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1:04:10 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Graphene based Electronics and Optoelectronics

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:18:31 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Electronic Properties of Bilayer Graphene, from High to Low Energies

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:18:00 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Raman Spectra of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
54:08 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Recent Progress in Graphene Synthesis and Applications

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
1:01:25 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2011

Graphene Update

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:38 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

The asymmetric response of Yangtze river basin summer rainfall to El Niño/La Niña

The Yangtze river basin, in South East China, experiences anomalously high precipitation in summers following El Niño. This can lead to extensive flooding and loss of life. However, the response following La Niña has not been well documented. In this study, the response of Yangtze summer rainfall to El Niño/La Niña is found to be asymmetric, with no significant response following La Niña. The nature of this asymmetric response is found to be in good agreement with that simulated by the Met Office seasonal forecast system. Yangtze summer rainfall correlates positively with spring sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean and northwest Pacific. Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures are found to respond linearly to El Niño/La Niña, and to have a linear impact on Yangtze summer rainfall. However, northwest Pacific sea surface temperatures respond much more strongly following El Niño and, further, correlate more strongly with positive rainfall years. It is concluded that, whilst delayed Indian Ocean signals may influence summer Yangtze rainfall, it is likely that they do not lead to the asymmetric nature of the rainfall response to El Niño/La Niña.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:38 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Alleviating inequality in climate policy costs: an integrated perspective on mitigation, damage and adaptation

Equity considerations play an important role in international climate negotiations. While policy analysis has often focused on equity as it relates to mitigation costs, there are large regional differences in adaptation costs and the level of residual damage. This paper illustrates the relevance of including adaptation and residual damage in equity considerations by determining how the allocation of emission allowances would change to counteract regional differences in total climate costs, defined as the costs of mitigation, adaptation, and residual damage. We compare emission levels resulting from a global carbon tax with two allocations of emission allowances under a global cap-and-trade system: one equating mitigation costs and one equating total climate costs as share of GDP. To account for uncertainties in both mitigation and adaptation, we use a model-comparison approach employing two alternative modeling frameworks with different damage, adaptation cost, and mitigation cost estimates, and look at two different climate goals. Despite the identified model uncertainties, we derive unambiguous results on the change in emission allowance allocation that could lessen the unequal distribution of adaptation costs and residual damages through the financial transfers associated with emission trading.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:00 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

A shorter snowfall season associated with higher air temperatures over northern Eurasia

The temperature sensitivity of the snowfall season (start, end, duration) over northern Eurasia (the former USSR) is analyzed from synoptic records of 547 stations from 1966 to 2000. The results find significant correlations between temperature and snowfall season at approximately 56% of stations (61% for the starting date and 56% for the ending date) with a mean snowfall season duration temperature sensitivity of −6.2 days °C−1 split over the start (2.8 days) and end periods (−3.4 days). Temperature sensitivity was observed to increase with stations' mean seasonal air temperature, with the strongest relationships at locations of around 6 °C temperature. This implies that increasing air temperature in fall and spring will delay the onset and hasten the end of snowfall events, and reduces the snowfall season length by 6.2 days for each degree of increase. This study also clarifies that the increasing trend in snowfall season length during 1936/37–1994 over northern European Russia and central Siberia revealed in an earlier study is unlikely to be associated with warming in spring and fall seasons.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:58 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Trends in stream nitrogen concentrations for forested reference catchments across the USA

To examine whether stream nitrogen concentrations in forested reference catchments have changed over time and if patterns were consistent across the USA, we synthesized up to 44 yr of data collected from 22 catchments at seven USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests. Trends in stream nitrogen presented high spatial variability both among catchments at a site and among sites across the USA. We found both increasing and decreasing trends in monthly flow-weighted stream nitrate and ammonium concentrations. At a subset of the catchments, we found that the length and period of analysis influenced whether trends were positive, negative or non-significant. Trends also differed among neighboring catchments within several Experimental Forests, suggesting the importance of catchment-specific factors in determining nutrient exports. Over the longest time periods, trends were more consistent among catchments within sites, although there are fewer long-term records for analysis. These findings highlight the critical value of long-term, uninterrupted stream chemistry monitoring at a network of sites across the USA to elucidate patterns of change in nutrient concentrations at minimally disturbed forested sites.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:21 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Potential increasing dominance of heterotrophy in the global ocean

