Climatic Change

Published by Springer Nature

Online ISSN: 1573-1480


Print ISSN: 0165-0009


Secular changes in the short-term preventive, positive, and temperature checks to population growth in Europe, 1460 to 1909
  • Article

February 1994


49 Reads

Patrick R. Galloway
"Annual variations in births, marriages, deaths, grain prices, and quarterly temperature series in England, France, Prussia, and Sweden [for the period 1460-1909] are analyzed using a distributed lag model. The results provide support for the existence of the short-term preventive, positive and temperature checks to population growth. Decreases in fertility and nuptiality are generally associated with increases in grain prices. Increases in mortality appear to be associated with high grain prices, cold winters and hot summers. Changes in these responses over time are examined within the context of economic development."

Tropical forests: Present Status and Future Outlook. Climatic Change 19(1-2):3-32

October 1991


249 Reads

Tropical forests still cover almost 8 million km2 of the humid tropics. But they are being destroyed at ever-more rapid rates. In 1989 the area deforested amounted to 142 200 km2, or nearly 90% more than in 1979. So whereas the 1989 total amounted to 1.8% of the remaining biome, the proportion could well continue to rise for the foreseeable future, until there is little forest left in just another few decades. Deforestation patterns are far from even throughout the biome. In much if not most of Southeast and Southern Asia, East and West Africa, and Central America, there is likely to be little forest left by the year 2000 or shortly thereafter. But in the Zaire basin, western Brazilian Amazonia and the Guyana highlands, sizeable expanses of forest could persist a good while longer. The main agent of deforestation is the ‘shifted cultivator’ or displaced peasant, who, responding to land hunger and general lack of rural development in traditional farming areas of countries concerned, feels there is no alternative but to adopt a slash-and-burn lifestyle in forestlands. This person is now accounting for at least 60% of deforestation, a proportion that is expanding rapidly. Yet he receives far less policy attention than the commercial logger, the cattle rancher and other agents of deforestation.

Fig. 1 Map delineating Crow Reservation (in yellow) and proximity to Hardin, MT where meteorological data for the study was collected, 15 miles northwest of Crow Agency, MT. The Reservation is southeast of Billings, MT, with the Reservation's southern border on the Montana-Wyoming State boundary. (Map prepared by Eggers; inset courtesy US Department of Agriculture 2013) 
Fig. 3 Number of frost free days per year in Hardin, MT, calculated from historic daily observations. (Data source: National Climate Data Center.) 
Fig. 4 Plot showing annual snowfall in millimeters from Hardin MT (1912-2012) and Crow Agency MT (1895-1990) observation sites, calculated in water years. The trendline is calculated from the average of measurements when both locations had measurements, and on the single site's measurements when only one station was operating. Years with more than 1 month of missing data were deleted from data plot, except for the earliest records. (Data source: National Climate Data Center.) 
Fig. 5 Monthly averages of daily mean discharge by decade for Little Bighorn River at State Line near Wyola, Montana (station 06289000). (Data source: USGS 2012) 
"Exploring Effects of Climate Change on Northern Plains American Indian Health"
  • Article
  • Full-text available

October 2013


3,500 Reads

American Indians have unique vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change because of the links among ecosystems, cultural practices, and public health, but also as a result of limited resources available to address infrastructure needs. On the Crow Reservation in south-central Montana, a Northern Plains American Indian Reservation, there are community concerns about the consequences of climate change impacts for community health and local ecosystems. Observations made by Tribal Elders about decreasing annual snowfall and milder winter temperatures over the 20(th) century initiated an investigation of local climate and hydrologic data by the Tribal College. The resulting analysis of meteorological data confirmed the decline in annual snowfall and an increase in frost free days. In addition, the data show a shift in precipitation from winter to early spring and a significant increase in days exceeding 90° F (32° C). Streamflow data show a long-term trend of declining discharge. Elders noted that the changes are affecting fish distribution within local streams and plant species which provide subsistence foods. Concerns about warmer summer temperatures also include heat exposure during outdoor ceremonies that involve days of fasting without food or water. Additional community concerns about the effects of climate change include increasing flood frequency and fire severity, as well as declining water quality. The authors call for local research to understand and document current effects and project future impacts as a basis for planning adaptive strategies.

A Survey of Census Bureau Population Projection Methods

February 1987


41 Reads

"Population projections methods of the U.S. Census Bureau draw upon several different traditions of forecasting: demographic accounting, judgmental, time series, deterministic, and explanatory. This paper reviews each of the forecasting traditions in population projections, describes the U.S. Census Bureau's current methods for national and state population projections, and proposes new hybrid approaches such as demographic-time series methods for national fertility projections and economic-demographic methods for state migration projections. Throughout the article, possible parallels with forecasting in other disciplines are noted."

