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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 544225 matches for " N. M. Mahowald "
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Global trends in visibility: implications for dust sources
N. M. Mahowald, J. A. Ballantine, J. Feddema,N. Ramankutty
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) & Discussions (ACPD) , 2007,
Abstract: There is a large uncertainty in the relative roles of human land use, climate change and carbon dioxide fertilization in changing desert dust source strength over the past 100 years, and the overall sign of human impacts on dust is not known. We used visibility data from meteorological stations in dusty regions to assess the anthropogenic impact on long term trends in desert dust emissions. We did this by looking at time series of visibility derived variables and their correlations with precipitation, drought, winds, land use and grazing. Visibility data are available at thousands of stations globally from 1900 to the present, but we focused on 357 stations with more than 30 years of data in regions where mineral aerosols play a dominant role in visibility observations. We evaluated the 1974 to 2003 time period because most of these stations have reliable records only during this time. We first evaluated the visibility data against AERONET aerosol optical depth data, and found that only in dusty regions are the two moderately correlated. Correlation coefficients between visibility-derived variables and AERONET optical depths indicate a moderate correlation (0.47), consistent with capturing about 20% of the variability in optical depths. Two visibility-derived variables appear to compare the best with AERONET observations: the fraction of observations with visibility less than 5 km (VIS5) and the surface extinction (EXT). Regional trends show that in many dusty places, VIS5 and EXT are statistically significantly correlated with the Palmer drought severity index (based on precipitation and temperature) or surface wind speeds, consistent with dust temporal variability being largely driven by meteorology. This is especially true for North African and Chinese dust sources, but less true in the Middle East, Australia or South America, where there are not consistent patterns in the correlations. Climate indices such as El Nino or the North Atlantic Oscillation are not correlated with visibility-derived variables in this analysis. There are few stations where visibility measures are correlated with cultivation or grazing estimates on a temporal basis, although this may be a function of the very coarse temporal resolution of the land use datasets. On the other hand, spatial analysis of the visibility data suggests that natural topographic lows are not correlated with VIS5 or EXT, but land use is correlated at a moderate level. This analysis is consistent with land use being important in some regions, but meteorology driving interannual variability during 1974–2003.
Global trends in visibility: implications for dust sources
N. M. Mahowald,J. A. Ballantine,J. Feddema,N. Ramankutty
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions , 2007,
Abstract: There is a large uncertainty in the relative roles of human land use, climate change and carbon dioxide fertilization in changing desert dust source strength over the past 100 years, and the overall sign of human impacts on dust is not known. We used visibility data from meteorological stations in dusty regions to assess the anthropogenic impact on long term trends in desert dust emissions. Visibility data are available at thousands of stations globally from 1900 to the present, but we focused on 359 stations with more than 30 years of data in regions where mineral aerosols play a dominant role in visibility observations. We evaluated the 1974 to 2003 time period because most of these stations have reliable records only during this time. We first evaluated the visibility data against AERONET aerosol optical depth data, and found that only in dusty regions are the two moderately correlated. Correlation coefficients between visibility derived variables and AERONET optical depths indicate a moderate correlation (~0.47), consistent with capturing about 20% of the variability in optical depths. Two visibility derived variables appear to compare the best with AERONET observations: the fraction of observations with visibility less than 5 km (VIS5) and the surface extinction (EXT). Regional trends show that in many dusty places, VIS5 and EXT are statistically significantly correlated with the palmer drought severity index (based on precipitation and temperature) or surface wind speeds, consistent with dust temporal variability being largely driven by meteorology. This is especially true for North African and Chinese dust sources, but less true in the Middle East, Australia or South America, where there are not consistent patterns in the correlations. Climate indices such as El Nino or the North Atlantic Oscillation are not correlated with visibility derived variables in this analysis. There are few stations where visibility measures are correlated with cultivation or grazing estimates on a temporal basis, although this may be a function of the very coarse temporal resolution of the land use datasets. On the other hand, spatial analysis of the visibility data suggests that natural topographic lows are not correlated with visibility, but land use is correlated at a moderate level. This analysis is consistent with land use being important in some regions, but meteorology driving interannual variability during 1974–2003.
