Review

Changes in Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions

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Science  02 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6145, pp. 486-492
DOI: 10.1126/science.1237123

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  1. Fig. 1 Observed and projected changes in annual temperature and precipitation.

    (Top) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) observations (which are available only over land), calculated as 1986–2005 minus 1956–1975. (Middle) Differences in the mid-21st-century period of the CMIP5 RCP8.5 ensemble, calculated as 2046–2065 minus 1986–2005. (Bottom) Differences in the late-21st-century period of the CMIP5 RCP8.5 ensemble, calculated as 2081–2100 minus 1986–2005. We show the multi-model mean, using the model aggregation of Diffenbaugh and Giorgi (65). This presentation does not indicate significant differences from background variability, nor does it reflect many other potentially important sources of uncertainty, including level of emissions, Earth system feedbacks, or model structure. The values at the left and right extremes of the color bars give the minimum and maximum values (respectively) that occur across all of the periods. The minimum temperature, minimum precipitation, and maximum precipitation extreme changes are all in the CRU observations. Further details are provided in the supplementary materials.

  2. Fig. 2 Changes in seasonal extremes.

    (Left) The frequency of the 1986–2005 maximum June-July-August (JJA) temperature (top left) and minimum JJA precipitation (bottom left) in the 2046–2065 and 2080–2099 periods of RCP8.5 [from (65)]. (Bottom right) The frequency of the 1976–2005 minimum March snow water equivalent in the 2070–2099 period of RCP8.5, with black (white) stippling indicating areas where the multimodel mean exceeds 1.0 (2.0) SD of the multimodel spread [from (66)]. (Top right) The fraction of land grid points in northern South America with JJA surface air temperatures above the respective 1952–1969 maximum [from (77)]. The light and dark purple show the annual and 10-year running mean of the observational time series, with the trend shown in the top left (percent of region per year; asterisk indicates statistical significance). The gray points show each CMIP3 realization, the black and red show the annual and 10-year running mean, and the blue shows a 1-SD range. The mean of the trends in the CMIP3 realizations is shown in the top right, with the number of realizations (out of 52) that exhibit a statistically significant trend shown in bold. Further details are provided in the supplementary materials.

  3. Fig. 3 Past and potential future atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    (Left) The high-low range of CO2 over the past 22 million years from phytoplankton/forams, stomatal indices/ratios, and marine boron (105). (Middle left) CO2 from Antarctic ice cores (103). (Middle right) CO2 concentrations for different RCPs (30). (Right) The high-low range of CO2 concentrations for the 1000-year time horizon after all fossil fuels are combusted (91). Further details are provided in the supplementary materials.

  4. Fig. 4 The velocity of climate change.

    (Top) The climate change velocity in the CMIP5 RCP8.5 ensemble, calculated by identifying the closest location (to each grid point) with a future annual temperature that is similar to the baseline annual temperature. (Bottom) The climate change velocity [from (117)], calculated by using the present temperature gradient at each location and the trend in temperature projected by the CMIP3 ensemble in the SRES A1B scenario. The two panels use different color scales. Further details are provided in the supplementary materials.

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