Autotrophy is largely resource-limited in the modern ocean. Paleo evidence indicates this was not necessarily the case in warmer climates, and modern observations as well as standard metabolic theory suggest continued ocean warming could shift global ecology towards heterotrophy, thereby reducing autotrophic nutrient limitation. Such a shift would entail strong nutrient recycling in the upper ocean and high rates of net primary production (NPP), yet low carbon export to the deep ocean and sediments. We demonstrate transition towards such a state in the early 22nd century as a response to business-as-usual representative concentration pathway forcing (RCP8.5) in an intermediate complexity Earth system model in three configurations; with and without an explicit calcifier phytoplankton class and calcite ballast model. In all models nutrient regeneration in the near-surface becomes an increasingly important driver of primary production. The near-linear relationship between changes in NPP and global sea surface temperature (SST) found over the 21st century becomes exponential above a 2–4 global mean SST change. This transition to a more heterotrophic ocean agrees roughly with metabolic theory.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:59 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Explicit feedback and the management of uncertainty in meeting climate objectives with solar geoengineering

Solar geoengineering has been proposed as a method of meeting climate objectives, such as reduced globally averaged surface temperatures. However, because of incomplete understanding of the effects of geoengineering on the climate system, its implementation would be in the presence of substantial uncertainties. In our study, we use two fully coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models: one in which the geoengineering strategy is designed, and one in which geoengineering is implemented (a real-world proxy). We show that regularly adjusting the amount of solar geoengineering in response to departures of the observed global mean climate state from the predetermined objective (sequential decision making; an explicit feedback approach) can manage uncertainties and result in achievement of the climate objective in both the design model and the real-world proxy. This approach results in substantially less error in meeting global climate objectives than using a predetermined time series of how much geoengineering to use, especially if the estimated sensitivity to geoengineering is inaccurate.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

Human impacts on terrestrial hydrology: climate change versus pumping and irrigation

Global climate change is altering terrestrial water and energy budgets, with subsequent impacts on surface and groundwater resources; recent studies have shown that local water management practices such as groundwater pumping and irrigation similarly alter terrestrial water and energy budgets over many agricultural regions, with potential feedbacks on weather and climate. Here we use a fully-integrated hydrologic model to directly compare effects of climate change and water management on terrestrial water and energy budgets of a representative agricultural watershed in the semi-arid Southern Great Plains, USA. At local scales, we find that the impacts of pumping and irrigation on latent heat flux, potential recharge and water table depth are similar in magnitude to the impacts of changing temperature and precipitation; however, the spatial distributions of climate and management impacts are substantially different. At the basin scale, the impacts on stream discharge and groundwater storage are remarkably similar. Notably, for the watershed and scenarios studied here, the changes in groundwater storage and stream discharge in response to a 2.5 °C temperature increase are nearly equivalent to those from groundwater-fed irrigation. Our results imply that many semi-arid basins worldwide that practice groundwater pumping and irrigation may already be experiencing similar impacts on surface water and groundwater resources to a warming climate. These results demonstrate that accurate assessment of climate change impacts and development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies must account for local water management practices.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:42 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Regional climate change and national responsibilities

Global warming over the past several decades is now large enough that regional climate change is emerging above the noise of natural variability, especially in the summer at middle latitudes and year-round at low latitudes. Despite the small magnitude of warming relative to weather fluctuations, effects of the warming already have notable social and economic impacts. Global warming of 2 °C relative to preindustrial would shift the 'bell curve' defining temperature anomalies a factor of three larger than observed changes since the middle of the 20th century, with highly deleterious consequences. There is striking incongruity between the global distribution of nations principally responsible for fossil fuel CO2 emissions, known to be the main cause of climate change, and the regions suffering the greatest consequences from the warming, a fact with substantial implications for global energy and climate policies.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:20 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Limiting climate change: what's most worth doing?

Wynes and Nicholas (2017 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 074024) claim that some of the most important actions individuals can take to mitigate climate change have been overlooked, particularly in educational messages for adolescents, and estimate the potential impact of some of these, including having fewer children and living car free. These estimates raise questions that deserve serious analysis, but they are based only on the technical potential of the actions and do not consider the plasticity of the behaviors and the feasibility of policies to support them. The actions identified as having the greatest potential are lifestyle changes that accrue benefits over a lifetime or longer, so are not realistic alternatives to actions that can be enacted immediately. But presenting lifestyle choices and the relative impacts of different actions as discussion starters for adolescents could be promising, especially if the discussions highlight issues of behavioral plasticity, policy plasticity, and time scale. Research has identified design principles for interventions to achieve the strongest emissions reductions at time scales up to the decadal. Design principles for achieving longer-lasting changes deserve careful analytic attention, as well as a stronger focus in adolescent textbooks and messages to the general population. Both adolescents and researchers would do well to think carefully about what could promote the generational changes needed to reach a climate change target such as 'well below 2 °C'.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:15 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Global pressures, specific responses: effects of nutrient enrichment in streams from different biomes

