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Abstract

A 154 year-long, tree-ring based stable oxygen isotope time series (δ¹⁸OTRC) of the evergreen southern beech (Nothofagus betuloides) was established for the southernmost part of Patagonia. The trees grew on the terminal moraine system of the Schiaparelli Glacier (54.4°S) within the windward and hyper-humid zone of the Austral Andes. The annually resolved δ¹⁸OTRC record spans the common period 1861–2015 and is based on the analysis of five individually analyzed tree individuals showing a significant mean interseries correlation (r = 0.69). To date, this time series represents the worldwide southernmost chronology of tree-ring δ¹⁸OTRC. Variations of the δ¹⁸OTRC values are significantly correlated with hydroclimatic conditions, as derived from ERA-Interim reanalysis gridded data. Negative relationships between the δ¹⁸OTRC-series and relative humidity (rOct-Feb = −0.62, p < 0.0001) or the amount of precipitation (rJan-Feb = −0.52, p < 0.0001) can be observed for the austral spring and summer seasons. In contrast, a drier environment will increase the δ¹⁸OTRC as revealed by a positive influence of evaporation (rSep-Feb = 0.44, p < 0.01), sea level pressure (rOct-Feb = 0.56, p < 0.0001) or maximum temperature (rOct-Feb = 0.43, p < 0.01). Spatial correlation maps indicate a strong supra-regional influence of climate variables on the chronology. The annular pressure seesaw, termed as Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), mostly influences climate variability within the Southern Hemisphere and is positively correlated with the δ¹⁸OTRC-chronology (rJF = 0.61, p < 0.0001). Since our chronology, as well as a neighboring δ¹⁸OTRC-chronology from the Perito Moreno Glacier (50°S), are showing a high correspondence in their sensitivities to climate variabilities and towards the AAO, we merged both time series into a mean chronology. This new regional mean δ¹⁸OTRC-chronology is highly sensitive to variations of the AAO (r = 0.79, p < 0.0001)) and is tested for the suitability to reconstruct the AAO for the last 150 years. The reconstructed time series of the AAO reveals an increasing trend towards more positive index values, which is associated with an amplification in the amount of precipitation and wind speed in southernmost South America.

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... Moreover, extreme events impacting the regional hydrology as cyclone activity, flooding or river discharge can be reconstructed by δ 18 OTRC [16][17][18][19]. Short-term (weekly/seasonal) to long-term (interannual/decadal) variations in large-scale circulation patterns are also stored in δ 18 OTRC-series, e.g., due to varying moisture sources [20][21][22][23][24][25], which in turn strongly bias/overprint local climate conditions. Several parameters mentioned above may contribute in a similar proportion to the annual δ 18 OTRC signal at a specific sampling site, further exacerbated by feasible changing stabilities of the climate-proxy relationships [12,26]. ...
... Consequently, the individual years were cut off with a razor blade in compliance with the tree-ring width chronology. Subsequently, α-cellulose was extracted following standard laboratory methods [20,91]. During isotope measurements, internal and international laboratory standards were periodically interposed, resulting in an overall analytical precision for the δ 18 OTRC measurements of <0.2‰. ...
... Again, the MEAN-δ 18 OTRC resembles a climate sensitivity intermediate between the permafrost-free and permafrost-affected δ 18 OTRC (Table 2). [20,21]. Therefore, the significant spatial correlations which extend far beyond the Alpine region ( Figure 6 and Supplementary Materials Figure S2) can be regarded as highly reasonable. ...
