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.
Advances and visions in large-scale hydrological modelling : findings from the 11th Workshop on Large-Scale Hydrological Modelling
- Large-scale hydrological modelling has become increasingly wide-spread during the last decade. An annual workshop series on large-scale hydrological modelling has provided, since 1997, a forum to the German-speaking community for discussing recent developments and achievements in this research area. In this paper we present the findings from the 2007 workshop which focused on advances and visions in large-scale hydrological modelling. We identify the state of the art, difficulties and research perspectives with respect to the themes "sensitivity of model results", "integrated modelling" and "coupling of processes in hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere". Some achievements in large-scale hydrological modelling during the last ten years are presented together with a selection of remaining challenges for the future.
Advances and visions in large-scale hydrological modelling : proceedings of the 11th Workshop on Large-scale Hydrological Modelling
Felix Theodor Portmann
Methodische Untersuchungen am Kreta-Detachment (Kreta, Griechenland) : Anzeichen für eine alpidische Metamorphose der Hangendscholle ; Vortrag
Abrupt climate changes of the last deglaciation detected in a Western Mediterranean forest record
William J. Fletcher
Maria Fernanda Sanchez Goñi
- Abrupt changes in Western Mediterranean climate during the last deglaciation (20 to 6 cal ka BP) are detected in marine core MD95-2043 (Alboran Sea) through the investigation of high-resolution pollen data and pollen-based climate reconstructions by the modern analogue technique (MAT) for annual precipitation (Pann) and mean temperatures of the coldest and warmest months (MTCO and MTWA). Changes in temperate Mediterranean forest development and composition and MAT reconstructions indicate major climatic shifts with parallel temperature and precipitation changes at the onsets of Heinrich stadial 1 (equivalent to the Oldest Dryas), the Bölling-Allerød (BA), and the Younger Dryas (YD). Multi-centennial-scale oscillations in forest development occurred throughout the BA, YD, and early Holocene. Shifts in vegetation composition and (Pann reconstructions indicate that forest declines occurred during dry, and generally cool, episodes centred at 14.0, 13.3, 12.9, 11.8, 10.7, 10.1, 9.2, 8.3 and 7.4 cal ka BP. The forest record also suggests multiple, low-amplitude Preboreal (PB) climate oscillations, and a marked increase in moisture availability for forest development at the end of the PB at 10.6 cal ka BP. Dry atmospheric conditions in the Western Mediterranean occurred in phase with Lateglacial events of high-latitude cooling including GI-1d (Older Dryas), GI-1b (Intra-Allerød Cold Period) and GS-1 (YD), and during Holocene events associated with high-latitude cooling, meltwater pulses and N. Atlantic ice-rafting. A possible climatic mechanism for the recurrence of dry intervals and an opposed regional precipitation pattern with respect to Western-central Europe relates to the dynamics of the westerlies and the prevalence of atmospheric blocking highs. Comparison of radiocarbon and ice-core ages for well-defined climatic transitions in the forest record suggests possible enhancement of marine reservoir ages in the Alboran Sea by 200 years (surface water age 600 years) during the Lateglacial.
Terrestrial climate variability and seasonality changes in the Mediterranean region between 15 000 and 4000 years BP deduced from marine pollen records
- Pollen-based climate reconstructions were performed on two high-resolution pollen marines cores from the Alboran and Aegean Seas in order to unravel the climatic variability in the coastal settings of the Mediterranean region between 15 000 and 4000 years BP (the Lateglacial, and early to mid-Holocene). The quantitative climate reconstructions for the Alboran and Aegean Sea records focus mainly on the reconstruction of the seasonality changes (temperatures and precipitation), a crucial parameter in the Mediterranean region. This study is based on a multi-method approach comprising 3 methods: the Modern Analogues Technique (MAT), the recent Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling/Generalized Additive Model method (NMDS/GAM) and Partial Least Squares regression (PLS). The climate signal inferred from this comparative approach confirms that cold and dry conditions prevailed in the Mediterranean region during the Oldest and Younger Dryas periods, while temperate conditions prevailed during the Bølling/Allerød and the Holocene. Our records suggest a West/East gradient of decreasing precipitation across the Mediterranean region during the cooler Late-glacial and early Holocene periods, similar to present-day conditions. Winter precipitation was highest during warm intervals and lowest during cooling phases. Several short-lived cool intervals (i.e. Older Dryas, another oscillation after this one (GI-1c2), Gerzensee/Preboreal Oscillations, 8.2 ka event, Bond events) connected to the North Atlantic climate system are documented in the Alboran and Aegean Sea records indicating that the climate oscillations associated with the successive steps of the deglaciation in the North Atlantic area occurred in both the western and eastern Mediterranean regions. This observation confirms the presence of strong climatic linkages between the North Atlantic and Mediterranean regions.