We assessed the effects of nutrient enrichment on three stream ecosystems running through distinct biomes (Mediterranean, Pampean and Andean). We increased the concentrations of N and P in the stream water 1.6–4-fold following a before–after control–impact paired series (BACIPS) design in each stream, and evaluated changes in the biomass of bacteria, primary producers, invertebrates and fish in the enriched (E) versus control (C) reaches after nutrient addition through a predictive-BACIPS approach. The treatment produced variable biomass responses (2–77% of explained variance) among biological communities and streams. The greatest biomass response was observed for algae in the Andean stream (77% of the variance), although fish also showed important biomass responses (about 9–48%). The strongest biomass response to enrichment (77% in all biological compartments) was found in the Andean stream. The magnitude and seasonality of biomass responses to enrichment were highly site specific, often depending on the basal nutrient concentration and on windows of ecological opportunity (periods when environmental constraints other than nutrients do not limit biomass growth). The Pampean stream, with high basal nutrient concentrations, showed a weak response to enrichment (except for invertebrates), whereas the greater responses of Andean stream communities were presumably favored by wider windows of ecological opportunity in comparison to those from the Mediterranean stream. Despite variation among sites, enrichment globally stimulated the algal-based food webs (algae and invertebrate grazers) but not the detritus-based food webs (bacteria and invertebrate shredders). This study shows that nutrient enrichment tends to globally enhance the biomass of stream biological assemblages, but that its magnitude and extent within the food web are complex and are strongly determined by environmental factors and ecosystem structure.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:33 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Global warming induced hybrid rainy seasons in the Sahel

The small rainfall recovery observed over the Sahel, concomitant with a regional climate warming, conceals some drought features that exacerbate food security. The new rainfall features include false start and early cessation of rainy seasons, increased frequency of intense daily rainfall, increasing number of hot nights and warm days and a decreasing trend in diurnal temperature range. Here, we explain these mixed dry/wet seasonal rainfall features which are called hybrid rainy seasons by delving into observed data consensus on the reduction in rainfall amount, its spatial coverage, timing and erratic distribution of events, and other atmospheric variables crucial in agro-climatic monitoring and seasonal forecasting. Further composite investigations of seasonal droughts, oceans warming and the regional atmospheric circulation nexus reveal that the low-to-mid-level atmospheric winds pattern, often stationary relative to either strong or neutral El-Niño-Southern-Oscillations  drought patterns, associates to basin warmings in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea to trigger hybrid rainy seasons in the Sahel. More challenging to rain-fed farming systems, our results suggest that these new rainfall conditions will most likely be sustained by global warming, reshaping thereby our understanding of food insecurity in this region.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:26 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

The impact of synoptic weather on UK surface ozone and implications for premature mortality

Air pollutants, such as ozone, have adverse impacts on human health and cause, for example, respiratory and cardiovascular problems. In the United Kingdom (UK), peak surface ozone concentrations typically occur in the spring and summer and are controlled by emission of precursor gases, tropospheric chemistry and local meteorology which can be influenced by large-scale synoptic weather regimes. In this study we composite surface and satellite observations of summer-time (April to September) ozone under different UK atmospheric circulation patterns, as defined by the Lamb weather types. Anticyclonic conditions and easterly flows are shown to significantly enhance ozone concentrations over the UK relative to summer-time average values. Anticyclonic stability and light winds aid the trapping of ozone and its precursor gases near the surface. Easterly flows (NE, E, SE) transport ozone and precursor gases from polluted regions in continental Europe (e.g. the Benelux region) to the UK. Cyclonic conditions and westerly flows, associated with unstable weather, transport ozone from the UK mainland, replacing it with clean maritime (North Atlantic) air masses. Increased cloud cover also likely decrease ozone production rates. We show that the UK Met Office regional air quality model successfully reproduces UK summer-time ozone concentrations and ozone enhancements under anticyclonic and south-easterly conditions for the summer of 2006. By using established ozone exposure-health burden metrics, anticyclonic and easterly condition enhanced surface ozone concentrations pose the greatest public health risk.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
01:23 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Transatlantic flight times and climate change