Glacial-interglacial variability in Tropical Pangaean Precipitation during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age: simulations with the Community Climate System Model
N. G. Heavens,N. M. Mahowald,G. S. Soreghan,M. J. Soreghan
Climate of the Past Discussions , 2012, DOI: 10.5194/cpd-8-1915-2012
Abstract: The Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA), the Earth's penultimate "icehouse climate", was a critical time in the history of biological and ecological evolution. Many questions remain about the connections between high-latitude glaciation in Gondwanaland and low-latitude precipitation variability in Pangaea. We have simulated the Earth's climate during Asselian-Sakmarian time (299–284 Ma) with the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3), a coupled dynamic atmosphere-ocean-land-sea-ice model. Our simulations test the sensitivity of the model climate to direct and indirect effects of glaciation as well as variability in the Earth's orbit. Our focus is on precipitation variability in tropical (30° S–30° N) Pangaea, where there has been the most interpretation of glacial-interglacial climate change during the LPIA. The results of these simulations suggest that glacials generally were drier than interglacials in tropical Pangaea, though exceptional areas may have been wetter, depending on location and the mode of glaciation. Lower sea level, an indirect effect of changes in glacial extent, appears to reduce tropical Pangaean precipitation more than the direct radiative/topographic effects of high-latitude glaciation. Glaciation of the Central Pangaean Mountains would have greatly reduced equatorial Pangaean precipitation, while perhaps enhancing precipitation at higher tropical latitudes and in equatorial rain shadows. Variability evident in strata with 5th order stratigraphic cycles may have resulted from precipitation changes owing to precession forcing of monsoon circulations and would have differed in character between greenhouse and icehouse climates.
Impact of variable air-sea O2 and CO2 fluxes on atmospheric potential oxygen (APO) and land-ocean carbon sink partitioning
C. D. Nevison, N. M. Mahowald, S. C. Doney, I. D. Lima,N. Cassar
Biogeosciences (BG) & Discussions (BGD) , 2008,
Abstract: A three dimensional, time-evolving field of atmospheric potential oxygen (APO ~O2/N2+CO2) was estimated using surface O2, N2 and CO2 fluxes from the WHOI ocean ecosystem model to force the MATCH atmospheric transport model. Land and fossil carbon fluxes were also run in MATCH and translated into O2 tracers using assumed O2:CO2 stoichiometries. The modeled seasonal cycles in APO agree well with the observed cycles at 13 global monitoring stations, with agreement helped by including oceanic CO2 in the APO calculation. The modeled latitudinal gradient in APO is strongly influenced by seasonal rectifier effects in atmospheric transport. An analysis of the APO-vs.-CO2 mass-balance method for partitioning land and ocean carbon sinks was performed in the controlled context of the MATCH simulation, in which the true surface carbon and oxygen fluxes were known exactly. This analysis suggests uncertainty of up to ±0.2 PgC in the inferred sinks due to variability associated with sparse atmospheric sampling. It also shows that interannual variability in oceanic O2 fluxes can cause large errors in the sink partitioning when the method is applied over short timescales. However, when decadal or longer averages are used, the variability in the oceanic O2 flux is relatively small, allowing carbon sinks to be partitioned to within a standard deviation of 0.1 Pg C/yr of the true values, provided one has an accurate estimate of long-term mean O2 outgassing.
