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L. A. Vincent, T. C. Peterson, V. R. Barros, M. B. Marino, M. Rusticucci, G. Carrasco, E. Ramirez, L. M. Alves, T. Ambrizzi, M. A. Berlato, A. M. Grimm, J. A. Marengo, L. Molion, D. F. Moncunill, E. Rebello, Y. M. T. Anunciação, J. Quintana, J. L. Santos, J. Baez, G. Coronel, J. Garcia, I. Trebejo, M. Bidegain, M. R. Haylock, and D. Karoly

Abstract

A workshop on enhancing climate change indices in South America was held in Maceió, Brazil, in August 2004. Scientists from eight southern countries brought daily climatological data from their region for a meticulous assessment of data quality and homogeneity, and for the preparation of climate change indices that can be used for analyses of changes in climate extremes. This study presents an examination of the trends over 1960–2000 in the indices of daily temperature extremes. The results indicate no consistent changes in the indices based on daily maximum temperature while significant trends were found in the indices based on daily minimum temperature. Significant increasing trends in the percentage of warm nights and decreasing trends in the percentage of cold nights were observed at many stations. It seems that this warming is mostly due to more warm nights and fewer cold nights during the summer (December–February) and fall (March–May). The stations with significant trends appear to be located closer to the west and east coasts of South America.

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M. R. Haylock, T. C. Peterson, L. M. Alves, T. Ambrizzi, Y. M. T. Anunciação, J. Baez, V. R. Barros, M. A. Berlato, M. Bidegain, G. Coronel, V. Corradi, V. J. Garcia, A. M. Grimm, D. Karoly, J. A. Marengo, M. B. Marino, D. F. Moncunill, D. Nechet, J. Quintana, E. Rebello, M. Rusticucci, J. L. Santos, I. Trebejo, and L. A. Vincent

Abstract

A weeklong workshop in Brazil in August 2004 provided the opportunity for 28 scientists from southern South America to examine daily rainfall observations to determine changes in both total and extreme rainfall. Twelve annual indices of daily rainfall were calculated over the period 1960 to 2000, examining changes to both the entire distribution as well as the extremes. Maps of trends in the 12 rainfall indices showed large regions of coherent change, with many stations showing statistically significant changes in some of the indices. The pattern of trends for the extremes was generally the same as that for total annual rainfall, with a change to wetter conditions in Ecuador and northern Peru and the region of southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern and central Argentina. A decrease was observed in southern Peru and southern Chile, with the latter showing significant decreases in many indices. A canonical correlation analysis between each of the indices and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) revealed two large-scale patterns that have contributed to the observed trends in the rainfall indices. A coupled pattern with ENSO-like SST loadings and rainfall loadings showing similarities with the pattern of the observed trend reveals that the change to a generally more negative Southern Oscillation index (SOI) has had an important effect on regional rainfall trends. A significant decrease in many of the rainfall indices at several stations in southern Chile and Argentina can be explained by a canonical pattern reflecting a weakening of the continental trough leading to a southward shift in storm tracks. This latter signal is a change that has been seen at similar latitudes in other parts of the Southern Hemisphere. A similar analysis was carried out for eastern Brazil using gridded indices calculated from 354 stations from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) database. The observed trend toward wetter conditions in the southwest and drier conditions in the northeast could again be explained by changes in ENSO.

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J. Boutin, Y. Chao, W. E. Asher, T. Delcroix, R. Drucker, K. Drushka, N. Kolodziejczyk, T. Lee, N. Reul, G. Reverdin, J. Schanze, A. Soloviev, L. Yu, J. Anderson, L. Brucker, E. Dinnat, A. Santos-Garcia, W. L. Jones, C. Maes, T. Meissner, W. Tang, N. Vinogradova, and B. Ward

Abstract

Remote sensing of salinity using satellite-mounted microwave radiometers provides new perspectives for studying ocean dynamics and the global hydrological cycle. Calibration and validation of these measurements is challenging because satellite and in situ methods measure salinity differently. Microwave radiometers measure the salinity in the top few centimeters of the ocean, whereas most in situ observations are reported below a depth of a few meters. Additionally, satellites measure salinity as a spatial average over an area of about 100 × 100 km2. In contrast, in situ sensors provide pointwise measurements at the location of the sensor. Thus, the presence of vertical gradients in, and horizontal variability of, sea surface salinity complicates comparison of satellite and in situ measurements. This paper synthesizes present knowledge of the magnitude and the processes that contribute to the formation and evolution of vertical and horizontal variability in near-surface salinity. Rainfall, freshwater plumes, and evaporation can generate vertical gradients of salinity, and in some cases these gradients can be large enough to affect validation of satellite measurements. Similarly, mesoscale to submesoscale processes can lead to horizontal variability that can also affect comparisons of satellite data to in situ data. Comparisons between satellite and in situ salinity measurements must take into account both vertical stratification and horizontal variability.

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