Climate2014, 2(3), 181-205; doi:10.3390/cli2030181 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Evapotranspiration (ET) and sensible heat (H) flux play a critical role in climate change; micrometeorology; atmospheric investigations; and related studies. They are two of the driving variables in climate impact(s) and hydrologic balance dynamics. Therefore, their accurate estimate is important for more robust modeling of the aforementioned relationships. The Bowen ratio energy balance method of estimating ET and H diffusions depends on the assumption that the diffusivities of latent heat (KV) and sensible heat (KH) are always equal. This assumption is re-visited and analyzed for a subsurface drip-irrigated field in south central Nebraska. The inequality dynamics for subsurface drip-irrigated conditions have not been studied. Potential causes that lead KV to differ from KH and a rectification procedure for the errors introduced by the inequalities were investigated. Actual ET; H; and other surface energy flux parameters using an eddy covariance system and a Bowen Ratio Energy Balance System (located side by side) on an hourly basis were measured continuously for two consecutive years for a non-stressed and subsurface drip-irrigated maize canopy. Most of the differences between KV and KH appeared towards the higher values of KV and KH. Although it was observed that KV was predominantly higher than KH; there were considerable data points showing the opposite. In general; daily KV ranges from about 0.1 m2∙s−1 to 1.6 m2∙s−1; and KH ranges from about 0.05 m2∙s−1 to 1.1 m2∙s−1. The higher values for KV and KH appear around March and April; and around September and October. The lower values appear around mid to late December and around late June to early July. Hourly estimates of KV range between approximately 0 m2∙s−1 to 1.8 m2∙s−1 and that of KH ranges approximately between 0 m2∙s−1 to 1.7 m2∙s−1. The inequalities between KV and KH varied diurnally as well as seasonally. The inequalities were greater during the non-growing (dormant) seasons than those during the growing seasons. During the study period, KV was, in general, lesser than KH during morning hours and was greater during afternoon hours. The differences between KV and KH mainly occurred in the afternoon due to the greater values of sensible heat acting as a secondary source of energy to vaporize water. As a result; during the afternoon; the latent heat diffusion rate (KV) becomes greater than the sensible heat diffusion rate (KH). The adjustments (rectification) for the inequalities between eddy diffusivities is quite essential at least for sensible heat estimation, and can have important implications for application of the Bowen ratio method for estimation of diffusion fluxes of other gasses.
Climate2014, 2(3), 168-180; doi:10.3390/cli2030168 - published 27 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Current climate change projections anticipate that global warming trends will lead to changes in the distribution and intensity of precipitation at a global level. However, few studies have corroborated these model-based results using historical precipitation records at a regional level, especially in our study region, California. In our analyses of 14 long-term precipitation records representing multiple climates throughout the state, we find northern and central regions increasing in precipitation while southern regions are drying. Winter precipitation is increasing in all regions, while other seasons show mixed results. Rain intensity has not changed since the 1920s. While Sacramento shows over 3 more days of rain per year, Los Angeles has almost 4 less days per year in the last century. Both the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) greatly influence the California precipitation record. The climate change signal in the precipitation records remains unclear as annual variability overwhelms the precipitation trends.
Climate2014, 2(3), 153-167; doi:10.3390/cli2030153 - published 11 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We present the detection of the signatures of land use/land cover (LULC) changes on the regional climate of the US High Plains. We used the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a proxy of LULC changes and atmospheric CO2 concentrations as a proxy of greenhouse gases. An enhanced signal processing procedure was developed to detect the signatures of LULC changes by integrating autoregression and moving average (ARMA) modeling and optimal fingerprinting technique. The results, which are representative of the average spatial signatures of climate response to LULC change forcing on the regional climate of the High Plains during the 26 years of the study period (1981–2006), show a significant cooling effect on the regional temperatures during the summer season. The cooling effect was attributed to probable evaporative cooling originating from the increasing extensive irrigation in the region. The external forcing of atmospheric CO2 was included in the study to suppress the radiative warming effect of greenhouse gases, thus, enhancing the LULC change signal. The results show that the greenhouse gas radiative warming effect in the region is significant, but weak, compared to the LULC change signal. The study demonstrates the regional climatic impact of anthropogenic induced atmospheric-biosphere interaction attributed to LULC change, which is an additional and important climate forcing in addition to greenhouse gas radiative forcing in High Plains region.