Sensitivity of wetland methane emissions to model assumptions: application and model testing against site observations
L. Meng,P. G. M. Hess,N. M. Mahowald,J. B. Yavitt
Biogeosciences Discussions , 2011, DOI: 10.5194/bgd-8-6095-2011
Abstract: Methane emissions from natural wetlands and rice paddies constitute a large proportion of atmospheric methane, but the magnitude and year-to-year variation of these methane sources is still unpredictable. Here we describe and evaluate the integration of a methane biogeochemical model (CLM4Me; Riley et al., 2011) into the Community Land Model 4.0 (CLM4CN) in order to better explain spatial and temporal variations in methane emissions. We test new functions for soil pH and redox potential that impact microbial methane production in soils. We also constrain aerenchyma in plants in always-inundated areas in order to better represent wetland vegetation. Satellite inundated fraction is explicitly prescribed in the model because there are large differences between simulated fractional inundation and satellite observations. A rice paddy module is also incorporated into the model, where the fraction of land used for rice production is explicitly prescribed. The model is evaluated at the site level with vegetation cover and water table prescribed from measurements. Explicit site level evaluations of simulated methane emissions are quite different than evaluating the grid cell averaged emissions against available measurements. Using a baseline set of parameter values, our model-estimated average global wetland emissions for the period 1993–2004 were 256 Tg CH4 yr 1, and rice paddy emissions in the year 2000 were 42 Tg CH4 yr 1. Tropical wetlands contributed 201 Tg CH4 yr 1, or 78 % of the global wetland flux. Northern latitude (>50 N) systems contributed 12 Tg CH4 yr 1. We expect this latter number may be an underestimate due to the low high-latitude inundated area captured by satellites and unrealistically low high-latitude productivity and soil carbon predicted by CLM4. Sensitivity analysis showed a large range (150–346 Tg CH4 yr 1) in predicted global methane emissions. The large range was sensitive to: (1) the amount of methane transported through aerenchyma, (2) soil pH (± 100 Tg CH4 yr 1), and (3) redox inhibition (± 45 Tg CH4 yr 1).
Sensitivity of wetland methane emissions to model assumptions: application and model testing against site observations
L. Meng,P. G. M. Hess,N. M. Mahowald,J. B. Yavitt
Biogeosciences (BG) & Discussions (BGD) , 2012, DOI: 10.5194/bg-9-2793-2012
Abstract: Methane emissions from natural wetlands and rice paddies constitute a large proportion of atmospheric methane, but the magnitude and year-to-year variation of these methane sources are still unpredictable. Here we describe and evaluate the integration of a methane biogeochemical model (CLM4Me; Riley et al., 2011) into the Community Land Model 4.0 (CLM4CN) in order to better explain spatial and temporal variations in methane emissions. We test new functions for soil pH and redox potential that impact microbial methane production in soils. We also constrain aerenchyma in plants in always-inundated areas in order to better represent wetland vegetation. Satellite inundated fraction is explicitly prescribed in the model, because there are large differences between simulated fractional inundation and satellite observations, and thus we do not use CLM4-simulated hydrology to predict inundated areas. A rice paddy module is also incorporated into the model, where the fraction of land used for rice production is explicitly prescribed. The model is evaluated at the site level with vegetation cover and water table prescribed from measurements. Explicit site level evaluations of simulated methane emissions are quite different than evaluating the grid-cell averaged emissions against available measurements. Using a baseline set of parameter values, our model-estimated average global wetland emissions for the period 1993–2004 were 256 Tg CH4 yr 1 (including the soil sink) and rice paddy emissions in the year 2000 were 42 Tg CH4 yr 1. Tropical wetlands contributed 201 Tg CH4 yr 1, or 78% of the global wetland flux. Northern latitude (>50 N) systems contributed 12 Tg CH4 yr 1. However, sensitivity studies show a large range (150–346 Tg CH4 yr 1) in predicted global methane emissions (excluding emissions from rice paddies). The large range is sensitive to (1) the amount of methane transported through aerenchyma, (2) soil pH (±100 Tg CH4 yr 1), and (3) redox inhibition (±45 Tg CH4 yr 1). Results are sensitive to biases in the CLMCN and to errors in the satellite inundation fraction. In particular, the high latitude methane emission estimate may be biased low due to both underestimates in the high-latitude inundated area captured by satellites and unrealistically low high-latitude productivity and soil carbon predicted by CLM4.
