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R. Przybylak, P. N. Svyashchennikov, J. Uscka-Kowalkowska, and P. Wyszyński

Abstract

The early twentieth-century warming (ETCW), defined as occurring within the period 1921–50, saw a clear increase in actinometric observations in the Arctic. Nevertheless, information on radiation balance and its components at that time is still very limited in availability, and therefore large discrepancies exist among estimates of total solar irradiance forcing. To eliminate these uncertainties, all available solar radiation data for the Arctic need to be collected and processed. Better knowledge about incoming solar radiation (direct, diffuse, and global) should allow for more reliable estimation of the magnitude of total solar irradiance forcing, which can help, in turn, to more precisely and correctly explain the reasons for the ETCW in the Arctic. The paper summarizes our research into the availability of solar radiation data for the Arctic. An important part of this work is its detailed inventory of data series (including metadata) for the period before the mid-twentieth century. Based on the most reliable data series, general solar conditions in the Arctic during the ETCW are described. The character of solar radiation changes between the ETCW and present times, in particular after 2000, is also analyzed. Average annual global solar radiation in the Russian Arctic during the ETCW was slightly greater than in the period 1964–90 (by about 1–2 W·m−2) and was markedly greater than in the period 2001–19 (by about 16 W·m−2). Our results also reveal that in the period 1920–2019 three phases of solar radiation changes can be distinguished: a brightening phase (1921–50), a stabilization phase (1951–93), and a dimming phase (after 2000).

Open access
L. C. Slivinski, G. P. Compo, P. D. Sardeshmukh, J. S. Whitaker, C. McColl, R. J. Allan, P. Brohan, X. Yin, C. A. Smith, L. J. Spencer, R. S. Vose, M. Rohrer, R. P. Conroy, D. C. Schuster, J. J. Kennedy, L. Ashcroft, S. Brönnimann, M. Brunet, D. Camuffo, R. Cornes, T. A. Cram, F. Domínguez-Castro, J. E. Freeman, J. Gergis, E. Hawkins, P. D. Jones, H. Kubota, T. C. Lee, A. M. Lorrey, J. Luterbacher, C. J. Mock, R. K. Przybylak, C. Pudmenzky, V. C. Slonosky, B. Tinz, B. Trewin, X. L. Wang, C. Wilkinson, K. Wood, and P. Wyszyński

Abstract

The performance of a new historical reanalysis, the NOAA–CIRES–DOE Twentieth Century Reanalysis version 3 (20CRv3), is evaluated via comparisons with other reanalyses and independent observations. This dataset provides global, 3-hourly estimates of the atmosphere from 1806 to 2015 by assimilating only surface pressure observations and prescribing sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and radiative forcings. Comparisons with independent observations, other reanalyses, and satellite products suggest that 20CRv3 can reliably produce atmospheric estimates on scales ranging from weather events to long-term climatic trends. Not only does 20CRv3 recreate a “best estimate” of the weather, including extreme events, it also provides an estimate of its confidence through the use of an ensemble. Surface pressure statistics suggest that these confidence estimates are reliable. Comparisons with independent upper-air observations in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that 20CRv3 has skill throughout the twentieth century. Upper-air fields from 20CRv3 in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century correlate well with full-input reanalyses, and the correlation is predicted by the confidence fields from 20CRv3. The skill of analyzed 500-hPa geopotential heights from 20CRv3 for 1979–2015 is comparable to that of modern operational 3–4-day forecasts. Finally, 20CRv3 performs well on climate time scales. Long time series and multidecadal averages of mass, circulation, and precipitation fields agree well with modern reanalyses and station- and satellite-based products. 20CRv3 is also able to capture trends in tropospheric-layer temperatures that correlate well with independent products in the twentieth century, placing recent trends in a longer historical context.