Aerosols in the tropical and subtropical UT/LS: in-situ measurements of submicron particle abundance and volatility
James C. Wilson
Carine D. Homan
Genrikh N. Shur
Kathy S. Law
- Processes occurring in the tropical upper troposphere (UT), the Tropical Transition Layer (TTL), and the lower stratosphere (LS) are of importance for the global climate, for stratospheric dynamics and air chemistry, and for their influence on the global distribution of water vapour, trace gases and aerosols. In this contribution we present aerosol and trace gas (in-situ) measurements from the tropical UT/LS over Southern Brazil, Northern Australia, and West Africa. The instruments were operated on board of the Russian high altitude research aircraft M-55 "Geophysica" and the DLR Falcon-20 during the campaigns TROCCINOX (Araçatuba, Brazil, February 2005), SCOUT-O3 (Darwin, Australia, December 2005), and SCOUT-AMMA (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, August 2006). The data cover submicron particle number densities and volatility from the COndensation PArticle counting System (COPAS), as well as relevant trace gases like N2O, ozone, and CO. We use these trace gas measurements to place the aerosol data into a broader atmospheric context. Also a juxtaposition of the submicron particle data with previous measurements over Costa Rica and other tropical locations between 1999 and 2007 (NASA DC-8 and NASA WB-57F) is provided. The submicron particle number densities, as a function of altitude, were found to be remarkably constant in the tropical UT/LS altitude band for the two decades after 1987. Thus, a parameterisation suitable for models can be extracted from these measurements. Compared to the average levels in the period between 1987 and 2007 a slight increase of particle abundances was found for 2005/2006 at altitudes with potential temperatures, theta, above 430 K. The origins of this increase are unknown except for increases measured during SCOUT-AMMA. Here the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in the Caribbean caused elevated particle mixing ratios. The vertical profiles from Northern hemispheric mid-latitudes between 1999 and 2006 also are compact enough to derive a parameterisation. The tropical profiles all show a broad maximum of particle mixing ratios (between theta ~ 340 K and 390 K) which extends from below the TTL to above the thermal tropopause. Thus these particles are a "reservoir" for vertical transport into the stratosphere. The ratio of non-volatile particle number density to total particle number density was also measured by COPAS. The vertical profiles of this ratio have a maximum of 50% above 370 K over Australia and West Africa and a pronounced minimum directly below. Without detailed chemical composition measurements a reason for the increase of non-volatile particle fractions cannot yet be given. However, half of the particles from the tropical "reservoir" contain compounds other than sulphuric acid and water. Correlations of the measured aerosol mixing ratios with N2O and ozone exhibit compact relationships for the tropical data from SCOUT-AMMA, TROCCINOX, and SCOUT-O3. Correlations with CO are more scattered probably because of the connection to different pollution source regions. We provide additional data from the long distance transfer flights to the campaign sites in Brazil, Australia, and West-Africa. These were executed during a time window of 17 months within a period of relative volcanic quiescence. Thus the data represent a "snapshot picture" documenting the status of a significant part of the global UT/LS fine aerosol at low concentration levels 15 years after the last major (i.e., the 1991 Mount Pinatubo) eruption. The corresponding latitudinal distributions of the measured particle number densities are presented in this paper to provide data of the UT/LS background aerosol for modelling purposes.