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During recent decades, stable oxygen isotopes derived from tree-ring cellulose (δ18OTRC) have been frequently utilised as the baseline for palaeoclimatic reconstructions. In this context, numerous studies take advantage of the high sensitivity of trees close to their ecological distribution limit (high elevation or high latitudes). However, this increases the chance that indirect climatic forces such as cold ground induced by permafrost can distort the climate-proxy relationship. In this study, a tree stand of sub-alpine larch trees (Larix decidua Mill.) located in an inner alpine dry valley (Val Bever), Switzerland, was analysed for its δ18OTRC variations during the last 180 years. A total of eight L. decidua trees were analysed on an individual base, half of which are located on verified sporadic permafrost lenses approximately 500 m below the expected lower limit of discontinuous permafrost. The derived isotope time series are strongly dependent on variations in summer temperature, precipitation and large-scale circulation patterns (geopotential height fields). The results demonstrate that trees growing outside of the permafrost distribution provide a significantly stronger and more consistent climate-proxy relationship over time than permafrost-affected tree stands. The climate sensitivity of permafrost-affected trees is analogical to the permafrost-free tree stands (positive and negative correlations with temperature and precipitation, respectively) but attenuated partly leading to a complete loss of significance. In particular, decadal summer temperature variations are well reflected in δ18OTRC from permafrost-free sites (r = 0.62, p < 0.01), while permafrost-affected sites demonstrate a full lack of this dependency (r = 0.30, p > 0.05). Since both tree stands are located just a few meters away from one another and are subject to the same climatic influences, discrepancies in the isotope time series can only be attributed to variations in the trees’ source water that constraints the climatic fingerprints on δ18OTRC. If the two individual time series are merged to one local mean chronology, the climatic sensitivity reflects an intermediate between the permafrost-free and –affected δ18OTRC time series. It can be deduced, that a significant loss of information on past climate variations arises by simply averaging both tree stands without prior knowledge of differing subsurface conditions.
... Tree ring δ 18 O does not usually exhibit a strong, age-related trend [8][9][10], and could retain more climatic low frequency variability that might be related to climate [6]. Precipitation δ 18 O is affected by large-scale atmospheric circulation [11], and thus tree ring δ 18 O can reveal a significant link with atmospheric circulation, such as synoptic weather type, ENSO, Arctic Oscillation and Antarctic Oscillation [12][13][14][15][16]. Therefore, tree ring δ 18 O can not only be used for traditional climate variable reconstruction, but may also be exploited for reconstruction of large-scale atmospheric circulation [13,16]. ...
... Tree ring δ 18 O does not usually exhibit a strong, age-related trend [8][9][10], and could retain more climatic low frequency variability that might be related to climate [6]. Precipitation δ 18 O is affected by large-scale atmospheric circulation [11], and thus tree ring δ 18 O can reveal a significant link with atmospheric circulation, such as synoptic weather type, ENSO, Arctic Oscillation and Antarctic Oscillation [12][13][14][15][16]. Therefore, tree ring δ 18 O can not only be used for traditional climate variable reconstruction, but may also be exploited for reconstruction of large-scale atmospheric circulation [13,16]. ...
... Merck cellulose was inserted after every eight tree samples during the measurements. Oxygen isotope results are presented in δ notation as the per mil (‰) deviation from Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW), δ 18 O = [(Rsample/Rstandard) − 1] × 1000, where Rsample and Rstandard are the 18 O/ 16 O ratios of the sample and standard, respectively. The analytical uncertainties on repeated measurements of the Merck cellulose were approximately ±0.2‰ (n = 32). ...
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We present the first Greenlandic tree ring oxygen isotope record (δ18OGTR), derived from four birch trees collected from the Qinguadalen Valley in southwestern Greenland in 1999. Our δ18O record spans from 1950–1999 and is significantly and positively correlated with winter ice core δ18O from southern Greenland. δ18OGTR records are positively correlated with southwestern Greenland January–August mean temperatures. North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) reconstructions have been developed from a variety of proxies, but never with Greenlandic tree rings, and our δ18OGTR record is significantly correlated with NAO (r = −0.64), and spatial correlations with sea-level pressure indicate a classic NAO pressure seesaw pattern. These results may facilitate a longer NAO reconstruction based on long time series of tree ring δ18O records from Greenland, provided that subfossil wood can be found in areas vacated by melting glaciers.
... Warmer temperatures and reduced precipitation associated with the persistent positive phase of the AAO in spring-summer [28,29] negatively influence the growth of N. betuloides forests in Navarino Island. Warmer and drier climatic conditions in recent decades have induce stomatal closure and the consequent decrease in the photosynthetic rate [57,58]. Hence, lower interannual biomass production is reflected in the N. betuloides RWIs. ...