Springtime warming and reduced snow cover from carbonaceous particles
M. G. Flanner,C. S. Zender,P. G. Hess,N. M. Mahowald
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions , 2008,
Abstract: Boreal spring climate is uniquely susceptible to solar warming mechanisms because it has expansive snow cover and receives relatively strong insolation. Carbonaceous particles can influence snow coverage by warming the atmosphere, reducing surface-incident solar energy (dimming), and reducing snow reflectance after deposition (darkening). We apply a range of models and observations to explore impacts of these processes on springtime climate, drawing several conclusions: 1) Nearly all atmospheric particles (those with visible-band single-scatter albedo less than 0.999), including all mixtures of black carbon (BC) and organic matter (OM), increase net solar heating of the atmosphere-snow column. 2) Darkening caused by small concentrations of particles within snow exceeds the loss of absorbed energy from concurrent dimming, thus increasing solar heating of snowpack as well (positive net surface forcing). Over global snow, we estimate 6-fold greater surface forcing from darkening than dimming, caused by BC+OM. 3) Equilibrium climate experiments suggest that fossil fuel and biofuel emissions of BC+OM induce 95% as much springtime snow cover loss over Eurasia as anthropogenic carbon dioxide, a consequence of strong snow-albedo feedback and large BC+OM emissions from Asia. 4) Of 22 climate models contributing to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 21 underpredict the rapid warming (0.64°C decade 1) observed over springtime Eurasia since 1979. Darkening from natural and anthropogenic sources of BC and mineral dust exerts 3-fold greater forcing on springtime snow over Eurasia (3.9 W m 2) than North America (1.2 W m 2). Inclusion of this forcing significantly improves simulated continental warming trends, but does not reconcile the low bias in rate of Eurasian spring snow cover decline exhibited by all models.
The impacts of climate, land use, and demography on fires during the 21st century simulated by CLM-CN
S. Kloster, N. M. Mahowald, J. T. Randerson,P. J. Lawrence
Biogeosciences (BG) & Discussions (BGD) , 2012,
Abstract: Landscape fires during the 21st century are expected to change in response to multiple agents of global change. Important controlling factors include climate controls on the length and intensity of the fire season, fuel availability, and fire management, which are already anthropogenically perturbed today and are predicted to change further in the future. An improved understanding of future fires will contribute to an improved ability to project future anthropogenic climate change, as changes in fire activity will in turn impact climate. In the present study we used a coupled-carbon-fire model to investigate how changes in climate, demography, and land use may alter fire emissions. We used climate projections following the SRES A1B scenario from two different climate models (ECHAM5/MPI-OM and CCSM) and changes in population. Land use and harvest rates were prescribed according to the RCP 45 scenario. In response to the combined effect of all these drivers, our model estimated, depending on our choice of climate projection, an increase in future (2075–2099) fire carbon emissions by 17 and 62% compared to present day (1985–2009). The largest increase in fire emissions was predicted for Southern Hemisphere South America for both climate projections. For Northern Hemisphere Africa, a region that contributed significantly to the global total fire carbon emissions, the response varied between a decrease and an increase depending on the climate projection. We disentangled the contribution of the single forcing factors to the overall response by conducting an additional set of simulations in which each factor was individually held constant at pre-industrial levels. The two different projections of future climate change evaluated in this study led to increases in global fire carbon emissions by 22% (CCSM) and 66% (ECHAM5/MPI-OM). The RCP 45 projection of harvest and land use led to a decrease in fire carbon emissions by 5%. The RCP 26 and RCP 60 harvest and landuse projections caused decreases around 20%. Changes in human ignition led to an increase of 20%. When we also included changes in fire management efforts to suppress fires in densely populated areas, global fire carbon emission decreased by 6% in response to changes in population density. We concluded from this study that changes in fire emissions in the future are controlled by multiple interacting factors. Although changes in climate led to an increase in future fire emissions this could be globally counterbalanced by coupled changes in land use, harvest, and demography.