Development of a Bioaerosol single particle detector (BIO IN) for the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH
- In this work we present the setup and first tests of our new BIO IN detector. This detector was constructed to classify atmospheric ice nuclei (IN) for their biological content. It is designed to be coupled to the Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber FINCH. If one particle acts as an ice nucleus, it will be at least partly covered with ice at the end of the development section of the FINCH chamber. The device combines an auto-fluorescence detector and a circular depolarization detector for simultaneous detection of biological material and discrimination between water droplets, ice crystals and non activated large aerosol particles. The excitation of biological material with UV light and analysis of auto-fluorescence is a common principle used for flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, spectroscopy and imaging. The detection of auto-fluorescence of airborne single particles demands some more experimental effort. However, expensive commercial sensors are available for special purposes, e.g. size distribution measurements. But these sensors will not fit the specifications needed for the FINCH IN counter (e.g. high sample flow of up 10 LPM). The newly developed -low cost- BIO IN sensor uses a single high-power UV LED for the electronic excitation instead of much more expensive UV lasers. Other key advantages of the new sensor are the low weight, compact size, and the little effect on the aerosol sample, which allows it to be coupled with other instruments for further analysis. The instrument will be flown on one of the first missions of the new German research aircraft "HALO" (High Altitude and LOng range).
On daily interpolation of precipitation backed with secondary information
- This paper investigates the potential impact of secondary information on rainfall mapping applying Ordinary Kriging. Secondary information tested is a natural area indicator, which is a combination of topographic features and weather conditions. Cross validation shows that secondary information only marginally improves the final mapping, indicating that a one-day accumulation time is possibly too short.
Impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems: a global-scale analysis of ecologically relevant river flow alterations
- River flow regimes, including long-term average flows, seasonality, low flows, high flows and other types of flow variability, play an important role for freshwater ecosystems. Thus, climate change affects freshwater ecosystems not only by increased temperatures but also by altered river flow regimes. However, with one exception, transferable quantitative relations between flow alterations and ecological responses have not yet been derived. While discharge decreases are generally considered to be detrimental for ecosystems, the effect of future discharge increases is unclear. As a first step towards a global-scale analysis of climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems, we quantified the impact of climate change on five ecologically relevant river flow indicators, using the global water model WaterGAP 2.1g to simulate monthly time series of river discharge with a spatial resolution of 0.5 degrees. Four climate change scenarios based on two global climate models and two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios were evaluated. We compared the impact of climate change by the 2050s to the impact of water withdrawals and dams on natural flow regimes that had occurred by 2002. Climate change was computed to alter seasonal flow regimes significantly (i.e. by more than 10%) on 90% of the global land area (excluding Greenland and Antarctica), as compared to only one quarter of the land area that had suffered from significant seasonal flow regime alterations due to dams and water withdrawals. Due to climate change, the timing of the maximum mean monthly river discharge will be shifted by at least one month on one third on the global land area, more often towards earlier months (mainly due to earlier snowmelt). Dams and withdrawals had caused comparable shifts on less than 5% of the land area only. Long-term average annual river discharge is predicted to significantly increase on one half of the land area, and to significantly decrease on one quarter. Dams and withdrawals had led to significant decreases on one sixth of the land area, and nowhere to increases. Thus, by the 2050s, climate change may have impacted ecologically relevant river flow characteristics more strongly than dams and water withdrawals have up to now. The only exception refers to the decrease of the statistical low flow Q90, with significant decreases both by past water withdrawals and future climate change on one quarter of the land area. However, dam impacts are likely underestimated by our study. Considering long-term average river discharge, only a few regions, including Spain, Italy, Iraq, Southern India, Western China, the Australian Murray Darling Basin and the High Plains Aquifer in the USA, all of them with extensive irrigation, are expected to be less affected by climate change than by past anthropogenic flow alterations. In some of these regions, climate change will exacerbate the discharge reductions, while in others climate change provides opportunities for reducing past reductions. Emissions scenario B2 leads to only slightly reduced alterations of river flow regimes as compared to scenario A2 even though emissions are much smaller. The differences in alterations resulting from the two applied climate models are larger than those resulting from the two emissions scenarios. Based on general knowledge about ecosystem responses to flow alterations and data related to flow alterations by dams and water withdrawals, we expect that the computed climate change induced river flow alterations will impact freshwater ecosystems more strongly than past anthropogenic alterations.