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Recent climatic trends, such as warming temperatures, decrease in rainfall, and extreme weather events (e.g., heatwaves), are negatively affecting the performance of forests. In northern Patagonia, such conditions have caused tree growth reduction, crown dieback, and massive die-back events. However, studies looking at these consequences in the southernmost temperate forest (Nothofagus betuloides and Nothofagus pumilio) are much scarcer, especially in southernmost South America (SSA). These forests are also under the influence of the positive phase of Antarctic Oscillation (AAO, also known as Southern Annular Mode, SAM) that has been associated with increasing trends in temperature, drought, and extreme events in the last decades. This study evaluated the growth patterns and the climatic response of eight new tree-ring chronologies from Nothofagus species located at the upper treeline along different environmental gradients in three study areas: Punta Arenas, Yendegaia National Park, and Navarino Island in SSA. The main modes of the ring-width index (RWI) variation were studied using principal component analysis (PCA). We found that PC1 has the higher loadings for sites with precipitation values over 600 mm/yr, PC2 with N. betuloides sites, and PC3 with higher loadings for sites with precipitation values below 600 mm/yr. Our best growth-climate relationships are between N. betuloides and AAO and the most northeastern site of N. pumilio with relative humidity (which coincides with heatwaves and extreme drought). The climatic signals imprinted in the southernmost forests are sensitive to climatic variability, the climate forcing AAO, and the effects of climate change in the last decades.
... Gat (1996) pointed out that the isotopic composition of precipitation reflects different moisture source regions. Recent tree-ring oxygen isotope studies were able to detect these differing isotopic signatures due to variations of δ 18 O in annually resolved tree rings (Grießinger et al., 2018;Meier et al., 2020). In contrast, Muangsong et al. (2020) revealed the influence of varying moisture sources on the isotopic composition solely within intra-seasonally but not within annually resolved δ 18 O treering chronologies from the tropics. ...
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Ratios of stable oxygen isotopes in tree rings (d18O) are a valuable proxy for reconstructing past climates. Such reconstructions allow us to gain better knowledge of climate dynamics under different (e.g. warmer) environmental conditions, which also forms the basis for effective risk management. The latter aspect is particularly relevant for our study site on the western flanks of the Andes in Southern Ecuador, since the region is frequently affected by droughts and heavy precipitation events during the rainy season (January to April), leading to enormous social and economic losses. In particular, we focus on precipitation amounts and moisture source regions as they are known to influence the d18O signature of tree rings. Moisture source regions are based on 240 h backward trajectories that were calculated with the trajectory model LAGRANTO for the rainy seasons 2008 to 2017. A moisture source diagnostic was applied to the air parcel pathways. The resulting moisture source regions were analyzed by calculating composites based on precipitation amounts, season, and calendar year. The precipitation amounts were derived from data of a local Automatic Weather Station (AWS). The analysis confirms that our study site receives its moisture both, from the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Heavy precipitation events are linked to higher moisture contributions from the Pacific, and local SST anomalies along the coast of Ecuador are of higher importance than those off the coast towards the central Pacific. Moreover, we identified increasing moisture contributions from the Pacific over the course of the rainy season. This change and also rain amount effects are detectable in preliminary data of d18O variations in tree rings of Bursera graveolens. These signatures can be a starting point for investigating atmospheric and hydroclimatic processes, which trigger d18O variations in tree rings, more extensively in future studies.
Chapter
In this chapter we introduce the climate signal in stable isotope tree-ring records, with the emphasis on temperate forests. The development of the subdiscipline is recapped followed by an exploration of isotope dendroclimatic records by geography and, broadly, by isotopic species. Whilst there are still questions to be answered around signal strength and age-related effects in different environments and in different species, the proxy is now contributing to palaeoclimatology in a far greater way than in the days of the first hints of ‘isotope tree thermometers’. We include two summary tables. Table 19.1 exemplifies the range of climate information available from stable carbon isotope time series and Table 19.2 explores oxygen isotope proxy signals. Due to the greater complexity seen in stable carbon isotope interpretations we explore response groupings with example references given for each category of proxy response. Finally, we summarize the state of the art in isotope dendroclimatology and discuss possible future directions.
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The contribution to sea level rise from Patagonian icefields is one of the largest mass losses outside the large ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. However, only a few studies have provided large-scale assessments in a spatially detailed way to address the reaction of individual glaciers in Patagonia and hence to better understand and explain the underlying processes. In this work, we use repeat radar interferometric measurements of the German TerraSAR-X-Add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements (TanDEM-X) satellite constellation between 2011/12 and 2016 together with the digital elevation model from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000 in order to derive surface elevation and mass changes of the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI). Our results reveal a mass loss rate of -11.84 ± 3.3 Gt·a⁻¹ (corresponding to 0.033 ± 0.009 mm·a⁻¹ sea level rise) for an area of 12573 km² in the period 2000-2015/16. This equals a specific glacier mass balance of -0.941 ± 0.19 m w.e.·a⁻¹ for the whole SPI. These values are comparable with previous estimates since the 1970s, but a magnitude larger than mass change rates reported since the Little Ice Age. The spatial pattern reveals that not all glaciers respond similarly to changes and that various factors need to be considered in order to explain the observed changes. Our multi-temporal coverage of the southern part of the SPI (south of 50.3° S) shows that the mean elevation change rates do not vary significantly over time below the equilibrium line. However, we see indications for more positive mass balances due to possible precipitation increase in 2014 and 2015. We conclude that bi-static radar interferometry is a suitable tool to accurately measure glacier volume and mass changes in frequently cloudy regions. We recommend regular repeat TanDEM-X acquisitions to be scheduled for the maximum summer melt extent in order to minimize the effects of radar signal penetration and to increase product quality.
