Reconciliation of essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions (RECONCILE): activities and results
Marc von Hobe
Guido Di Donfrancesco
Christopher R. Hoyle
Ivar S.A. Isaksen
David R. Jackson
Imre M. Jánosi
Rod L. Jones
Sergey M. Khaykin
Johannes Christian Laube
Beiping P. Luo
Michael C. Pitts
Lamont R. Poole
Francis D. Pope
Michelle L. Santee
Matteo Siciliani de Cumis
Ole Amund Søvde
Marcel vom Scheidt
Peter von der Gathen
Kaley A. Walker
Franck G. Wienhold
Isla A. K. Young
- The international research project RECONCILE has addressed central questions regarding polar ozone depletion, with the objective to quantify some of the most relevant yet still uncertain physical and chemical processes and thereby improve prognostic modelling capabilities to realistically predict the response of the ozone layer to climate change. This overview paper outlines the scope and the general approach of RECONCILE, and it provides a summary of observations and modelling in 2010 and 2011 that have generated an in many respects unprecedented dataset to study processes in the Arctic winter stratosphere. Principally, it summarises important outcomes of RECONCILE including (i) better constraints and enhanced consistency on the set of parameters governing catalytic ozone destruction cycles, (ii) a better understanding of the role of cold binary aerosols in heterogeneous chlorine activation, (iii) an improved scheme of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) processes that includes heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) and ice on non-volatile background aerosol leading to better model parameterisations with respect to denitrification, and (iv) long transient simulations with a chemistry-climate model (CCM) updated based on the results of RECONCILE that better reproduce past ozone trends in Antarctica and are deemed to produce more reliable predictions of future ozone trends. The process studies and the global simulations conducted in RECONCILE show that in the Arctic, ozone depletion uncertainties in the chemical and microphysical processes are now clearly smaller than the sensitivity to dynamic variability.
Statistical separation of observed global and European climate data into natural and anthropogenic signals
- Observed global and European spatiotemporal related fields of surface air temperature, mean-sea-level pressure and precipitation are analyzed statistically with respect to their response to external forcing factors such as anthropogenic greenhouse gases, anthropogenic sulfate aerosol, solar variations and explosive volcanism, and known internal climate mechanisms such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). As a first step, a principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to the observed spatiotemporal related fields to obtain spatial patterns with linear independent temporal structure. In a second step, the time series of each of the spatial patterns is subject to a stepwise regression analysis in order to separate it into signals of the external forcing factors and internal climate mechanisms as listed above as well as the residuals. Finally a back-transformation leads to the spatiotemporally related patterns of all these signals being intercompared. Two kinds of significance tests are applied to the anthropogenic signals. First, it is tested whether the anthropogenic signal is significant compared with the complete residual variance including natural variability. This test answers the question whether a significant anthropogenic climate change is visible in the observed data. As a second test the anthropogenic signal is tested with respect to the climate noise component only. This test answers the question whether the anthropogenic signal is significant among others in the observed data. Using both tests, regions can be specified where the anthropogenic influence is visible (second test) and regions where the anthropogenic influence has already significantly changed climate (first test).
Statistical time series decomposition into significant components and application to European temperature
Nonlinear statistical attribution and detection of anthropogenic climate change using a simulated annealing algorithm
- The climate system can be regarded as a dynamic nonlinear system. Thus, traditional linear statistical methods fail to model the nonlinearities of such a system. These nonlinearities render it necessary to find alternative statistical techniques. Since artificial neural network models (NNM) represent such a nonlinear statistical method their use in analyzing the climate system has been studied for a couple of years now. Most authors use the standard Backpropagation Network (BPN) for their investigations, although this specific model architecture carries a certain risk of over-/underfitting. Here we use the so called Cauchy Machine (CM) with an implemented Fast Simulated Annealing schedule (FSA) (Szu, 1986) for the purpose of attributing and detecting anthropogenic climate change instead. Under certain conditions the CM-FSA guarantees to find the global minimum of a yet undefined cost function (Geman and Geman, 1986). In addition to potential anthropogenic influences on climate (greenhouse gases (GHG), sulphur dioxide (SO2)) natural influences on near surface air temperature (variations of solar activity, explosive volcanism and the El Nino = Southern Oscillation phenomenon) serve as model inputs. The simulations are carried out on different spatial scales: global and area weighted averages. In addition, a multiple linear regression analysis serves as a linear reference. It is shown that the adaptive nonlinear CM-FSA algorithm captures the dynamics of the climate system to a great extent. However, free parameters of this specific network architecture have to be optimized subjectively. The quality of the simulations obtained by the CM-FSA algorithm exceeds the results of a multiple linear regression model; the simulation quality on the global scale amounts up to 81% explained variance. Furthermore the combined anthropogenic effect corresponds to the observed increase in temperature Jones et al. (1994), updated by Jones (1999a), for the examined period 1856–1998 on all investigated scales. In accordance to recent findings of physical climate models, the CM-FSA succeeds with the detection of anthropogenic induced climate change on a high significance level. Thus, the CMFSA algorithm can be regarded as a suitable nonlinear statistical tool for modeling and diagnosing the climate system.
