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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cool climate papers 2011

Cool climate papers 2011

Posted on 4 February 2012 by Ari Jokimäki

The Skeptical Science audience largely were not monitoring my new research of last week feature during last year (this is painfully obvious from the visitor counts of my blog), so I think a glimpse of that might be in order. One of the points highlighting some selected papers of last week is to show that climate science is cool. Therefore I decided to make a selection of cool climate papers of last year. While I'm browsing through new climate related science and looking at certain research paper, I frequently think that this is cool. Below you can see some of the studies from last year I thought were cool. There is one paper for each week and I have subjectively decided which is the coolest paper of that week. I won't listen to complaints but you are welcome to show your own selections.
I should note that in some occasions these studies show results that are not very nice, so I'm not suggesting that those results are cool, but that the science of the study is cool. Sometimes I had to leave out some very cool studies because there were some other study in the same week I wanted to include. I would also like to note that generally all science is cool but these are kind of papers that highlight it.
Week 1Jezek et al. used radar measurements to study Jakobshavn Glacier sliding in Greenland.
Week 2Bar-Or et al. note that it is actually quite difficult to find cloud-free pixels from MODIS data.
Week 3Pongratz et al. show that historic wars and epidemics did not have strong enough effect to Earth's carbon cycle so that they would be detected in ice core carbon dioxide records.
Week 4Bernier et al. estimated the climate impact of black spruce forest turning to lichen-spruce woodlands in North-America.
Week 5Kucharski et al. model simulations suggest that Atlantic warming causes eastern tropical Pacific to cool.
Week 6Turtle et al. have observed that even if Titan, the moon of Saturn, has very weird weather system, it seems to have seasonal changes, which seem to occur in the tropospheric methane clouds.
Week 7Yamano et al. found that Japan temperate area corals are expanding polewards at high speed - 14 km per year.
Week 8Roquet et al. have equipped elephant seals with data loggers to measure ocean temperature and salinity.
Week 9Therrell & Trotter analysed the weather and climate information in native american pictographic winter calendars.
Week 10Schweger et al. studied why Holocene forests differ from those of previous interglacials and suggest that one important factor that wasn't present in previous interglacials is mankind burning stuff.
Week 11D’Arrigo et al. studied NAO and ENSO reconstructions back in time and suggested that the anomalously cold winter 1783-1784 was not caused by the erution of volcano Laki, but that it was caused by similar combination of NAO-ENSO phases that made winter 2009-2010 so severe in some places of Northern Hemisphere. By the way, a recent study showed that eruption plume of Laki probably didn't reach stratosphere and therefore probably didn't cause the cold winter 1783-1784.
Week 12Bokhorst et al. used infrared heating lamps and soil warming cables to simulate week-long extreme winter warming events in sub-arctic heathland to find out that winter warming events cause considerable plant damage by melting insulating snow.
Week 13Kosintsev et al. used intestinal contents of a baby mammoth to reconstruct the environment where this mammoth called Lyuba lived over 40000 years ago.
Week 14Webb et al. noted that grapes in Australian vineyards are attaining maturity earlier than before, so this must be one of the positive sides of global warming.
Week 15Ding et al. suggest based on observational data that West Antarctic warming actually originates from central tropical Pacific.
Week 16Caccianiga et al. studied ecosystems on the surface of glacier.
Week 17Retallack studied fossil preservation through ages and argued that GHG-driven climate changes might help in fossil preservation. So, it seems that at least we leave lot of study material for future generations.
Week 18Anderson reviewed the evidence on how important celebrities are in climate change communication.
Week 19De Boeck & Verbeeck showed that while climate affects drought conditions, drought also affects climate.
Week 20Rea et al. suggest that Earth's climate doesn't have a stationary state to which it returns after climate events.
Week 21Roy & Peltier studied Earth's rotation parameters and suggested that global warming has affected Earth's rotation.
Week 22Csank et al. made a tree ring based climate reconstruction that covers 250 years of Early Pliocene (4-5 millions of years ago).
Week 23Lee & Sohn showed that dust events in Mongolia have increased and that they "appear to be caused by degraded surface vegetation and reduced soil moisture associated with intensified drought conditions".
Week 24Mims et al. showed an alternative for those who think that water vapor measurements from those expensive satellite projects are not to be trusted - you can simply point a cheap IR thermometer to the sky and measure away.
Week 25Kourtev et al. studied bacteria in cumulus clouds and found that: "Cloud water bacterial communities appeared to be dominated by members of the cyanobacteria, proteobacteria, actinobacteria and firmicutes".
Week 26Park et al. note that in future warm climate there will still be cold surges and that living things that have adapted to the warmer climate will suffer from the cold surges.
Week 27Ballenger et al. reviewed the evidence to see if Younger Dryas climate chenge affected mankind of that time and find that there are significant cultural changes that coincide with the YD event.
Week 28Camuffo & Bertolin present earliest temperature observations in the world - the Medici network (1654-1670).
Week 29Kurtén et al. show that when a burst of methane is emitted to the atmosphere, it is not enough to just calculate its radiative forcing, but you also need to consider the feedbacks relating to the methane chemistry in the atmosphere.
Week 30Jeong et al. suggest that future greening in the circumpolar high-latitude regions amplifies surface warming in the growing season because there will be more absorption of sunlight.
Week 31Pleijel & Uddling found that wheat grain yield might or might not increase with elevated carbon dioxide but there will be less protein in wheat grain at any case.
Week 32Muto et al. made borehole firn temperature measurements in East Antarctica and found a warming trend.
Week 33Wanner et al. studied Holocene temperature and precipitation records and found no clear cyclicity in climate events and also that the events behaved spatially differently.
Week 34Gao et al. found many reasons why the surface area of Lake Chad has decreased by more than 90%.
Week 35Guirguis et al. showed that in climate appearances can be deceiving. They reported that last two winters were anomalously warm in Northern Hemisphere even if the cold events in some parts gained headline space.
Week 36Gatebe et al. used airborne radiation measurements to show that ship wakes can increase ocean reflectance by more than 100%. They also calculated that the cooling effect from increased reflectance from ship wakes globally would be about 0.14 milliwatts per square meter.
Week 37Arrigo & van Dijken showed another example of things you can do with satellites by measuring daily changes in Arctic Ocean phytoplankton. It seems that as soon as ocean gets free of ice, phytoplankton primary production increases.
Week 38Diamond et al. suggested that tropical ants have lower warming tolerances than temperate ants despite greater increases in temperature at higher latitudes.
Week 39Wik et al. spent some time counting gas bubbles in an Arctic lake ice and while studying the results they decided it might not tell much about the methane flux of the lake.
Week 40VanCuren studied how albedo modification by building cool roofs would affect climate.

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