Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Mar 2004

Modification of growing-season surface temperature records in the northern Great Plains due to land-use transformation: Verification of modelling results and implication for global climate change

Mahmood, R Hubbard, KG Carlson, C


Land-use and land-cover change can modify near-surface atmospheric condition. Mesoscale modelling studies have shown that modification in land use affects near-surface soil moisture storage and energy balance. Such a study in the Great Plains showed that changes in land use from natural grass to irrigated agriculture enhanced soil water storage in the root zone and increased latent energy flux. This increase in latent energy flux would correspond to a decrease in sensible heat flux and, therefore, modify near-surface temperature records. To verify this deduction, we have investigated the changes in the historical near-surface temperature records in Nebraska, USA. We have analysed the long-term mean monthly maximum, minimum, and monthly mean air temperature data from five irrigated and five non-irrigated sites. The cooperative weather observation (coop) network is the source of the data. We have found that there is a clear trend in decreasing mean maximum and average temperature data for irrigated sites. For example, York, NE, reports that the mean maximum growing season temperature is decreasing at the rate -0.01 degreesC year(-1). The results from non-irrigated sites indicated an increasing trend for the same parameters. The data from Halsey, NE, indicate a +0.01 degreesC year(-1) increase in this century. In addition, we have conducted similar analyses of temperature data for the National Climatic Data Center’s Historical Climatic Network data set for the same locations. The results are similar to that obtained with the coop data set. Further investigation of dew-point temperature records for irrigated and non-irrigated sites also show an increasing and decreasing trend respectively. Therefore, we conclude that the land-use change in the Great Plains has modified near-surface temperature records. Copyright (C) 2004 Royal Meteorological Society.

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Evaluation of an automatic sampling gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric instrument for continuous monitoring of trace anthropogenic gases

Maione, M Arduini, J Mangani, G Geniali, A


Continuous monitoring of the atmospheric volatile halogenated hydrocarbons is needed in light of the role played by these compounds in global climate change phenomena. The analytical methodology described in the following implies the use of a gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric system equipped with a sampling/pre-concentration unit, for the simultaneous and continuous analysis of a number of halogenated hydrocarbons present in the atmosphere at concentration levels ranging from a few to hundreds of part per trillion by volume. The optimization of the analytical procedure in terms of efficiency, linearity, and reproducibility is reported together with some of the results obtained in the frame of a monitoring activity carried out on a remote mountain station in central Italy.

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Biomass energy technologies for rural infrastructure and village power - Opportunities and challenges in the context of global climate change concerns

Kishore, VVN Bhandari, PM Gupta, P

ENERGY POLICY 32:6 801-810

The potential and role of biomass resources in developing countries for addressing global climate change concerns are highlighted using India as a case study. Promotion of technologies, which use biomass more efficiently, is seen as a key strategy to integrate the concerns of both developing countries and developed countries. The role of various biomass technologies for improving rural infrastructure and village power is discussed in detail. A vision of establishing and running a chain of rural energy service companies, operating with a basket of devices and technologies, under the general provisions of CDM, is examined for commercialization and mainstrearning of biomass technologies which have achieved reasonable levels of maturity. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Tree diversity change in remaining primary mixed-broadleaved Korean pine forest under climate change and human activities

Chen, XW Li, BL


Studying biodiversity change in existing typical ecosystems of the world under possible global climate change and local human activities is important for diversity conservation. An adapted forest dynamics model is used to simulate tree diversity change of the remaining primary mixed-broadleaved Korean pine forest (RPMKPF) in northeast China under global climate change and local human activities for the next 50 years. Human activities include logging, which removes all big trees (DBH>50 cm), removing all individuals of each single species and all species of each functional type (shade tolerant, shade intolerant and medium type tree species). As results for RPMKPF, the alpha index of tree diversity decreases under climate change, but it increases significantly under a combination of climate change and logging. Removing all individuals of each single species significantly affects the tree diversity of the ecosystem. After the removal of shade tolerant species, both alpha and beta(c) indices of tree diversity experience a significant change. The alpha index decreases significantly under climate change when shade intolerant or medium type tree species are removed, but the beta(c) index does not change significantly. The results of this study have implications for tree diversity management in RPMKPF under climate change and human activities.

