Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A century of human impact on Arctic climate indicated by new models, historic aerosol data

Date:
September 12, 2013
Source:
Desert Research Institute
Summary:
A new study suggests that both anthropogenic and natural factors -- specifically sulphate aerosols from industrial activity and volcanic emissions, in addition to greenhouse gas releases from fossil fuel burning -- account for Arctic surface temperature variations from 1900 to the present.

This image shows an ice core sample melting on a continuous system inside the ultra-trace ice core analytical laboratory at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada.
Credit: Desert Research Institute - Sylvain Masclin

The Arctic is the most rapidly warming region of the globe, but warming has not been uniform and the drivers behind this warming not fully understood even during the 20th century.

A new study authored by Canadian and American investigators and published in Scientific Reports, a primary research publication from the publishers of Nature, suggests that both anthropogenic and natural factors -- specifically sulphate aerosols from industrial activity and volcanic emissions, in addition to greenhouse gas releases from fossil fuel burning -- account for Arctic surface temperature variations from 1900 to the present.

Using new climate model simulations evaluated alongside the most recent surface temperature records and historical aerosol records contained in ice cores (collected and analyzed by an international team of researchers working at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada) the authors demonstrate that contributions from greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, along with explosive volcanic eruptions, explain most of the observed variation in Arctic surface temperature over the last century.

"Unlike greenhouse gases, aerosols are short-lived in the atmosphere." said Joe McConnell, a research professor at the Desert Research Institute who oversees DRI's unique ultra-trace ice core analytical laboratory. "In order to understand their role in global climate you have to employ an array of sample sites and measurements. The records used in this study are part of a much larger array of historical aerosol records we are developing from ice cores collected from throughout the polar regions."

McConnell adds that this new study, resulting from collaboration between Canadian and American environmental researchers utilizing state-of-the-art climate models and ice core analytical techniques, demonstrates the importance of aerosols in climate forcing.

The authors attribute warming from 1900-1939 to rapidly rising black carbon emissions, diminishing influence of the Santa Maria volcanic eruption in 1902, and warming North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. Cooling from 1939 to 1970 is attributed to cooling from anthropogenic sulfate aerosol emissions the Agung volcanic eruption in 1963, and falling North Atlantic surface temperatures.

More recently, the authors attribute warming from 1970 to present to increased anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, with a smaller contribution from warming North Atlantic sea surface temperatures.

Understanding the causes of Arctic climate change during this period is critical, said McConnell, because of the associated environmental and economic impacts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Desert Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John C. Fyfe, Knut von Salzen, Nathan P. Gillett, Vivek K. Arora, Gregory M. Flato, Joseph R. McConnell. One hundred years of Arctic surface temperature variation due to anthropogenic influence. Scientific Reports, 2013; 3 DOI: 10.1038/srep02645

Cite This Page:

Desert Research Institute. "A century of human impact on Arctic climate indicated by new models, historic aerosol data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912093737.htm>.
Desert Research Institute. (2013, September 12). A century of human impact on Arctic climate indicated by new models, historic aerosol data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912093737.htm
Desert Research Institute. "A century of human impact on Arctic climate indicated by new models, historic aerosol data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912093737.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins