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Chapter 3 Observations Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change

Chapter 3 Observations Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change

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3
Observations:Surface and Atmospheric Climate
Change
Coordinating Lead Authors:
Kevin E. Trenberth (USA), Philip D. Jones (UK)
Lead Authors:
Peter Ambenje (Kenya), Roxana Bojariu (Romania), David Easterling (USA), Albert Klein Tank (Netherlands), David Parker (UK), FatemehRahimzadeh (Iran), James A. Renwick (New Zealand), Matilde Rusticucci (Argentina), Brian Soden (USA), Panmao Zhai (China)
Contributing Authors:
R. Adler (USA), L. Alexander (UK, Australia, Ireland), H. Alexandersson (Sweden), R. Allan (UK), M.P. Baldwin (USA),M. Beniston (Switzerland), D. Bromwich (USA), I. Camilloni (Argentina), C. Cassou (France), D.R. Cayan (USA), E.K.M. Chang (USA),J. Christy (USA), A. Dai (USA), C. Deser (USA), N. Dotzek (Germany), J. Fasullo (USA), R. Fogt (USA), C. Folland (UK), P. Forster (UK),M. Free (USA), C. Frei (Switzerland), B. Gleason (USA), J. Grieser (Germany), P. Groisman (USA, Russian Federation),S. Gulev (Russian Federation), J. Hurrell (USA), M. Ishii (Japan), S. Josey (UK), P. Kållberg (ECMWF), J. Kennedy (UK), G. Kiladis (USA),R. Kripalani (India), K. Kunkel (USA), C.-Y. Lam (China), J. Lanzante (USA), J. Lawrimore (USA), D. Levinson (USA), B. Liepert (USA),G. Marshall (UK), C. Mears (USA), P. Mote (USA), H. Nakamura (Japan), N. Nicholls (Australia), J. Norris (USA), T. Oki (Japan),F.R. Robertson (USA), K. Rosenlof (USA), F.H. Semazzi (USA), D. Shea (USA), J.M. Shepherd (USA), T.G. Shepherd (Canada),S. Sherwood (USA), P. Siegmund (Netherlands), I. Simmonds (Australia), A. Simmons (ECMWF, UK), C. Thorncroft (USA, UK),P. Thorne (UK), S. Uppala (ECMWF), R. Vose (USA), B. Wang (USA), S. Warren (USA), R. Washington (UK, South Africa),M. Wheeler (Australia), B. Wielicki (USA), T. Wong (USA), D. Wuertz (USA)
Review Editors:
Brian J. Hoskins (UK), Thomas R. Karl (USA), Bubu Jallow (The Gambia)
This chapter should be cited as:
Trenberth, K.E., P.D. Jones, P. Ambenje, R. Bojariu, D. Easterling, A. Klein Tank, D. Parker, F. Rahimzadeh, J.A. Renwick, M. Rusticucci,B. Soden and P. Zhai, 2007: Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. In:
Climate Change 2007: The Physical ScienceBasis
. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S.,D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UnitedKingdom and New York, NY, USA.
 
