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Year Published

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 1995

  1. Analysis of an Ozone Episode during the San Diego Air Quality Study: The Significance of Transport Aloft. Bigler-Engler, Virginia & Brown, Hal W..
    Journal of Applied Meteorology: 1995<1863:AOAOED>2.0.CO;2
    DOI: 10.1175/1520-0450(1995)034<1863:AOAOED>2.0.CO;2
    San Diego is subject to transport of ozone and precursors from the Los Angeles area, 170 km to the northwest, as well as to high ozone concentrations from local emissions. The San Diego Air Quality Study was conducted during the summer of 1989. Air quality and meteorological data were obtained at the surface and aloft to provide a high quality database for photochemical modeling and control strategy development for both local and transport-influenced ozone episodes. Six high-ozone episodes were potentially suitable for photochemical modeling, including several from 21 to 29 September 1989; maximum 1-h ozone concentrations exceeded the federal ambient standard on six of the nine days and reached 0.17 ppm on two days. From review of preliminary surface and routine meteorological data and surface trajectory analysis, 25-26 September 1989 appeared to be a local episode with high ozone concentrations downwind from local (i.e., San Diego) emissions sources. This paper examines the candidate episode and finds that transport aloft from the Los Angeles area played a key role.

  2. Climate-related, long-term faunal changes in a California rocky intertidal community. Barry, J. P.; Baxter, C. H.; Sagarin, R. D. & Gilman, S. E..
    Science: 1995
    DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5198.672
    Changes in the invertebrate fauna of a California rocky intertidal community between the period 1931 to 1933 and the period 1993 to 1994 indicate that species' ranges shifted northward, consistent with predictions of change associated with climate warming. Of 45 invertebrate species, the abundances of eight of nine southern species increased and the abundances of five of eight northern species decreased. No trend was evident for cosmopolitan species. Annual mean shoreline ocean temperatures at the site increased by 0.75{degrees}C during the past 60 years, and mean summer maximum temperatures from 1983 to 1993 were 2.2{degrees}C warmer than for the period 1921 to 1931.

  3. Climate Warming and the Decline of Zooplankton in the California Current. Roemmich, Dean & McGowan, John.
    Science: 1995
    Studies the association between climatic warming and zooplankton population in the California current. Decrease of biomass; Temperature difference across the thermocline; Increased stratification; Lesser lifting of the thermocline by wind-driven upwelling; Provision of less inorganic nutrient for biological production.

  4. Effect of alternative boundary conditions on predicted ozone control strategy performance: A case study in the Los Angeles area. Winner, Darrell A.; Cass, Glen R. & Harley, Robert A..
    Atmospheric Environment: 1995
    The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the importance of assumptions made regarding boundary and initial conditions on the predicted performance of regional ozone control strategies. A computationally efficient approach to depicting the response of an air basin to emission controls is developed. The problem of ozone isopleth generation is addressed using a large Eulerian grid-based photochemical airshed model that is distributed over a grid system of 64 different ROG and NOx control combination points that were run simultaneously on a parallel computer. This method is used for the Los Angeles area to examine the effect on predicted ozone concentrations of alternative assumptions about how boundary conditions at the edge of the air basin will change as a result of changed recirculation of pollutants from within the airshed plus emission decreases upwind. We show that an accurate forecast of the effect of future emission control programs on pollutant inflows across the boundaries of the Los Angeles modeling region is absolutely critical to selection of a successful ozone control strategy for the Los Angeles area.

  5. Energy efficiency in California: A historical analysis. Schipper, Lee & McMahon, James E..
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy : 1995

  6. Forest expansion and climate change in the Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga Mertensiana) zone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA. Taylor, A. H..
    Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research: 1995
    The relationship between climate change and the dynamics of ecotonal populations of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana [Bong.] Carr.) was determined by comparing climate and the age structure of trees from 24 plots and seedlings from 13 plots in the subalpine zone of Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. Tree establishment was greatest during periods with above normal annual and summer temperatures, and normal or above normal precipitation. Seedling establishment was positively correlated with above normal annual and summer temperatures and negatively correlated with April snowpack depth. The different responses of trees and seedlings to precipitation variation is probably related to site soil moisture conditions. Mountain hemlock populations began to expand in 1842 and establishment increased dramatically after 1880 and peaked during a warm mesic period between 1895 and 1910.

