The reconstruction of past climate variability in the NW Indian Ocean based on a coral proxy record from the Maldives
- Until now, the NW Indian Ocean was sparsely covered with coral proxy records, and records from the Maldives Archipelago do not exist. The first such coral proxy record from the central Maldives is presented in this study. It originates from a massive Porites lutea (Quoy and Gaimard, 1833) colony that was sampled March 2007 in the lagoon of Rasdhoo Atoll (4°N/ 73°W), which is located in the central Maldives. The record spans a period of 90 yrs and reaches back to 1917 AD with monthly to bimonthly resolution. This study investigates temporal variations of the skeletal stable oxygen (delta18O) and carbon (delta13C) isotopes, the strontium-to-calcium (Sr/Ca), and the annual extension-rates, and their relationship to historical climate variations 1917-2007. Annual extension-rates show an increase over the 20th century, and are correlated with instrumental sea surface temperatures (SST). The interannual variation of the extension-rates within 2.5-4 years is driven by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The amount of skeletal extension during the summer months is triggered by variations in the strength of the SW monsoon. Interannual and decadal variability in monsoon current activity (18-19 yrs) and rainfall over India are an expression of the summer monsoon strength. This is the reason why a statistical link between coral extension-rates and precipitation over India can be established. This implies that annual extension-rates in corals can be used as a new proxy for Indian monsoon variability on decadal resolution. The delta18O record exhibits the 20th century warming trend that is influenced by the effect of monsoon-induced cooling. delta18O also reveals interannual ENSO triggered variability, which is due to ENSO-forced variations in SST and sea surface salinity (SSS). A decadal variation at 12-14 yrs cannot be linked to SST variations in the NW Indian Ocean, but with decadal variations of SSS. They could be caused by ENSO- forced variations of the monsoon currents during the mature phase of ENSO teleconnections in the Indian Ocean in boreal winter. The Sr/Ca record does not indicate a significant warming, in spite of the observed SST rise at the sampling site. Changes in seawater Sr/Ca cannot be excluded. Nevertheless, interannual ENSO forcing is still evident. Evidence for the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is found during 1917-1955. Afterwards, the Sr/Ca data indicate the disappearance of PDO forcing. By the combination of Sr/Ca and delta18O it is possible to detect ~80% of historical El Niño and La Niña events at the sample site. This study confirms the notion that interannual to multi-decadal climate fluctuations in the Pacific play a crucial role for climate variability in the Indian Ocean.
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.
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.
Fractional release factors of long-lived halogenated organic compounds in the tropical stratosphere
Johannes Christian Laube
William T. Sturges
- Fractional release factors (FRFs) of organic trace gases are time-independent quantities that influence the calculation of Global Warming Potentials and Ozone Depletion Potentials. We present the first set of vertically resolved FRFs for 15 long-lived halocarbons in the tropical stratosphere up to 34 km altitude. They were calculated from measurements on air samples collected on board balloons and a high altitude aircraft. We compare the derived dependencies of FRFs on the mean stratospheric transit times (the so-called mean ages of air) with similarly derived FRFs originating from measurements at higher latitudes and find significant differences. Moreover a comparison with averaged FRFs currently used by the World Meteorological Organisation revealed the limitations of these measures due to their observed vertical and latitudinal variability. The presented data set could be used to improve future ozone level and climate projections.
Corrigendum to "Fractional release factors of long-lived halogenated organic compounds in the tropical stratosphere" published in Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1093–1103, 2010
Johannes Christian Laube
William T. Sturges
Explaining global surface aerosol number concentrations in terms of primary emissions and particle formation
Dominick V. Spracklen
Kenneth S. Carslaw
Graham W. Mann
Carly L. Reddington
John A. Ogren
S. Gerard Jennings
Colin D. O'Dowd
Roy M. Harrison
- We synthesised observations of total particle number (CN) concentration from 36 sites around the world. We found that annual mean CN concentrations are typically 300–2000 cm -3 in the marine boundary layer and free troposphere (FT) and 1000–10 000 cm -3 in the continental boundary layer (BL). Many sites exhibit pronounced seasonality with summer time concentrations a factor of 2–10 greater than wintertime concentrations. We used these CN observations to evaluate primary and secondary sources of particle number in a global aerosol microphysics model. We found that emissions of primary particles can reasonably reproduce the spatial pattern of observed CN concentration (R2=0.46) but fail to explain the observed seasonal cycle (R2=0.1). The modeled CN concentration in the FT was biased low (normalised mean bias, NMB=& -88%) unless a secondary source of particles was included, for example from binary homogeneous nucleation of sulfuric acid and water (NMB= -25%). Simulated CN concentrations in the continental BL were also biased low (NMB= -74%) unless the number emission of anthropogenic primary particles was increased or a mechanism that results in particle formation in the BL was included. We ran a number of simulations where we included an empirical BL nucleation mechanism either using the activation-type mechanism (nucleation rate, J, proportional to gas-phase sulfuric acid concentration to the power one) or kinetic-type mechanism (J proportional to sulfuric acid to the power two) with a range of nucleation coefficients. We found that the seasonal CN cycle observed at continental BL sites was better simulated by BL particle formation (R2=0.3) than by increasing the number emission from primary anthropogenic sources (R2=0.18). The nucleation constants that resulted in best overall match between model and observed CN concentrations were consistent with values derived in previous studies from detailed case studies at individual sites. In our model, kinetic and activation-type nucleation parameterizations gave similar agreement with observed monthly mean CN concentrations.
Nocturnal nitrogen oxides at a rural mountain-site in south-western Germany
John Nicholas Crowley
- A new, two-channel instrument for simultaneous NO3 and N2O5 monitoring was used to make the first comprehensive set of nocturnal NOx measurements (NO, NO2, NO3 and N2O5) at the Taunus Observatory, a rural mountain site (Kleiner Feldberg) in South-western Germany. In May 2008, NO3 and N2O5 mixing ratios were well above the instrumental detection limit (a few ppt) on all nights of the campaign and were characterised by large variability. The concentrations of NO3, N2O5 and NO2 were consistent with the equilibrium constant, K2, defining the rates of formation and thermal dissociation of N2O5. A steady-state lifetime analysis is consistent with the loss of nocturnal NOx being dominated by the reaction of NO3 with volatile organic compounds in this forested region, with N2O5 uptake to aerosols of secondary importance. Analysis of a limited dataset obtained at high relative humidity indicated that the loss of N2O5 by reaction with water vapour is less efficient (>factor 3) than derived using laboratory kinetic data. The fraction of NOx present as NO3 and N2O5 reached ~20% on some nights, with night-time losses of NOx competing with daytime losses.