Climate change hotspots in the CMIP5 global climate model ensemble

January 2012


875 Reads

We use a statistical metric of multi-dimensional climate change to quantify the emergence of global climate change hotspots in the CMIP5 climate model ensemble. Our hotspot metric extends previous work through the inclusion of extreme seasonal temperature and precipitation, which exert critical influence on climate change impacts. The results identify areas of the Amazon, the Sahel and tropical West Africa, Indonesia, and the Tibetan Plateau as persistent regional climate change hotspots throughout the 21st century of the RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 forcing pathways. In addition, areas of southern Africa, the Mediterranean, the Arctic, and Central America/western North America also emerge as prominent regional climate change hotspots in response to intermediate and high levels of forcing. Comparisons of different periods of the two forcing pathways suggest that the pattern of aggregate change is fairly robust to the level of global warming below approximately 2 °C of global warming (relative to the late-20th-century baseline), but not at the higher levels of global warming that occur in the late-21st-century period of the RCP8.5 pathway, with areas of southern Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Arctic exhibiting particular intensification of relative aggregate climate change in response to high levels of forcing. Although specific impacts will clearly be shaped by the interaction of climate change with human and biological vulnerabilities, our identification of climate change hotspots can help to inform mitigation and adaptation decisions by quantifying the rate, magnitude and causes of the aggregate climate response in different parts of the world. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0570-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Heat waves in the United States: Definitions, patterns and trends

June 2013


2,235 Reads

High temperatures and heat waves are related but not synonymous concepts. Heat waves, generally understood to be acute periods of extreme warmth, are relevant to a wide range of stakeholders because of the impacts that these events have on human health and activities and on natural environments. Perhaps because of the diversity of communities engaged in heat wave monitoring and research, there is no single, standard definition of a heat wave. Experts differ in which threshold values (absolute versus relative), duration and ancillary variables to incorporate into heat wave definitions. While there is value in this diversity of perspectives, the lack of a unified index can cause confusion when discussing patterns, trends, and impacts. Here, we use data from the North American Land Data Assimilation System to examine patterns and trends in 15 previously published heat wave indices for the period 1979-2011 across the Continental United States. Over this period the Southeast region saw the highest number of heat wave days for the majority of indices considered. Positive trends (increases in number of heat wave days per year) were greatest in the Southeast and Great Plains regions, where more than 12 % of the land area experienced significant increases in the number of heat wave days per year for the majority of heat wave indices. Significant negative trends were relatively rare, but were found in portions of the Southwest, Northwest, and Great Plains.

Paleoclimatic variability at frequencies ranging from 1 cycle per 10 000 years to 1 cycle per 1000 years: Evidence for nonlinear behaviour of the climate system

February 1988


86 Reads

The paleoclimatic variability at frequencies ranging from 10−4 cycle per year (cpy) to 10−3 cpy is investigated using a set of three deep-sea cores from the Indian Ocean. Three frequency bands of high paleoclimatic variability are first defined using upper and lower limits of the significant spectral power concentrations: the bands are centered around the spectral maxima located at 10.3, 4.7, and 2.5 kyr. The localisation of spectral lines is then refined by high-resolution spectral analysis. Some of the resulting lines have frequencies which are close to those previously detected in other paleoclimatic records, including the precessional peak at 19 kyr. Additional lines are also in good correspondence with the response of a nonlinear climatic oscillator forced by insolation variations, including peaks at 13 kyr, 10.4 kyr and 9.4 kyr. This correspondence suggests orbital forcing. Moreover for the Indian Ocean which is influenced by the monsoon circulation, it is plausible that the precessional contribution of the forcing interact strongly with the precipitation-temperature feedback used in the model, thus emphasizing the nonlinearity of the response.