Variability in air-sea O2 and CO2 fluxes and its impact on atmospheric potential oxygen (APO) and the partitioning of land and ocean carbon sinks
C. D. Nevison,N. M. Mahowald,S. C. Doney,I. D. Lima
Biogeosciences Discussions , 2007,
Abstract: A three dimensional, time-evolving field of atmospheric potential oxygen (APO ~ O2/N2 + CO2) is estimated using surface O2, N2 and CO2 fluxes from the WHOI ocean ecosystem model to force the MATCH atmospheric transport model. Land and fossil carbon fluxes are also run in MATCH and translated into O2 tracers using assumed O2:CO2 stoichiometries. The model seasonal cycles in APO agree well with the observed cycles at 13 global monitoring stations, with agreement helped by the inclusion of oceanic CO2 in the APO calculation. The model latitudinal gradient in APO is strongly influenced by seasonal rectifier effects in atmospheric transport, which appear at least partly unrealistic based on comparison to observations. An analysis of the APO vs.~CO2 method for partitioning land and ocean carbon sinks is performed in the controlled context of the MATCH simulation, in which the true surface carbon and oxygen fluxes are known exactly. This analysis suggests uncertainty ranging up to ±0.2 PgC in the inferred sinks due to transport-induced variability. It also shows that interannual variability in oceanic O2 fluxes can cause increasingly large error in the sink partitioning when the method is applied over increasingly short timescales. However, when decadal or longer averages are used, the variability in the oceanic O2 flux is relatively small, allowing carbon sinks to be partitioned to within a standard deviation of 0.1 Pg C/yr of the true values, provided one has an accurate estimate of long-term mean O2 outgassing.
The impacts of climate, land use, and demography on fires during the 21st century simulated by CLM-CN
S. Kloster,N. M. Mahowald,J. T. Randerson,P. J. Lawrence
Biogeosciences Discussions , 2011, DOI: 10.5194/bgd-8-9709-2011
Abstract: Landscape fires during the 21st century are expected to change in response to multiple agents of global change. Important controlling factors include climate controls on the length and intensity of the fire season, fuel availability, and fire management, which are already anthropogenically perturbed today and are predicted to change further in the future. An improved understanding of future fires will contribute to an improved ability to project future anthropogenic climate change, as changes in fire behavior will in turn impact climate. In the present study we used a coupled-carbon-fire model to investigate how changes in climate, demography, and land use may alter fire emissions. We used climate projections following the SRES A1B scenario from two different climate models (ECHAM5/MPI-OM and CCSM) and changes in population. Land use and harvest rates were prescribed according to the RCP 45 scenario. In response to the combined effect of all these drivers, our model estimated, depending on our choice of climate projection, an increase in future (2075–2099) fire carbon emissions by 17 and 62% compared to present day (1985–2009). The largest increase in fire emissions was predicted for Southern Hemisphere South America for both climate projection. For Northern Hemisphere Africa, a region that contributed significantly to the global total fire carbon emissions, the response varied between a decrease and an increase depending on the climate projection. We disentangled the contribution of the single forcing factors to the overall response by conducting an additional set of simulations in which each factor was individually held constant at pre-industrial levels. The two different projections of future climate change evaluated in this study led to increases in global fire carbon emissions by 22% (CCSM) and 66% (ECHAM5/MPI-OM). The RCP 45 projection of harvest and land use led to a decrease in fire carbon emissions by 5%. Changes in human ignition led to an increase in 20%. When we also included changes in fire management efforts to suppress fires in densely populated areas, global fire carbon emission decreased by 6% in response to changes in population density. We concluded from this study that changes in fire emissions in the future are controlled by multiple interacting factors. Although changes in climate led to an increase in future fire emissions this could be globally counterbalanced by coupled changes in land use, harvest, and demography.
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