Aircraft do not fly through a vacuum, but through an atmosphere whose meteorological characteristics are changing because of global warming. The impacts of aviation on climate change have long been recognised, but the impacts of climate change on aviation have only recently begun to emerge. These impacts include intensified turbulence and increased take-off weight restrictions. Here we investigate the influence of climate change on flight routes and journey times. We feed synthetic atmospheric wind fields generated from climate model simulations into a routing algorithm of the type used operationally by flight planners. We focus on transatlantic flights between London and New York, and how they change when the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is doubled. We find that a strengthening of the prevailing jet-stream winds causes eastbound flights to significantly shorten and westbound flights to significantly lengthen in all seasons. Eastbound and westbound crossings in winter become approximately twice as likely to take under 5 h 20 min and over 7 h 00 min, respectively. For reasons that are explained using a conceptual model, the eastbound shortening and westbound lengthening do not cancel out, causing round-trip journey times to increase. Even assuming no future growth in aviation, the extrapolation of our results to all transatlantic traffic suggests that aircraft will collectively be airborne for an extra 2000 h each year, burning an extra 7.2 million gallons of jet fuel at a cost of US 22 million, and emitting an extra 70 million kg of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 7100 average British homes. Our results provide further evidence of the two-way interaction between aviation and climate change.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:52 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Biomass burning, land-cover change, and the hydrological cycle in Northern sub-Saharan Africa

The Northern Sub-Saharan African (NSSA) region, which accounts for 20%–25% of the global carbon emissions from biomass burning, also suffers from frequent drought episodes and other disruptions to the hydrological cycle whose adverse societal impacts have been widely reported during the last several decades. This paper presents a conceptual framework of the NSSA regional climate system components that may be linked to biomass burning, as well as detailed analyses of a variety of satellite data for 2001–2014 in conjunction with relevant model-assimilated variables. Satellite fire detections in NSSA show that the vast majority (>75%) occurs in the savanna and woody savanna land-cover types. Starting in the 2006–2007 burning season through the end of the analyzed data in 2014, peak burning activity showed a net decrease of 2–7%/yr in different parts of NSSA, especially in the savanna regions. However, fire distribution shows appreciable coincidence with land-cover change. Although there is variable mutual exchange of different land cover types, during 2003–2013, cropland increased at an estimated rate of 0.28%/yr of the total NSSA land area, with most of it (0.18%/yr) coming from savanna. During the last decade, conversion to croplands increased in some areas classified as forests and wetlands, posing a threat to these vital and vulnerable ecosystems. Seasonal peak burning is anti-correlated with annual water-cycle indicators such as precipitation, soil moisture, vegetation greenness, and evapotranspiration, except in humid West Africa (5°–10° latitude), where this anti-correlation occurs exclusively in the dry season and burning virtually stops when monthly mean precipitation reaches 4 mm d−1. These results provide observational evidence of changes in land-cover and hydrological variables that are consistent with feedbacks from biomass burning in NSSA, and encourage more synergistic modeling and observational studies that can elaborate this feedback mechanism.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:57 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

How does the SST variability over the western North Atlantic Ocean control Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas?

Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas and its impacts on the mid-latitude circulations have been widely discussed. However, the specific mechanism that brings the warming still remains unclear. In this study, a possible cause of the regional Arctic warming over the Barents–Kara Seas during early winter (October–December) is suggested. We found that warmer sea surface temperature anomalies over the western North Atlantic Ocean (WNAO) modulate the transient eddies overlying the oceanic frontal region. The altered transient eddy vorticity flux acts as a source for the Rossby wave straddling the western North Atlantic and the Barents–Kara Seas (Scandinavian pattern), and induces a significant warm advection, increasing surface and lower-level temperature over the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean. The importance of the sea surface temperature anomalies over the WNAO and subsequent transient eddy forcing over the WNAO was also supported by both specially designed simple model experiments and general circulation model experiments.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:24 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

Origin, dynamics and evolution of ocean garbage patches from observed surface drifters

Much of the debris in the near-surface ocean collects in so-called garbage patches where, due to convergence of the surface flow, the debris is trapped for decades to millennia. Until now, studies modelling the pathways of surface marine debris have not included release from coasts or factored in the possibilities that release concentrations vary with region or that pathways may include seasonal cycles. Here, we use observational data from the Global Drifter Program in a particle-trajectory tracer approach that includes the seasonal cycle to study the fate of marine debris in the open ocean from coastal regions around the world on interannual to centennial timescales. We find that six major garbage patches emerge, one in each of the five subtropical basins and one previously unreported patch in the Barents Sea. The evolution of each of the six patches is markedly different. With the exception of the North Pacific, all patches are much more dispersive than expected from linear ocean circulation theory, suggesting that on centennial timescales the different basins are much better connected than previously thought and that inter-ocean exchanges play a large role in the spreading of marine debris. This study suggests that, over multi-millennial timescales, a significant amount of the debris released outside of the North Atlantic will eventually end up in the North Pacific patch, the main attractor of global marine debris.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:01 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Regional carbon fluxes from land use and land cover change in Asia, 1980–2009

