February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1998
TREND ANALYSIS: Temperature trends
Increase in the Length of the Melt Season of Perennial Arctic Sea Ice," D.M. Smith
(U.K. Meteor. Off., London Rd., Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2SZ, UK; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org),Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(5), 655-658, Mar. 1, 1998.
Climate models predict warming in the Arctic due to greenhouse gases, and in the
absence of direct measurements, warming over the Arctic sea ice might be inferred from a
lengthening of the summer melt season. This analysis of satellite-based passive microwave
data from 1979 to 1996 reveals an 8% per decade increase in the number of melt days per
and Physical Signs of Climate Change: Focus on Mosquito-borne Diseases," P.R. Epstein
(Ct. for Health & Global Environ., Harvard Med. Sch., 260 Longwood Ave., Boston MA
02115; e-mail: PEPSTEIN@warren.med.harvard.edu), H.F. Diaz et al.,Bull. Amer. Meteor.
Soc., 79(3), 409-417, Mar. 1998.
The authors, mostly earth or life scientists, review biological (plant and insect)
data, glacial findings, and temperature records taken from mountainous regions. At high
elevations, the overall trends regarding glaciers, plants, insect ranges, and shifting
isotherms show remarkable internal consistency, and there is consistency between model
projections and the observed changes. Chemical and physical changes in the
atmospherecompounded by large-scale land use and land-cover changeshave begun
to affect biological systems. Discusses implications for public health as well as for
developing an interdisciplinary approach to the detection of climate change.
Evidence for Deforestation Induced Warming: Implications for the Climatic Impact of Land
Development," T.J. Lewis (Pacific Geosci. Ctr., 9860 W. Saanich Rd., Sidney BC V8L
4B2, Can.; e-mail: email@example.com), K. Wang,Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(4),
535-538, Feb. 15, 1998.
Analyses of temperatures from boreholes in previously forested areas in western Canada
disclose sudden increases of one to two degrees in ground surface temperature at the times
of deforestation at each site. A warming of the ground surface over a large area of
Central Canada, synchronous with the deforestation of southern Ontario and neighboring
regions in the nineteenth century, may be an example of climate change linked to the
widespread creation of agricultural lands.
Alaska Atmosphere-Ocean Variability over Recent Centuries Inferred from Coastal Tree-Ring
Records," G.C. Wiles (Dept. Geol., Macalester College, St. Paul MN 55105), R.D.D.
D'Arrigo, G.C. Jacoby,Clim. Change, 38(3), 289-306, Mar. 1998.
A 227-year record shows generally increased growth over the past century, coinciding
with warmer spring temperatures in south coastal Alaska. The recent warming exceeds that
of prior centuries, extending back to A.D. 1600.
"Urban Bias in
Temperature Time Series A Case Study for the City of Vienna, Austria," R.
Böhm (Central Inst. for Meteor. & Geodynamics, Hohe Warte 38, A-1190 Vienna,
Austria),Clim. Change, 38(1), 113-128, Jan. 1998.
Results illustrate two features of general interest. First, a city with constant
population still shows a temperature trend due to changes in urban morphology and energy
consumption. Second, the urban temperature trend effect varies in different parts of the
city, so a typical two-station approach (airport-urban) may be misleading.
"On the Urban
Heat Island Effect Dependence on Temperature Trends," I. Camilloni (Dept. Atmos.
Sci., Univ. Buenos Aires, Ciudad Univ., Pabellón II
piso, (1248) Buenos
Aires, Argentina), V. Barros, Clim. Change, 37(4), 665-681, Dec. 1997.
For most U.S., Argentine and Australian cities, the yearly mean urban-to-rural
temperature difference is negatively correlated with rural temperature. This means that
regional data sets including urban records may have a bias associated with temperature
trends, as well as a bias due to urban growth. For the U.S. during 1901-1984, the two
types of bias could be of the same order but opposite sign.
of the Global Historical Climatology Network Temperature Database," T.C. Peterson
(Global Clim. Lab., NCDC, 151 Patton Ave., Rm. 120, Asheville NC 28801; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org), R.S. Vose,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78(12),
2837-2849, Dec. 1997.
Describes in detail the ground-breaking enhancements to this 7000-station data set
released in May 1997.
Land Use on the Climate of the United States," G.B. Bonan (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO
80307),Clim. Change, 37(3), 449-486, Nov. 1997.
Simulations with a land surface process model coupled to an atmosphere general
circulation model show that the climate of the U.S. with modern vegetation is
significantly different from that with natural vegetation. Important climate signals
include a 1° C cooling over the east and 1° C warming over the west in spring; summer
cooling of 2° C in the central region, and near-surface moistening in spring and summer.
The climate change caused by land use practices is comparable to other anthropogenic
Asymmetry of Surface Temperature Anomalies," A.H. Gordon (Sch. Earth Sci., Flinders
Univ., GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia; e-mail: email@example.com), J.A.T.
Bye,Geophys. Res. Lett., 24(22), 2821-2823, Nov. 15, 1997.
