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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 2000


  1. A comparison of delta change and downscaled GCM scenarios for three mountainous basins in the United States. Lauren E. Hay, Robert L. Wilby, George H. Leavesley.
    Journal of the American Water Resources Association: 2000
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb04276.x
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb04276.x
    Notes
    Simulated daily precipitation, temperature, and runoff time series were compared in three mountainous basins in the United States: (1) the Animas River basin in Colorado, (2) the East Fork of the Carson River basin in Nevada and California, and (3) the Cle Elum River basin in Washington State. Two methods of climate scenario generation were compared: delta change and statistical downscaling. The delta change method uses differences between simulated current and future climate conditions from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research (HadCM2) General Circulation Model (GCM) added to observed time series of climate variables. A statistical downscaling (SDS) model was developed for each basin using station data and output from the National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis regridded to the scale of HadCM2.


  2. A neural network approach to local downscaling of GCM output for assessing wind power implications of climate change. Sailor, D. J.; Hu, T.; Li, X. & Rosen, J. N..
    Renewable Energy: 2000
    Notes
    A methodology is presented for downscaling General Circulation Model (GCM) output to predict surface wind speeds at scales of interest in the wind power industry under expected future climatic conditions. The approach involves a combination of Neural Network tools and traditional weather forecasting techniques. A Neural Network transfer function is developed to relate local wind speed observations to large scale GCM predictions of atmospheric properties under current climatic conditions. By assuming the invariability of this transfer function under conditions of doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide, the resulting transfer function is then applied to GCM output for a transient run of the National Center for Atmospheric Research coupled ocean-atmosphere GCM. This methodology is applied to three test sites in regions relevant to the wind power industry'one in Texas and two in California. Changes in daily mean wind speeds at each location are presented and discussed with respect to potential implications for wind power generation.


  3. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. (Cover story). Myers, Norman & Mittermeier, Russell A..
    Nature Publishing Group Nature: 2000
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v403/n6772/full/403853a0.html
    DOI: 10.1038/35002501
    Notes
    Cites the importance of identifying 'biodiversity hotspots' in the prevention of species extinction. Contribution of habitat destruction to extinction; Types and locations of `hotspots'; Assessment of endemism among higher taxa; Original implementation of the `hotspots' strategy in 1989.


  4. Biodiversity is critical to future health of California's ecology and economy. B. Allen-Diaz & Susanne C. Moser.
    California Agriculture: 2000
    http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/repositoryfiles/ca5402p26-67450.pdf
    Notes
    Each individual organism plays a role in the birth-to-death cycle of this planet. Ecologists often refer to the web of life describing the interconnectedness of all organisms and environments. Of California's more than 4,800 native plant species 29% are only found here. Each species is the repository of an immense amount of genetic information. Organisms provide direct economic value to humans in the form of marketable products such as food and medicine as well as services like recreation beauty and clean water. But civilization has been altering the Earth's environment and the consuming resources at rates faster than during any known era in history. At the same time we are poorly equipped to evaluate the environmental and economic trade-offs between species as traditional commodities as providers of ecosystem services and as players with largely unknown roles in life on Earth. New institutional frameworks and incentives must be developed in the 21st century for making informed and wise choices about the environment. Such decision-making frameworks should ensure the protection of fundamental sources of food clean water and habitat that are Earth's life-support.


  5. Biodiversity is critical to future health of California's ecology and economy. Allen-Diaz, B..
    California Agriculture: 2000
    Notes
    Each individual organism plays a role in the birth-to-death cycle of this planet. Ecologists often refer to the web of life, describing the interconnectedness of all organisms and environments. Of California's more than 4,800 native plant species, 29% are only found here. Each species is the repository of an immense amount of genetic information. Organisms provide direct economic value to humans in the form of marketable products such as food and medicine, as well as services like recreation, beauty and clean water. But civilization has been altering the Earth's environment and the consuming resources at rates faster than during any known era in history. At the same time, we are poorly equipped to evaluate the environmental and economic trade-offs between species as traditional commodities, as providers of ecosystem services and as players with largely unknown roles in life on Earth. New institutional frameworks and incentives must be developed in the 21st century for making informed and wise choices about the environment. Such decision-making frameworks should ensure the protection of fundamental sources of food, clean water and habitat that are Earth's life-support.


  6. Climate change sensitivity analysis for two California watersheds: Addendum to downscaled climate and streamflow study of the southwestern United States. Miller, N. L. & Kim, J..
    Journal of the American Water Resources Association: 2000
    Notes
    In the December 1999 JAWRA Special Issue on Water Resources and Climate Change, Miller et al., presented an overview of downscaled climate and streamflow study of the southwestern United States. This manuscript included an initial sensitivity study of a doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on western U.S. precipitation and streamflow. In the published manuscript, Figure 12a shows the mean annual precipitation for 1981 to 1984 and Figure 15 shows the mean annual precipitation difference between the downscaled control simulation and the 2xCO(2) projection. Both Figure 12a and Figure 15 are in units of mm/month. These units are incorrect, the correct units are mm/year. An additional California watershed is included here, as is more analysis of the streamflow result due to climate change.