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Reproducible climate reconstructions of the Common Era (1 CE to present) are key to placing industrial-era warming into the context of natural climatic variability. Here we present a community-sourced database of temperature-sensitive proxy records from the PAGES2k initiative. The database gathers 692 records from 648 locations, including all continental regions and major ocean basins. The records are from trees, ice, sediment, corals, speleothems, documentary evidence, and other archives. They range in length from 50 to 2000 years, with a median of 547 years, while temporal resolution ranges from biweekly to centennial. Nearly half of the proxy time series are significantly correlated with HadCRUT4.2 surface temperature over the period 1850–2014. Global temperature composites show a remarkable degree of coherence between high- and low-resolution archives, with broadly similar patterns across archive types, terrestrial versus marine locations, and screening criteria. The database is suited to investigations of global and regional temperature variability over the Common Era, and is shared in the Linked Paleo Data (LiPD) format, including serializations in Matlab, R and Python.
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The aim of this study is to establish a calibration of the late wood cellulose carbon and oxygen isotopic inter-annual variability measured on four living oaks (1879–1998) in the Atlantic area (Rennes Forest, Brittany, western France) to meteorological (beginning in 1885) and hydrological (beginning in 1951) data. We find a better tree-to-tree consistency of the δ 18 O ratio, compared with that of the tree-to-tree variability of the ring width and the δ 13 C possibly affected by individual competition effects. On a century-long time scale, the δ 13 C ratio in the cellulose reflects the globally decreasing trend of δ 13 C in atmospheric CO 2 , which is mainly due to fossil fuel burning. In contrast with the ring width, which here shows a weak and complex dependence on meteorological parameters, the isotopic composition of the cellulose enables a reliable reconstruction ( R 2 > 0.45) , mainly due to the δ 18 O signal, of selected summer climatic parameters: relative humidity, soil moisture deficit and temperature. The reconstructed parameters capture both low-frequency variations and extreme dry years (summer droughts). While both summer temperature and annual mean precipitation have a long-term increasing trend, the reconstructed water stress indicators do not show a significant trend during the 20th century. On average one summer drought occurs every seven summers, but this frequency varies in parallel to decadal changes in mean summer temperature, with fewer droughts in the 1930s and 1960s–1970s and more droughts in the 1900s, 1940s and 1990s. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2004.00086.x
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We present a newly developed, annually resolved tree-ring cellulose δ18O chronology for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP) from Sikkim larch (Larix griffithii), spanning between 1684 and 2012. Comparisons with local and regional climate data reveal strong positive correlations with monthly sunshine hours, temperature and daily temperature amplitude as well as strong negative correlations with relative humidity, vapor pressure, rain days per month and cloud cover of August. Relationships with local and regional tree-ring δ18O chronologies are stable and highly significant. Over the 20th century, we find no long-term climatic trends. This is consistent with other tree-ring δ18O chronologies of other tree species south of the Himalayas, but contrasts with results from isotope studies north of the Himalayas. This suggests stable macroclimatic flow patterns throughout the last centuries for the southern tree stands. In terms of large-scale climate dynamics, we find evidence of a significant 30-year wave influencing our tree-ring oxygen chronology, most probably induced by the Indian Ocean Dipole and influencing tree-ring oxygen isotope chronologies along the southeastern Himalaya and the southeastern rim of the TP. This pattern is spatially and temporarily consistent among the chronologies and has apparently strengthened during the last century. During periods of strong positive dipole mode activity, the dipole mode index shows positive correlations with the δ18O of tree-rings on the southeastern TP.
