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Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues related to hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons

Description: This Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone and the Global Climate System has been developed in response to invitations from Parties to the UNFCCC and the Montreal Protocol. It provides information relevant to decision-making in regard to safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system: two global environmental issues involving complex scientific and technical considerations.
Date: 2005
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Partner: UNT Libraries

Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage

Description: This report provides information for policy makers, scientists and engineers in the field of climate change and reduction of CO2 emissions. It describes sources, capture, transport, and storage of CO2, as well as the costs, economic potential, and societal issues of the technology, including public perception and regulatory aspects.
Date: 2005
Creator: Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Partner: UNT Libraries

Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations

Description: This and a companion report constitute one of twenty-one Synthesis and Assessment Products called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. These studies are structured to provide high-level, integrated research results on important science issues with a particular focus on questions raised by decision-makers on dimensions of climate change directly relevant to the U.S. One element of the CCSP's strategic vision is to provide decision support tools for differentiating and evaluating response strategies. Scenario-based analysis is one such tool. The scenarios in this report explore the implications of alternative stabilization levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and they explicitly consider the economic and technological foundations of such response options. Such scenarios are a valuable complement to other scientific research contained in the twenty-one CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products. The companion to the research reported here, Global-Change Scenarios: Their Development and Use, explores the broader strategic frame for developing and utilizing scenarios in support of climate decision making.
Date: 2007
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. The U.S. Government's CCSP is responsible for providing the best science-based knowledge possible to inform management of the risks and opportunities associated with changes in the climate and related environmental systems. To support its mission, the CCSP has commissioned 21 "synthesis and assessment products" (SAPs) to advance decision making on climate change-related issues by providing current evaluations of climate change science and identifying priorities for research, observation, and decision support. This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP), developed as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, examines potential effects of sea-level rise from climate change during the twenty-first century, with a focus on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Using scientific literature and policy-related documents, the SAP describes the physical environments; potential changes to coastal environments, wetlands, and vulnerable species; societal impacts and implications of sea-level rise; decisions that may be sensitive to sea-level rise; opportunities for adaptation; and institutional barriers to adaptation.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 3.1) focuses on the Climate models. Scientists extensively use mathematical models of Earth's climate, executed on the most powerful computers available, to examine hypotheses about past and present-day climates. Development of climate models is fully consistent with approaches being taken in many other fields of science dealing with very complex systems. These climate simulations provide a framework within which enhanced understanding of climate-relevant processes, along with improved observations, are merged into coherent projections of future climate change. This report describes the models and their ability to simulate current climate.
Date: July 2008
Creator: Climate Change Science Program (U.S.). Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems

Description: This Report (SAP 4.2) focuses on the thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems. As defined in this Synthesis and Assessment Report, 'an ecological threshold is the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem quality, property, or phenomenon, or where small changes in one or more external conditions produce large and persistent responses in an ecosystem'.Ecological thresholds occur when external factors, positive feedbacks, or nonlinear instabilities in a system cause changes to propagate in a domino-like fashion that is potentially irreversible. This report reviews threshold changes in North American ecosystems that are potentially induced by climatic change and addresses the significant challenges these threshold crossings impose on resource and land managers. Sudden changes to ecosystems and the goods and services they provide are not well understood, but they are extremely important if natural resource managers are to succeed in developing adaptation strategies in a changing world. The report provides an overview of what is known about ecological thresholds and where they are likely to occur. It also identifies those areas where research is most needed to improve knowledge and understand the uncertainties regarding them. The report suggests a suite of potential actions that land and resource managers could use to improve the likelihood of success for the resources they manage, even under conditions of incomplete understanding of what drives thresholds of change and when changes will occur.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate. Regions of Focus: North America, Hawaii, Caribbean, and U.S. Pacific Islands

