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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 1998

  1. Climate change impacts on sand supply and the formation of desert sand dunes in the south-west usa. Clarke, M. L. & Rendell, H. M..
    Journal of Arid Environments: 1998
    DOI: 10.1006/jare.1997.0372
    The formation of desert sand dunes has often been used as an indicator of periods of aridity. Application of luminescence dating techniques to determine the timing of sand dune formation in the Mojave Desert has shown that 94% of dated sands were deposited at times when pluvial lakes filled many desert basins, and floods were recorded in Arizona and Utah rivers. Climate change can trigger a supply of sediment for entrainment along sand transport corridors and subsequent accretion on dunes and sand ramps. In a supply-limited system, storm events associated with climate change and resulting in overland flow are the controlling factor for periods of sand dune formation in desert areas of the south-western U.S.A. (C)1998 Academic Press Limited.

  2. Climate-ocean variability and ecosystem response in the northeast pacific. McGowan, J. A.; Cayan, D. R. & Dorman, L. M..
    Science: 1998
    The role of climatic variation in regulating marine populations and communities is not well understood. To improve our knowledge, the sign, amplitude, and frequency of climatic and biotic variations should be compared as a necessary first step. it is shown that there have been large interannual and interdecadal sea- surface temperature changes off the West Coast of North America during the past 80 years. Interannual anomalies appear and disappear rather suddenly and synchronously along the entire coastline. The frequency of warm events has increased since 1977. Although extensive, serial, biological observations are often incomplete, it is clear that climate-ocean variations have disturbed and changed our coastal ecosystems.

  3. Detection of aquifer system compaction and land subsidence using interferometric synthetic aperture radar, Antelope Valley, Mojave Desert, California. D. L. Galloway, K. W. Hudnut, S. E. Ingebritsen S. P. Phillips G. Peltzer F. Rogez P. A. Rosen.
    Water Resources Research: 1998
    DOI: 10.1029/98WR01285
    Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has great potential to detect and quantify land subsidence caused by aquifer system compaction. InSAR maps with high spatial detail and resolution of range displacement (610 mm in change of land surface elevation) were developed for a groundwater basin (;103 km2) in Antelope Valley, California, using radar data collected from the ERS-1 satellite. These data allow comprehensive comparison between recent (1993-1995) subsidence patterns and those detected historically (1926-1992) by more traditional methods. The changed subsidence patterns are generally compatible with recent shifts in land and water use. The InSARdetected patterns are generally consistent with predictions based on a coupled model of groundwater flow and aquifer system compaction. The minor inconsistencies may reflect our imperfect knowledge of the distribution and properties of compressible sediments. When used in conjunction with coincident measurements of groundwater levels and other geologic information, InSAR data may be useful for constraining parameter estimates in simulations of aquifer system compaction.

  4. Global Climate Change Report - Three Volumes. .
    : 1998

  5. Interdecadal modulation of ENSO teleconnections. Gershunov, A. & Barnett, T. P..
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: 1998<2715:IMOET>2.0.CO;2
    DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477(1998)079<2715:IMOET>2.0.CO;2
    Seasonal climate anomalies over North America exhibit rather large variability between years characterized by the same ENSO phase. This lack of consistency reduces potential statistically based ENSO-related climate predictability. The authors show that the North Pacific oscillation (NPO) exerts a modulating effect on ENSO teleconnections. Sea lever pressure (SLP) data over the North Pacific, North America, and the North Atlantic and daily rainfall records in the contiguous United States are used to demonstrate that typical ENSO signals tend to be stronger and more stable during preferred phases of the NPO. Typical El Nino patterns (e.g., low pressure over the northeastern Pacific, dry northwest, and wet southwest, etc.) are strong and consistent only during the high phase of the NPO, which is associated with an anomalously cold northwestern Pacific. The generally reversed SLP and precipitation patterns during La Nina winters are consistent only during the low NPO phase.

  6. Renewable energy policy and electricity restructuring: a California case study. Wiser, Ryan; Pickle, Steven & Goldman, Charles.
    Energy Policy: 1998
    Many countries are in the process of deregulating and restructuring their electric power industries. Although the introduction of retail competition may have negative impacts on the development of renewable energy, a number of countries are establishing new programs to support these clean energy technologies. In the United States, debate has centered on three primary renewables support mechanisms: (1) the renewables portfolio standard; (2) programs funded by an electricity distribution surcharge; and (3) voluntary renewable energy purchases by electricity customers via green power marketing. California provides a good case study of the design of renewables support programs within industry restructuring because policymakers considered all three of these options during the state's restructuring proceedings. Moreover, many of the same policy options, design issues, and political conflicts that have arisen in California are likely to recur in other states and countries. Some of the most important lessons from the California experience include: (1) renewable energy and environmental advocates must clearly articulate the need and rationale for continued support of renewables; (2) cost containment and competitive neutrality concerns must be addressed head on; (3) combinations of policies are likely to be far more effective than any single renewables policy; and (4) the effectiveness of renewable energy policies developed during the restructuring process will be strongly linked to their duration and stability.

  7. Secular Trends of Precipitation Amount, Frequency, and Intensity in the United States. Karl, Thomas R & Knight, Richard W.
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: 1998
    Presents a study examining twentieth century trends of precipitation to show how precipitation has changed or varied. Examples of catastrophic flooding episodes in the United states from 1993 to 1997; Reference to a daily precipitation dataset used by Karl et al., (1996); Why trends for precipitation are calculated.

  8. Studying the effects of aerosols on vertical photolysis rate coefficient and temperature profiles over an urban airshed. Jacobson, Mark Z.
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres: 1998
    This paper discusses the effects of size- and composition-resolved aerosols on photolysis and temperatures within and above an urban airshed. With respect to photolysis, three-dimensional simulations indicated that (1) in regions of the boundary layer where absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation was strong, aerosols reduced photolysis coefficients of UV-absorbing gases; (2) in regions of the boundary layer where UV scattering dominated UV absorption byaerosols, aerosols enhanced photolysis coefficients of UV-absorbing gases; (3) aerosols increased photolysis coefficients for visible-absorbing gases since visible scattering always exceeded visible absorption by aerosols; (4) scattering and weakly absorbing aerosols above the boundary layer increased photolysis coefficients above the boundary layer for all absorbing gases; and (5) increases the in aerosol absorption extinction within the boundary layer reduced photolysis coefficients above the boundary layer for all absoring gases. Photolysis coefficients changes due to aerosols decreased near-surface ozone mixing ratios in Los Angeles by 5-8%. With respect to temperatures, simulations indicated that aerosols increased radiative heating rates at all altitudes but decreased surface solar irradiances during the day. Surface irradiance reductions cooled the ground, reducing mechanical and thermal turbulent heat fluxes back to the boundary layer, cooling near-surface air, and stabilizing the boundary layer. During the night, aerosols decreased boundary-layer heating rates but increased downward infrared irradiances to the ground. Warmer ground termperatures increased mechanical turbulent heat fluxes to the boundary layer, increasing nighttime near-surface temperatures. Thus, aerosols affected temperatures primarily through ground-atmosphere turbulent heat transfer.


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