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Abstracts for AMS Annual Meeting, January 9-13, 2005, San Diego

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  • Mike Neuman
    These are the presentations that caught my eye. Lots of good stuff here. You might want to look this over carefully. The full list of presentations can be
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2005
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      These are the presentations that caught my eye. Lots of good stuff
      here. You might want to look this over carefully.

      The full list of presentations can be found on the conference AMS
      (American Meteorology Society) web site:

      Heat and Health: Reducing Impacts

      Extreme Heat and Health Impacts in California
      Katharine Hayhoe, ATMOS Research & Consulting, South Bend, IN; and L.
      Kalkstein, N. L. Miller, S. Moser, S. C. Sheridan, and M. Dettinger
      Summer temperatures in California are projected to increase more
      rapidly than previously expected, accompanied by longer, more
      frequent, and more severe extreme heat conditions. HadCM3 and PCM
      climate projections driven by the IPCC SRES emissions scenarios show
      summer average temperature increases of 2-5oC under the lower B1
      scenario and 4-8oC under the higher A1fi scenario. As heat waves
      become longer and more frequent, projections for five major
      metropolitan areas (Los Angeles, Riverside/San Bernardino, San
      Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno) show these could experience heat
      wave conditions on ~15 to 40 more days in the 2050s than during the
      1990s. By the 2090s, the increase in heatwave days rises to 30-50
      under B1 and 70-100 additional days under A1fi. Heat waves are also
      projected to become more intense, with higher temperatures sustained
      over longer periods. For an increasingly urbanized population,
      extreme heat waves create a significant risk of adverse health
      effects and heat-related mortality that is also greater than
      previously thought. The most severe and persistent heat conditions
      are projected for inland locations that already experience relatively
      frequent extreme heat conditions, such as Fresno and Sacramento.
      However, the human health impacts of increasing heat could be most
      serious in locations that are currently relatively cool, such as San
      Francisco and Los Angeles.

      How do communities respond? Intervention activities to lower heat-
      related mortality
      Alan D. Perrin, EPA, Washington, DC
      In the United States, extreme hot weather events account for more
      deaths per year on average than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes,
      floods, and earthquakes combined. The trends toward a growing older
      population and a warmer climate both will act to increase the risk
      posed by extreme heat events in the future. On the other hand,
      adaptive measures and technologies seem to be lessening the adverse
      impacts associated with these events. The latter is a trend we want
      to encourage and, if possible, accelerate.
      There are straightforward and cost-effective steps that can be taken
      at the local level to save lives today and into the future. The U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA's National Weather Service, and
      the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are beginning work with
      local meteorologists, public health officials, and emergency
      management specialists to produce an excessive heat response
      guidebook. The guide will provide interested local officials with
      information on developing and implementing effective excessive heat
      notification and response programs, along with innovative heat island
      reduction measures designed to cool the community.
      The guidebook will explore intersections between at-risk
      populations, "best practice" intervention measures, and local
      agencies, services, and organizations that are commonly in place.
      This paper will present a preliminary outline for the guidebook,
      along with those adaptive measures and technologies that seem most
      promising in the context of community response to excessive heat

      16th Conference on Climate Variability and Change

      The climate of 2004 in historical perspective
      David H. Levinson, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and R. R. Heim,
      Jr., S. Stephens, A. M. Waple, and C. Tankersley
      The Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Climatic Data Center
      produces an annual overview of regional and global climatic
      conditions. The focus of this climate summary is on the observed
      weather and climatic trends in 2004, with emphasis on how they
      compared with the historical record. This paper will focus on the
      monthly, seasonal, and annual climate of 2004, as well as unusual
      events and extreme weather, across the U.S. and around the world.
      Numerous climatic elements will be analyzed globally and regionally
      in developing the climate summary, including: temperature,
      precipitation, tropical cyclone activity, snow cover and sea ice,
      droughts, floods, and stratospheric ozone and trace gases. Particular
      emphasis will be placed on analysis of anomalies and trends in global
      temperature, given the observed rise in globally averaged temperature
      over the past century. Analysis of the state of the El
      Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon will also be presented, focusing on
      changes in regional precipitation patterns related to ENSO in 2004.