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In recent decades, the Tibetan plateau (TP) experienced a distinctive temperature increase, with fundamental consequences for the hydrological system. As meteorological time-series extending back more than 60 years are scarce, there is a strong need for proxy data providing insight into the regional hydroclimatic history as well as the long-term variability. Within this study, a recently developed annually resolved 1500 year-long tree-ring stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) time from the southeastern TP is presented. Climate–proxy relationships reveal a strong impact of relative humidity (rH) during the summer months (May to September) on tree-ring δ18O, explaining around 45% of its variance. The derived reconstruction of relative humidity reveals a recent trend towards drier conditions on the TP. However, the present low rH level is not unprecedented in regard to the last 1500 years. In comparison to recent climate conditions, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was characterized by more stable conditions with higher humidity values. Hydroclimatic conditions during the Little Ice Age (LIA) suggest a contrasting two-phased period, with a clear shift from drier conditions prevailing between 1400 and 1650 AD to more humid conditions since the second half of the 17th century. Comparisons with other local proxies from lake levels and Pollen data from the southern part of the Tibetan plateau indicate a common regional climate forcing during the MWP and the LIA which can be related to changes in summer monsoon activity. However, the strength of the distinct dryness trend during the 20th century seems unique.
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The relationship between climate modes and Antarctic sea ice is explored by separating the variability into intraseasonal, interannual, and decadal time scales. Cross-spectral analysis shows that geopotential height and Antarctic sea ice extent are most coherent at periods between about 20 and 40 days (the intraseasonal time scale). In this period range, where the atmospheric circulation and the sea ice extent are most tightly coupled, sea ice variability responds strongly to Rossby waves with the structure of the Pacific-South American (PSA) pattern. The PSA pattern in this time scale is not directly related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the southern annular mode (SAM), which have received much attention for explaining Antarctic sea ice variability. On the interannual time scale, ENSO and SAM are important, but a large fraction of sea ice variance can also be explained by Rossby wave-like structures in the Drake Passage region. After regressing out the sea ice extent variability associated with ENSO, the observed positive sea ice trends in Ross Sea and Indian Ocean during the satellite era become statistically insignificant. Regressing outSAMmakes the sea ice trend in the Indian Ocean insignificant. Thus, the positive trends in sea ice in the Ross Sea and the Indian Ocean sectors may be explained by the variability and decadal trends of known interannual climate modes.
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We explore the historical occurrence of extensive droughts over South Africa within the context of decadal climate variability. A Standardized Precipitation Index dataset is developed and used to assess the spatial extent of droughts in South Africa for the period 1920–2014. The most extensive droughts over the period at various time scales are identified and discussed. Results of a wavelet analysis are also presented towards identifying statistically significant regional climate variation with which the occurrence of droughts is associated. The occurrence of drought with respect to the El Niño Southern Oscillation and decadal climate variability is also considered. Significant associations between short-term droughts and decadal variability are pointed out. An overview of global sea surface temperature and Southern Hemisphere sea-level pressure associations with three prominent scales of multi-year climate variability is given. Dry epochs at the most prominent time scales are shown to be significantly negatively related to the Southern Annular Mode and associated sea surface temperature anomalies in the mid-to-high southern latitudes. Relations with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Inter-Decadal Pacific Oscillation and ENSO, which are all associated with a Southern Annular Mode of opposite sign, are also highlighted.
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The mechanistic understanding of isotope fractionation processes is increasing but we still lack detailed knowledge of the processes that determine the isotopic composition of the tree-ring archive over the long term. Especially with regard to the path from leaf photosynthate production to wood formation, post-assimilation fractionations/processes might cause at least a partial decoupling between the leaf isotope signals that record processes such as stomatal conductance, transpiration and photosynthesis, and the wood or cellulose signals that are stored in the paleophysiological record. In this review, we start from the rather well understood processes at the leaf level such as photosynthetic carbon isotope fractionation, leaf water evaporative isotope enrichment and the issue of the isotopic composition of inorganic sources (CO2 and H2O), though we focus on the less explored 'downstream' processes related to metabolism and transport. We further summarize the roles of cellulose and lignin as important chemical constituents of wood, and the processes that determine the transfer of photosynthate (sucrose) and associated isotopic signals to wood production. We cover the broad topics of post-carboxylation carbon isotope fractionation and of the exchange of organic oxygen with water within the tree. In two case studies, we assess the transfer of carbon and oxygen isotopic signals from leaves to tree rings. Finally we address the issue of different temporal scales and link isotope fractionation at the shorter time scale for processes in the leaf to the isotopic ratio as recorded across longer time scales of the tree-ring archive.