We present a synthesis of the land-atmosphere carbon flux from land use and land cover change (LULCC) in Asia using multiple data sources and paying particular attention to deforestation and forest regrowth fluxes. The data sources are quasi-independent and include the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization-Forest Resource Assessment (FAO-FRA 2015; country-level inventory estimates), the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.3), the 'Houghton' bookkeeping model that incorporates FAO-FRA data, an ensemble of 8 state-of-the-art Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVM), and 2 recently published independent studies using primarily remote sensing techniques. The estimates are aggregated spatially to Southeast, East, and South Asia and temporally for three decades, 1980–1989, 1990–1999 and 2000–2009. Since 1980, net carbon emissions from LULCC in Asia were responsible for 20%–40% of global LULCC emissions, with emissions from Southeast Asia alone accounting for 15%–25% of global LULCC emissions during the same period. In the 2000s and for all Asia, three estimates (FAO-FRA, DGVM, Houghton) were in agreement of a net source of carbon to the atmosphere, with mean estimates ranging between 0.24 to 0.41 Pg C yr−1, whereas EDGARv4.3 suggested a net carbon sink of −0.17 Pg C yr−1. Three of 4 estimates suggest that LULCC carbon emissions declined by at least 34% in the preceding decade (1990–2000). Spread in the estimates is due to the inclusion of different flux components and their treatments, showing the importance to include emissions from carbon rich peatlands and land management, such as shifting cultivation and wood harvesting, which appear to be consistently underreported.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:41 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2017

Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?

Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures.
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:01 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Potential influence of the late Holocene climate on settled farming versus nomadic cattle herding in the Minusinsk Hollow, south-central Siberia

Prehistoric and early historic human cultures are known to be closely connected to and dependent on their natural environments. We test the hypothesis that climate change influenced the means of subsistence of ancient tribes and favored agricultural or cattle herding economic strategies. Our study area is the Khakass–Minusinsk Hollow, located in the foothills of the Sayan Mountains, south-central Siberia, which was, for a few millennia, a buffer zone for human migrations across the Great Eurasian Steppe. Three different methods (the Montane BioClimatic Model, MontBCliM; the biomization method; and the actualizm method) are employed to reconstruct vegetation taken from the fossil pollen of sediment cores in two mountain lakes at eleven time slices related to successive human cultures back to the mid-Holocene. MontBCliM model is used inversely to convert site paleo-vegetation into site paleo-climates. Climate-based regression models are developed and applied to reconstructed climates to evaluate possible pasture and grain crops for these time slices. Pollen-based reconstructions of the climate fluctuations uncovered several dry periods with steppe and forest-steppe and wetter periods with forests since 6000 BP. Grasslands increased by an order of magnitude during the dry periods and provided extensive open space suitable for pastoralism; however, both grain and pasture yields decreased during these dry periods. During wetter climates, both grain and pasture yields increased twofold and supported more fixed human settlements centered around farming and cattle herding. Thus, the dry periods favored pastoralist rather than farming activities. Conversely, tribes that practiced agriculture had some advantage in the wet periods.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:04 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Modeling relationships between water table depth and peat soil carbon loss in Southeast Asian plantations

Plantation-associated drainage of Southeast Asian peatlands has accelerated in recent years. Draining exposes the upper peat layer to oxygen, leading to elevated decomposition rates and net soil carbon losses. Empirical studies indicate positive relationships between long-term water table (WT) depth and soil carbon loss rate in peatlands. These correlations potentially enable using WT depth as a proxy for soil carbon losses from peatland plantations. Here, we compile data from published research assessing WT depth and carbon balance in tropical plantations on peat. We model net carbon loss from subsidence studies, as well as soil respiration (heterotrophic and total) from closed chamber studies, as a function of WT depth. WT depth across all 12 studies and 59 sites is 67 ± 20 cm (mean ± standard deviation). Mean WT depth is positively related to net carbon loss, as well as soil respiration rate. Our models explain 45% of net carbon loss variation and 45–63% of soil respiration variation. At a 70 cm WT depth, the subsidence model suggests net carbon loss of 20 tC ha−1 yr−1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 18–22 tC ha−1 yr−1) for plantations drained for >2 yr. Closed chamber-measured total soil respiration at this depth is 20 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1 (CI 17–24 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1) while heterotrophic respiration is 17 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1 (CI 14–20 tC-CO2 ha−1 yr−1), ~82% of total respiration. While land use is not a significant predictor of soil respiration, WT depths are greater at acacia (75 ± 16 cm) than oil palm (59 ± 15 cm) sample sites. Improved spatio-temporal sampling of the full suite of peat soil carbon fluxes—including fluvial carbon export and organic fertilizer inputs—will clarify multiple mechanisms leading to carbon loss and gain, supporting refined assessments of the global warming potential of peatland drainage.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:44 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima

A sequence of global ocean circulation models, with horizontal mesh sizes of 0.5°, 0.25° and 0.1°, are used to estimate the long-term dispersion by ocean currents and mesoscale eddies of a slowly decaying tracer (half-life of 30 years, comparable to that of 137Cs) from the local waters off the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants. The tracer was continuously injected into the coastal waters over some weeks; its subsequent spreading and dilution in the Pacific Ocean was then simulated for 10 years. The simulations do not include any data assimilation, and thus, do not account for the actual state of the local ocean currents during the release of highly contaminated water from the damaged plants in March–April 2011. An ensemble differing in initial current distributions illustrates their importance for the tracer patterns evolving during the first months, but suggests a minor relevance for the large-scale tracer distributions after 2–3 years. By then the tracer cloud has penetrated to depths of more than 400 m, spanning the western and central North Pacific between 25°N and 55°N, leading to a rapid dilution of concentrations. The rate of dilution declines in the following years, while the main tracer patch propagates eastward across the Pacific Ocean, reaching the coastal waters of North America after about 5–6 years. Tentatively assuming a value of 10 PBq for the net 137Cs input during the first weeks after the Fukushima incident, the simulation suggests a rapid dilution of peak radioactivity values to about 10 Bq m−3 during the first two years, followed by a gradual decline to 1–2 Bq m−3 over the next 4–7 years. The total peak radioactivity levels would then still be about twice the pre-Fukushima values.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:57 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2014

Observed and simulated temperature extremes during the recent warming hiatus

The discrepancy between recent observed and simulated trends in global mean surface temperature has provoked a debate about possible causes and implications for future climate change projections. However, little has been said in this discussion about observed and simulated trends in global temperature extremes. Here we assess trend patterns in temperature extremes and evaluate the consistency between observed and simulated temperature extremes over the past four decades (1971–2010) in comparison to the recent 15 years (1996–2010). We consider the coldest night and warmest day in a year in the observational dataset HadEX2 and in the current generation of global climate models (CMIP5). In general, the observed trends fall within the simulated range of trends, with better consistency for the longer period. Spatial trend patterns differ for the warm and cold extremes, with the warm extremes showing continuous positive trends across the globe and the cold extremes exhibiting a coherent cooling pattern across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes that has emerged in the recent 15 years and is not reproduced by the models. This regional inconsistency between models and observations might be a key to understanding the recent hiatus in global mean temperature warming.
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:28 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions

Climate change poses challenges for decision makers across society, not just in preparing for the climate of the future but even when planning for the climate of the present day. When making climate sensitive decisions, policy makers and adaptation planners would benefit from information on local scales and for user-specific quantiles (e.g. the hottest/coldest 5% of days) and thresholds (e.g. days above 28 ° C), not just mean changes. Here, we translate observations of weather into observations of climate change, providing maps of the changing shape of climatic temperature distributions across Europe since 1950. The provision of such information from observations is valuable to support decisions designed to be robust in today's climate, while also providing data against which climate forecasting methods can be judged and interpreted. The general statement that the hottest summer days are warming faster than the coolest is made decision relevant by exposing how the regions of greatest warming are quantile and threshold dependent. In a band from Northern France to Denmark, where the response is greatest, the hottest days in the temperature distribution have seen changes of at least 2 ° C, over four times the global mean change over the same period. In winter the coldest nights are warming fastest, particularly in Scandinavia.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2013

The system-wide economics of a carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage network: Texas Gulf Coast with pure CO2-EOR flood

This letter compares several bounding cases for understanding the economic viability of capturing large quantities of anthropogenic CO2 from coal-fired power generators within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas electric grid and using it for pure CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the onshore coastal region of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. All captured CO2 in excess of that needed for EOR is sequestered in saline formations at the same geographic locations as the oil reservoirs but at a different depth. We analyze the extraction of oil from the same set of ten reservoirs within 20- and five-year time frames to describe how the scale of the carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) network changes to meet the rate of CO2 demand for oil recovery. Our analysis shows that there is a negative system-wide net present value (NPV) for all modeled scenarios. The system comes close to breakeven economics when capturing CO2 from three coal-fired power plants to produce oil via CO2-EOR over 20 years and assuming no CO2 emissions penalty. The NPV drops when we consider a larger network to produce oil more quickly (21 coal-fired generators with CO2 capture to produce 80% of the oil within five years). Upon applying a CO2 emissions penalty of 602009/tCO2 to fossil fuel emissions to ensure that coal-fired power plants with CO2 capture remain in baseload operation, the system economics drop significantly. We show near profitability for the cash flow of the EOR operations only; however, this situation requires relatively cheap electricity prices during operation.
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:53 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing albedo leads to more solar radiation absorbing and sea ice melting, thus resulting in a decrease in albedo.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
02:04 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2012

What caused the cool summer over northern Central Asia, East Asia and central North America during 2009?

