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  • Helama, Samuli; Arppe, Laura; Timonen, Mauri; Mielikäinen, Kari; Oinonen, Markku (2018)
    Tree-ring stable isotope chronologies provide very high-resolution palaeoclimatic data, and the number of records is increasing rapidly worldwide. To extend the chronologies back in time, before the period covered by the old living trees, the use of subfossil wood samples is required. Typically, the longest continuous subfossil chronologies consist of regionally collected tree-ring materials, rather than tree rings from a single site, and are likely more sensitive to data heterogeneity. Yet, the characteristics of such datasets remain hitherto unexplored. Here we produce a continuous, decadally resolved chronology of C-13/C-12 ratio (delta C-13) from Finnish Lapland over the past 7.5 ka (5500 BCE to 2010 CE) for which there is replication of at least five Pinus sylvestris trees. Less negative delta C-13 values were observed as trees age and for western sites (higher in elevation and further from the cold oceanic air flow). The age -related trends in living tree delta C-13 data were expressed mainly over the first fifty years mimicking the "juvenile effect" whereas the subfossil data showed trend over the trees' lifespan. These findings demonstrated the need to detrend the individual delta C-13 series before averaging them into the mean chronology. The corresponding biases were removed from the isotopic data using the methods frequently applied for tree-ring width and density proxies, the Regional Curve Standardization (RCS) combined with signal-free approach. While the RCS procedures commonly preserve the long-term variations in the resulting chronology, not all types of them did so as demonstrated for chronologies produced using separate RCS models for the delta C-13 series with relatively high and low isotopic level (offset from the grand mean). It was shown that these delta C-13 levels (i.e. the relative isotopic enrichment) result both from the low-frequency climate signal and biogeographical aspects (the site longitude/altitudes). The non-climatic biases were removed from the delta C-13 series by using separate RCS models for the subsets (western and eastern) of isotopic series. Similar to previous investigations using annually resolved delta C-13 data from Lapland, our chronology had strong negative correlations to variations in cloud cover. Here, a bootstrapping experiment was used to verify this dendroclimatic association. The resulting palaeo-cloud reconstruction portrayed decadal to multi-millennial variations with centennial anomalies coinciding with the mid and late Holocene events of climate transitions, highlighting the value of subfossil isotope chronologies from tree rings in synthesising climate dynamics from several proxy sources over the present interglacial.
  • Meier, H. E. Markus; Edman, Moa; Eilola, Kari; Placke, Manja; Neumann, Thomas; Andersson, Helén C.; Brunnabend, Sandra-Esther; Dieterich, Christian; Frauen, Claudia; Friedland, René; Gröger, Matthias; Gustafsson, Bo G.; Gustafsson, Erik; Isaev, Alexey; Kniebusch, Madline; Kuznetsov, Ivan; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Naumann, Michael; Omstedt, Anders; Ryabchenko, Vladimir; Saraiva, Sofia; Savchuk, Oleg P. (2019)
    Following earlier regional assessment studies, such as the Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin and the North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment, knowledge acquired from available literature about future scenario simulations of biogeochemical cycles in the Baltic Sea and their uncertainties is assessed. The identification and reduction of uncertainties of scenario simulations are issues for marine management. For instance, it is important to know whether nutrient load abatement will meet its objectives of restored water quality status in future climate or whether additional measures are required. However, uncertainties are large and their sources need to be understood to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of measures. The assessment of sources of uncertainties in projections of biogeochemical cycles based on authors' own expert judgment suggests that the biggest uncertainties are caused by (1) unknown current and future bioavailable nutrient loads from land and atmosphere, (2) the experimental setup (including the spin up strategy), (3) differences between the projections of global and regional climate models, in particular, with respect to the global mean sea level rise and regional water cycle, (4) differing model-specific responses of the simulated biogeochemical cycles to long-term changes in external nutrient loads and climate of the Baltic Sea region, and (5) unknown future greenhouse gas emissions. Regular assessments of the models' skill (or quality compared to observations) for the Baltic Sea region and the spread in scenario simulations (differences among projected changes) as well as improvement of dynamical downscaling methods are recommended.
  • Vihma, Timo; Graversen, Rune G.; Chen, Linling; Handorf, Dörthe; Skific, Natasa; Francis, Jennifer A.; Tyrrell, Nicholas L; Hall, Richard; Hanna, Edward; Uotila, Petteri; Dethloff, Klaus; Karpechko, Alexey; Björnsson, Halldor; Overland, James E. (2020)
    We investigate factors influencing European winter (DJFM) air temperatures for the period 1979-2015 with the focus on changes during the recent period of rapid Arctic warming (1998-2015). We employ meteorological reanalyses analysed with a combination of correlation analysis, two pattern clustering techniques, and back-trajectory airmass identification. In all five selected European regions, severe cold winter events lasting at least 4 days are significantly correlated with warm Arctic episodes. Relationships during opposite conditions of warm Europe/cold Arctic are also significant. Correlations have become consistently stronger since 1998. Large-scale pattern analysis reveals that cold spells are associated with the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO-) and the positive phase of the Scandinavian (SCA+) pattern, which in turn are correlated with the divergence of dry-static energy transport. Warm European extremes are associated with opposite phases of these patterns and the convergence of latent heat transport. Airmass trajectory analysis is consistent with these findings, as airmasses associated with extreme cold events typically originate over continents, while warm events tend to occur with prevailing maritime airmasses. Despite Arctic-wide warming, significant cooling has occurred in northeastern Europe owing to a decrease in adiabatic subsidence heating in airmasses arriving from the southeast, along with increased occurrence of circulation patterns favouring low temperature advection. These dynamic effects dominated over the increased mean temperature of most circulation patterns. Lagged correlation analysis reveals that SCA- and NAO+ are typically preceded by cold Arctic anomalies during the previous 2-3 months, which may aid seasonal forecasting.
  • Li, Mingge; Wang, Lili; Liu, Jingda; Gao, Wenkang; Song, Tao; Sun, Yang; Li, Liang; Li, Xingru; Wang, Yonghong; Liu, Lili; Dällenbach, Kaspar; Paasonen, Pauli J.; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Kulmala, Markku; Wang, Yuesi (2020)
    In the last decade, North China (NC) has been one of the most populated and polluted regions in the world. The regional air pollution has had a serious impact on people's health; thus, all levels of government have implemented various pollution prevention measures since 2013. Based on multi-city in situ environmental and meteorological data, as well as the meteorological reanalysis dataset from 2013 to 2017, regional pollution characteristics and meteorological formation mechanisms were analyzed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the evolution of PM2.5 in NC. The domain-averaged PM2.5 was 79 +/- 17 mu g m(-3) from 2013 to 2017, with a decreasing rate of 10 mu g m(-3) yr(-1). Two automatic computer algorithms were established to identify 6 daily regional pollution types (DRPTs) and 48 persistent regional pollution events (PRPEs) over NC during 2014-2017. The average PM2.5 concentration for the Large-Region-Pollution type (including the Large-Moderate-Region-Pollution and Large-Severe-Region-Pollution types) was 113 +/- 40 mu g m(-3), and more than half of Large-Region-Pollution days and PRPEs occurred in winter. The PRPEs in NC mainly developed from the area south of Hebei. The number of Large-Region-Pollution days decreased notably from 2014 to 2017, the annual number of days varying between 194 and 97 days, whereas a slight decline was observed in winter. In addition, the averaged PM2.5 concentrations and the numbers and durations of the PRPEs decreased. Lamb-Jenkinson weather typing was used to reveal the impact of synoptic circulations on PM2.5 across NC. Generally, the contributions of the variations in circulation to the reduction in PM2.5 levels over NC between 2013 and 2017 were 64% and 45% in summer and winter, respectively. The three most highly polluted weather types were types C, S and E, with an average PM2.5 concentration of 137 +/- 40 mu g m(-3) in winter. Furthermore, three typical circulation dynamics were categorized in the peak stage of the PRPEs, namely, the southerly airflow pattern, the northerly airflow pattern and anticyclone pattern; the averaged relative humidity, recirculation index, wind speed and boundary layer height were 63%, 0.33, 2.0 m s(-1) and 493 m, respectively. Our results imply that additional emission reduction measures should be implemented under unfavorable meteorological situations to attain ambient air quality standards in the future.
