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[en] The general pattern of rain falling on the earth and reacting with the materials of the lithosphere (the weathering reactions so familiar to every beginning geology student) began soon after the earth was formed and has continued to the present. Anthropogenic additions to the natural acidic components of the atmosphere have increased since the time of the industrial revolution until they now rival or exceed those of the natural system. The severity of the environmental perturbations caused by these anthropogenic additions to the atmosphere has become a hotly debated topic in scientific forums and in the political arena. The six chapters in this book address various aspects of the acid deposition phenomenon from a geological perspective. It is hoped that the geological approach will be useful in bringing the problem more clearly into focus and may shed light on the geochemical processes that modify the chemical composition of acid deposition after it encounters and reacts with the materials of the lithosphere
[en] The duration and extent of snow cover is expected to change rapidly with climate change. Therefore, there is a need for improved monitoring of snow for the benefit of forecasting, impact assessments and the population at large. Remotely sensed techniques prove useful for remote areas where there are few field-based monitoring stations. This paper reports on a study of snow season using snow cover area fraction data from the two northernmost counties in Norway, Troms and Finnmark. The data are derived from the daily 500 m standard snow product (MOD10A1) from the NASA Terra MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor for the 2000–2010 period. This dataset has been processed with multi-temporal interpolation to eliminate clouds. The resulting cloud-free daily time series of snow cover fraction maps, have subsequently been used to derive the first and last snow-free day for the entire study area. In spring, the correlation between the first snow-free day mapped by MODIS data and snow data from 40 meteorological stations was highly significant ( p < 0.05) for 36 of the stations, and with a of bias of less than 10 days for 34 of the stations. In autumn, 31 of the stations show highly significant ( p < 0.05) correlation with MODIS data, and the bias was less than 10 days for 27 of the stations. However, in some areas and some years, the start and end of the snow season could not be detected due to long overcast periods. In spring 2002 and 2004 the first snow-free day was early, but arrived late in 2000, 2005 and 2008. In autumn 2009 snowfall arrived more than 7 days earlier in 50% of the study area as compared to the 2000–2010 average. MODIS-based snow season products will be applicable for a wide range of sectors including hydrology, nature-based industries, climate change studies and ecology. Therefore refinement and further testing of this method should be encouraged. (letter)
[en] The high rate of deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon over the past two decades has jeopardized genetic diversity, contributed to regional and global climate change, caused erosion and flooding, destroyed forest resources, spread disease, and increased poverty. This book presents a selection of papers from an international conference that explored alternatives to deforestation of tropical forests. The alternatives described include natural forest management, agroforestry systems, and forest reestablishment on degraded pastures. The book should be useful to scientists, regional planners, and the broad scientific audience
[en] The Tibetan Plateau (TP), with an average elevation of over 4000 m asl and an area of approximately 2.5 x 106 km2, is the highest and most extensive highland in the world and has been called the 'Third Pole'. The TP exerts a huge influence on regional and global climate through thermal and mechanical forcing mechanisms. Because the TP has the largest cryospheric extent outside the polar region and is the source region of all the large rivers in Asia, it is widely recognized to be the driving force for both regional environmental change and amplification of environmental changes on a global scale. Within China it is recognized as the 'Asian water tower'. In this letter, we summarize the recent changes observed in climate elements and cryospheric indicators on the plateau before discussing current unresolved issues concerning climate change in the TP, including the temporal and spatial components of this change, and the consistency of change as represented by different data sources. Based on meteorological station data, reanalyses and remote sensing, the TP has shown significant warming during the last decades and will continue to warm in the future. While the warming is predominantly caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions, changes in cloud amount, snow-albedo feedback, the Asian brown clouds and land use changes also partly contribute. The cryosphere in the TP is undergoing rapid change, including glacier retreat, inconsistent snow cover change, increasing permafrost temperatures and degradation, and thickening of the active layer. Hydrological processes impacted by glacial retreat have received much attention in recent years. Future attention should be paid to additional perspectives on climate change in the TP, such as the variations of climate extremes, the reliability of reanalyses and more detailed comparisons of reanalyses with surface observations. Spatial issues include the identification of whether an elevational dependency and weekend effect exist, and the identification of spatial contrasts in temperature change, along with their causes. These issues are uncertain because of a lack of reliable data above 5000 m asl.