Impact of climate change on renewable groundwater resources: assessing the benefits of avoided greenhouse gas emissions using selected CMIP5 climate projections
Felix Theodor Portmann
- Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to minimize climate change requires very significant societal effort. To motivate this effort, it is important to clarify the benefits of avoided emissions. To this end, we analysed the impact of four emissions scenarios on future renewable groundwater resources, which range from 1600 GtCO2 during the 21st century (RCP2.6) to 7300 GtCO2 (RCP8.5). Climate modelling uncertainty was taken into account by applying the bias-corrected output of a small ensemble of five CMIP5 global climate models (GCM) as provided by the ISI-MIP effort to the global hydrological model WaterGAP. Despite significant climate model uncertainty, the benefits of avoided emissions with respect to renewable groundwater resources (i.e. groundwater recharge (GWR)) are obvious. The percentage of projected global population (SSP2 population scenario) suffering from a significant decrease of GWR of more than 10% by the 2080s as compared to 1971–2000 decreases from 38% (GCM range 27–50%) for RCP8.5 to 24% (11–39%) for RCP2.6. The population fraction that is spared from any significant GWR change would increase from 29% to 47% if emissions were restricted to RCP2.6. Increases of GWR are more likely to occur in areas with below average population density, while GWR decreases of more than 30% affect especially (semi)arid regions, across all GCMs. Considering change of renewable groundwater resources as a function of mean global temperature (GMT) rise, the land area that is affected by GWR decreases of more than 30% and 70% increases linearly with global warming from 0 to 3 ° C. For each degree of GMT rise, an additional 4% of the global land area (except Greenland and Antarctica) is affected by a GWR decrease of more than 30%, and an additional 1% is affected by a decrease of more than 70%.
High functional diversity is related to high nitrogen availability in a deciduous forest - evidence from a functional trait approach
Valério de Patta Pillar
- The current study tested the assumption that floristic and functional diversity patterns are negatively related to soil nitrogen content. We analyzed 20 plots with soil N-contents ranging from 0.63% to 1.06% in a deciduous forest near Munich (Germany). To describe species adaptation strategies to different nitrogen availabilities, we used a plant functional type (PFT) approach. Each identified PFT represents one realized adaptation strategy to the current environment. These were correlated, next to plant species richness and evenness, to soil nitrogen contents. We found that N-efficient species were typical for low soil nitrogen contents, while N-requiring species occur at high N-contents. In contrast to our initial hypotheses, floristic and functional diversity measures (number of PFTs) were positively related to nitrogen content in the soil. Every functional group has its own adaptation to the prevailing environmental conditions; in consequence, these functional groups can co-exist but do not out-compete one another. The increased number of functional groups at high N-contents leads to increased species richness. Hence, for explaining diversity patterns we need to consider species groups representing different adaptations to the current environmental conditions. Such co-existing ecological strategies may even overcome the importance of competition in their effect on biodiversity.
Satellite-based sunshine duration for Europe
- In this study, two different methods were applied to derive daily and monthly sunshine duration based on high-resolution satellite products provided by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring using data from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager). The satellite products were either hourly cloud type or hourly surface incoming direct radiation. The satellite sunshine duration estimates were not found to be significantly different using the native 15-minute temporal resolution of SEVIRI. The satellite-based sunshine duration products give additional spatial information over the European continent compared with equivalent in situ-based products. An evaluation of the satellite sunshine duration by product intercomparison and against station measurements was carried out to determine their accuracy. The satellite data were found to be within ±1 h/day compared to high-quality Baseline Surface Radiation Network or surface synoptic observations (SYNOP) station measurements. The satellite-based products differ more over the oceans than over land, mainly because of the treatment of fractional clouds in the cloud type-based sunshine duration product. This paper presents the methods used to derive the satellite sunshine duration products and the performance of the different retrievals. The main benefits and disadvantages compared to station-based products are also discussed.
