Advances in Ecological Research: The Ecological Consequences of Global Climate Change

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Academic Press, Mar 25, 1992 - Technology & Engineering - 336 pages
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The concepts and concerns regarding the global effects of a continued increase in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have enjoyed a high visibility in newspapers and scientific journals. This concern is now being translated into big-science projects. These international projects aim to understand better the processes of climate and ecosystem changes and impacts and are being designed under the aegis of the World Climate Research Programme and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Biological and climatic systems are intertwined in processes leading to impacts and feedbacks and so it has emerged that climatologists, atmospheric scientists, terrestrial and marine ecologists must collaborate in research programmes, else the bases of their future projections are incomplete. This special volume of Advances in Ecological Research brings together eight papers which propose and demonstrate the two major components of current climate change research, future prediction and interdisciplinary approach.

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Page 24 - Summer continental dryness warming (likely in the long term). Several studies have predicted a marked long-term drying of the soil moisture over some mid-latitude interior continental regions during summer. This dryness is mainly caused by an earlier termination of snowmelt and rainy periods and an earlier onset of the spring-to-summer reduction of soil wetness.
Page 24 - Precipitation Increase (probable). As the climate warms, the increased poleward penetration of warm, moist air should increase the average annual precipitation in high latitudes. • Rise in Global Mean Sea Level (probable). A rise in mean sea level is generally expected due to thermal expansion of sea water in the warmer future climate. Far less certain is the contribution due to melting or calving of land ice.
Page 24 - Large Stratospheric Cooling (virtually certain). Reduced ozone concentrations in the upper stratosphere will lead to reduced absorption of solar ultraviolet radiation and, therefore, less heating. Increases in the stratospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other radiatively active trace gases will increase the radiation of heat from the stratosphere. The combination of decreased heating and increased cooling will lead to a major lowering of temperatures in the upper stratosphere. Global Mean...
Page 24 - Of course, the actual rate of warming over the next century will be governed by the growth rate of greenhouse gases, natural fluctuations in the climate system, and the detailed response of the slowly responding parts of the climate system, ie oceans and glacial ice.
Page 7 - A three-dimensional climate model has been used to compute the winter to summer temperature extremes all over the globe. The model's performance can be verified against the observed data shown below. This verification exercise shows that the model quite impressively reproduces many of the features of the seasonal cycle. These seasonal temperature differences are mostly larger than those occurring between ice ages and interglacials or for any plausible future carbon dioxide change.
Page 25 - Higher northern latitude surface temperature increases are up to several times larger than the global average response, at least in equilibrium. Because of the importance of regional or local impact information, techniques need to be developed to evaluate smallerscale effects of large-scale climatic changes. [For example, Gleick (1987) employed a regional hydrology model driven by large-scale climate change scenarios from various GCM inputs.] Even more uncertain than regional details, but perhaps...
Page 23 - Mearns (1989) offered a set of "forecasts" on changes in some important meteorological variables, over a range of temporal, spatial, and statistical scales. I believe that carefully qualified, explicit scenarios of plausible future climatic changes are preferable to impact speculations based on implicit or casually-formulated forecasts.
Page 27 - Figure 2 shows three plausible scenarios based on high, medium, and low emission rates. These uncertainties have been added to those associated with estimates of climate sensitivity and the delay associated with oceanic heat capacity.

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