Climate2014, 2(3), 133-152; doi:10.3390/cli2030133 - published 26 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The impact of heat waves on ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality and morbidity in Germany during 2001–2010 is analyzed. Heat waves are defined as periods of at least three consecutive days with daily mean temperature above the 97.5th percentile of the temperature distribution. Daily excess mortality and morbidity rates are used. All calculations were performed separately for 19 regions to allow for the investigation of regional differences. The results show that IHD mortality during heat waves is significantly increased (+15.2% more deaths on heat wave days). In stark contrast, no heat wave influence on hospital admissions due to IHD could be observed. Regional differences in heat wave IHD mortality are present, with the strongest impact in Western Germany and weaker than average effects in the Southeastern and Northwestern regions. The increase in mortality during heat waves is generally stronger for females (+18.7%) than for males (+11.4%), and for chronic ischemic diseases (+18.4%) than for myocardial infarctions (+12.2%). Longer and more intense heat waves feature stronger effects on IHD mortality, while timing in season seems to be less important. Since climate change will most likely enhance the number and intensity of heat waves, the obtained results point to public adaptation strategies to reduce the future heat wave impact on mortality.
Climate2014, 2(3), 129-132; doi:10.3390/cli2030129 - published 25 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Shifting the presently used baselines of temperature changes during the last 440,000 years to about the lowest recorded temperature (+5 °C) as the baseline, a somewhat different view of climate change during the four Ice Ages emerges. Unlike the presently used baselines, the lowest temperature baseline is sort of the “absolute” one, in the sense that it does not depend on any chosen period during the last 440,000 years. Taking such a temperature as the baseline, the general trend of changes represents approximately the heat input function. Thus, in this view, the warming pulses with a sharp onset are the main feature, rather than a sequence of slow cooling and the subsequent sudden warming, although the basic physics involved in the feedback process may be the same. The interglacial periods are the peaks of the impulsive warming, rather than “returning to the normal condition” or “recovery from the Ice Ages”. In fact, the commonly used baselines represent simply the present conditions, rather than the baseline in climatology.
Climate2014, 2(2), 103-128; doi:10.3390/cli2020103 - published 5 May 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Irrigation provides a needed source of water in regions of low precipitation. Adding water to a region that would otherwise see little natural precipitation alters the partitioning of surface energy fluxes, the evolution of the planetary boundary layer, and the atmospheric transport of water vapor. The effects of irrigation are investigated in this paper through the employment of the Advanced Research (ARW) Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) using a pair of simulations representing the extremes of an irrigated and non-irrigated U.S. Great Plains region. In common with previous studies, irrigation in the Great Plains alters the radiation budget by increasing latent heat flux and cooling the surface temperatures. These effects increase the net radiation at the surface, channeling that energy into additional latent heat flux, which increases convective available potential energy and provides downstream convective systems with additional energy and moisture. Most noteworthy in this study is the substantial influence of irrigation on the structure of the Great Plains Low-level Jet (GPLLJ). The simulation employing irrigation is characterized by a positive 850-mb geopotential height anomaly, a result interpreted by quasi-geostrophic theory to be a response to low-level irrigation-induced cooling. The modulation of the regional-scale height pattern associated with the GPLLJ results in weaker flow southeast of the 850-mb anomaly and stronger flow to the northwest. Increased latent heat flux in the irrigated simulation is greater than the decrease in regional transport, resulting in a net increase in atmospheric moisture and a nearly 50% increase in July precipitation downstream of irrigated regions without any change to the number of precipitation events.