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Extra-tropical cyclones, such as 2012 Superstorm Sandy, pose a significant climatic threat to the northeastern United Sates, yet prediction of hydrologic and thermodynamic processes within such systems is complicated by their interaction with mid-latitude water patterns as they move poleward. Fortunately, the evolution of these systems is also recorded in the stable isotope ratios of storm-associated precipitation and water vapor, and isotopic analysis provides constraints on difficult-to-observe cyclone dynamics. During Superstorm Sandy, a unique crowdsourced approach enabled 685 precipitation samples to be obtained for oxygen and hydrogen isotopic analysis, constituting the largest isotopic sampling of a synoptic-scale system to date. Isotopically, these waters span an enormous range of values ([Formula: see text]21‰ for [Formula: see text]O, [Formula: see text]160‰ for [Formula: see text]H) and exhibit strong spatiotemporal structure. Low isotope ratios occurred predominantly in the west and south quadrants of the storm, indicating robust isotopic distillation that tracked the intensity of the storm's warm core. Elevated values of deuterium-excess ([Formula: see text]25‰) were found primarily in the New England region after Sandy made landfall. Isotope mass balance calculations and Lagrangian back-trajectory analysis suggest that these samples reflect the moistening of dry continental air entrained from a mid-latitude trough. These results demonstrate the power of rapid-response isotope monitoring to elucidate the structure and dynamics of water cycling within synoptic-scale systems and improve our understanding of storm evolution, hydroclimatological impacts, and paleo-storm proxies.
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We used Little Ice Age (LIA) trimlines and moraines to assess changes in South American glaciers over the last ∼140 years. We determined the extent and length of 640 glaciers during the LIA (∼ AD 1870) and 626 glaciers (the remainder having entirely disappeared) in 1986, 2001 and 2011. The calculated reduction in glacierized area between the LIA and 2011 is 4131 km2 (15.4%), with 660 km2 (14.2%) being lost from the Northern Patagonia Icefield (NPI), 1643 km2 (11.4%) from the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI) and 306 km2 (14.4%) from Cordillera Darwin. Latitude, size and terminal environment (calving or land-terminating) exert the greatest control on rates of shrinkage. Small, northerly, land-terminating glaciers shrank fastest. Annual rates of area loss increased dramatically after 2001 for mountain glaciers north of 52° S and the large icefields, with the NPI and SPI now shrinking at 9.4 km2 a–1 (0.23% a–1) and 20.5 km2 a–1 (0.15% a–1) respectively. The shrinkage of glaciers between 52° S and 54° S accelerated after 1986, and rates of shrinkage from 1986 to 2011 remained steady. Icefield outlet glaciers, isolated glaciers and ice caps south of 54° S shrank faster from 1986 to 2001 than they did from 2001 to 2011.
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Quantification of global forest change has been lacking despite the recognized importance of forest ecosystem services. In this study, Earth observation satellite data were used to map global forest loss (2.3 million square kilometers) and gain (0.8 million square kilometers) from 2000 to 2012 at a spatial resolution of 30 meters. The tropics were the only climate domain to exhibit a trend, with forest loss increasing by 2101 square kilometers per year. Brazil's well-documented reduction in deforestation was offset by increasing forest loss in Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Zambia, Angola, and elsewhere. Intensive forestry practiced within subtropical forests resulted in the highest rates of forest change globally. Boreal forest loss due largely to fire and forestry was second to that in the tropics in absolute and proportional terms. These results depict a globally consistent and locally relevant record of forest change.
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This study quantifies the impact of atmospheric rivers (AR) on precipitation in southern South America. An AR detection algorithm was developed based on integrated water vapor transport (IVT) from six-hourly CFSR reanalysis data over a 16-year period (2001-2016). AR landfalls were linked to precipitation using a comprehensive observing network that spanned large variations in terrain along and across the Andes from 27°S to 55°S, including some sites with hourly data. Along the Pacific (west) coast, AR landfalls are most frequent between 38°S and 50°S, averaging 35-40 days/year. This decreases rapidly to the south and north of this maximum, as well as to the east of the Andes. Landfalling ARs are more frequent in winter/spring (summer/fall) to the north (south) of ~43°S. ARs contribute 45%-60% of the annual precipitation in subtropical Chile (37°S-32°S) and 40%-55% along the midlatitude west coast (37°S-47°S). These values significantly exceed those in western North America, likely due to the Andes being taller. In subtropical and midlatitude regions roughly half of all events with top-quartile precipitation rates occur under AR conditions. Median daily and hourly precipitation in ARs are 2-3 times that of other storms. The results of this study extend knowledge of the key roles of ARs on precipitation, weather and climate in the South American region. They enable comparisons with other areas globally, provide context for specific events and support local nowcasting and forecasting.