  7. Climate scenarios for a California Energy Commission Study of the potential effects of climate change on California: Summary of a June 12-13 Workshop. Hakkarinen, Chuck & Smith, Joel.
    Stratus Consulting and California Energy Commission : 2000
    http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-03-058/2003-10-31_500-03-058CF_A01.PDF
    Notes
    Climate is a central factor in California life. It is at least partially responsible for the state's rapid population growth in the past 50 years, and largely responsible for the success of industries such as agriculture and tourism. California's climate is quite variable, differing widely from coastal regions of the state to the interior valleys and into the Sierra Nevada. It is also extremely variable from year to year. Historic records suggest that variations in precipitation by a factor of three from one year to the next are not unusual. It is in this context that we consider the potential effects of human-induced climate change on the state. Climate change has been studied widely at the international, domestic, and state levels. Previous studies that focused on California have suggested that climate change could result in changes not only in temperature but also, and perhaps more important, in water supply, flooding frequency and intensity, crop fields, and sea level. In addition, climate change could affect the strength of weather phenomena that often have adverse impacts on California, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO; see, for example, recent studies by the Union of Concerned Scientists [Field et al., 1999] and the U.S. National Assessment of Climate Change [NAST, 2000], as well as the 1991 monograph entitled Global Climate Change and California: Potential Impacts and Responses, by Knox and Scheuring [1991]). Given the importance of climate to California and the potential effects of climate change identified in the literature, it is critical that the state develop information to better understand the potential impacts of climate change and strategies for managing these risks.


  8. Cross road and moblie tunable infrared laser measurements of nitrous oxide emissions from motor vehicles. Jimenez, J L; McManus, J B; Shorter, J H; Nelson, D D; Zahniser, M S; Koplow, M; McRae, G J & Kolb, C E.
    Chemosphere - Global Change Science: 2000
    Notes
    Nitrous oxide (NO2) is a potent greenhouse gas whose atmospheric budget is poorly constrained. One known atmospheric source is the formation of N2O on three-way motor vehicle catalytic converters followed by emission with the exhaust. Previous estimates of the magnitude of this N2O source have varied widely. Two methods employing tunable infrared lasers to measure N2O/CO2 ratios from a large number of on-road motor vehicles have been developed. Both methods add support to lower estimates of N2O emissions from the US motor vehicle fleet, although significant uncertainty remains.Main Abstract: Two tunable infrared laser differential absorption spectroscopy (TILDAS) techniques have been used to measure the N2O emission levels of on-road motor vehicle exhausts. Cross road, open path laser measurements were used to assess N2O emissions from 1361 California catalyst equipped vehicles in November, 1996 yielding an emission ratio of (8.8±2.8)×10−5 N2O/CO2. A van mounted TILDAS sampling system making on-road N2O measurements in mixed traffic in June, 1998 in Manchester, New Hampshire yielded a mean N2O/CO2 ratio of (12.8±0.3)×10−5, based on correlated N2O and CO2 concentration peaks attributed to motor vehicle exhaust plumes. The correlation of N2O emissions with vehicle type, model year and NO emissions are presented for the California data set. It is found that the N2O emission distribution is highly skewed, with more than 50% of the emissions being contributed by 10% of the vehicles. Comparison of our results with those from four European tunnel studies reveals a wide range of derived N2O emission indices, with the most recent studies (including this study) finding lower values.


  9. Emissions from waterborne commerce vessels in United States continental and inland waterways. Corbett, J. J. & Fischbeck, P. S..
    Environmental Science & Technology: 2000
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es9911768
    DOI: 10.1021/es9911768
    Notes
    We present an inventory of emissions from marine vessels engaged in waterborne commerce (i.e., cargo transport) on the U.S. navigable waters. Emissions are estimated for 1997 for various U.S regions and types of traffic, including oceangoing (international), coastwise (domestic), inland-river system, and Great Lakes. Nearly all emissions in U.S. waters occur in shipping channels outside of port regions, either on rivers or within 200 miles of shore. NO, emissions from commercial marine engines considered in this study account for about half of the U.S. EPA baseline inventory of similar to 1000 tons per year for all marine vessels ( I). This equals 4% of all U.S. transportation emissions, more than double previous nationwide inventories of vessel emissions (2). Waterborne commerce emissions are not negligible when compared to other sources.


  10. Emissions of methyl halides and methane from rice paddies. Redeker, K R; Wang, N Y; Low, J C; McMillian, A; Tyler, S C & Cicerone, R J.
    Science: 2000
    Notes
    Methyl halide gases are important sources of atmospheric inorganic halogen compounds, which in turn are central reactants in many stratospheric and tropospheric chemical processes. By observing emissions of methyl chloride, methyl bromide, and methyl iodide from flooded California rice fields, we estimate the impact of rice agriculture on the atmospheric budgets of these gases. Factors influencing methyl halide emissions are stage of rice growth, soil organic content, halide concentrations, and field-water management. Extrapolating our data implies that about 1 percent of atmospheric methyl bromide and5 percent of methyl iodide arise from rice fields worldwide. Unplanted flooded fields emit as much methyl chloride as planted, flooded rice fields.


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