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Changes in extreme weather and climate events have significant impacts and are among the most serious challenges to society in coping with a changing climate. This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 3.3) focuses on weather and climate extremes in a changing climate. Many extremes and their associated impacts are now changing. For example, in recent decades most of North America has been experiencing more unusually hot days and nights, fewer unusually cold days and nights, and fewer frost days. Heavy downpours have become more frequent and intense. Droughts are becoming more severe in some regions, though there are no clear trends for North America as a whole. The power and frequency of Atlantic hurricanes have increased substantially in recent decades, though North American mainland land-falling hurricanes do not appear to have increased over the past century. Outside the tropics, storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are becoming even stronger. It is well established through formal attribution studies that the global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Such studies have only recently been used to determine the causes of some changes in extremes at the scale of a continent. Certain aspects of observed increases in temperature extremes have been linked to human influences. The increase in heavy precipitation events is associated with an increase in water vapor, and the latter has been attributed to human-induced warming. No formal attribution studies for changes in drought severity in North America have been attempted. There is evidence suggesting a human contribution to recent changes in hurricane activity as well as in storms outside the tropics, though a confident assessment will require ...
Date: June 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Trends in Emissions of Ozone-Depleting Substances, Ozone Layer Recovery, and Implications for Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 2.4) focuses on the Climate models. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer by human-produced ozone-depleting substances has been recognized as a global environmental issue for more than three decades, and the international effort to address the issue via the United Nations Montreal Protocol marked its 20-year anniversary in 2007. Scientific understanding underpinned the Protocol at its inception and ever since. As scientific knowledge advanced and evolved, the Protocol evolved through amendment and adjustment. Policy-relevant science has documented the rise, and now the beginning decline, of the atmospheric abundances of many ozone-depleting substances in response to actions taken by the nations of the world. Projections are for a return of ozone-depleting chemicals (compounds containing chlorine and bromine) to their "pre-ozone-depletion" (pre-1980) levels by the middle of this century for the midlatitudes; the polar regions are expected to follow suit within 20 years after that. Since the 1980s, global ozone sustained a depletion of about 5 percent in the midlatitudes of both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, where most of the Earth's population resides; it is now showing signs of turning the corner towards increasing ozone. The large seasonal depletions in the polar regions are likely to continue over the next decade but are expected to subside over the next few decades.
Date: November 2008
Creator: US Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts

Description: This report critically reviews current knowledge about global distributions and properties of atmospheric aerosols as they relate to aerosol impacts on climate. It assesses possible steps to substantially reduce uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing estimates.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols

Description: This report focuses on the Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios. The influence of greenhouse gases and particle pollution on our present and future climate has been widely examined. While both long-lived (e.g., carbon dioxide) and short-lived (e.g., soot) gases and particles affect the climate, other projections of future climate, such as the IPCC reports focus largely on the long-lived gases. This U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product provides a different emphasis. The authors examine the effect of long-lived greenhouse gases on the global climate based on updated emissions scenarios produced by another CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 2.1a). In these scenarios, atmospheric concentrations of the long-lived greenhouse gases leveled off, or stabilized, at predetermined levels by the end of the twenty-first century (unlike in the IPCC scenarios). However, the projected future temperature changes fall within the same range as those projected for the latest IPCC report. The authors confirm the robust future warming signature and other associated changes in the climate.
Date: September 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

The North American Carbon Budget and Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle

Description: A primary objective of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is to provide the best possible scientific information to support public discussion, as well as government and private sector decision making, on key climate-related issues. To help meet this objective, the CCSP has identified an initial set of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) that address its highest priority research, observation, and decision support needs. This report-CCSP SAP 2.2-addresses Goal 2 of the CCSP Strategic Plan: Improve quantification of the forces bringing about changes in the Earth's climate and related systems. The report provides a synthesis and integration of the current knowledge of the North American carbon budget and its context within the global carbon cycle. In a format useful to decision makers, it (1) summarizes our knowledge of carbon cycle properties and changes relevant to the contributions of and impacts upon North America and the rest of the world, and (2) provides scientific information for decision support focused on key issues for carbon management and policy. Consequently, this report is aimed at both the decision-maker audience and to the expert scientific and stakeholder communities.
Date: November 2007
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Future Climate Change Research and Observations: GCOS, WCRP and IGBP Learning from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Description: Learning from the authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and its findings to help guide future strategies for climate change observations and research was the key objective of a workshop organised jointly by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) in Sydney, Australia, 4-6 October 2007.
Date: 2008
Creator: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Partner: UNT Libraries

Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product is an important revision to the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies. This Synthesis and Assessment Product is an important revision to the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For recent decades, all current atmospheric data sets now show global-average warming that is similar to the surface warming. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved. Nevertheless, the most recent observational and model evidence has increased confidence in our understanding of observed climatic changes and their causes.
Date: April 2006
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes

Description: This Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product addresses current capabilities to integrate observations of the climate system into a consistent description of past and current conditions through the method of reanalysis. In addition, the Product assesses present capabilities to attribute causes for climate variations and trends over North America during the reanalysis period, which extends from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This Product reviews Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. Paleoclimate records play a key role in our understanding of Earth's past and present climate system and in our confidence in predicting future climate changes. Paleoclimate data help to elucidate past and present active mechanisms of climate change by placing the short instrumental record into a longer term context and by permitting models to be tested beyond the limited time that instrumental measurements have been available. Recent observations in the Arctic have identified large ongoing changes and important climate feedback mechanisms that multiply the effects of global-scale climate changes. As discussed in this report, paleoclimate data show that land and sea ice have grown with cooling temperatures and have shrunk with warming ones, amplifying temperature changes while causing and responding to ecosystem shifts and sea-level changes.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Reports Potent Greenhouse Gas Levels Off

Description: This document provides a summary of a study by NOAA researchers and National Institute for Space Research in the Netherlands. According to the study, one of the atmosphere's most potent greenhouse gases, methane, may now have leveled off. Scientists aren't sure yet if this "leveling off" is just a temporary pause in two centuries of increase or a new state of equilibrium.
Date: November 17, 2003
Creator: NOAA News Online
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reanalysis of Historical Climate Data for Key Atmospheric Features: Implications for Attribution of Causes of Observed Chan

Description: This Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product addresses current capabilities to integrate observations of the climate system into a consistent description of past and current conditions through the method of reanalysis. In addition, the Product assesses present capabilities to attribute causes for climate variations and trends over North America during the reanalysis period, which extends from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This Product reviews the strengths and limitations of current atmospheric reanalysis products. It finds that reanalysis data play a crucial role in helping to identify, describe, and understand atmospheric features associated with weather and climate variability, including high-impact events such as major droughts and floods. Reanalysis data play an important role in assessing the ability of climate models to simulate the average climate and its variations. The data also help in identifying deficiencies in representations of physical processes that produce climate model errors.
Date: 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Makes New Tree Ring Data Available

Description: New data from tree rings from 500 sites around the world are now available from NOAA. These data are important because they provide climate scientists and resource managers with records of past climatic variability extending back thousands of years.
Date: October 17, 2001
Creator: NOAA News
Partner: UNT Libraries

Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Description: The iLEAPS Science Plan and Implementation Strategy defines the scientific objectives and key research issues of the land-atmosphere project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. It also outlines a strategy for addressing the key research questions. The scope of iLEAPS research spans from molecular level processes - such as synthesis of volatile organic compounds in vegetation - to Earth System science issues, climate and global change. iLEAPS research emphasises the importance of connections, feedbacks and teleconnections between the numerous processes in the land-atmosphere interface. Due to the complexity and wide range of scientific issues, iLEAPS stresses the need for increased integrative approaches and collaboration, involving scientists from various disciplines, experimentalists and modellers, and international research projects and programmes.
Date: 2005
Creator: Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Sets the El Niño Prediction Straight

Description: El Niño is an abnormal warming of the ocean temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific that affects weather around the globe. El Niño episodes usually occur approximately every four-five years. NOAA researchers and scientists are presently monitoring the formation of a possible weak El Niño and predict that the United States could experience very weak-to-marginal impacts late winter to early spring 2002.
Date: September 7, 2001
Creator: NOAA News
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Strategy for Climate Change Stabilization Experiments with AOGCMs and ESMs

Description: This report outlines a strategy for the new AOGCM/ESM modeling components in terms of aerosols/atmospheric chemistry and carbon cycle/dynamic vegetation components that are under development and implementation in ESMs that involves a proposed experimental design that integrates impacts and scenarios (represented in IPCC WG2 and WG3, respectively) and physical climate science (WG1). We summarize with a suite of recommendations for the joint WGCM, AIMES and IPCC communities.
Date: May 2007
Creator: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Partner: UNT Libraries

Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Description: This Science Plan and Implementation Strategy sets out the research agenda for the second phase of IGBP. The document describes the IGBP strategy for producing high quality, unbiased, credible, fundamental scientific research in the area of global change: a strategy centered on ten projects, to be carried out by the several thousand scientists worldwide who are part of the IGBP network. Further, the document describes how the organization will communicate the results of this research to different audiences, in order to realize its vision: "to provide scientific knowledge to improve the sustainability of the living Earth".
Date: 2006
Creator: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Land Project: Science Plan and ImplementationStrategy