Cool and wet weather conditions hit northern Central Asia, East Asia and central North America during the 2009 summer in concert with a strong jet stream and a prominent meandering upper-level circulation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes despite the fact that the year 2009 is the fifth warmest year globally in the modern record. It is found that the conspicuous atmospheric variability in the entire Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes during the summer of 2009 was caused by a combination of teleconnections associated with significant tropical thermal forcings, strong polar forcing, and interaction between high-frequency weather events and climate anomalies. The strong negative circumglobal teleconnection pattern associated with the deficient Indian summer monsoon rainfall and developing El Niño condition was the major contributor to the cool and wet summer in June. On the other hand, the July weather conditions were attributable to the high-latitude impact of the unprecedented negative Arctic Oscillation, together with the Rossby wave response to the subtropical heating generated by convective activities over the Western North Pacific summer monsoon region. It is also noted that enhanced storm track activity and frequent cold surges from high-latitudes may have played a role in the cool and wet summer over the regions of interest.
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

Global sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971–2017

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP 2017) report identifies the Arctic as the largest regional source of land ice to global sea-level rise in the 2003–2014 period. Yet, this contextualization ignores the longer perspective from in situ records of glacier mass balance. Here, using 17 (>55 °N latitude) glacier and ice cap mass balance series in the 1971–2017 period, we develop a semi-empirical estimate of annual sea-level contribution from seven Arctic regions by scaling the in situ records to GRACE averages. We contend that our estimate represents the most accurate Arctic land ice mass balance assessment so far available before the 1992 start of satellite altimetry. We estimate the 1971–2017 eustatic sea-level contribution from land ice north of ~55 °N to be 23.0 ± 12.3 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE). In all regions, the cumulative sea-level rise curves exhibit an acceleration, starting especially after 1988. Greenland is the source of 46% of the Arctic sea-level rise contribution (10.6 ± 7.3 mm), followed by Alaska (5.7 ± 2.2 mm), Arctic Canada (3.2 ± 0.7 mm) and the Russian High Arctic (1.5 ± 0.4 mm). Our annual results exhibit co-variability over a 43 year overlap (1971–2013) with the alternative dataset of Marzeion et al (2015 Cryosphere 9 2399–404) (M15). However, we find a 1.36× lower sea-level contribution, in agreement with satellite gravimetry. The IPCC Fifth Assessment report identified constraining the pre-satellite era sea-level budget as a topic of low scientific understanding that we address and specify sea-level contributions coinciding with IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) 'present day' (2005–2015) and 'recent past' (1986–2005) reference periods. We assess an Arctic land ice loss of 8.3 mm SLE during the recent past and 12.4 mm SLE during the present day. The seven regional sea-level rise contribution time series of this study are available from AMAP.no.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:48 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

Snow season variability in a boreal-Arctic transition area monitored by MODIS data

The duration and extent of snow cover is expected to change rapidly with climate change. Therefore, there is a need for improved monitoring of snow for the benefit of forecasting, impact assessments and the population at large. Remotely sensed techniques prove useful for remote areas where there are few field-based monitoring stations. This paper reports on a study of snow season using snow cover area fraction data from the two northernmost counties in Norway, Troms and Finnmark. The data are derived from the daily 500 m standard snow product (MOD10A1) from the NASA Terra MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor for the 2000–2010 period. This dataset has been processed with multi-temporal interpolation to eliminate clouds. The resulting cloud-free daily time series of snow cover fraction maps, have subsequently been used to derive the first and last snow-free day for the entire study area. In spring, the correlation between the first snow-free day mapped by MODIS data and snow data from 40 meteorological stations was highly significant (p < 0.05) for 36 of the stations, and with a of bias of less than 10 days for 34 of the stations. In autumn, 31 of the stations show highly significant (p < 0.05) correlation with MODIS data, and the bias was less than 10 days for 27 of the stations. However, in some areas and some years, the start and end of the snow season could not be detected due to long overcast periods. In spring 2002 and 2004 the first snow-free day was early, but arrived late in 2000, 2005 and 2008. In autumn 2009 snowfall arrived more than 7 days earlier in 50% of the study area as compared to the 2000–2010 average. MODIS-based snow season products will be applicable for a wide range of sectors including hydrology, nature-based industries, climate change studies and ecology. Therefore refinement and further testing of this method should be encouraged.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
04:02 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2016

The impact of European legislative and technology measures to reduce air pollutants on air quality, human health and climate