Evidence has appeared lately in the literature supporting both sides of the theory that
sulfate aerosols have suppressed greenhouse warming more in the Southern Hemisphere than
the Northern Hemisphere. This study, based on data sets of mean surface temperature over
land and sea for the past 140 years, shows no evidence of any such difference.
Environmental Change of the Last Four Centuries," J. Overpeck (Paleoclim. Prog.,
NGDC/NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), K. Hughen et al.,Science,
278(5341), 1251-1256, Nov. 14, 1997.
A compilation of paleoclimatic records from lake sediments, trees, glaciers, and marine
sediments shows that from 1840 to the mid-20th century, the Arctic warmed to the highest
temperatures in four centuries. This warming ended the Little Ice Age in the Arctic, and
has caused retreats of glaciers, melting of permafrost and sea ice, and alteration of
terrestrial and lake ecosystems. Although the warming, particularly after 1920, was likely
caused by increased atmospheric trace gases, the initiation of warming in the mid-19th
century suggests that increased solar radiance, decreased volcanic activity, and feedbacks
internal to the climate system also played roles.
Between the Microwave Sounding Unit Temperature Record and the Surface Temperature Record
from 1979 to 1996: Real Differences or Potential Discontinuities?" P.D. Jones (Clim.
Res. Unit, Sch. Environ. Sci., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; e-mail:
email@example.com), T.J. Osborn et al.,J. Geophys. Res., 102(D25),
30,135-30,145, Dec. 27, 1997.
Isolates two times over the 1979-1996 period when shifts occur in the compared data
sets: in 1981 and 1991. Both occur at times of satellite changes, but both could also be
entirely natural, being for instance related to volcanic eruptions. A problem with the
satellite data seems more likely, but if this can be ruled out, it implies a significant
change in lower atmospheric lapse rate on a global scale, particularly since 1991.
Lightning and Climate Variability Inferred from ELF Magnetic Field Variations," M.
Füllekrug (STAR Lab., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), A.C. Fraser-Smith,Geophys.
Res. Lett., 24(19), 2411-2414, Oct. 1, 1997.
Observations support the view of Williams (1992) that monitoring of global lightning
activity could provide a thermometer-independent measure of temperature changes associated
with climate variability.
Dates of Alpine Lakes as Proxy Data for Local and Regional Mean Surface Air
Temperatures," D.M. Livingstone (Dept. Environ. Phys., Swiss Fed. Inst. of Environ.
Sci. & Technol. EAWAG, Überlandstr. 133, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switz.),Clim.
Change, 37(2), 407-439, Oct. 1997.
Investigates this approach and finds that thawing of Alpine lakes is determined to a
large extent by synoptic-scale meteorological processes. Modulation of incident radiation
by volcanic stratospheric aerosols may also strongly affect the timing of break-up.
Are Satellite 'Thermometers?'"Nature, 389(6649), 342-343, Sep. 25,
In this correspondence, Christy et al. formally dispute claims by Hurrell and Trenberth
that the satellite record of temperature trend does not show any warming because of
problems calibrating instruments. (See Global Climate Change Digest, Apr. 1997, for
paper by Hurrell and Trenberth and related News item.)
Variations over Russia in the Last Decades," V.N. Razuvaev (Russian Inst. of
Hydrometeor. Info., 6 Korolyov Str., Obninsk, Kaluga Reg., 249020, Russia), O.N. Bulygina
et al.,World Resource Review, 9(2), 171-176, June 1997.
Reports on a recent climate study that shows upward temperature trends in winter in
most of the seven climatic zones of Russia.
Temporal Changes in Extreme Air Temperatures in the Arctic over the Period
1951-1990," R. Przybylak (Dept. Climatol., Nicholas Copernicus Univ., Danielewskiego
6, PL 87-100 Torun, Poland),Intl. J. Climatol., 17(6), 615-634, May 1997.
A detailed analysis of trends in daily maximum and minimum air temperatures shows a
decrease in daily temperature range in most areas of the Arctic, but no evidence of any
greenhouse warming over the period.
the Global Warming Trend by Wavelet Analysis," D.M. Sonechkin (Hydrometeor. Res. Ctr.
of the Russian Fed., Bol'shoi Predtechenskii per. 9-13, Moscow, 123242 Russia), N.M.
Datsenko, N.N. Ivashchenko,Izvestiya, Atmos. & Ocean Phys., 33(2),
Applies a statistical approach that does not require a hypothesis about the character
of the trend being sought, as is the case in previous analyses. Finds a trend of about
0.6° C per century since 1900 in both hemispheres. Extrapolation suggests that the
warming will be slowed or at least checked by the end of this century.
Variability and Extremes over Australia: Part 1 Recent Observed Changes," N.
Plummer (Natl. Clim. Ctr., GPO Box 1289K, Melbourne, Vic. 3001, Australia),Aust. Met.
Mag., 45(4), 233-250, Dec. 1996.
This detailed study for the period 1961-1993 shows generally mixed and weak regional
trends, although some patterns are identified. Results indicate that the direction of
change in regional temperature variability, unlike that of temperature itself, may be
difficult to predict even if changes in the broadscale atmospheric circulation are
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