Open access
Stefan Brönnimann, Rob Allan, Linden Ashcroft, Saba Baer, Mariano Barriendos, Rudolf Brázdil, Yuri Brugnara, Manola Brunet, Michele Brunetti, Barbara Chimani, Richard Cornes, Fernando Domínguez-Castro, Janusz Filipiak, Dimitra Founda, Ricardo García Herrera, Joelle Gergis, Stefan Grab, Lisa Hannak, Heli Huhtamaa, Kim S. Jacobsen, Phil Jones, Sylvie Jourdain, Andrea Kiss, Kuanhui Elaine Lin, Andrew Lorrey, Elin Lundstad, Jürg Luterbacher, Franz Mauelshagen, Maurizio Maugeri, Nicolas Maughan, Anders Moberg, Raphael Neukom, Sharon Nicholson, Simon Noone, Øyvind Nordli, Kristín Björg Ólafsdóttir, Petra R. Pearce, Lucas Pfister, Kathleen Pribyl, Rajmund Przybylak, Christa Pudmenzky, Dubravka Rasol, Delia Reichenbach, Ladislava Řezníčková, Fernando S. Rodrigo, Christian Rohr, Oleg Skrynyk, Victoria Slonosky, Peter Thorne, Maria Antónia Valente, José M. Vaquero, Nancy E. Westcottt, Fiona Williamson, and Przemysław Wyszyński

Abstract

Instrumental meteorological measurements from periods prior to the start of national weather services are designated “early instrumental data.” They have played an important role in climate research as they allow daily to decadal variability and changes of temperature, pressure, and precipitation, including extremes, to be addressed. Early instrumental data can also help place twenty-first century climatic changes into a historical context such as defining preindustrial climate and its variability. Until recently, the focus was on long, high-quality series, while the large number of shorter series (which together also cover long periods) received little to no attention. The shift in climate and climate impact research from mean climate characteristics toward weather variability and extremes, as well as the success of historical reanalyses that make use of short series, generates a need for locating and exploring further early instrumental measurements. However, information on early instrumental series has never been electronically compiled on a global scale. Here we attempt a worldwide compilation of metadata on early instrumental meteorological records prior to 1850 (1890 for Africa and the Arctic). Our global inventory comprises information on several thousand records, about half of which have not yet been digitized (not even as monthly means), and only approximately 20% of which have made it to global repositories. The inventory will help to prioritize data rescue efforts and can be used to analyze the potential feasibility of historical weather data products. The inventory will be maintained as a living document and is a first, critical, step toward the systematic rescue and reevaluation of these highly valuable early records. Additions to the inventory are welcome.

Free access
Stefan Brönnimann, Rob Allan, Linden Ashcroft, Saba Baer, Mariano Barriendos, Rudolf Brázdil, Yuri Brugnara, Manola Brunet, Michele Brunetti, Barbara Chimani, Richard Cornes, Fernando Domínguez-Castro, Janusz Filipiak, Dimitra Founda, Ricardo García Herrera, Joelle Gergis, Stefan Grab, Lisa Hannak, Heli Huhtamaa, Kim S. Jacobsen, Phil Jones, Sylvie Jourdain, Andrea Kiss, Kuanhui Elaine Lin, Andrew Lorrey, Elin Lundstad, Jürg Luterbacher, Franz Mauelshagen, Maurizio Maugeri, Nicolas Maughan, Anders Moberg, Raphael Neukom, Sharon Nicholson, Simon Noone, Øyvind Nordli, Kristín Björg Ólafsdóttir, Petra R. Pearce, Lucas Pfister, Kathleen Pribyl, Rajmund Przybylak, Christa Pudmenzky, Dubravka Rasol, Delia Reichenbach, Ladislava Řezníčková, Fernando S. Rodrigo, Christian Rohr, Oleg Skrynyk, Victoria Slonosky, Peter Thorne, Maria Antónia Valente, José M. Vaquero, Nancy E. Westcott, Fiona Williamson, and Przemysław Wyszyński
Full access