Whereas in the cold climate regime a dominating role is played by changes in the meridional albedo contrast, in the warm climate regime changes in the intensity of latent heat fluxes are crucial for determining the observed properties. This substantiates the importance of addressing correctly the variations of the hydrological cycle in a changing climate. An interpretation of the climate transitions at the tipping points based upon macro-scale thermodynamic properties is also proposed. Our results support the adoption of a new generation of diagnostic tools based on the second law of thermodynamics for auditing climate models and outline a set of parametrizations to be used in conceptual and intermediate-complexity models or for the reconstruction of the past climate conditions. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Societ

    The reconstructed Indonesian warm pool sea surface temperatures from tree rings and corals: Linkages to Asian monsoon drought and El Niño–Southern Oscillation

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    [ 1] The west Pacific warm pool is the heat engine for the globe's climate system. Its vast moisture and heat exchange profoundly impact conditions in the tropics and higher latitudes. Here, September - November sea surface temperature (SST) variability is reconstructed for the warm pool region (15 degrees S - 5 degrees N, 110 - 160 degrees E) surrounding Indonesia using annually resolved teak ring width and coral delta O-18 records. The reconstruction dates from A. D. 1782 - 1992 and accounts for 52% of the SST variance over the most replicated period. Significant correlations are found with El Nino - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and monsoon indices at interannual to decadal frequency bands. Negative reconstructed SST anomalies coincide with major volcanic eruptions, while other noteworthy extremes are at times synchronous with Indian and Indonesian monsoon drought, particularly during major warm ENSO episodes. While the reconstruction adds to the sparse network of proxy reconstructions available for the tropical Indo-Pacific, additional proxies are needed to clarify how warm pool dynamics have interacted with global climate in past centuries to millennia.</p

    Decadal-centennial scale monsoon variations in the Arabian Sea during the Early Holocene

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    An essential prerequisite for the prediction of future climate change due to anthropogenic input is an understanding of the natural processes that control Earth's climate on timescales comparable to human-lifespan. The Early Holocene period was chosen to study the natural climate variability in a warm interval when solar insolation was at its maximum. The monsoonal system of the Tropics is highly sensitive to seasonal variations in solar insolation, and consequently marine sediments from the region are a potential monitor of past climate change. Here we show that during the Early Holocene period rapid
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