Earth System Monitor: A Guide to NOAA's Data and Information Services

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NOAA Data and Information Management Program Office, 1996

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Page 5 - Our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited because the expected signal is still emerging from the noise of natural variability, and because there are uncertainties in key factors. These include the magnitude and patterns of...
Page 5 - IPCC scenario (IS92e) combined with a "high" value of climate sensitivity gives a warming of about 3.5C. In all cases the average rate of warming would probably be greater than any seen in the last 10,000 years, but the actual annual to decadal changes would include considerable natural variability. Regional temperature changes could differ substantially from the global mean value. Because of the thermal inertia of the oceans, only 50-90% of the eventual equilibrium temperature change would have...
Page 5 - ... change. The most important results related to the issues of detection and attribution are: • The limited available evidence from proxy climate indicators suggests that the 20th century global mean temperature is at least as warm as any other century since at least 1400 AD.
Page 5 - ... 2100. Through understanding of the global carbon cycle and of atmospheric chemistry, these emissions can be used to project atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols and the perturbation of natural radiative forcing. Climate models can then be used to develop projections of future climate. • The increasing realism of simulations of current and past climate by coupled atmosphereocean climate models has increased our confidence in their use for projection of future climate change.
Page 4 - Regional changes are also evident. For example, the recent warming has been greatest over the mid-latitude continents in winter and spring, with a few areas of cooling, such as the North Atlantic ocean. Precipitation has increased over land in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, especially during the cold season. • Global sea level has risen by between...
Page 5 - These are derived from instrumental data, palaeodata, simple and complex climate models, and statistical models fitted to observations. Most of these studies have detected a significant change and show that the observed warming trend is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin.
Page 4 - Climate has changed over the past century At any one location year-to-year variations in weather can be large, but analyses of meteorological and other data over large areas and over periods of decades or more have provided evidence for some important systematic changes. • Global mean surface air temperature has increased by between about 0.3 and 0.6C since the late 19th century; the additional data available since 1990 and the re-analyses since then have not significantly changed this range...
Page 5 - The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate Any human-induced effect on climate will be superimposed on the background "noise" of natural climate variability, which results both from internal fluctuations and from external causes such as solar variability or volcanic eruptions. Detection and attribution studies attempt to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural influences. "Detection of change...
Page 14 - Warmer temperatures will lead to a more vigorous hydrological cycle; this translates into prospects for more severe droughts and/or floods in some places and less severe droughts and/or floods in other places.

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