European air quality legislation has reduced emissions of air pollutants across Europe since the 1970s, affecting air quality, human health and regional climate. We used a coupled composition-climate model to simulate the impacts of European air quality legislation and technology measures implemented between 1970 and 2010. We contrast simulations using two emission scenarios; one with actual emissions in 2010 and the other with emissions that would have occurred in 2010 in the absence of technological improvements and end-of-pipe treatment measures in the energy, industrial and road transport sectors. European emissions of sulphur dioxide, black carbon (BC) and organic carbon in 2010 are 53%, 59% and 32% lower respectively compared to emissions that would have occurred in 2010 in the absence of legislative and technology measures. These emission reductions decreased simulated European annual mean concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 35%, sulphate by 44%, BC by 56% and particulate organic matter by 23%. The reduction in PM2.5 concentrations is calculated to have prevented 80 000 (37 000–116 000, at 95% confidence intervals) premature deaths annually across the European Union, resulting in a perceived financial benefit to society of US232 billion annually (1.4% of 2010 EU GDP). The reduction in aerosol concentrations due to legislative and technology measures caused a positive change in the aerosol radiative effect at the top of atmosphere, reduced atmospheric absorption and also increased the amount of solar radiation incident at the surface over Europe. We used an energy budget approximation to estimate that these changes in the radiative balance have increased European annual mean surface temperatures and precipitation by 0.45 ± 0.11 °C and by 13 ± 0.8 mm yr−1 respectively. Our results show that the implementation of European legislation and technological improvements to reduce the emission of air pollutants has improved air quality and human health over Europe, as well as having an unintended impact on the regional radiative balance and climate.
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:53 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2015

Remote sensing of interannual boreal forest NDVI in relation to climatic conditions in interior Alaska

Climate has warmed substantially in interior Alaska and several remote sensing studies have documented a decadal-scale decline in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) termed a 'browning trend'. Reduced summer soil moisture due to changing climatic factors such as earlier springs, less snowpack, and summer drought may reduce boreal productivity and NDVI. However, the relative importance of these climatic factors is poorly understood in boreal interior Alaska. In this study, I used the remotely sensed peak summer NDVI as an index of boreal productivity at 250 m pixel size from 2000 to 2014. Maximum summer NDVI was related to last day of spring snow, early spring snow water equivalent (SWE), and a summer moisture index. There was no significant correlation between early spring SWE and peak summer NDVI. There was a significant correlation between the last day of spring snow and peak summer NDVI, but only for a few higher elevation stations. This was likely due to snowmelt occurring later at higher elevations, thus having a greater effect on summer soil moisture relative to lower elevation sites. For most of boreal interior Alaska, summer drought was likely the dominant control on peak summer NDVI and this effect may persist for several years. Peak summer NDVI declined at all 26 stations after the 2004 drought, and the decline persisted for 2 years at all stations. Due to the shallow rooting zone of most boreal plants, even cool and moist sites at lower elevations are likely vulnerable to drought. For example the peak summer NDVI response following the 2004 drought was similar for adjacent cold and warm watershed basins. Thus, if frequent and severe summer droughts continue, moisture stress effects are likely to be widespread and prolonged throughout most of interior boreal Alaska, including relatively cool, moist sites regardless of spring snowpack conditions or spring phenology.
  • Published: 2015
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
03:15 Institute of Physics (IOP) English 2018

Implications of a shrinking Great Salt Lake for dust on snow deposition in the Wasatch Mountains, UT, as informed by a source to sink case study from the 13–14 April 2017 dust event

The deposition of dust on snow accelerates melt by perturbing snow albedo, directly by darkening the snow surface and indirectly by enhancing snow grain growth. The snow darkening process impacts hydrology by shifting runoff timing and magnitude. Dust on snow deposition has been documented in the Wasatch Mountains, snowmelt from which accounts for up to 80% of surface water supply for Salt Lake City, UT, but the impact on snow melt has not yet been investigated. Here, we present a case study of a dust event observed in the Wasatch (13–14th April, 2017), sampled coincidentally in the air and at the snow surface at an instrumented high elevation site (Atwater Study Plot, Alta, UT). Atmospheric backtrajectory modeling, the results of which were supported by measurements, showed that dust originated predominantly from the west: the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Great Salt Lake (GSL) dry lake bed. The deposited dust mass accounted for ~50% of the season total dust loading in snow, and daily mean radiative forcing of 20–50 W m−2 accelerated snow melt by approximately 25%. This has important implications for The Greatest Snow on Earth®, and snow water resources; the water level of the GSL has been declining, exposing dry lake beds, and there are no legal water rights or protections to maintain lake levels or mitigate dust emission.
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Language: English
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