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      Aerosol forcing of the position of the intertropical convergence zone since ad 1550

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          Most cited references 24

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          Southward migration of the intertropical convergence zone through the Holocene.

           G H Haug,  K Hughen,  D Sigman (2001)
          Titanium and iron concentration data from the anoxic Cariaco Basin, off the Venezuelan coast, can be used to infer variations in the hydrological cycle over northern South America during the past 14,000 years with subdecadal resolution. Following a dry Younger Dryas, a period of increased precipitation and riverine discharge occurred during the Holocene "thermal maximum." Since approximately 5400 years ago, a trend toward drier conditions is evident from the data, with high-amplitude fluctuations and precipitation minima during the time interval 3800 to 2800 years ago and during the "Little Ice Age." These regional changes in precipitation are best explained by shifts in the mean latitude of the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), potentially driven by Pacific-based climate variability. The Cariaco Basin record exhibits strong correlations with climate records from distant regions, including the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere, providing evidence for global teleconnections among regional climates.
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            Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability.

            Preserving multicentennial climate variability in long tree-ring records is critically important for reconstructing the full range of temperature variability over the past 1000 years. This allows the putative "Medieval Warm Period" (MWP) to be described and to be compared with 20th-century warming in modeling and attribution studies. We demonstrate that carefully selected tree-ring chronologies from 14 sites in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropics can preserve such coherent large-scale, multicentennial temperature trends if proper methods of analysis are used. In addition, we show that the average of these chronologies supports the large-scale occurrence of the MWP over the NH extratropics.
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              Aerosols implicated as a prime driver of twentieth-century North Atlantic climate variability.

              Systematic climate shifts have been linked to multidecadal variability in observed sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean. These links are extensive, influencing a range of climate processes such as hurricane activity and African Sahel and Amazonian droughts. The variability is distinct from historical global-mean temperature changes and is commonly attributed to natural ocean oscillations. A number of studies have provided evidence that aerosols can influence long-term changes in sea surface temperatures, but climate models have so far failed to reproduce these interactions and the role of aerosols in decadal variability remains unclear. Here we use a state-of-the-art Earth system climate model to show that aerosol emissions and periods of volcanic activity explain 76 per cent of the simulated multidecadal variance in detrended 1860-2005 North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. After 1950, simulated variability is within observational estimates; our estimates for 1910-1940 capture twice the warming of previous generation models but do not explain the entire observed trend. Other processes, such as ocean circulation, may also have contributed to variability in the early twentieth century. Mechanistically, we find that inclusion of aerosol-cloud microphysical effects, which were included in few previous multimodel ensembles, dominates the magnitude (80 per cent) and the spatial pattern of the total surface aerosol forcing in the North Atlantic. Our findings suggest that anthropogenic aerosol emissions influenced a range of societally important historical climate events such as peaks in hurricane activity and Sahel drought. Decadal-scale model predictions of regional Atlantic climate will probably be improved by incorporating aerosol-cloud microphysical interactions and estimates of future concentrations of aerosols, emissions of which are directly addressable by policy actions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Geoscience
                Nature Geosci
                Springer Nature
                1752-0894
                1752-0908
                February 9 2015
                February 9 2015
                : 8
                : 3
                : 195-200
                Article
                10.1038/ngeo2353
                © 2015
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