1,800 Years of abrupt climate change, severe fire, and accelerated erosion, Sierra Nevada, California, USA

September 2011


84 Reads

This paper provides both a detailed history of environmental change in the Sierra Nevada over the past 1,800years and evidence for climate teleconnections between the Sierra Nevada and Greenland during the late Holocene. A review of Greenland ice core data suggests that the magnitudes of abrupt changes in temperature and precipitation increased beginning c. 3,700 and 3,000years ago, respectively. Precipitation increased abruptly 1,300years ago. Comparing paleotemperature data from Cirque Peak, CA with paleoprecipitation data from Pyramid Lake, NV suggests that hot temperatures occurred at the beginnings of most severe droughts in the Sierra Nevada over the past 1,800years. Severe fires and erosion also occurred at Coburn Lake, CA at the beginning of all severe droughts in the Sierra Nevada over the past 1,800years. This suggests that abrupt climate change during the late Holocene caused vegetation and mountain slopes in some areas to be out of equilibrium with abruptly changed climates. Finally, the ending of drought conditions in Greenland coincided with the beginning of drought conditions in the Sierra Nevada over the past 1,800years, perhaps as a result of the rapidly changed locations of the Earth’s major precipitation belts during abrupt climate change events.

Is it possible to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C? A letter

April 2012


79 Reads






This study explores the feasibility of limiting increases in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. A probabilistic simple climate model is used to identify emissions paths that offer at least a 50% chance of achieving this goal. We conclude that it is more likely than not that warming would exceed 1.5°C, at least temporarily, under plausible mitigation scenarios. We have identified three criteria of emissions paths that could meet the 1.5°C goal with a temporary overshoot of no more than 50 years: early and strong reductions in emissions, with global emissions peaking in 2015 and falling to at most 44–48 GtCO2e in 2020; rapid reductions in annual global emissions after 2020 (of at least 3–4% per year); very low annual global emissions by 2100 (less than 2–4 GtCO2e) and falling to zero (or below) in the 22nd century. The feasibility of these characteristics is uncertain. We conclude that the proposed date of review of the 1.5°C goal, set at 2015, may be too late to achieve the necessary scaling up of emissions cuts to achieve this goal.

Beniston M. Variations of snow depth and duration in the Swiss Alps over the last 50 years: Links to changes in large-scale climatic forcings. Climatic Change 36(3–4):–. <

January 1997


154 Reads

A study of snow statistics over the past 50 years at several climatological stations in the Swiss Alps has highlighted periods in which snow was either abundant or not. Periods with relative low snow amounts and duration are closely linked to the presence of persistent high surface pressure fields over the Alpine region during late Fall and in Winter. These high pressure episodes are accompanied by large positive temperature anomalies and low precipitation, both of which are unfavorable for snow accumulation during the Winter. The fluctuations of seasonal to annual pressure in the Alpine region is strongly correlated with anomalies of the North Atlantic Oscillation index, which is a measure of the strength of the westerly flow over the Atlantic. This implies that large-scale forcing, and not local or regional factors, plays a dominant role in controling the timing and amount of snow in the Alps, as evidenced by the abundance or dearth of snow over several consecutive years. Furthermore, since the mid-1980s, the length of the snow season and snow amount have substantially decreased, as a result of pressure fields over the Alps which have been far higher and more persistent than at any other time this century. A detailed analysis of a number of additional Alpine stations for the last 15 years shows that the sensitivity of the snow-pack to climatic fluctuations diminishes above 1750 m. In the current debate on anthropogenically-induced climatic change, this altitude is consistent with other studies and estimates of snow-pack sensitivity to past and projected future global warming.

Localized climatic responses during the 11 July 1991 eclipse: Phoenix AZ

February 1993


15 Reads

Measurements taken from a variety of land use environments in and around the Phoenix AZ metropolitan area were compared to determine the effects of various land use characteristics on the thermal response to a reduction of 68% in solar radiation during the solar eclipse of 11 July 1991. The results include: (a) The magnitude of the change in ambient air temperature during the eclipse is related to land use. Heavily asphalted military sites and irrigated golf courses recorded small decreases in temperature while natural desert terrain experienced the largest decreases. Variations in thermal response are more closely related to the albedo of the specific land type than to other factors such as thermal admittance but this high correlation is probably an artifact of the combination of other variables such as moisture. (b) Due to the complex mix of land uses and timing of eclipse, marked wind speed changes associated with the eclipse do not appear to be linked directly to land use changes, and, (c) Temperature minima at residential/commercial stations occurred in general, before the minima at stations in agricultural/golf terrains. Because typical albedo differences are not significant between these two land uses, land use characteristics other than albedo are most likely controlling the timing of the temperature minima. Opportunities to empirically examine concepts previously testable only through numerical modeling such as solar reduction experiments should continue to be exploited.

