Modeling Climate

Ice core analyses continue revision of European history

New analytical techniques, which allow ice cores to be sampled continuously and for additional chemical species, continue to re-write the history of vulcanism. The latest publication from YCEI postdoctoral researcher Francis Ludlow (Sigl, et al) finds new dates and magnitudes for historic eruptions dating back 2000 years and concludes that they were the main driver of abrupt summer cooling in Europe. The new record impacts what we know and thought we knew about European history, as well as efforts to develop better climate…

How Quickly Does CO2 Influence Temperature?

Extensive research has gone into understanding the response of global temperatures to increased CO2 emissions. However, not enough quantitative studies have investigated the time it takes for this response to manifest itself. Uncertainties in these estimates are due to uncertainties in the understanding of the effects of equilibrium climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and thermal inertia of oceans, which all act to modulate the temperature response to increased greenhouse gases. A recent study published in a current issue of Env. Research Letters by Ricke and Caldeira…

South Pacific Convergence Zone Variability and Biases in Models

Ben Lintner is the atmospheric sciences graduate program director at Rutgers as well as an associate editor of Journal of Climate.  His October 27, 2014 presentation at Yale focused on little understood fundamental aspects of the South Pacific Convergent Zone, (SPCZ), an area of intense deep convection and low-level convergence extending southeastward from the western Pacific warm pool into Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes that is a dominant feature of the tropical Pacific.

Future Cold Air Out-Breaks. Less Frequent in a Warmer World?

During winter and spring 2014, waves of unusually cold temperatures hit northeastern regions of North America, noticeably effecting the US economy and hampering growth in the first quarter of 2014 (see CNS news link on a statement by Fed. Chairman Janet Yellen on this topic). A number of research studies proposed mechanisms by which changes in the jet stream strength and location attributed to polar amplification would enhance temperature variability at the surface (Liu et al., 2012; Francis and Vavrus, 2012). Polar amplification…

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