Response of Vegetation in Northern China to Global Warming
During the last 30 years, the warmth index (WI) (Kira, 1945) has increased by 10 to 20 points in northern China and the humid index (HI) (Xu,1985) correspondingly decreased by 1 to 2 points. Accordingly, the green leaf stage of plants and herbs around Beijing prolonged from late Nov. to mid-Dec. The phenophase has also been changed, e.g., the most enjoyable period of red leaves such as common smoketree (Cotinus coggygria) and maple (Acer mono and A.truncatum) has postponed for 10 days and the blooming period of flowering plants has also advanced for the same span. Some plants, e.g. japanese pagodatree (Sophora japonica) and hispid locust (Robinia hispida) even blossom again in fall. Some evergreen and thermophilic plants have also been planted to further north. Rice (Oryza sativa) have extended to around 49 degree N and, as an extreme case, to 52 degree N (Huma County, Heilongjiang Province), and tea (Camellia sinensis) from around 35 to 36.5 degree N. River basins of Songhuajiang and Nenjiang in Heilongjiang Province become important rice production bases. Rizhao and Qingdao in Shandong province become famous tea production bases. Before 1970s, evergreen broadleaf woody plants were rarely cultivated in Beijing. But now such plants as privet (Lygustrum lucidum), magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), evergreen euonymus (Euonymus japonicus), and boxwood (Buxus sinica var. margaritacea) all live there through the winter. Many thermophilic garden plants, such as fig (Ficus carica), Chinese tulip tree (Liliodendron chinense), Chinese photinia (Photinia serrulata), crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), and plum blossom (Prunus mume) are also successively cultivated outdoors in Beijing. Common papermulberry (Broussonetia papirifera) gradually increases and even becomes subdominant species of deciduous forest during last 30 years in the piedmont around Beijing. The cultivation boundary of some thermophilic trees, e.g., Chinese catalpa (Catalpa ovata), japanese pagodatree (Sophora japonica), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), yellow locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), and gingko (Ginkgo biloba) have also been pushing northward to Huhhot, (41 degree N)£¨Chifeng (42 degree N) and Tongliao (43 degree N), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Alpine timberline has also been moved to higher altitude in Wutai Mt., Shanxi Province and Changbaishan Mt., Jilin Province. Although global warming seems to benefit agriculture in some cases, considering the decrease of wetness, the perspective is still uncertain. Drought and frost hazard are stress factors for the vegetation introduced to the northern areas. Chinese scholars are carefully watching the trend.
The Vulnerability of Forest Ecosystems of Armenia to the Global Climate Change
Climate changes characterized as global warming can lead to irreversible effects on regional and global scales, such as drought, pest attacks, diseases, excessive forest fires, and climate driven extinction of numerous animal and plant species. We assess the issues that the development of forestry in Armenia faces, where the climate change is causing the landscape zone borders in the territory to shift. This will have a significant impact on the most vulnerable tree species in Armenia. An increase in climate aridity and intensification of desertification can be expected under the projected escalated temperatures and reduced precipitation. For example, we can consider average annual temperature of the Ijevan meteorological station (located in forestry region) for the period of 1936-2008. We analyze the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in Armenia to climatic and anthropogenic factors for the period of 1936-2008. Temperature and precipitation data from 25 meteorological stations in the territory of Armenia is studied for the period of 1936-2008. The dynamic of average temperature annual anomalies are revealed. The deviations of temperature and precipitation from the norms (average for 1961-1990) are evaluated for the period of study. We discuss the reasons for the abrupt increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation. Based on the dataset, the possible near future impact of global climate change on the Armenian forest ecosystems is discussed, and measures on the adaptation to the adverse consequences that climate change has on forests are offered.
The North American Summer Arctic Front during 1948 to 2007
Boundaries between air masses, frontal zones, are associated with vegetation boundaries. Using gridded
climate reanalysis data, we analyze the air masses and frontal zones of North America in relation to the
atmospheric circulation and vegetation productivity. The position of the July Arctic front varies significantly
through the period 1948-2007, with a mean position similar to that found by Bryson (1966). The variability of the
frontal position can be associated with changes in the general circulation; when the AO and SOI are positive
(negative), the position of the July Arctic front is further north (south). There is also more spatial variability in the
July Arctic frontal position in Eastern versus Western North America. The location of the frontal zone affects the
vegetation through impacts on vegetative production; when the July Arctic front is north (south) of the mean
position, the boreal forest and tundra vegetation is more (less) productive. There is some evidence that climate
warming is starting to shift the July Arctic front to the north.
A Pilot Programme for a Weather Risk Attribution Service
These days following a damaging weather event the question is usually asked: "Are anthropogenic emissions
to blame for this event?" Here we present a pilot programme for estimating the degree to which anthropogenic
greenhouse gas emissions have altered the probability of a severe weather event. This programme uses the
climateprediction.net/BOINC distributed computing network to run thousands of time slice simulations of a
∼150km resolution global atmospheric model. Because of upload constraints, limited output is recorded
and is focussed on specific regions, but a number of daily regional fields are included. The first step, which
will be in full operation by the time of the meeting, is to run simulations over the historical time period from
1959. The second step will be to run simulations over the 2006-2007 period, and then re-run these
simulations with the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels and the attributable
ocean warming removed. The overall experimental setup and the results from the beta-test of the first step will
A Dynamical Downscaling Experiment over East Asia
Emission scenario dependences in climate change assessments on global and regional hydrological cycle
Anthropogenic global warming will lead to changes in the global and regional hydrological cycle. Uncertainty in precipitation sensitivity per 1K global warming across coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) has been actively examined. On the other hand, uncertainty in precipitation sensitivity from different emission scenarios of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols has received little attention. Here we show a robust emission scenario dependence (ESD); smaller global precipitation sensitivities in higher GHGs and aerosols emission scenarios. Although previous studies have implied this ESD in the multi AOGCM mean, our surprising finding is that current AOGCMs have the common ESD in the same direction. For example, in the southern part of the United States, the multi AOGCM mean projections have different directions of precipitation changes between different emission scenarios. Different aerosol emissions lead to this ESD. Implications of the ESD of precipitation sensitivity extend far beyond climate analyses. The ESD potentially propagates into considerable biases in global and regional impact assessments of hydrological cycle via a widely used technique, so-called pattern scaling. Using a water resources model, we demonstrate how the ESD of precipitation changes can propagate into biases in assessments of mean annual runoff. Since the pattern scaling is essential to promote parallel analyses across climate, impact, adaptation and mitigation in the next assessment report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the ESD of precipitation sensitivity should be paid more attentions.
Climate Modeling at the Austrian Weather Service (ZAMG)
In later 2007 the Austrian Weather Service (ZAMG) established a group that shall deal with climate change
modeling. Two of the group's main goals are to provide climate change scenarios for the assessment of the
impact on ecosystems and to reconstruct past climate states along with their change. The former aim is to
derive estimates of might happen to our ecosystems under different emission-pathways, whilst the latter goal
is to better understand what has caused characteristical changes, which are to be found in proxies.
Both aims can be achieved by empirical or dynamical downscaling models, which are ultimately based on the
reliability of the driving GCMs results. It is well known that empirical and dynamical downscaling models do
have advantages and disadvantages, which are different. As such it appears reasonable to use the approach
which is better adapted to the considered question. It may be meaningful to apply empirical downscaling if long
periods of time (such as substantial parts of the Holocene) are in the center of attention, whereas dynamical
downscaling may be better suited to address questions that are related to decades.
Up to now we were more involved with empirical downscaling that helped us to work together with scientists
assessing the impact on ecosystems, as for instance, fish in a river (Matulla et al. 2007), forests (Lexer et al.
2002) or phenological phases (Scheifinger et al. 2007). After catching a glimpse of those results, we will turn to
dynamical modeling. Here we would like to present findings from case studies, which are related to the more
recent past. Our next target is the modelling of possible future climate conditions within the Greater Alpine
Region (GAR, see e.g. Auer et al. 2007) as well as some characteristical periods throughout the Holocene as
for instance the 8.2k event. This event is to be found in a variety of proxies within and also outside GAR.
Auer I., Boehm R., Jurkovic A., Lipa W., Orlik A., Potzmann R., Schoener W., Ungersboeck M., Matulla C., Briffa
K., Jones P. D., Efthymiadis D., Brunetti M., Nanni T., Maugeri M., Mercalli L., Mestre O., Moisselin J.-M., Begert
M., Müller-Westermeier G., Kveton V., Bochnicek O., Stastny P., Lapin M., Szalai S., Szentimrey T., Cegnar T.,
Dolinar M., Gajic-Capka M., Zaninovic K., Majstorovic Z., Nieplova E., 2007. HISTALP - Historical instrumental
climatological surface time series of the greater Alpine region 1760-2003. International Journal of Climatology,
Lexer M.J., Hoenninger K., Scheifinger H., Matulla C., Groll N., Kromp-Kolb H., Schaudauer K., Starlinger F.,
Englisch M. (2002): The sensitivity of Austrian forests to scenarios of climate change: a large-scale risk
assessment based on a modified gap model and forest inventory data. Forest Ecology and Management, 162,
Matulla, C., S. Schmutz, A. Melcher, T. Gerersdorfer and P. Haas, 2007: Climatic Change impact on fish fauna
for an Inner-Alpine River based on a transient AOGCM simulation, International Journal of Biometeorology,
Scheifinger H., C. Matulla, P. Cate, A. Kahrer, E. Koch, 2007: Climate impact on plant and insect phenology in