[en] Soil moisture observations in sites with natural vegetation were made for several decades in the former Soviet Union at hundreds of stations. In this paper, the authors use data from six of these stations from different climatic regimes, along with ancillary meteorological and actinometric data, to demonstrate a method to validate soil moisture simulations with biosphere and bucket models. Some early and current general circulation models (GCMs) use bucket models for soil hydrology calculations. More recently, the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB) was developed to incorporate the effects of vegetation on fluxes of moisture, momentum, and energy at the earth's surface into soil hydrology models. Until now, the bucket and SiB have been verified by comparison with actual soil moisture data only on a limited basis. In this study, a Simplified SiB (SSiB) soil hydrology model and a 15-cm bucket model are forced by observed meteorological and actinometric data every 3 h for 6-yr simulations at the six stations. The model calculations of soil moisture are compared to observations of soil moisture, literally 'ground truth,' snow cover, surface albedo, and net radiation, and with each other. For three of the stations, the SSiB and 15-cm bucket models produce good simulations of seasonal cycles and interannual variations of soil moisture. For the other three stations, there are large errors in the simulations by both models. Inconsistencies in specification of field capacity may be partly responsible. There is no evidence that the SSiB simulations are superior in simulating soil moisture variations. In fact, the models are quite similar since SSiB implicitly has a bucket embedded in it. One of the main differences between the models is in the treatment of runoff due to melting snow in the spring-SSiB incorrectly puts all the snowmelt into runoff. While producing similar soil moisture simulations, the models produce very different surface latent and sensible heat fluxes, which would
[en] The High Asia Cryosphere formed due to strong uplift of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and caused great changes of topography, hydrology, atmospheric circulation and ecosystems. Because of the various combinations of latitude, longitude, altitude, and moisture and heat conditions, the High Asia Cryosphere has very complicated and unique characteristics and structure. The High Asia Cryosphere is sensitive to global warming. While climatic change will directly affect the natural and human use of the environment, changes to the High Asia Cryosphere as a result of climate change will produce a set of second-order effects. For example, changes in glacier and snow cover can lead to significant alterations of runoff and dynamics of rivers originating in High Asia. The degradation of permafrost on the plateau will potentially accelerate the process of desertification of the plateau, and produce serious consequences to the environment and ecosystems of East Asia. After many years of research by Chinese and foreign scientists it is necessary to view the High Asia Cryosphere and its effects on environments as a whole and do a synthesis study at a higher level. This will include: theoretical syntheses of scattered regional investigations; reconstruction of evolution history of the High Asia Cryosphere using ice core records, permafrost borehole temperature records and relics of Quaternary glaciation; systematic monitoring of glaciers, snow cover, permafrost and periglacial phenomena; studies of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and cryosphere interactions; and predicting the effects of the High Asia Cryosphere on global change
[en] The aim of Imfrex was to evaluate the impact of a climatic change on the frequency of extreme phenomena of wind and rainfall in France. The study is based on an hypothesis proposed by the GIEC and called scenario A2. A first simulation, low resolution 300 km, using a coupled model ocean-atmosphere allowed to provide an evolution scenario for the temperature of the sea surface and the ice field area. A second simulation, high resolution 50 km, provided a daily evolution of the climate during 140 years. Imfrex was organized in five work-packages: the constitution of the data base, the validation of the models, the direct approach the statistical approach and the dynamical approach. (A.L.B.)
[en] An agro-climatic study was carried out in eastern Indian state of Bihar (middle Indo-Gangetic Plains) to identify optimum planting schedules and water availability of rainfed crops based on moisture availability index (MAI), i.e., the ratio of weekly assured rainfall and potential evapotranspiration (PET) for delineating safe growing period and crop production potential at micro-level in order to develop climate smart agricultural production system. For this purpose, historical weekly rainfall data for a period ranging from 30 to 55 years of 110 rain-gauge stations and normal weekly PET were employed. The assured weekly rainfall at different probability levels, viz. 25, 50, and 75%, was computed employing incomplete gamma distribution technique. The study revealed that at 50% probability (i.e., 50 out of 100 years), the sowing window of rainfed crops with MAI ≥ 0.33 ranged from 19 to 24 SMW (standard meteorological week) over different districts in Zone I (North west alluvial plains), 18 to 23 SMW in Zone II (North east alluvial plains), 23–24 SMW in Zone IIIA (Part of South Bihar alluvial plains), and 24–25 SMW in Zone IIIB (Part of South Bihar alluvial plains). The districts under Zone II recorded the earliest sowing week for starting sowing of rainfed crops, and the most delayed start of sowing was recorded in the districts under Zone IIIB at all probability levels. Kishanganj District recorded the highest duration of water availability followed by West Chamaparan District at all MAI and probability levels. In terms of longer length of water availability and higher values of MAI, Zone II appeared to be the most potential agroclimatic zone followed by Zone I and Zone IIIA. The Zone IIIB was adjudged as the least potential Zone in terms of shorter water availability period for rainfed crop production.