Table 2 (continued) 
Table 6 Options for adapting to forest sector impacts (adapted from Snover et al. 2007) 
11: Preparing for Climate Change Preparing for Climate Change in Washington State

April 2010


256 Reads

Climate change is expected to bring potentially significant changes to Washington State’s natural, institutional, cultural, and economic landscape. Addressing climate change impacts will require a sustained commitment to integrating climate information into the day-to-day governance and management of infrastructure, programs, and services that may be affected by climate change. This paper discusses fundamental concepts for planning for climate change and identifies options for adapting to the climate impacts evaluated in the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment. Additionally, the paper highlights potential avenues for increasing flexibility in the policies and regulations used to govern human and natural systems in Washington.

Imprint of the 11-year solar cycle in reanalyzed and radiosonde datasets: A spatial frequency analysis approach

July 2012


46 Reads

Oscillations in the period band of 10–12 years were globally analyzed by the pseudo-2D wavelet transform of reanalyzed (ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR) and HadAT radiosonde series at several pressure levels. The results were obtained for the series of temperature, u and v wind velocities, ozone mass mixing ratios at pressure levels up to 10 hPa and temperature and height of the tropopause. The study provides a detailed description of the oscillations’ spatial distribution, together with mutual comparison of the reanalyzed datasets. The analysis is supplemented by a correlation study between the wavelet power spectra interval of the reanalyzed and radiosonde series. For the temperature series, the study shows that the cycle is detected primarily in the tropics and subtropics; the details of the spatial patterns, however, differ significantly for the ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR series. The analysis of the u and v velocities provides a new characterization of the longitudinal variability of the regions sensitive to solar forcing showing, e.g., preferences for Pacific Ocean areas at 100 hPa. In the ozone mass mixing ratio fields, the oscillations are identified throughout hemispherically asymmetrical and vertically variable locations. The findings describe cycle spatial distribution in a new way and are in general agreement with other studies. The analysis of the temperature and height of the tropopause showed that the regions where the cycle is detected are primarily found within tropical to middle latitudes, with pronounced longitudinal variability over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Fig. 4 Relationships between (a) ratio of sea ice area over the Arctic and (b) the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning (AMOC) and global mean surface air temperature changes in annual mean. The ratio of sea ice area over the Arctic is the regional mean from 80°N to 90°N. The intensity of the AMOC is defined as the maximum value of its stream function in the North Atlantic Ocean. Red circles , RCP2.6; Blue circles , RCP8.5. Red and blue lines indicate the regression lines in RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively
Temperature scaling pattern dependence on representative concentration pathway emission scenarios A Letter (vol 112, pg 535, 2012)

May 2012


74 Reads

To preserve consistency among developed emission scenarios, the scenarios used in climate modeling, and the climate scenarios available for impact research, the pattern scaling technique is useful technique. The basic assumption of pattern scaling is that the spatial response pattern per 1 K increase in the global mean surface air temperature (SAT) (scaling pattern) is the same among emission scenarios, but this assumption requires further validation. We therefore investigated the dependence of the scaling pattern of the annual mean SAT on GHGs emission scenarios of representative concentration pathways (RCP) and the causes of that dependence using the Model for Interdisciplinary research on Climate 5 developed by Japanese research community. In particular, we focused on the relationships of the dependency with effects of aerosols and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. We found significant dependencies of the scaling pattern on emission scenarios at middle and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, with differences of >15 % over parts of East Asia, North America, and Europe. Impact researchers should take into account those dependencies that seriously affect their research. The mid-latitude dependence is caused by differences in sulfate aerosol emissions per 1 K increase in the global mean SAT, and the high-latitude dependence is mainly caused by nonlinear responses of sea ice and ocean heat transport to global warming. Long-term trends in land-use and land-cover changes did not significantly affect the scaling pattern of annual mean SAT, but they might have an effect at different timescales.

Climatic and Demographic Consequences of the Massive Volcanic Eruption of 1258

February 1999


134 Reads

Somewhere in the tropics, a volcano exploded violently during the year 1258, producing a massive stratospheric aerosol veil that eventually blanketed the globe. Arctic and Antarctic ice cores suggest that this was the world's largest volcanic eruption of the past millennium. According to contemporary chronicles, the stratospheric dry fog possibly manifested itself in Europe as a persistently cloudy aspect of the sky and also through an apparently total darkening of the eclipsed Moon. Based on a sudden temperature drop for several months in England, the eruption's initiation date can be inferred to have been probably January 1258. The frequent cold and rain that year led to severe crop damage and famine throughout much of Europe. Pestilence repeatedly broke out in 1258 and 1259; it occurred also in the Middle East, reportedly there as plague. Another very cold winter followed in 1260-1261. The troubled period's wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes appear to have contributed in part to the rise of the European flagellant movement of 1260, one of the most bizarre social phenomena of the Middle Ages. Analogies can be drawn with the climatic aftereffects and European social unrest following another great tropical eruption, Tambora in 1815. Some generalizations about the climatic impacts of tropical eruptions are made from these and other data.