Description: The Global Land Project (GLP) Science Plan and Implementation Strategy represents the joint research agenda of IGBP and IHDP to improve the understanding of land system dynamics in the context of Earth System functioning. This plan is therefore a first critical step in addressing the interaction between people and their environments. It is part of the broader efforts to understand how these interactions have affected, and may yet affect, the sustainability of the terrestrial biosphere, and the two-way interactions and feedbacks between different land systems within the Earth System. GLP will play a clear role in improving the understanding of regional and global-scale land systems, as well as promoting strong scientific synergy across the global change programmes. This Science Plan and Implementation Strategy develops a new integrated paradigm focused on two main conceptual aspects of the coupled system: firstly, it deals with the interface between people, biota, and natural resources of terrestrial systems, and secondly, it combines detailed regional studies with a global, comparative perspective. GLP takes as its points of departure ecosystem services and human decision making for the terrestrial environment. These topics are at the interface of the societal and the environmental domains, and serve as conceptual lenses for the research plan.
Date: September 2005
Creator: Global Land Project (GLP)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Change and Mountain Regions: The Mountain Research Initiative

Description: The strong altitudinal gradients in mountain regions provide unique and sometimes the best opportunities to detect and analyse global change processes and phenomena. Meteorological, hydrological, cryospheric and ecological conditions change strongly over relatively short distances; thus biodiversity tends to be high, and characteristic sequences of ecosystems and cryospheric systems are found along mountain slopes. The boundaries between these systems experience shifts due to environmental change and thus may be used as indicators of such changes. The higher parts of many mountain ranges are not affected by direct human activities. These areas include many national parks and other protected environments. They may serve as locations where the environmental impacts of climate change alone, including changes in atmospheric chemistry, can be studied directly. Mountain regions are distributed all over the globe, from the Equator almost to the poles and from oceanic to highly continental climates. This global distribution allows us to perform comparative regional studies and to analyse the regional differentiation of environmental change processes as characterised above. Therefore, within the IGBP an Initiative for Collaborative Research on Global Change and Mountain Regions was developed, which strives to achieve an integrated approach for observing, modelling and investigating global change phenomena and processes in mountain regions, including their impacts on ecosystems and socio-economic systems.
Date: 2001
Creator: Bekcer, Alfred & Bugmann, Harald
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Wetland Distribution and Functional Characterization: Trace Gases and the Hydrologic Cycle

Description: The IGBP Wetlands workshop (Santa Barbara, CA, USA,16-20 May 1996) was held for the purpose of identifying data and research needs for characterizing wetlands in terms of their role in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Wetlands cover only about 1% of the Earth's surface, yet are responsible for a much greater proportion of biogeochemical fluxes between the land surface, the atmosphere and hydrologic systems. They play a particularly important function in processing methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulphur as well as in sequestering carbon. Considerable progress has been made in the past 10 years regarding wetlands and methane: a global digital dataset of wetlands (Matthews and Fung 1987) was produced and global observations of methane have been combined with global three-dimensional atmospheric modelling (Fung et al. 1991) to constrain modelled fluxes of methane from high-latitude wetlands. Furthermore, significant advances have been made in understanding the biogeochemical processes that control fluxes of methane and other trace gases. The progress has made clear that present wetland classification schemes do not accurately reflect their roles in these processes because they have been based on wetland attributes such as dominant plant types which do not reflect differences in the functions of wetlands regarding biogeochemical cycles. Further, traditional wetland classifications cannot be distinguished on the basis of global remotely sensed observations. Consequently, it has been impossible to accurately quantify the distribution of key fluxes on the basis of observed land cover. The workshop developed a wetland parameterization scheme based on observable quantities to better incorporate wetlands into global land surface characterization schemes so that the relation between land cover and biogeochemical fluxes can be more accurately determined. An improved understanding of this relation will make it possible to better use observed or historical changes in land cover to infer changes in biogeochemical fluxes, including the cycles ...
Date: 1998
Creator: Sahagian, Dork & Melack, John
Partner: UNT Libraries