      Northern Hemisphere spring warming during the past five decades:
      links to snow cover losses.
      Dan Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego /U.S.
      Geological Survey, La Jolla, CA; and M. Dettinger
      A feature of the observed Northern Hemisphere warming during the past
      few decades is the accentuated warming of the continents during
      winters and springs. In this paper, we examine strong warming trends
      during March and April in the eastern and western sectors of North
      America and in eastern and northern Eurasia. These trends occur at
      most latitudes of the extratropics. The temperature increases have
      coincided with losses in snow cover so that, in many instances,
      unusually warm months coincide with, and even are preceded by,
      anomalously depleted snow cover. In western North America, warming
      trends are found for both dry days and wet days, indicating that the
      warming has encompassed a variety of atmospheric circulations and
      influences both the deposition and melt of snow.

      Changes in precipitation distribution spectra and contemporary
      warming of the extratropics: implications for intense rainfall,
      droughts, and potential forest fire danger
      Pavel Ya. Groisman, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and R. W.
      Knight, D. R. Easterling, D. Levinson, R. R. Heim, Jr., T. R. Karl,
      P. H. Whitfield, G. C. Hegerl, V. N. Razuvaev, B. G. Sherstyukov, J.
      G. Enloe, and N. S. Stroumentova
      Observed changes in the frequency of intense precipitation and of wet
      days have been analyzed for more than half of the land area of the
      globe. These observed changes have been analyzed in relation to
      changes in intense precipitation for three transient Global Climate
      Model (GCM) simulations, each with greenhouse gas concentrations
      increasing during the 20th and 21st centuries and doubling during the
      later part of the 21st Century. We found that the empirical evidence
      from the period of instrumental observations and the model
      projections of a greenhouse-enriched atmosphere both indicate an
      increasing probability of intense precipitation events for many extra-
      tropical regions including the United States. In several regions of
      the world, rainy days are becoming less frequent. These two patterns
      may occur in the same regions where an increasing probability of
      intense precipitation with a decreasing frequency of rainy days makes
      changes in mean precipitation less notable then changes in
      precipitation distribution spectra and also affecting the entire
      terrestrial hydrological cycle (runoff, soil moisture available for
      evapotranspiration, etc.). In the northern regions, observed
      increases in surface air temperatures have resulted in (a) an earlier
      snow cover retreat, (b) an increase in the frequency of cold season
      thaws, and (c) a significant expansion of the warm season. This
      coupled with changes in precipitation distribution spectra, have
      resulted in the possibility for a "summer dryness" scenario in
      several large interior regions of the continents (cf., recent forest
      fires and droughts in high latitudes such as Siberia, Central Asia,
      and several regions of the western part of North America). These
      conditions were projected by some GCMs for the greenhouse gases
      enriched atmosphere and suggest reduced future water availability.
      Reliable assertions of trends in some of characteristics of extremes
      (e.g., very heavy and extreme precipitation changes) are possible
      only for those regions with dense networks due to the restricted
      radius of correlation for these characteristics. Therefore, an
      assessment of the representativeness of results based on sparse
      networks has been a part of the analyses and will be presented at the

      Large scale warming confirmed by temperatures in windy weather
      David E. Parker, Hadley Centre, Met Office, EXETER, United Kingdom
      Controversy has persisted over the influence of urbanisation on
      reported large-scale temperature trends. However, urban warming and
      other local thermal influences are reduced in windy conditions. So
      daily land surface air temperatures since the mid-twentieth century
      from a selection of stations worldwide have been analysed separately
      for windy and nearly calm conditions as well as for the full sample.
      We find that, globally, the trends in temperature are almost
      unaffected by this sub-sampling, indicating that the observed overall
      warming is not a consequence of urban development or other local or
      instrumental influences. A small tendency for windy days to have
      warmed more than other days in winter over Eurasia is the opposite of
      that expected from urbanisation and is likely to be a consequence of
      atmospheric circulation changes. This study has benefited from
      improved availability of data from the Global Climate Observing
      System, but major gaps remain in the tropics.

      Precipitation and temperature related climate indices for Canada
      Éva Mekis, MSC, Toronto, ON, Canada; and L. A. Vincent
      As of today 54 different annual and seasonal, rain, snow and total
      precipitation and 56 annual and seasonal minimum, mean and maximum
      temperature related climate change indicators are computed and
      analysed for the periods 1900-2003 and 1950-2003 using the Adjusted
      Historical Canadian Climate Database (AHCCD) developed at Climate
      Research Branch, Toronto. The methodology to compute the indices
      follows the guidelines provided in the European Climate Assessment
      (ECA) project, and additional indicators were added to describe the
      major climate characteristics of Canada. After a brief summary of the
      trends computed for both intervals, the temporal and spatial
      characteristics of the most significant indices will be discussed.
      Relations between the precipitation and temperature indicators are
      studied further. For examples, the annual total snowfall amount has
      been decreased which is in agreement with the decreasing trend in the
      number of frost days in most regions. The ratio of snowfall to total
      precipitation also displayed significantly decreasing trends during
      the last half of the century. Relations between the wet days, maximum
      consecutive dry days, Simple Day Intensity Index (SDII), growing
      season length and growing degree days are further explored. Examples
      from different climate regions will also be provided.

