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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d96apr13

"The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project," E. Kalnay (Environ. Modeling Ctr., Natl. Ctr. for Environ. Prediction, W/NMCZ, Rm. 204 WWB, Washington DC 20233), M. Kanamitsu et al., Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77(3), 437-471, Mar. 1996.

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, formerly known as the National Meteorological Center) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are cooperating to produce a 40-year record of global analyses of atmospheric fields in support of climate monitoring and research. The project includes recovery of various types of data, quality control, and data assimilation using a system that is kept unchanged over the reanalysis period, 1957-1996. This eliminates perceived climatic jumps associated with changes in the data assimilation system. The reanalysis should be completed in early 1997. A continuation into the future through an identical Climate Data Assimilation System will allow researchers to reliably compare recent anomalies with those in earlier decades.

Item #d96apr14

"Hurricane Andrew in Florida: Dynamics of a Disaster," H.E. Willoughby (Hurricane Res. Div., AOML, NOAA, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami FL 33149), P.G. Black, ibid., 543-549.

Analyzes the particular meteorological factors that aggravated the destruction of hurricane Andrew in south Florida. These factors, not a climatic trend toward more intense hurricanes, caused it to be the most expensive hurricane landfall in U.S. history.

Item #d96apr15

"Testing for Bias in the Climate Record," Science, 271(5257), 1879-1883, Mar. 29, 1996.

Extensive discussion among six correspondents and a reply by D.J. Thomson, concerning his April 7, 1995, paper in Science on statistical analysis of temperature records. (That paper was listed in Global Climate Change Digest, Prof. Pubs./of General Interest/Climate Change Science, May 1995.)

Item #d96apr16

"Interpretation of Interdecadal Trends in Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperatures," J.M. Wallace (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Box 351640, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), Y. Zhang, L. Bajuk, J. Clim., 9(2), 249-259, Feb. 1996.

Further explores a topic examined by the authors in the Nov. 3, 1995, issue of Science. (See Wallace et al. paper, Global Climate Change Digest, Prof. Pubs./Trend Analysis, Jan. 1996.) Anomalously high surface air temperatures observed over high latitude, Northern Hemisphere continental regions in the 1980s are consistent with the pattern of greenhouse gas induced warming predicted by climate models. The data analysis presented here suggests, although not conclusively, that changes in circulation patterns (not necessarily related to greenhouse warming) could have accounted for this recent trend. A better estimate of any trend in the hemispheric mean temperature record that is related to greenhouse gases can be obtained by removing the effects of a pronounced cold ocean—warm land pattern of temperature fluctuations evident in the data.

Item #d96apr17

"Red Dust Rain Within the Spanish Mediterranean Area," J.Q. Sala (Univ. Jaume I, Dept. Geog., Campus Crta. Birriol, s/n Aptdo 224, 12080 Castellón, Spain), J.O. Cantos, E.M. Chiva, Clim. Change, 32(2), 215-228, Feb. 1996.

Red dust rain has become a topical issue since there has been more frequent rainfall of this kind in recent years on the Iberian Peninsula's Mediterranean seaboard. This study analyzes the chemical and meteorological characteristics of this phenomenon using direct and proxy data. The increased frequency of these events is a result of increased convective and advective conditions which encourage the generation and transport of Saharan dust to the area, raising the question whether the latter is a sign of global climate change.

Item #d96apr18

"Indices of Climate Change for the United States," T.R. Karl (Natl. Clim. Data Ctr., 151 Patton Ave., Asheville NC 28801), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77(2), 279-292, Feb. 1996.

This paper, which augments work reported in the premier issue of Consequences (Global Climate Change Digest, Prof. Pubs./Of General Interest/General and Policy, June 1995), concerns the problem of summarizing and presenting a complex set of multivariate, multidimensional changes such that they can be understood and used in policy decisions. Two indices of climate change are developed and analyzed. The Climate Extremes Index, based on an aggregate set of conventional climate extreme indicators, supports the notion that the climate of the U.S. has become more extreme in recent decades, although the magnitude and persistence of the changes are not large enough to conclude that the increase in extremes represents a climatic trend. The Greenhouse Climate Response Index (of indicators that measure changes in climate) has a positive trend consistent with, but not proof of, an enhanced greenhouse effect.

Item #d96apr19

"Global Warming and the Arctic," O.M. Johannessen (Nansen Environ. Ctr., Edvard Griegsvei 3A, N-5037 Bergen-Solheimsviken, Norway), Science, 271(5246), 129, Jan. 12, 1996.

A letter to the editor that comments on a news article, "Polar Regions Give Cold Shoulder to Theories" (Science, p. 1566, Dec. 8, 1995; see Global Climate Change Digest, Research news, Jan. 1996). The letter presents contrasting evidence of a decrease in Arctic ice extent, which may well be a signal of global warming.

Item #d96apr20

"Is a Signature of Socio-Economic Impact Written on the Climate?" L.S. Hingane (Indian Inst. of Tropical Meteor., Pune, India 411008), Clim. Change, 32(1), 91-102, Jan. 1996.

Assesses the chemical composition of the troposphere over the densely populated portion of Asia, finding levels of methane, carbon monoxide and ozone to be remarkably higher than outside the region. The long term rainfall record shows a significant decreasing trend for a region of tropical mountain ranges where intense deforestation has occurred. Surface air temperature and rainfall data for industrial cities with population greater than ten million show a distinct increasing trend.

Item #d96apr21

"Climatic Changes and Desertification in Some Regions of the Middle East," S.H. Alvi (Dept. Civil Eng., Univ. Bahrain, POB 32038, Bahrain, Arabian Gulf), GeoJournal, 37(4), 483-488, Dec. 1995.

Examines temperature and rainfall data for three countries of the Middle East (Oman, Bahrain and Sudan), taking into account the short term impact of the Gulf War of 1991. Temperatures are rising and rainfall is decreasing there, leading to increased desertification.

Item #d96apr22

"UK Lake Plankton and the Gulf Stream," D.G. George, A.H. Taylor (Plymouth Marine Lab., Prospect Pl., W. Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK), Nature, 378(6553), 139, Nov. 9, 1995. A brief note indicating how weather variations and trends can be integrated by physical and biological processes, possibly yielding a sensitive indicator of regional climate change.

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