  • Omstedt, A.; Elken, J.; Lehmann, A.; Lepparanta, M.; Meier, H. E. M.; Myrberg, K.; Rutgersson, A. (2014)
    We review progress in Baltic Sea physical oceanography (including sea ice and atmosphere-land interactions) and Baltic Sea modelling, focusing on research related to BALTEX Phase II and other relevant work during the 2003-2014 period. The major advances achieved in this period are: Meteorological databases are now available to the research community, partly as station data, with a growing number of freely available gridded datasets on decadal and centennial time scales. The free availability of meteorological datasets supports the development of more accurate forcing functions for Baltic Sea models. In the last decade, oceanographic data have become much more accessible and new important measurement platforms, such as FerryBoxes and satellites, have provided better temporally and spatially resolved observations. Our understanding of how large-scale atmospheric circulation affects the Baltic Sea climate, particularly in winter, has improved. Internal variability is strong illustrating the dominant stochastic behaviour of the atmosphere. The heat and water cycles of the Baltic Sea are better understood. The importance of surface waves in air-sea interaction is better understood, and Stokes drift and Langmuir circulation have been identified as likely playing an important role in surface water mixing in sea water. We better understand sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics in the coastal zone where sea ice interaction between land and sea is crucial. The Baltic Sea's various straits and sills are of increasing interest in seeking to understand water exchange and mixing. There has been increased research into the Baltic Sea coastal zone, particularly into upwelling, in the past decade. Modelling of the Baltic Sea-North Sea system, including the development of coupled land-sea-atmosphere models, has improved. Despite marked progress in Baltic Sea research over the last decade, several gaps remain in our knowledge and understanding. The current understanding of salinity changes is limited, and future projections of salinity evolution are uncertain. In addition, modelling of the hydrological cycle in atmospheric climate models is severely biased. More detailed investigations of regional precipitation and evaporation patterns (including runoff), atmospheric variability, highly saline water inflows, exchange between sub-basins, circulation, and especially turbulent mixing are still needed. Furthermore, more highly resolved oceanographic models are necessary. In addition, models that incorporate more advanced carbon cycle and ecosystem descriptions and improved description of water-sediment interactions are needed. There is also a need for new climate projections and simulations with improved atmospheric and oceanographic coupled model systems. These and other research challenges are addressed by the recently formed Baltic Earth research programme, the successor of the BALTEX programme, which ended in 2013. Baltic Earth will treat anthropogenic changes and impacts together with their natural drivers. Baltic Earth will serve as a network for earth system sciences in the region, following in the BALTEX tradition but in a wider context. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Liu, Jingda; Wang, Lili; Li, Mingge; Liao, Zhiheng; Sun, Yang; Song, Tao; Gao, Wenkang; Wang, Yonghong; Li, Yan; Ji, Dongsheng; Hu, Bo; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Wang, Yuesi; Kulmala, Markku (2019)
    The characteristics of ozone variations and the impacts of synoptic and local meteorological factors in northern China were quantitatively analyzed during the warm season from 2013 to 2017 based on multi-city in situ ozone and meteorological data as well as meteorological reanalysis. The domain-averaged maximum daily 8 h running average O-3 (MDA8 O-3) concentration was 122 +/- 11 mu g m(-3), with an increase rate of 7.88 lug mu g m(-3) yr(-1), and the three most polluted months were closely related to the variations in the synoptic circulation patterns, which occurred in June (149 mu m(-3)), May (138 mu m(-3)) and July (132 mu g m(-3)). A total of 26 weather types (merged into five weather categories) were objectively identified using the Lamb-Jenkinson method. The highly polluted weather categories included the S-W-N directions (geostrophic wind direction diverts from south to north), low-pressure-related weather types (LP) and cyclone type, which the study area controlled by a low-pressure center (C), and the corresponding domain-averaged MDA8 03 concentrations were 122, 126 and 128 mu g m(-3), respectively. Based on the frequency and intensity changes of the synoptic circulation patterns, 39.2 % of the interannual increase in the domain-averaged O-3 from 2013 to 2017 was attributed to synoptic changes, and the intensity of the synoptic circulation patterns was the dominant factor. Using synoptic classification and local meteorological factors, the segmented synoptic-regression approach was established to evaluate and forecast daily ozone variability on an urban scale. The results showed that this method is practical in most cities, and the dominant factors are the maximum temperature, southerly winds, relative humidity on the previous day and on the same day, and total cloud cover. Overall, 41 %-63 % of the day-today variability in the MDA8 O-3 concentrations was due to local meteorological variations in most cities over northern China, except for two cities: QHD (Qinhuangdao) at 34 % and ZZ (Zhengzhou) at 20 %. Our quantitative exploration of the influence of both synoptic and local meteorological factors on interannual and day-to-day ozone variability will provide a scientific basis for evaluating emission reduction measures that have been implemented by the national and local governments to mitigate air pollution in northern China.
  • Armstrong, Edward; Hopcroft, Peter O.; Valdes, Paul J. (2019)
    Regional climate models (RCMs) are often assumed to be more skillful compared to lower-resolution general circulation models (GCM). However, RCMs are driven by input from coarser resolution GCMs, which may introduce biases. This study employs versions of the HadAMB3 GCM at three resolutions (>50 km) to investigate the added value of higher resolution using identically configured simulations of the preindustrial (PI), mid-Holocene, and Last Glacial Maximum. The RCM shows improved PI climatology compared to the coarse-resolution GCM and enhanced paleoanomalies in the jet stream and storm tracks. However, there is no apparent improvement when compared to proxy reconstructions. In the high-resolution GCM, accuracy in PI climate and atmospheric anomalies are enhanced despite its intermediate resolution. This indicates that synoptic and mesoscale features in a RCM are influenced by its low-resolution input, which impacts the simulated climatology. This challenges the paradigm that RCMs improve the representation of climate conditions and change.