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This commentary highlights a regularly occurring misinterpretation of the widely used expressed pop-ulation signal (EPS). Based on thorough examination of the scientific article introducing EPS, I show thatI) EPS was not meant to be a measure for the suitability of tree-ring data for climate reconstruction, andII) that the frequently used – but arbitrarily chosen – threshold of 0.85 was not meant to be used incombination with EPS. Instead, the less frequently used subsample signal strength (SSS) was intendedfor a respective application, i.e. as a measure of decreasing predictive power of transfer functions due toreductions in the sample size of underlying tree-ring series back in time. I conclude that classical transferfunction quality statistics should be preferred over the erroneous application of EPS in the context ofevaluating the suitability of dendrochronological data for climate reconstructions.
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The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has been identified as a climate mechanism with potentially significant impacts on the Australian hydroclimate. However, despite the identification of relationships between SAM and Australia's hydroclimate using certain data sets, and focussed on certain time periods, the association has not been extensively explored and significant uncertainties remain. One reason for this is the existence of numerous indices, methods and data sets by which SAM has been approximated. In this paper, the various SAM definitions and indices are reviewed and the similarities and discrepancies are discussed, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each index development approach. Further, the sensitivity of the relationship between SAM and Australian rainfall to choice of SAM index is quantified and recommendations are given as to the most appropriate index to use when assessing the impacts of the SAM on Australia's hydroclimate. Importantly this study highlights the need to consider the impact that the choice of SAM index, and data set used to calculate the index, has on the outcomes of any SAM attribution study.
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A new climatology of cyclones in the Southern Ocean is generated by applying an automated cyclone detection and tracking algorithm (developed by Hodges at the Reading University) for an improved and relatively high-resolution European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts atmospheric reanalysis during 1979–2013. A validation shows that identified cyclone tracks are in good agreement with a available analyzed cyclone product. The climatological characteristics of the Southern Ocean cyclones are then analyzed, including track, number, density, intensity, deepening rate and explosive events. An analysis shows that the number of cyclones in the Southern Ocean has increased for 1979–2013, but only statistically significant in summer. Coincident with the circumpolar trough, a single high-density band of cyclones is observed in 55°–67°S, and cyclone density has generally increased in north of this band for 1979–2013, except summer. The intensity of up to 70% cyclones in the Southern Ocean is less than 980 hPa, and only a few cyclones with pressure less than 920 hPa are detected for 1979–2013. Further analysis shows that a high frequency of explosive cyclones is located in the band of 45°–55°S, and the Atlantic Ocean sector has much higher frequent occurrence of the explosive cyclones than that in the Pacific Ocean sector. Additionally, the relationship between cyclone activities in the Southern Ocean and the Southern Annular Mode is discussed.
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The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is the primary pattern of climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere(1,2), influencing latitudinal rainfall distribution and temperatures from the subtropics to Antarctica. The positive summer trend in the SAM over recent decades is widely attributed to stratospheric ozone depletion(2); however, the brevity of observational records from Antarctica(1)-one of the core zones that defines SAM variability-limits our understanding of long-term SAM behaviour. Here we reconstruct annual mean changes in the SAM since AD 1000 using, for the first time, proxy records that encompass the full mid-latitude to polar domain across the Drake Passage sector. We find that the SAM has undergone a progressive shift towards its positive phase since the fifteenth century, causing cooling of the main Antarctic continent at the same time that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed. The positive trend in the SAM since similar to AD 1940 is reproduced by multimodel climate simulations forced with rising greenhouse gas levels and later ozone depletion, and the long-term average SAM index is now at its highest level for at least the past 1,000 years. Reconstructed SAM trends before the twentieth century are more prominent than those in radiative-forcing climate experiments and may be associated with a teleconnected response to tropical Pacific climate. Our findings imply that predictions of further greenhouse-driven increases in the SAM over the coming century(3) also need to account for the possibility of opposing effects from tropical Pacific climate changes.