236
Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change Chapter 3
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
....................................................237
3.1 Introduction
.........................................................240
3.2 Changes in Surface Climate:Temperature
........................................................2413.2.1 Background .........................................................2413.2.2 Temperature in the Instrumental Recordfor Land and Oceans ...........................................241
3.3 Changes in Surface Climate: Precipitation,Drought and Surface Hydrology
..................2543.3.1 Background .........................................................2543.3.2 Changes in Large-scale Precipitation ..................2543.3.3 Evapotranspiration ..............................................2603.3.4 Changes in Soil Moisture, Drought, Runoffand River Discharge ............................................260
Box 3.1: Drought Terminology and Determination
...............2613.3.5 Consistency and Relationships betweenTemperature and Precipitation ............................2643.3.6 Summary .............................................................265
3.4 Changes in the Free Atmosphere
..................2653.4.1 Temperature of the Upper Air: Troposphereand Stratosphere .................................................2653.4.2 Water Vapour .......................................................2713.4.3 Clouds .................................................................2753.4.4 Radiation .............................................................277
Box 3.2: The Dimming of the Planet and ApparentConflicts in Trends of Evaporation andPan Evaporation
................................................279
3.5 Changes in Atmospheric Circulation
..........2803.5.1 Surface or Sea Level Pressure ............................2803.5.2 Geopotential Height, Winds and theJet Stream ...........................................................2803.5.3 Storm Tracks .......................................................2813.5.4 Blocking ...............................................................2823.5.5 The Stratosphere .................................................2833.5.6 Winds, Waves and Surface Fluxes ......................283
Box 3.3: Stratospheric-Tropospheric Relations andDownward Propagation
......................................2843.5.7 Summary .............................................................285
3.6 Patterns of Atmospheric CirculationVariability
..............................................................2863.6.1 Teleconnections ...................................................286
Box 3.4: Defining the Circulation Indices
............................2873.6.2 El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Tropical/ Extratropical Interactions .....................................2873.6.3 Pacific Decadal Variability ...................................2893.6.4 The North Atlantic Oscillation andNorthern Annular Mode .......................................2903.6.5 The Southern Hemisphere and SouthernAnnular Mode ......................................................2923.6.6 Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation ........................2933.6.7 Other Indices .......................................................2943.6.8 Summary .............................................................295
3.7 Changes in the Tropics and Subtropics,and in the Monsoons
..........................................2953.7.1 Asia ......................................................................2973.7.2 Australia ...............................................................2973.7.3 The Americas .......................................................2983.7.4 Africa ...................................................................2983.7.5 Summary .............................................................299
3.8 Changes in Extreme Events
............................2993.8.1 Background .........................................................2993.8.2 Evidence for Changes in Variabilityor Extremes .........................................................3003.8.3 Evidence for Changes in Tropical Storms ...........304
Box 3.5: Tropical Cyclones and Changes in Climate
............305
Box 3.6: Recent Extreme Events
.......................................3103.8.4 Evidence for Changes in Extratropical Stormsand Extreme Events.............................................3123.8.5 Summary .............................................................316
3.9 Synthesis: Consistency AcrossObservations
.........................................................317
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ 3.1: 
 How are Temperatures on the Earth Changing?
.......252
FAQ 3.2: 
 How is Precipitation Changing?
............................262
FAQ 3.3: 
 Has there Been a Change in Extreme Events likeHeat Waves, Droughts, Floods and Hurricanes?
......308
References
 ........................................................................319
Appendix 3.A: Low-Pass Filters and LinearTrends
...............................................................................336
Supplementary Material
The following Supplementary Material is available on CD-ROM and in on-line versions of this report.
Appendix 3.B:
Techniques, Error Estimation and Measurement Systems
 
