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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

Wordsworth R.,Institute Pierre Simon Laplace
Icarus | Year: 2012

Exoplanets with lower equilibrium temperatures than Earth and primordial hydrogen atmospheres that evaporate after formation should pass through transient periods where oceans can form on their surfaces, as liquid water can form below a few thousand bar pressure and H 2-H 2 collision-induced absorption provides significant greenhouse warming. The duration of the transient period depends on the planet size, starting H 2 inventory and star type, with the longest periods typically occurring for planets around M-class stars. As pre-biotic compounds readily form in the reducing chemistry of hydrogen-rich atmospheres, conditions on these planets could be favourable to the emergence of life. The ultimate fate of any emergent organisms under such conditions would depend on their ability to adapt to (or modify) their gradually cooling environment. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Ricke K.L.,Carnegie Institution for Science | Orr J.C.,Institute Pierre Simon Laplace | Schneider K.,Stanford University | Caldeira K.,Carnegie Institution for Science
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Today they are threatened by numerous stressors, including warming ocean waters and coastal pollution. Here we focus on the implications of ocean acidification for the open ocean chemistry surrounding coral reefs, as estimated from earth system models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5). We project risks to reefs in the context of three potential aragonite saturation (Ωa) thresholds. We find that in preindustrial times, 99.9% of reefs adjacent to open ocean in the CMIP5 ensemble were located in regions with Ωa > 3.5. Under a business-as-usual scenario (RCP 8.5), every coral reef considered will be surrounded by water with Ωa < 3 by the end of the 21st century and the reefs' long-term fate is independent of their specific saturation threshold. However, under scenarios with significant CO2 emissions abatement, the Ωa threshold for reefs is critical to projecting their fate. Our results indicate that to maintain a majority of reefs surrounded by waters with Ωa > 3.5 to the end of the century, very aggressive reductions in emissions are required. The spread of Ωa projections across models in the CMIP5 ensemble is narrow, justifying a high level of confidence in these results. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Risi C.,Institute Pierre Simon Laplace | Noone D.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Frankenberg C.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Worden J.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Water Resources Research | Year: 2013

Climate models suggest an important role for land-atmosphere feedbacks on climate, but exhibit a large dispersion in the simulation of this role. We focus here on the role of continental recycling in the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture, and we explore the possibility of using water isotopic measurements to observationally constrain this role. Based on water tagging, we design a diagnostic, named D1, to estimate the role of continental recycling on the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture simulated by the general circulation model LMDZ. In coastal regions, the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture is mainly driven by the variability in oceanic moisture convergence. More inland, the role of continental recycling becomes important. The simulation of this role is sensitive to model parameters modulating evapotranspiration. Then we show that δD in the low-level water vapor is a good tracer for continental recycling, due to the enriched signature of transpiration. Over tropical land regions, the intraseasonal relationship between δD and precipitable water, named D1-iso, is a good observational proxy for D1. We test the possibility of using D1-iso for model evaluation using two satellite data sets: GOSAT and TES. LMDZ captures well the spatial patterns of D1-iso, but underestimates its values. However, a more accurate description of how atmospheric processes affect the isotopic composition of water vapor is necessary before concluding with certitude that LMDZ underestimates the role of continental recycling. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Source

Ibrahim B.,Institute International Dingenierie Of Leau Et Of Lenvironnement 2Ie | Polcher J.,Institute Pierre Simon Laplace | Karambiri H.,Institute International Dingenierie Of Leau Et Of Lenvironnement 2Ie | Rockel B.,Helmholtz Center Geesthacht
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2012

West African monsoon is one of the most challenging climate components to model. Five regional climate models (RCMs) were run over the West African region with two lateral boundary conditions, ERA-Interim re-analysis and simulations from two general circulation models (GCMs). Two sets of daily rainfall data were generated from these boundary conditions. These simulated rainfall data are analyzed here in comparison to daily rainfall data collected over a network of ten synoptic stations in Burkina Faso from 1990 to 2004. The analyses are based on a description of the rainy season throughout a number of it's characteristics. It was found that the two sets of rainfall data produced with the two driving data present significant biases. The RCMs generally produce too frequent low rainfall values (between 0. 1 and 5 mm/day) and too high extreme rainfalls (more than twice the observed values). The high frequency of low rainfall events in the RCMs induces shorter dry spells at the rainfall thresholds of 0. 1-1 mm/day. Altogether, there are large disagreements between the models on the simulate season duration and the annual rainfall amounts but most striking are their differences in representing the distribution of rainfall intensity. It is remarkable that these conclusions are valid whether the RCMs are driven by re-analysis or GCMs. In none of the analyzed rainy season characteristics, a significant improvement of their representation can be found when the RCM is forced by the re-analysis, indicating that these deficiencies are intrinsic to the models. © 2011 The Author(s). Source

Schulz N.,University of Lima | Boisier J.P.,Institute Pierre Simon Laplace | Aceituno P.,University of Chile
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2012

Long-term precipitation records from the extremely arid northern coast of Chile (18°S-30°S) were analysed to assess changes occurring at different time scales. Results are presented here along with a discussion on changes in the temperature and cloudiness regimes in order to offer a more comprehensive overview of the climate evolution in this extremely arid region. Apart from a significant influence of ENSO on the rainfall regime, characterized by a tendency for more frequent rainfall events during El Niño episodes, changes at the decadal time scale were identified in association with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). Thus, the warm IPO-phase is associated with increased precipitation, while the opposite occurs during the cold IPO-phase. Changes occurring at the interannual and decadal time scales are superimposed on a long-term precipitation decline during the 20th century. Apart from the intensified dryness, the temperature records show a positive long-term trend resulting mainly from an abrupt warming in the mid-1970s, principally associated with a marked upwards shift of the minimum daily temperature, coinciding with the change from the cold to the warm phase of the IPO. However, the period following this step-like warming has been characterized by a persistent cooling trend, most evident in the maximum daily temperature, which is coherent with a negative trend in the sea surface temperature over a large oceanic region off the coast of northern Chile. In the northernmost region, this behaviour in the temperature regime was accompanied by a strong decrease in cloudiness since the 1970s. The negative trend in rainfall and the decrease in the total cloud cover are certainly important factors that could explain the coastal vegetation decline over the past decades in the coastal region north of 24°S. © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society. Source

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