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Changes in the seasonal cycle in the Circumpolar Arctic, 1976-95: Temperature and precipitation

Whitfield, PH Hall, AW Cannon, AJ

ARCTIC 57:1 80-93

The Arctic is one region where the effects of global climate change are expected to be easy to observe. This study identifies regions in the circumpolar Arctic that have experienced similar changes in the seasonal cycle of temperature and precipitation over recent decades. Data from Arctic and northern nations have been compiled to form a new data set of over 1200 circumpolar Arctic climate stations. Changes in the seasonal cycle between two decades (1976-85 and 1986-95) are examined for the 247 temperature and 555 precipitation stations that meet specific completeness criteria. Inter-decadal shifts are analyzed using 11-day averages of daily mean temperature and 5-day averages of total daily precipitation. Examined at time-steps finer than annual or monthly means, climatic variations in the region are not consistent either through the seasons or across space. Some areas have demonstrated recent increases in temperature or precipitation, while others have displayed decreases in these elements. Many areas reveal climatic shifts in specific periods of the year that contrast markedly with the trends observed in other periods and other places.

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Why Canada needs REUs

Mulligan, BM


Problems of earth science involve not only questions of physical science and engineering, but also of the social sciences and humanities. As a fourth-year geo-environmental engineering student, I am increasingly concerned that issues of philosophy and public policy are being neglected in earth science classrooms. Realizing that my scholastic career was narrowing, I sought an opportunity to alleviate this concern and expand my horizon. This summer I participated in just such an opportunity: the Global Climate Change and Society Program, a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) sponsored by the National Science Foundation and held in Boulder, Colorado. Throughout the program, students were encouraged to collaborate with peers from around the country, exposed to an outstanding roster of guest speakers, and inspired to reap practical knowledge in disciplines outside their area of specialization. Canadian undergraduates in Earth science would greatly benefit from participating in educational programs of a similar nature. Canada’s closest analogue of the National Science Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, needs to expand its outreach programs and spearhead a campaign to develop Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Canada.

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Energy security and global climate change mitigation

Huntington, HG Brown, SPA

ENERGY POLICY 32:6 715-718

Industrialized countries may reduce their costs of meeting carbon constraints if they penalize fuels not only on the basis of their carbon intensity but also on the basis of their import-export status. Simulations of these policies show that participating industrialized countries can reduce their costs and hence increase their willingness to participate. However, they will impose higher costs on the world, because the most carbon-intensive fuels will not be taxed most heavily. Such a bias creates a “how” inefficiency in addition to the “where” and “when” inefficiency created by current international agreements to control greenhouse gas emissions. Although countries have always had such incentives, these considerations must be more fully acknowledged in today’s energy markets, after September 2001. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Migration of Pacific Rim chum salmon on the high seas: insights from genetic data

Seeb, LW Crane, PA Kondzela, CM Wilmot, RL Urawa, S Varnavskaya, NV Seeb, JE


Wild stocks of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, have experienced recent declines in some areas of their range. Also, the release of hatchery chum salmon has escalated to nearly three billion fish annually. The decline of wild stocks and the unknown effects of hatchery fish combined with the uncertainty of future production caused by global climate change have renewed interest in the migratory patterns of chum salmon on the high seas. We studied the composition of high-seas mixtures of maturing and immature individuals using baseline data for 20 allozyme loci from 356 populations from throughout the Pacific Rim. Composition estimates were made from three time series. Two of these time series were from important coastal migratory corridors: the Shumagin Islands south of the Alaska Peninsula and the east coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The third was from chum salmon captured incidentally in the Bering Sea trawl fishery for walleye pollock. We also analyzed geographically dispersed collections of chum salmon captured in the month of July. The time series show dynamic changes in stock composition. The Shumagin Island corridor was used primarily by Northwest Alaskan and Asian populations in June; by the end of July stocks from the Alaska Peninsula and southern North America dominated the composition. The composition along the Kamchatka coast changed dramatically from primarily Russian stocks in May to primarily Japanese stocks in August; the previously undocumented presence of stocks from the Alaska Peninsula and Gulf of Alaska was also demonstrated. Immature chum salmon from throughout the Pacific Rim, including large proportions of southern North American stocks, contributed to the Bering Sea bycatch during the months of September and October. The migration routes of North American stocks is far more widespread than previously observed, and the Bering Sea is an important rearing area for maturing and immature chum salmon from throughout the species’ range.

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