      Effects of Aerosol on Atmospheric Dynamics and Hydrologic Processes
      during boreal spring and summer
      William K. M. Lau, NASA/GSFC, MD, Maryland; and M. K. Kim, K. M. Kim,
      and M. Chin
      Global and regional climate impacts of present-day aerosol loading
      during boreal spring are investigated using the NASA finite volume
      General Circulation Model (fvGCM). Three-dimensional distributions of
      loadings of five species of tropospheric aerosols, i.e., sulfate,
      black carbon, organic carbon, soil dust, and sea salt are prescribed
      from outputs of the Goddard Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and
      Transport model (GOCART). The aerosol loadings are used to calculate
      the extinction coefficient, single scattering albedo, and asymmetric
      factor at eleven spectral wavelengths in the radiative transfer code.
      We find that aerosol-radiative forcing during boreal spring excites a
      wavetrain-like pattern in tropospheric temperature and geopotential
      height that emanates from Northern Africa, through Eurasia, to
      northeastern Pacific. Associated with the teleconnection is strong
      surface cooling over regions with large aerosol loading, i.e., China,
      India, and Africa. Low-to-mid tropospheric heating due to shortwave
      absorption is found in regions with large loading of dust (Northern
      Africa, and central East Asia), and black carbon (South and East
      Asia). In addition pronounced surface cooling is found over the
      Caspian Sea and warming over Eurasian and northeastern Asia, where
      aerosol loadings are relatively low. These warming and cooling are
      components of teleconnection pattern produced primarily by
      atmospheric heating from absorbing aerosols, i.e., dust from North
      Africa and black carbon from South and East Asia.
      Effects of aerosols on atmospheric hydrologic cycle in the Asian
      monsoon region are also investigated. Results show that absorbing
      aerosols, i.e., black carbon and dust, induce large-scale upper-level
      heating anomaly over the Tibetan Plateau in April and May, ushering
      in an early onset of the Indian summer monsoon. Absorbing aerosols
      also enhance lower-level heating and anomalous ascent over northern
      India, intensifying the Indian monsoon. Overall, the aerosol-induced
      large-scale surface temperature cooling leads to a reduction of
      monsoon rainfall over the East Asia continent, and adjacent oceanic

      The great 20th Century drying of Africa
      James W. Hurrell, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Hoerling
      In concert with widespread African surface warming since 1950, a
      drying trend has been observed, most infamously over the Sahel during
      July-September, but also following the march of monsoon rains into
      southern Africa during December-April. The nature and causes for
      these 1950-1999 downward trends in both northern and southern African
      summer monsoon rainfall are diagnosed. They are found to be
      attributable to the atmosphere's response to observed global sea
      surface temperature variations of the last half-century. Every member
      of 80 atmospheric climate simulations, forced by the observed ocean
      history since 1950, yields an African drying trend. Analysis of
      coupled ocean-atmosphere climate simulations suggests that these
      drying trends are detectable and distinguishable from natural coupled
      ocean-atmospheric variations. Yet, neither northern nor southern
      African drying trends during 1950-1999 are found to occur in
      greenhouse gas forced coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations. An
      explanation for the observed 20th Century drying trends is offered,
      and the role of regional oceanic changes including their relation to
      greenhouse gas influences, is assessed.

      CCSP Decision Support Resources Development
      James Mahoney, NOAA, Washington, DC; and R. Moss
      The Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is developing and extending
      its research activities to support policymaking and adaptive
      management. Activities to develop decision support resources include
      a set of "Synthesis and Assessment Products," active
      participation in
      international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental
      Panel on Climate Change, improvements in modeling and other resources
      to facilitate comparison of response options, and development, with
      users, of tools to support adaptive management and planning. These
      efforts are building on substantial ongoing efforts of agencies and
      departments participating in the CCSP. The presentation will provide
      an overview of the status of CCSP decision support activities,
      including reflections on the challenges posed. This presentation will
      serve as an introduction to presentations on two of the Synthesis and
      Assessment Products that are currently in preparation.

      Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere: understanding and
      reconciling differences
      Thomas R. Karl, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC
      Independently produced data sets that describe the four-dimensional
      temperature structure from the surface through the lower stratosphere
      provide different temperature trends. These differences are seen in
      varying degrees in comparisons of separate in-situ (surface and
      weather balloon) data sets, in comparisons of separate space-based
      data sets, and in comparisons of individual data sets drawn from the
      different observational platforms and different trend analysis teams.
      Recent efforts to address the uncertainties regarding the temperature
      structure of the lower atmosphere (i.e., from the surface through the
      lower stratosphere) have included release of a report under the
      auspices of the National Research Council entitled: "Reconciling
      Observations of Global Temperature Change" (National Academy
      2000) and the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel
      on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp 101-123).
      Although these documents provided a great deal of useful information,
      the complexities of the issue coupled with shortcomings of the
      available observing systems prevent resolution of a number of
      fundamental questions.
      This CCSP synthesis product will address the accuracy and consistency
      of these temperature records and outline steps necessary to reconcile
      differences between individual data sets. Understanding exactly how
      and why there are differences in temperature trends reported by
      several analysis teams using differing observation systems and
      analysis methods represents a necessary step in reducing the
      uncertainties that underlie current efforts focused on the detection
      and quantification of surface and tropospheric temperature trends.
      Consequently, this synthesis product promises to be of significant
      value to decision makers, and to the expert scientific and
      stakeholder communities. For example, it is expected that this
      assessment will be a major contributor to the IPCC (2007) Climate
      Assessment. In addition, the information generated is expected to be
      used by the Global Climate Observing System Atmospheric Observation
      Panel to help identify effective ways to reduce observational
      The paper will review the objectives of the synthesis report, the
      questions that are being addressed, who is involved, how to engage in
      the review process, and the linkages between the Synthesis product
      and the IPCC 2007 assessment on Climate Change.

      Status Report on the CCSP Synthesis Product: Aerosols Properties and
      Their Impacts on Climate
      Phil DeCola, NASA, Washington, DC; and D. Albritton
      The very complex mixture of aerosol types and their spatial
      distributions provide diverse warming and cooling influences on
      climate, and impact the formation of both water droplets and ice
      crystals in clouds. Our poor understanding of aerosol properties and
      distributions results in large uncertainties about the net impact of
      aerosols on climate and impairs our ability to project climate

      In this light, we have embarked on Phase I of a synthesis product
      entitled, "Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate," which
      addresses Goal 2, "Improve quantification of the forces bringing
      about changes in the Earth's climate and related systems," under the
      Strategic Plan of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). We
      present here the status of this first phase of work, which is focused
      on new assessment and synthesis information stimulated by the CCSP.
      Three topics have been selected as foci and will be reported on here:
      (1) dependence of radiative forcing by tropospheric aerosols on
      aerosol composition in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and North
      Indian Ocean based on in-situ observations, (2) a review of
      measurement-based understanding of aerosol radiative forcing and
      aerosol sources derived from the analysis of remote-sensing
      observations, and (3) a model intercomparison study to quantify the
      uncertainties associated with indirect aerosol forcing.

      NARCCAP, North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program
      Linda O. Mearns, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. Arritt, G. Boer, D. Caya,
      P. Duffy, F. Giorgi, W. J. Gutowski, I. M. Held, R. Jones, R.
      Laprise, L. R. Leung, J. Pal, J. Roads, L. Sloan, R. Stouffer, G.
      Takle, and W. Washington

      NARCCAP is a new international program that will serve the climate
      scenario needs of both the United States and Canada. We are
      systematically investigating the uncertainties in regional scale
      projections of future climate and producing high resolution climate
      change scenarios using multiple regional climate models (RCMs) and
      multiple global model responses to future emissions scenarios, by
      nesting the RCMs within multiple atmosphere ocean general circulation
      models (AOGCMs) forced with the A2 and A1B SRES scenarios, over a
      domain covering the conterminous US and most of Canada. The plan also
      includes a validation aspect through nesting the participating RCMs
      within reanalyses. The basic spatial resolution of the RCMs is 50 km.
      This program will include RCMs that participated in the European
      PRUDENCE program (HadRM3 and RegCM), the Canadian regional climate
      model (CRCM) as well as the NCEP regional spectral model (RSM) and
      MM5. Candidate AOGCMs include the Hadley Centre HadCM3, NCAR CCSM,
      the Canadian CGCM3 and the GFDL model. The resulting climate model
      runs will form the basis for multiple high resolution climate
      scenarios that can be used in climate change impacts assessments in
      the US and Canada. High-resolution global time slice experiments
      based on the GFDL atmospheric model and the NCAR atmospheric model
      (CAM3) will also be produced and will be compared with runs of the
      regional models. There also will be opportunities for double nesting
      over key regions through which additional modelers in the regional
      modeling community will be able to participate in NARCCAP. Additional
      key science issues will be investigated such as the importance of
      compatible physics in the nested and nesting models. Measures of
      uncertainty across the multiple runs will be developed by geophysical

      Challenges of a Changing Planet: Nexus in the Coastal Zone
      Berrien Moore, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH; and C.
      Vörösmarty and J. Ericson
      As an interface between two major Earth system components - the land
      mass and oceans of the planet-the coastal zone is a particularly
      sensitive arena of global change. This paper reviews a set of
      interrelated challenges that are posed for the coast zone by climate
      change. What makes these issues particularly challenging is that
      climate change is but one driver. An example is sea level rise.
      The "source" of sea level rise is only partly initiated within the
      ocean; the dynamics are strongly coupled to processes operating in
      upland contributing basins. The major contemporary source of sea
      level rise is thermal expansion. Yet long-term and more recent sea
      level rise expressed through changes in the world's ice sheets and
      continental glaciers; however, reservoir construction and groundwater
      depletion by humans add complexities to any estimate of the impending
      rates of change.

      The importance of land mass-to-coastline linkages is exemplified well
      by analysis of delta systems, which represent a unique balance of
      forces originating in drainage basins and the ocean. For a sample of
      40 globally distributed deltas we estimated contemporary and future
      effective sea-level rise, using a GIS-based approach that unites
      several features of the continental land mass, human population and
      land occupancy estimates, and elevation data sets in the coastal
      zone. Decreased accretion of fluvial sediment resulting from upstream
      trapping of sediment in artificial impoundments plus consumptive
      diversions of water used in irrigation is the primary determinant of
      effective sea-level rise for over 2/3 of the deltas sampled. Only 20%
      of the deltas showed contemporary sea level rise as the predominant
      factor. Extending these contemporary estimates of effective sea-level
      rise from 2000 through 2050 reveals that approximately 8.7 million
      people and 28,000 km2 of delta area in our sample will be impacted by
      inundation and increased coastal erosion if these conditions continue
      and in the absence of mitigative measures. The population and area
      impacted rise significantly when considering increased flood risk
      from storm surges. These results indicate that the combined impacts
      of decreasing sediment supply, anthropogenic-induced accelerated
      subsidence and eustatic sea-level rise have serious implications to
      human populations worldwide and will continue to be an issue well
      into the future.

      This issue and other dimensions of land-ocean system are considered
      in the context of global environmental change.

      Climate Factors Affecting Human Health in Coastal Regions
      Dr. Rita R. Colwell, Center for Bioformatics and Computational
      Biology, College Park, MD
      An environmental source of cholera was hypothesized as early as the
      late nineteenth century by Robert Koch, but not proven because of the
      inability to isolate Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera,
      from the environment between epidemics. Standard bacteriological
      procedures for isolation of vibrios from environmental samples,
      including water, between epidemics generally were unsuccessful
      because Vibrio cholerae, a marine vibrio, requiring salt for growth,
      enters into a dormant, "viable but nonculturable stage," when
      conditions are unfavorable for growth and reproduction. Recently, an
      association of Vibrio cholerae with zooplankton, notably copepods,
      has been established. Furthermore, the sporadicity and erraticity of
      cholera epidemics have now been correlated also with climate and
      climate events, such as El Niño. Since zooplankton have been shown
      harbor the bacterium and zooplankton blooms follow phytoplankton
      blooms, remote sensing can be employed to determine the relationship
      of cholera epidemics with sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface
      height (SSH), chlorophyll, and turbidity. Cholera occurs seasonally
      in Bangladesh, with two annual peaks in the number of cases. From
      clinical data and data obtained from remote sensing, it has been
      found that when the height of the ocean is high and sea surface
      temperature is also elevated, cholera cases are most numerous. When
      the height is low and the sea surface temperature also low, little or
      no cholera occurs. Because SST, SSH, and blooms of plankton have been
      significantly correlated with cholera epidemics, selected
      climatological factors and incidence of V. cholerae can be recorded,
      and prediction of cholera epidemics is now possible. Simple
      filtration interventions have proven successful, based on the
      association of V. cholerae with plankton. They are a simple, although
      transient, solution to the age-old problem of controlling this
      waterborne disease.

      AMS Conference Highlights:
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