1 Nature Climate Change 2013 Vol: 3(5):466-470. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1803

Energy consumption and the unexplained winter warming over northern Asia and North America

Research shows that incorporating energy consumption in a global climate model can explain past surface temperature changes of as much as 1[thinsp]K in mid and high latitudes in winter and autumn over most part of North America and Eurasia. This study concludes that energy use should be considered as an additional forcing in simulations to project future climate change.

Mentions
Figures
Figure 1: Locations and area-averaged energy consumption of the 86 model grid points used in the perturbation runs. Each value is obtained by dividing the total estimated energy-use by the area represented by the model grid point. Figure 2: Differences of seasonal mean surface air temperature between perturbation and control runs. The areas exceeding 95% t-test confidence level are stippled. Figure 3: Decadal land surface temperature trend differences between the HadCRUTv3 surface temperature observations and NCAR CCSM4 twentieth-century ensemble simulations. The trends in both the observation data set and the NCAR climate simulation data set are defined as the difference between the means of the periods 1981–2005 and 1956–1980 as in ref. 1. The blank areas over land are due to a lack of observed data for part of the period from 1956 to 2005 and the ocean data are masked out. Stippling shows that the decadal trends are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level in the CCSM4 twentieth-century simulations in comparison with the 1850 control run. Figure 4: Surface air temperature in DJF from the control run and differences in surface wind and temperature between the perturbation and control runs. a,b, Horizontal temperature advection in warm and cold anomaly regions for central Asia (a) and Canada and northwestern Greenland (b). Contours indicate the surface air temperature (K) from the control run, shading highlights the temperature differences, and vectors show anomalies in surface winds.
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References
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    • . . . The DJF mean zonal wind change in response to it is similar to the findings from idealized GCM simulations with thermal forcing localized in mid-latitudes24. . . .
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    • . . . We estimate the total energy use at each model grid point using the average energy consumption rate per capita in 2006 for each country published in ref. 25, which is available for download at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/energyconsumption.html . . .
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    • . . . The energy consumption rate can also be estimated from a conversion of carbon emission data, such as inventories of fossil-fuel combustion developed in ref. 26 and population-based carbon emission data developed in ref. 27 . . .
    • . . . The carbon emission data from ref.  26 include fossil-fuel combustion from industrial, electricity production, transportation, commercial and residential sectors . . .
    • . . . Our energy consumption rate estimate falls within the range of those from fossil-fuel combustion of refs 26, 27. . . .
  27. Rayner, P. J.; Raupach, M. R.; Paget, M.; Peylin, P.; Koffi, E. A new global gridded data set of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion: Methodology and evaluation J. Geophys. Res. 115, D19306 (2010) .
    • . . . The energy consumption rate can also be estimated from a conversion of carbon emission data, such as inventories of fossil-fuel combustion developed in ref. 26 and population-based carbon emission data developed in ref. 27 . . .
    • . . . Our energy consumption rate estimate falls within the range of those from fossil-fuel combustion of refs 26, 27. . . .
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