237
Chapter 3 Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change
Executive Summary
Global mean surface temperatures have risen by 0.74°C ±0.18°C when estimated by a linear trend over the last 100years (1906–2005). The rate of warming over the last 50years is almost double that over the last 100 years (0.13°C± 0.03°C vs. 0.07°C ± 0.02°C per decade).
Global meantemperatures averaged over land and ocean surfaces, fromthree different estimates, each of which has been independentlyadjusted for various homogeneity issues, are consistent withinuncertainty estimates over the period 1901 to 2005 and showsimilar rates of increase in recent decades. The trend is notlinear, and the warming from the
rst 50 years of instrumentalrecord (1850–1899) to the last 5 years (2001–2005) is 0.76°C± 0.19°C.
2005 was one of the two warmest years on record.
Thewarmest years in the instrumental record of global surfacetemperatures are 1998 and 2005, with 1998 ranking
rst inone estimate, but with 2005 slightly higher in the other twoestimates. 2002 to 2004 are the 3rd, 4th and 5th warmest yearsin the series since 1850. Eleven of the last 12 years (1995 to2006) – the exception being 1996 – rank among the 12 warmestyears on record since 1850. Surface temperatures in 1998 wereenhanced by the major 1997–1998 El Niño but no such stronganomaly was present in 2005. Temperatures in 2006 weresimilar to the average of the past 5 years.
Land regions have warmed at a faster rate than theoceans.
Warming has occurred in both land and ocean domains,and in both sea surface temperature (SST) and nighttime marineair temperature over the oceans. However, for the globe as awhole, surface air temperatures over land have risen at aboutdouble the ocean rate after 1979 (more than 0.27°C per decadevs. 0.13°C per decade), with the greatest warming duringwinter (December to February) and spring (March to May) inthe Northern Hemisphere.
Changes in extremes of temperature are also consistentwith warming of the climate.
A widespread reduction in thenumber of frost days in mid-latitude regions, an increase inthe number of warm extremes and a reduction in the number of daily cold extremes are observed in 70 to 75% of the landregions where data are available. The most marked changesare for cold (lowest 10%, based on 1961–1990) nights, whichhave become rarer over the 1951 to 2003 period. Warm (highest10%) nights have become more frequent. Diurnal temperaturerange (DTR) decreased by 0.07°C per decade averaged over 1950 to 2004, but had little change from 1979 to 2004, as bothmaximum and minimum temperatures rose at similar rates. Therecord-breaking heat wave over western and central Europein the summer of 2003 is an example of an exceptional recentextreme. That summer (June to August) was the hottest sincecomparable instrumental records began around 1780 (1.4°Cabove the previous warmest in 1807) and is very likely to have been the hottest since at least 1500.
Recent warming is strongly evident at all latitudes inSSTs over each of the oceans.
There are inter-hemisphericdifferences in warming in the Atlantic, the Paci
c is punctuated by El Niño events and Paci
c decadal variability that is moresymmetric about the equator, while the Indian Ocean exhibitssteadier warming. These characteristics lead to importantdifferences in regional rates of surface ocean warming thataffect the atmospheric circulation.
Urban heat island effects are real but local, and havenot biased the large-scale trends. 
A number of recent studiesindicate that effects of urbanisation and land use change onthe land-based temperature record are negligible (0.006ºC per decade) as far as hemispheric- and continental-scale averagesare concerned because the very real but local effects areavoided or accounted for in the data sets used. In any case, theyare not present in the SST component of the record. Increasingevidence suggests that urban heat island effects extend tochanges in precipitation, clouds and DTR, with these detectableas a ‘weekend effect’ owing to lower pollution and other effectsduring weekends.
Average arctic temperatures increased at almost twice theglobal average rate in the past 100 years. 
Arctic temperatureshave high decadal variability. A slightly longer warm period,almost as warm as the present, was also observed from the late1920s to the early 1950s, but appears to have had a differentspatial distribution than the recent warming.
Lower-tropospheric temperatures have slightly greaterwarming rates than those at the surface over the period1958 to 2005. 
The radiosonde record is markedly less spatiallycomplete than the surface record and increasing evidencesuggests that it is very likely that a number of records havea cooling bias, especially in the tropics. While there remaindisparities among different tropospheric temperature trendsestimated from satellite Microwave Sounding Unit (MSUand advanced MSU) measurements since 1979, and all likelystill contain residual errors, estimates have been substantiallyimproved (and data set differences reduced) through adjustmentsfor issues of changing satellites, orbit decay and drift in localcrossing time (i.e., diurnal cycle effects). It appears that thesatellite tropospheric temperature record is broadly consistentwith surface temperature trends provided that the stratosphericin
uence on MSU channel 2 is accounted for. The range (dueto different data sets) of global surface warming since 1979 is0.16°C to 0.18°C per decade
 
compared to 0.12°C to 0.19°C per decade
 
for MSU estimates of tropospheric temperatures. It islikely, however, that there is slightly greater warming in thetroposphere than at the surface, and a higher tropopause, withthe latter due also to pronounced cooling in the stratosphere.
Lower stratospheric temperatures feature coolingsince 1979.
Estimates from adjusted radiosondes, satellites(MSU channel 4) and reanalyses are in qualitative agreement,suggesting a lower-stratospheric cooling of between 0.3°C and0.6°C per decade since 1979. Longer radiosonde records (back 

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