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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    A critical humidity threshold for monsoon transitions
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Schewe, J.; Levermann, A.; Cheng, H.
    Monsoon systems around the world are governed by the so-called moisture-advection feedback. Here we show that, in a minimal conceptual model, this feedback implies a critical threshold with respect to the atmospheric specific humidity qo over the ocean adjacent to the monsoon region. If qo falls short of this critical value qoc, monsoon rainfall over land cannot be sustained. Such a case could occur if evaporation from the ocean was reduced, e.g. due to low sea surface temperatures. Within the restrictions of the conceptual model, we estimate qoc from present-day reanalysis data for four major monsoon systems, and demonstrate how this concept can help understand abrupt variations in monsoon strength on orbital timescales as found in proxy records.
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    Recommendations for reporting "black carbon" measurements
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Petzold, A.; Ogren, J.A.; Fiebig, M.; Laj, P.; Li, S.-M.; Baltensperger, U.; Holzer-Popp, T.; Kinne, S.; Pappalardo, G.; Sugimoto, N.; Wehrli, C.; Wiedensohler, A.; Zhang, X.-Y.
    Although black carbon (BC) is one of the key atmospheric particulate components driving climate change and air quality, there is no agreement on the terminology that considers all aspects of specific properties, definitions, measurement methods, and related uncertainties. As a result, there is much ambiguity in the scientific literature of measurements and numerical models that refer to BC with different names and based on different properties of the particles, with no clear definition of the terms. The authors present here a recommended terminology to clarify the terms used for BC in atmospheric research, with the goal of establishing unambiguous links between terms, targeted material properties and associated measurement techniques.
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    A probabilistic risk assessment for the vulnerability of the European carbon cycle to weather extremes: The ecosystem perspective
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rolinski, S.; Rammig, A.; Walz, A.; von Bloh, W.; van Oijen, M.; Thonicke, K.
    Extreme weather events are likely to occur more often under climate change and the resulting effects on ecosystems could lead to a further acceleration of climate change. But not all extreme weather events lead to extreme ecosystem response. Here, we focus on hazardous ecosystem behaviour and identify coinciding weather conditions. We use a simple probabilistic risk assessment based on time series of ecosystem behaviour and climate conditions. Given the risk assessment terminology, vulnerability and risk for the previously defined hazard are estimated on the basis of observed hazardous ecosystem behaviour. We apply this approach to extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystems to drought, defining the hazard as a negative net biome productivity over a 12-month period. We show an application for two selected sites using data for 1981–2010 and then apply the method to the pan-European scale for the same period, based on numerical modelling results (LPJmL for ecosystem behaviour; ERA-Interim data for climate). Our site-specific results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method, using the SPEI to describe the climate condition. The site in Spain provides an example of vulnerability to drought because the expected value of the SPEI is 0.4 lower for hazardous than for non-hazardous ecosystem behaviour. In northern Germany, on the contrary, the site is not vulnerable to drought because the SPEI expectation values imply wetter conditions in the hazard case than in the non-hazard case. At the pan-European scale, ecosystem vulnerability to drought is calculated in the Mediterranean and temperate region, whereas Scandinavian ecosystems are vulnerable under conditions without water shortages. These first model-based applications indicate the conceptual advantages of the proposed method by focusing on the identification of critical weather conditions for which we observe hazardous ecosystem behaviour in the analysed data set. Application of the method to empirical time series and to future climate would be important next steps to test the approach.