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Browse publications gathered by the California Energy Commission that focus on climate change issues relevant to the State of California. Find both PIER research papers as well as relevant articles published in peer reviewed journals.

Publications Published in 1993

  1. An Analysis of Sierra Nevada Winter Orographic Storms: Ground-based Ice-Crystal Observations. Demoz, Belay B.; Zhang, Renyi & Pitter, Richard L..
    Journal of Applied Meteorology: 1993
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1993)032<1826:AAOSNW>2.0.CO;2
    DOI: 10.1175/1520-0450(1993)032<1826:AAOSNW>2.0.CO;2
    Notes
    Systematic observations of the sizes, shapes, and degrees of riming of ice particles falling at a downwind station of a major mountain barrier are presented. The observational station was equipped to measure ice-particle masses from 1microg to a few milligrams and to measure ice-particle dimensions, habits, degrees of riming, and degrees of aggregation. The results are shown to be useful in learning where ice nucleation and growth take place in the cloud system. The present study analyzed dissipating and developing winter orographic storm systems, which are representative of more than 60% of the storms observed over the study region. It suggests that most of the needles and columns observed at the ground may be formed by secondary ice production. Heavy riming was associated with light precipitation, while high precipitation rates were correlated with a high number fraction of aggregate crystals. Aggregation was found to be important in the process of precipitation development and the aggregate mass was mostly contained in the dendritic crystal growth region.


  2. Fire history and climate change in giant sequoia groves. Swetnam, T. W..
    Science: 1993
    Notes
    Fire scars in giant sequoia [Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindley) Buchholz] were used to reconstruct the spatial and temporal pattern of surface fires that burned episodically through five groves during the past 2000 years. Comparisons with independent dendroclimatic reconstructions indicate that regionally synchronous fire occurrence was inversely related to yearly fluctuations in precipitation and directly related to decadal-to-centennial variations in temperature. Frequent small fires occurred during a warm period from about A. D. 1 000 to 1300, and less frequent but more widespread fires occurred during cooler periods from about A.D. 500 to 1000 and after A.D. 1300. Regionally synchronous fire histories demonstrate the importance of climate in maintaining nonequilibrium conditions.


  3. Variations in northern sierra nevada streamflow - implications of climate change. Pupacko, A..
    Water Resources Bulletin: 1993
    Notes
    Historical records of streamflow for an eastward- and a westward-draining stream in the northern Sierra Nevada have been analyzed for evidence of changes in runoff characteristics and patterns of variability. A trend of increasing and more variable winter streamflow began in the mid-1960s. Mean monthly streamflow during December through March was substantially greater for water years 1965-1990 compared to water years 1939-1964. Increased winter and early-spring streamflow during the later period is attributed to small increases in temperature, which increase the rain-to-snow ratio at lower altitudes and cause the snowpack to melt earlier in the season at higher altitudes. The timing of snowmelt runoff on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada is more sensitive than it is on the eastern slope to changes in temperature, owing to predominantly lower altitudes on the west side.


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