Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Guest blog: TELLUS move to open access welcomed

In a guest blog,  CEH Climate Modeller, Dr Chris Huntingford, welcomes the ‘open access’ move by TELLUS

CEH research is published in many science journals, some of which are now available via Open Access. News, this month, that the TELLUS journal series has moved over to Open Access is a development to be welcomed – even more so, that the entire TELLUS archive of existing publications is now freely available. Why? Because this means that our research is now more accessible, by freely downloading the papers from the internet.

In welcoming this move, here are three recent pieces of work from the TELLUS archive involving CEH, Exeter University and the Met Office. This work all relates to climate change and its impacts, which might be of interest to others. Please feel free to click on the links below, which should return the research papers.

Lina Mercado (Exeter University/CEH) and co-authors published in 2007: “Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications”, (Tellus Series B-Chemical And Physical Meteorology, 59). This paper moved the well-used JULES land surface model on from the existing “big-leaf” averaging methodology, and describes in full how light-interception throughout a vegetation canopy should be modelled. Representing light radiation at different levels, this paper is the precursor to the subsequent publication by Lina in Nature, demonstrating the initially counter-intuitive result that darkening aerosols in the atmosphere can actually increase photosynthesis. This is because raised levels of diffuse light can penetrate the vegetation canopies more deeply. 

Peter Stott (Met Office) and co-authors published in 2008: “Observed climate change constrains the likelihood of extreme future global warming”, (Tellus B, 60). They used techniques similar to the standard IPCC detection and attribution algorithms to determine better, from present day spatial and temporal temperature records, the extent to which aerosols are masking the full extent of global warming. Although the greenhouse gas warming offset partially by aerosols is well known, this work aided in quantifying that balance. They conclude the present-day aerosol cooling is suppressing a major portion of current greenhouse warming. This work, including the methodology, has the potential to refine better future predictions for different simultaneous greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations.

Chris Huntingford (CEH) and co-authors published in 2009: “Contributions of carbon cycle uncertainty to future climate projection spread”, (Tellus B, 61). In this paper, the complete set of combined climate-carbon cycle simulations from the C4MIP intercomparison study were mapped on to a common simple climate model. This involved deriving effective parameters for both the thermal properties (climate sensitivity and oceanic thermal capacity) and for the carbon cycle, capturing features of the C4MIP ensemble. This yielded a direct way to compare the effect of current uncertainty in physical features of the climate system against that of the carbon cycle. For year 2100 and a standard emissions scenario, the headline result is that unknowns in the global carbon cycle can get as high as 40% of current uncertainty in how the more physical parts of climate will change for raised greenhouse gas concentrations.

Chris Huntingford.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, we are pleased that you are positive to the Tellus series moving to Open Access. As you demonstrate, OA makes it much easier to share your work with others.

    I welcome you and other authors to be in touch with Co-Action Publishing if you would like to receive an update on how many times your article has been accessed since moving to OA. Write to: Co-ActionPublishing@tellusb.net . I will be personally reading your emails and replying.

    Caroline Sutton, Publisher, Co-Action Publishing