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Observations. Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Chapter 3

Miscellaneous:

Abstract

This chapter assesses the observed changes in surface and atmospheric climate, placing new observations and new analyses made during the past six years (since the Third Assessment Report TAR) in the context of the previous instrumental record. In previous IPCC reports, palaeo-observations from proxy data for the pre-instrumental past and observations from the ocean and ice domains were included within the same chapter. This helped the overall assessment of the consistency among the various variables and their synthesis into a coherent picture of change. A short synthesis and scrutiny of the consistency of all the observations is included here (see Section 3.9). In the TAR, surface temperature trends were examined from 1860 to 2000 globally, for 1901 to 2000 as maps and for three sub-periods (1910-1945, 1946-1975 and 1976-2000). The first and third sub-periods had rising temperatures, while the second sub-period had relatively stable global mean temperatures. The 1976 divide is the date of a widely acknowledged 'climate shift' and seems to mark a time when global mean temperatures began a discernible upward trend that has been at least partly attributed to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The picture prior to 1976 has essentially not changed and  More>>
Publication Date:
Sep 15, 2007
Product Type:
Miscellaneous
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Related Information: In: Climate Change 2007. The Physical Science Basis, by Solomon, S.; Qin, D.; Manning, M.; Chen, Z.; Marquis, M.; Averyt, K.B.; Tignor, M.; Miller, H.L. (eds.), 1009 pages.
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLIMATIC CHANGE; ATMOSPHERIC PRECIPITATIONS; DROUGHTS; HYDROLOGY; TROPOSPHERE; STRATOSPHERE; WATER VAPOR; CLOUDS; SOLAR RADIATION; ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION; SEA LEVEL; WIND; STORMS; WATER WAVES; TROPICAL REGIONS; REGIONAL ANALYSIS; EXCEPTIONAL NATURAL DISASTER
OSTI ID:
20962165
Research Organizations:
IPCC Working Group I, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA, DSRC R/AL/8, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States)
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISBN 978-0521-70596-7; TRN: GB07CC229
Availability:
Available at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter3.pdf
Submitting Site:
NLC
Size:
page(s) 236-336
Announcement Date:
Dec 31, 2007

Miscellaneous:

Citation Formats

Trenberth, K E, Jones, P D, Ambenje, P, Bojariu, R, Easterling, D, Klein Tank, A, Parker, D, Rahimzadeh, F, Renwick, J A, Rusticucci, M, Soden, B, and Zhai, P. Observations. Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Chapter 3. United Kingdom: N. p., 2007. Web.
Trenberth, K E, Jones, P D, Ambenje, P, Bojariu, R, Easterling, D, Klein Tank, A, Parker, D, Rahimzadeh, F, Renwick, J A, Rusticucci, M, Soden, B, & Zhai, P. Observations. Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Chapter 3. United Kingdom.
Trenberth, K E, Jones, P D, Ambenje, P, Bojariu, R, Easterling, D, Klein Tank, A, Parker, D, Rahimzadeh, F, Renwick, J A, Rusticucci, M, Soden, B, and Zhai, P. 2007. "Observations. Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Chapter 3." United Kingdom.
@misc{etde_20962165,
title = {Observations. Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Chapter 3}
author = {Trenberth, K E, Jones, P D, Ambenje, P, Bojariu, R, Easterling, D, Klein Tank, A, Parker, D, Rahimzadeh, F, Renwick, J A, Rusticucci, M, Soden, B, and Zhai, P}
abstractNote = {This chapter assesses the observed changes in surface and atmospheric climate, placing new observations and new analyses made during the past six years (since the Third Assessment Report TAR) in the context of the previous instrumental record. In previous IPCC reports, palaeo-observations from proxy data for the pre-instrumental past and observations from the ocean and ice domains were included within the same chapter. This helped the overall assessment of the consistency among the various variables and their synthesis into a coherent picture of change. A short synthesis and scrutiny of the consistency of all the observations is included here (see Section 3.9). In the TAR, surface temperature trends were examined from 1860 to 2000 globally, for 1901 to 2000 as maps and for three sub-periods (1910-1945, 1946-1975 and 1976-2000). The first and third sub-periods had rising temperatures, while the second sub-period had relatively stable global mean temperatures. The 1976 divide is the date of a widely acknowledged 'climate shift' and seems to mark a time when global mean temperatures began a discernible upward trend that has been at least partly attributed to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The picture prior to 1976 has essentially not changed and is therefore not repeated in detail here. However, it is more convenient to document the sub-period after 1979, rather than 1976, owing to the availability of increased and improved satellite data since then (in particular Television InfraRed Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) data) in association with the Global Weather Experiment (GWE) of 1979. The post-1979 period allows, for the first time, a global perspective on many fields of variables, such as precipitation, that was not previously available. The availability of high-quality data has led to a focus on the post-1978 period, although physically this new regime seems to have begun in 1976/1977. Documentation of the climate has traditionally analysed global and hemispheric means, and land and ocean means, and has presented some maps of trends. However, climate varies over all spatial and temporal scales: from the diurnal cycle to El Nino to multi-decadal and millennial variations. Atmospheric waves naturally create regions of temperature and moisture of opposite-signed departures from the zonal mean, as moist warm conditions are favoured in poleward flow while cool dry conditions occur in equatorward flow. Although there is an infinite variety of weather systems, one area of recent substantial progress is recognition that a few preferred patterns (or modes) of variability determine the main seasonal and longer-term climate anomalies (Section 3.6). These patterns arise from the differential effects on the atmosphere of land and ocean, mountains, and anomalous heating, such as occurs during El Nino events. The response is generally felt in regions far removed from the anomalous forcing through atmospheric teleconnections, associated with large-scale waves in the atmosphere. This chapter therefore documents some aspects of temperature and precipitation anomalies associated with these preferred patterns, as they are vitally important for understanding regional climate anomalies and why they differ from global means. Changes in storm tracks, the jet streams, regions of preferred blocking anticyclones and changes in monsoons all occur in conjunction with these preferred patterns and other climate anomalies. Therefore the chapter not only documents changes in variables, but also changes in phenomena (such as El Nino) or patterns, in order to increase understanding of the character of change. Extremes of climate, such as droughts and wet spells, are very important because of their large impacts on society and the environment, but they are an expression of the variability. Therefore, the nature of variability at different spatial and temporal scales is vital to our understanding of extremes. The global means of temperature and precipitation are most readily linked to global mean radiative forcing and are important because they clearly indicate if unusual change is occurring. However, the local or regional response can be complex and perhaps even counter-intuitive, such as changes in planetary waves in the atmosphere induced by global warming that result in regional cooling. As an indication of the complexity associated with temporal and spatial scales measures of the magnitude of natural variability of surface temperature in which climate signals are embedded are provided. The measures used are indicators of the range: the mean range of the diurnal and annual cycles, and the estimated 5th to 95th percentiles range of anomalies. These are based on the standard deviation and assumed normal distribution, which is a reasonable approximation in many places for temperature, with the exception of continental interiors in the cold season, which have strongly negatively skewed temperature distributions owing to cold extremes. For the global mean, the variance is somewhat affected by the observed trend, which inflates this estimate of the range slightly. The comparison highlights the large diurnal cycle and daily variability. Daily variability is, however, greatly reduced by either spatial or temporal averaging that effectively averages over synoptic weather systems. Nevertheless, even continental-scale averages contain much greater variability than the global mean in association with planetary-scale waves and events such as El Nino.}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {2007}
month = {Sep}
}