  7. Global Warming and soil Microclimate: Results from a meadow-warming experiment. Harte, John; Torn, Margaret S; Chang, Fang-Ru; Feifarek, Brian; Kinzig, Ann P; Shaw, Rebecca & Shen, Karin.
    Ecological Applications: 1995
    We used overhead infrared radiators to add a constant increment of {approx}15 W/m{sup 2}, over 2 yr, to the downward heat flux on five 30-m{sup 2} montane meadow plots in Gunnison County, Colorado, USA. Heating advanced snowmelt by {approx}1 wk, increased summer soil temperatures by up to 3{degrees}C, and reduced summer soil moisture levels by up to 25% compared to control plots. Soil microclimate response to heating varied with season, time of day, weather conditions, and location along the microclimate and vegetation gradient within each plot, with the largest temperature increase observed in daytime and in the drier, more sparsely vegetated zone of each plot. Day-to-day variation in the daily-averaged temperature response to heating in the drier zone was negatively correlated with that in the wetter zone. Our experimental manipulation provides a novel and effective method for investigating feedback processes linking climate, soil, and vegetation.

  8. Hydrocarbon emissions from natural vegetation in California's South Coast Air Basin. Arey, Janet; Crowley, David E.; Crowley, Margaret; Resketo, Margaret & Lester, Julia.
    Atmospheric Environment: 1995
    Hydrocarbon emissions from ten native plant species with high contributions to the biomass of California's South Coast Air Basin (SOCAB) were measured using a flow-through chamber enclosure technique. Camphor and cineole and other oxygenated hydrocarbons were observed to be large emissions from certain aromatic sage and sagebrush species. Representative emission rate measurements for these species were difficult to obtain using the enclosure technique. Sesquiterpenes were found to be a high proportion of the emissions from Black Sage plants from late February to April. The isoprene emission rates measured for Interior Live Oak (Quercus wislizenii) and Scrub Oak (Quercus dumosa) were lower than most previously examined Quercus sp. However, estimated emissions of isoprene and terpenes from natural plant species in the SOCAB suggest that it may be difficult to reduce anthropogenic hydrocarbons sufficiently to meet ambient air quality standards for ozone and support the position that stringent controls on NOx as well as hydrocarbons will be required.

  9. Interannual and Interdecades Variability of United States Source-Air Temperatures: 1910-1987. Dettinger, Michael D; Gihl, M. & C, C. L..
    Climatic Change: 1995
    The Earth's climate is intrinsic to everything important to society - the production of food and energy, human and ecosystem health, the functioning and characteristics of the hydrologic cycle, and much more. Natural and human-induced changes in the Earth's climate will thus have widespread implications for society. The National Assessment of Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the United States ('the National Assessment') was designed to begin the complex process of assessing how to respond and adapt to an uncertain and changing climate. The National Assessment was called for by the 1990 Global Change Research Act (Public Law 101- 06) and has beenconducted under a plan approved by the National Science and Technology Council - the cabinet-level body ofagencies responsible for scientific research in the U.S. government.

  10. Large-scale atmospheric forcing of recent trends toward early snowmelt runoff in California. Dettinger, M. D. & Cayan, D. R..
    Journal of Climate: 1995<0606:LSAFOR>2.0.CO;2
    DOI: 10.1175/1520-0442(1995)008<0606:LSAFOR>2.0.CO;2
    Since the late 1940s, snowmelt and runoff have come increasingly early in the water year in many basins in northern and central California. This subtle trend is most pronounced in moderate-altitude basins, which are sensitive to changes in mean winter temperatures. Such basins have broad areas in which winter temperatures are near enough to freezing that small increases result initially in the formation of less snow and eventually in early snowmelt. In moderate-altitude basins of California, a declining fraction of the annual runoff has come in April-June. This decline has been compensated by increased fractions of runoff at other, mostly earlier, times in the later year. Weather stations in central California, including the central Sierra Nevada, have shown trends toward warmer winters since the 1940s. A series of regression analyses indicate that runoff timing responds equally to the observed decadal-scale trends in winter temperature and interannual temperature variations of the same magnitude, suggesting that the temperature trend is sufficient to explain the runoff-timing trends. The immediate cause of the trend toward warmer winters in California is a concurrent, long-term fluctuation in winter atmospheric circulations over the North Pacific Ocean and North America that is not immediately distinguishable from natural atmospheric variability. The fluctuation began to affect California in the 1940s, when the region of strongest low-frequency variation of winter circulations shifted to a part of the central North Pacific Ocean that is teleconnected to California temperatures. Since the late 1940s, winter wind fields have been displaced progressively southward over the central North Pacific and northward over the west coast of North America. These shifts in atmospheric circulations are associated with concurrent shifts in both West Coast air temperatures and North Pacific sea surface temperatures.


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