Spatial Response to Major Volcanic Events in or about AD 536, 934 and 1258: Frost Rings and Other Dendrochronological Evidence from Mongolia and Northern Siberia: Comment on R. B. Stothers, ‘Volcanic Dry Fogs, Climate Cooling, and Plague Pandemics in Europe and the Middle East’ (Climatic Change, 42, 1999)

April 2001


123 Reads

Hypothesized large-scale climatic extremes require verification from distantregions in order toconfirm the magnitude and timing of such events. Three of the most massivehypothesized volcanic events of the past two millennia, occurring in or aboutAD 536, 934 and1258, had profound climatic and demographic repercussions over much of Europe,the MiddleEast, and other areas, according to historical accounts recently described inStothers (1998, 1999,2000) as well as other research. Here we report on frost ring and otherdendrochronologicalevidence derived from a 1738-year tree-ring chronology from Mongolia andmillennial-scaletree-ring data from northern Siberia which demonstrate that these three eventsmay have alsoimpacted conditions in these distant regions.

Glacial Varve Thickness and 127 Years of Instrumental Climate Data: A Comparison

July 1997


28 Reads

Annually laminated sediments (glacial varves) from Lake Silvaplauna, a High Alpine proglacial lake in the Central Swiss Alps, were compared with glacier monitoring data and instrumental climate data from 1864 to 1990. Long-term and short-term responses to climatic change as well as anthropogenic influence can be traced separately in the varve succession. Economic development in the lake catchment has resulted in higher autochthonous production in recent years. Autochthonous components contribute around 10% to the total amount of sediment accumulated annually since 1960 but their contribution is negligible before this date. Decadal-scale varve thickness trends correlate with glacier size-variations. A stepwise, running multiple regression analysis demonstrates that interannual changes in varve thickness are strongly correlated with changes in mean summer temperatures, but cannot be sufficiently explained without considering summer precipitation and the number of days with snow per year. The wide range of observed correlation coefficients reveals the sensitivity of the archive to temporal variability of the climatic forcing factors and makes the development of transfer functions ambiguous.

Anasazi (Pre-Columbian Native-American) Migrations During The Middle-12Th and Late-13th Centuries – Were they Drought Induced?

July 2007


2,520 Reads

Severe droughts in the middle-12th and late-13th centuries appear to have affected Anasazi (pre-Columbian Native American) populations. During the first drought most of the great houses in the central San Juan Basin were vacated; the second drought resulted in the abandonment of the Four Corners region. During the first drought, villages may not have been completely abandoned. The multi-year drought periods probably were characterized by reductions in both winter and summer precipitation. Maize is dependent on winter precipitation for its germination and initial growth and on summer (monsoonal) precipitation for its continued growth. Reductions in precipitation are hypothesized to have resulted in low yields of maize, the dietary staple of the Anasazi. A comparison of historic climate data and tree-ring-based reconstructions of precipitation in the Four Corners region with tree-ring-based reconstructions of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) indicate that severe and persistent drought in the Four Corners region occurs when the PDO is negative and the AMO is positive. Historic climate data from the greater San Juan Basin indicate that a negative PDO is characterized by reductions in both water-year and summer precipitation, reinforcing the concept that at least some multi-year droughts involved weakening of the summer monsoon with attendant decreases in the yields of maize.

Tree-ring Reconstructed Megadroughts over North America Since A.D. 1300

April 2007


733 Reads

Tree-ring reconstructed summer Palmer Drought Severity Indices (PDSI) are used to identify decadal droughts more severe and prolonged than any witnessed during the instrumental period. These “megadroughts” are identified at two spatial scales, the North American continental scale (exclusive of Alaska and boreal Canada) and at the sub-continental scale over western North America. Intense decadal droughts have had significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts, as is illustrated with historical information. Only one prolonged continent-wide megadrought during the past 500years exceeded the decadal droughts witnessed during the instrumental period, but three megadroughts occurred over the western sector of North America from a.d. 1300 to 1900. The early 20th century pluvial appears to have been unmatched at either the continental or sub-continental scale during the past 500 to 700years. The decadal droughts of the 20th century, and the reconstructed megadroughts during the six previous centuries, all covered large sectors of western North America and in some cases extended into the eastern United States. All of these persistent decadal droughts included shorter duration cells of regional drought (sub-decadal  ≈  6years), most of which resemble the regional patterns of drought identified with monthly and annual data during the 20th century. These well-known regional drought patterns are also characterized by unique monthly precipitation climatologies. Intense sub-decadal drought shifted among these drought regions during the modern and reconstructed multi-year droughts, which prolonged large-scale drought and resulted in the regimes of megadrought.

