Daily Archives: January 4, 2013

Climate responds to 11 year solar cycle….

U Kokfelt, R Muscheler. Solar forcing of climate during the last millennium recorded in lake sediments from northern Sweden. The Holocene, October 18, 2012 0959683612460781

We report on a sediment record from a small lake within the subarctic wetland complex Stordalen in northernmost Sweden covering the last 1000 years. Variations in the content of minerogenic material are found to follow reconstructed variations in the activity of the Sun between the 13th and 18th centuries. Periods of low solar activity are associated with minima in minerogenic material and vice versa. A comparison between the sunspot cycle and a long instrumental series of summer precipitation further reveals a link between the 11 yr solar cycle and summer precipitation variability since around 1960. Solar minima are in this period associated with minima in summer precipitation, whereas the amount of summer precipitation increases during periods with higher solar activity. Our results suggest that the climate responds to both the 11 yr solar cycle and to long-term changes in solar activity and in particular solar minima, causing dry conditions with resulting decreased runoff.

Click here for full paper (fee).


Climate models unable to reproduce ENSO, other teleconnections

Dörthe Handorf, Klaus Dethloff. How well do state-of-the-art atmosphere-ocean general circulation models reproduce atmospheric teleconnection patterns? Tellus A 2012, 64, 19777, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.19777

This article evaluates the ability of state-of-the-art climate models to reproduce the low-frequency variability of the mid-tropospheric winter flow of the Northern Hemisphere in terms of atmospheric teleconnection patterns. Therefore, multi-model simulations for present-day conditions, performed for the 4th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have been analysed and compared with re-analysis data sets. The spatial patterns of atmospheric teleconnections are reproduced reasonably by most of the models. The comparison of coupled with atmosphere-only runs confirmed that a better representation of the forcing by sea surface temperatures has the potential to slightly improve the representation of only wave train-like patterns. Due to internally generated climate variability, the models are not able to reproduce the observed temporal behaviour. Insights into the dynamical reasons for the limited skill of climate models in reproducing teleconnections have been obtained by studying the relation between major teleconnections and zonal wind variability patterns. About half of the models are able to reproduce the observed relationship. For these cases, the quality of simulated teleconnection patterns is largely determined by the quality of zonal wind variability patterns. Therefore, improvements of simulated eddy-mean flow interaction have the potential to improve the atmospheric teleconnections.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).

Solar cycle 24 decline is here…..expect further cooling….

The bottom red line is Solar Cycle 24, which is in decline.Archibald%20400

Source: See article by David Archibald here.

Little change in global drought over the past 60 years

Justin Sheffield, Eric F. Wood & Michael L. Roderick. Little change in global drought over the past 60 years. Nature 491,435–438(15 November 2012)doi:10.1038/nature11575


Drought is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, mainly as a consequence of decreases in regional precipitation but also because of increasing evaporation driven by global warming. Previous assessments of historic changes in drought over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries indicate that this may already be happening globally. In particular, calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) show a decrease in moisture globally since the 1970s with a commensurate increase in the area in drought that is attributed, in part, to global warming. The simplicity of the PDSI, which is calculated from a simple water-balance model forced by monthly precipitation and temperature data, makes it an attractive tool in large-scale drought assessments, but may give biased results in the context of climate change. Here we show that the previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades. More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles8 that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years. The results have implications for how we interpret the impact of global warming on the hydrological cycle and its extremes, and may help to explain why palaeoclimate drought reconstructions based on tree-ring data diverge from the PDSI-based drought record in recent years.

Click here for full paper (fee). Click here for press release.

USEPA Progress Report on Hydraulic Fracturing Study





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