Global-scale modeling of groundwater recharge
- Long-term average groundwater recharge, which is equivalent to renewable groundwater resources, is the major limiting factor for the sustainable use of groundwater. Compared to surface water resources, groundwater resources are more protected from pollution, and their use is less restricted by seasonal and inter-annual flow variations. To support water management in a globalized world, it is necessary to estimate groundwater recharge at the global scale. Here, we present a best estimate of global-scale long-term average diffuse groundwater recharge (i.e. renewable groundwater resources) that has been calculated by the most recent version of the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model WGHM (spatial resolution of 0.5° by 0.5°, daily time steps). The estimate was obtained using two state-of-the art global data sets of gridded observed precipitation that we corrected for measurement errors, which also allowed to quantify the uncertainty due to these equally uncertain data sets. The standard WGHM groundwater recharge algorithm was modified for semi-arid and arid regions, based on 15 independent estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge, which lead to an unbiased estimation of groundwater recharge in these regions. WGHM was tuned against observed long-term average river discharge at 1235 gauging stations by adjusting, individually for each basin, the partitioning of precipitation into evapotranspiration and total runoff. We estimate that global groundwater recharge was 12 666 km3/yr for the climate nor20 mal 1961–1990, i.e. 32% of total renewable water resources. In semi-arid and arid regions, mountainous regions, permafrost regions and in the Asian Monsoon region, groundwater recharge accounts for a lower fraction of total runoff, which makes these regions particularly vulnerable to seasonal and inter-annual precipitation variability and water pollution. Average per-capita renewable groundwater resources of countries vary 25 between 8m3/(capita yr) for Egypt to more than 1 million m3/(capita yr) for the Falkland Islands, the global average in the year 2000 being 2091m3/(capita yr). Regarding the uncertainty of estimated groundwater resources due to the two precipitation data sets, deviation from the mean is less than 1% for 50 out of the 165 countries considered, between 1 and 5% for 62, between 5 and 20% for 43 and between 20 and 80% for 10 countries. Deviations at the grid scale can be much larger, ranging between 0 and 186 mm/yr.
Value of river discharge data for global-scale hydrological modeling
- his paper investigates the value of observed river discharge data for global-scale hydrological modeling of a number of flow characteristics that are required for assessing water resources, flood risk and habitat alteration of aqueous ecosystems. An improved version of WGHM (WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model) was tuned in a way that simulated and observed long-term average river discharges at each station become equal, using either the 724-station dataset (V1) against which former model versions were tuned or a new dataset (V2) of 1235 stations and often longer time series. WGHM is tuned by adjusting one model parameter (γ) that affects runoff generation from land areas, and, where necessary, by applying one or two correction factors, which correct the total runoff in a sub-basin (areal correction factor) or the discharge at the station (station correction factor). The study results are as follows. (1) Comparing V2 to V1, the global land area covered by tuning basins increases by 5%, while the area where the model can be tuned by only adjusting γ increases by 8% (546 vs. 384 stations). However, the area where a station correction factor (and not only an areal correction factor) has to be applied more than doubles (389 vs. 93 basins), which is a strong drawback as use of a station correction factor makes discharge discontinuous at the gauge and inconsistent with runoff in the basin. (2) The value of additional discharge information for representing the spatial distribution of long-term average discharge (and thus renewable water resources) with WGHM is high, particularly for river basins outside of the V1 tuning area and for basins where the average sub-basin area has decreased by at least 50% in V2 as compared to V1. For these basins, simulated long-term average discharge would differ from the observed one by a factor of, on average, 1.8 and 1.3, respectively, if the additional discharge information were not used for tuning. The value tends to be higher in semi-arid and snow-dominated regions where hydrological models are less reliable than in humid areas. The deviation of the other simulated flow characteristics (e.g. low flow, inter-annual variability and seasonality) from the observed values also decreases significantly, but this is mainly due to the better representation of average discharge but not of variability. (3) The optimal sub-basin size for tuning depends on the modeling purpose. On the one hand, small basins between 9000 and 20 000 km2 show a much stronger improvement in model performance due to tuning than the larger basins, which is related to the lower model performance (with and without tuning), with basins over 60 000 km2 performing best. On the other hand, tuning of small basins decreases model consistency, as almost half of them require a station correction factor.
Global modelling of continental water storage changes : sensitivity to different climate data sets
- Since 2002, the GRACE satellite mission provides estimates of the Earth's dynamic gravity field with unprecedented accuracy. Differences between monthly gravity fields contain a clear hydrological signal due to continental water storage changes. In order to evaluate GRACE results, the state-of-the-art WaterGAP Global Hydrological Model (WGHM) is applied to calculate terrestrial water storage changes on a global scale. WGHM is driven by different climate data sets to analyse especially the influence of different precipitation data on calculated water storage. The data sets used are the CRU TS 2.1 climate data set, the GPCC Full Data Product for precipitation and data from the ECMWF integrated forecast system. A simple approach for precipitation correction is introduced. WGHM results are then compared with GRACE data. The use of different precipitation data sets leads to considerable differences in computed water storage change for a large number of river basins. Comparing model results with GRACE observations shows a good spatial correlation and also a good agreement in phase. However, seasonal variations of water storage as derived from GRACE tend to be significantly larger than those computed by WGHM, regardless of which climate data set is used.