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An Introduction to Statistical Learning provides an accessible overview of the field of statistical learning, an essential toolset for making sense of the vast and complex data sets that have emerged in fields ranging from biology to finance to marketing to astrophysics in the past twenty years. This book presents some of the most important modeling and prediction techniques, along with relevant applications. Topics include linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree-based methods, support vector machines, clustering, and more. Color graphics and real-world examples are used to illustrate the methods presented. Since the goal of this textbook is to facilitate the use of these statistical learning techniques by practitioners in science, industry, and other fields, each chapter contains a tutorial on implementing the analyses and methods presented in R, an extremely popular open source statistical software platform. Two of the authors co-wrote The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2nd edition 2009), a popular reference book for statistics and machine learning researchers. An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers many of the same topics, but at a level accessible to a much broader audience. This book is targeted at statisticians and non-statisticians alike who wish to use cutting-edge statistical learning techniques to analyze their data. The text assumes only a previous course in linear regression and no knowledge of matrix algebra.
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HYSPLIT, developed by NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory, is one of the most widely used models for atmospheric trajectory and dispersion calculations. We present the model’s historical evolution over the last 30 years from simple hand drawn back trajectories to very sophisticated computations of transport, mixing, chemical transformation, and deposition of pollutants and hazardous materials. We highlight recent applications of the HYSPLIT modeling system, including the simulation of atmospheric tracer release experiments, radionuclides, smoke originated from wild fires, volcanic ash, mercury, and wind-blown dust.
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Late twentieth-century instrumental records reveal a persistent southward shift of the Southern Westerly Winds during austral summer and autumn associated with a positive trend of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and contemporaneous with glacial recession, steady increases in atmospheric temperatures and CO2 concentrations at a global scale. However, despite the clear importance of the SAM in the modern/future climate, very little is known regarding its behaviour during pre-Industrial times. Here we present a stratigraphic record from Lago Cipreses (51°S), southwestern Patagonia, that reveals recurrent ~200-year long dry/warm phases over the last three millennia, which we interpret as positive SAM-like states. These correspond in timing with the Industrial revolution, the Mediaeval Climate Anomaly, the Roman and Late Bronze Age Warm Periods and alternate with cold/wet multi-centennial phases in European palaeoclimate records. We conclude that SAM-like changes at centennial timescales in southwestern Patagonia represent in-phase interhemispheric coupling of palaeoclimate over the last 3,000 years through atmospheric teleconnections.
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On the basis of eight years (2005-2012) of stroke data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) we describe the spatial distribution and temporal variability of lightning activity over Western Patagonia. This region extends from ~40°S to 55°S along the west coast of South America, is limited to the east by the austral Andes, and features an hyper-humid, maritime climate. Stroke density exhibits a sharp maximum along the coast of southern Chile. Although precipitation there is largely produced by cold nimbostratus, days with more than one stroke occur up to a third of the time somewhere along the coastal strip. Disperse strokes are also observed off southern Chile. In contrast, strokes are virtually nonexistent over the austral Andes -where precipitation is maximum- and farther east over the dry lowlands of Argentina. Atmospheric reanalysis and satellite imagery are used to characterize the synoptic environment of lightning producing storms, exemplified by a case study and generalized by a compositing analysis. Lightning activity tends to occur when Western Patagonia is immersed in a pool of cold air behind a front that has reached the coast at ~40°S. Under these circumstances, mid-level cooling occurs before, and is more prominent, than near-surface cooling leading to a weakly unstable postfrontal condition. Forced uplift of the strong westerlies impinging on the coastal mountains can trigger convection and produces significant lightning activity in this zone. Farther offshore, large-scale ascent near the cyclone's center may lift near-surface air parcels, fostering shallow convection and disperse lightning activity.
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Climate variability in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere (SH) is dominated by the SH annular mode, a large-scale pattern of variability characterized by fluctuations in the strength of the circumpolar vortex. We present evidence that recent trends in the SH tropospheric circulation can be interpreted as a bias toward the high-index polarity of this pattern, with stronger westerly flow encircling the polar cap. It is argued that the largest and most significant tropospheric trends can be traced to recent trends in the lower stratospheric polar vortex, which are due largely to photochemical ozone losses. During the summer-fall season, the trend toward stronger circumpolar flow has contributed substantially to the observed warming over the Antarctic Peninsula and Patagonia and to the cooling over eastern Antarctica and the Antarctic plateau.