Evidence for climatic conditions between CA. 900-1300 A.D. in the southern canadian rockies

March 1994


45 Reads

Available evidence for climatic conditions in the southern Canadian Rockies around the period of the Early Medieval Warm Period is presented and reviewed. Treelines appear to have been above present levels during the 14th–17th centuries and there is limited evidence of higher treelines ca. 100014C yr B.P. (ca. 1000 A.D.). During the 13th century at least three glaciers were advancing over mature forest in valley floor sites, 0.5–1.0 km upvalley of Little Ice Age maximum positions attained in the 18th and 19th centuries. Tree-ring width chronologies from treeline sites show suppressed growth in the early 12th century and for several periods in the 12th–14th centuries. The only tree-ring chronology presently spanning the 900–1300 A.D. interval has generally wider ringwidths between 950 and 1100 A.D. suggesting conditions were more favourable at that time. Forested sites overrun by glaciers in the 12th–14th centuries have only been deglaciated within the present century.

Carbon-14 production compared to oxygen isotope records from Camp Century, Greenland and Devon Island, Canada

January 1982


11 Reads

Carbon-14 production rate variations that are not explainable by geomagnetic changes are thought to be in antiphase with solar activity and as such should be in antiphase with paleotemperature records or proxy temperature histories such as those obtainable from oxygen isotope analyses of ice cores. Oxygen isotope records from Camp Century, Greenland and Devon Island Ice Cap are in phase with each other over thousands of years and in antiphase to the 14C production rate residuals.

Envisioning carbon capture and storage: Expanded possibilities due to air capture, leakage insurance, and C-14 monitoring

October 2009


102 Reads

In order to meet the challenge of climate change while allowing for continued economic development, the world will have to adopt a net zero carbon energy infrastructure. Due to the world’s large stock of low-cost fossil fuels, there is strong motivation to explore the opportunities for capturing the CO2 that is produced in the combustion of fossil fuels and keeping it out of the atmosphere. Three distinct sets of technologies are needed to allow for climate neutral use of fossil fuels: (1) capture of CO2 at concentrated sources like electric power plants, future hydrogen production plants and steel and cement plants; (2) capture of CO2 from the air; and (3) the safe and permanent storage of CO2 away from the atmosphere. A strong regime of carbon accounting is also necessary to gain the public’s trust in the safety and permanence of CO2 storage. This paper begins with an extensive overview of carbon capture and storage technologies, and then presents a vision for the potential implementation of carbon capture and storage, drawing upon new ideas such as air capture technology, leakage insurance, and monitoring using a radioactive isotope such as C-14. These innovations, which may provide a partial solution for managing the risks associated with long-term carbon storage, are not well developed in the existing literature and deserve greater study.

Recent Wyoming temperature trends, their drivers, and impacts in a 14,000-year context

May 2012


139 Reads

Wyoming provides more fossil fuels to the remainder of the United States than any other state or country, and its citizens remain skeptical of anthropogenic influences on their climate. However, much of the state including Yellowstone National Park and the headwaters of several major river systems, may have already been affected by rising temperatures. This paper examines the historic climate record from Wyoming in the context of ∼14,000-year temperature reconstructions based on fossil pollen data. The analysis shows that 24 of 30 U.S. Historical Climatology Network records from the state show an increase in the frequency of unusually warm years since 1978. Statewide temperatures have included 15 years (50%) from 1978 to 2007 that were greater than 1σ above the mean annual temperature for 1895–1978. The frequent warm years coincide with a reduction in the frequency of extremely low (<−20°C) January temperatures, and are not well explained by factors such as solar irradiance and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Linear regressions require inclusion of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations to explain the multi-decadal temperature trends. The observed warming is large in Yellowstone National Park where 21 years (70%) from 1978 to 2007 were greater than 1σ above the 1895–1978 mean; the deviation from the mean (>1°C) is greater than any time in the past 6,000 years. Recent temperatures have become as high as those experienced from 11,000 to 6,000 years ago when summer insolation was >6% higher than today and when regional ecosystems experienced frequent severe disturbances.

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