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Title: Are GRACE-era terrestrial water trends driven by anthropogenic climate change?

To provide context for observed trends in terrestrial water storage (TWS) during GRACE (2003–2014), trends and variability in the CESM1-CAM5 Large Ensemble (LE) are examined. Motivated in part by the anomalous nature of climate variability during GRACE, the characteristics of both forced change and internal modes are quantified and their influences on observations are estimated. Trends during the GRACE era in the LE are dominated by internal variability rather than by the forced response, with TWS anomalies in much of the Americas, eastern Australia, Africa, and southwestern Eurasia largely attributable to the negative phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). While similarities between observed trends and the model-inferred forced response also exist, it is inappropriate to attribute such trends mainly to anthropogenic forcing. For several key river basins, trends in the mean state and interannual variability and the time at which the forced response exceeds background variability are also estimated while aspects of global mean TWS, including changes in its annual amplitude and decadal trends, are quantified. Lastly, the findings highlight the challenge of detecting anthropogenic climate change in temporally finite satellite datasets and underscore the benefit of utilizing models in the interpretation of themore » observed record.« less
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1245323
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012711
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Advances in Meteorology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2016; Journal ID: ISSN 1687-9309
Publisher:
Hindawi
Research Org:
Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES