BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Sulfate Aerosol Impacts on the Tropical Atlantic Rainfall Climate Over the 20th Century
Published: January 18, 2011
Posted: January 26, 2011

The gradient in sea surface temperature between the northern and southern portions of the tropical Atlantic significantly influences the long-term changes in rainfall, including droughts over West Africa and Northeast Brazil. This gradient has exhibited a long-term, nonperiodic drift from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1980s, with stronger warming in the South relative to the North. DOE funded researchers explored the origins of this trend by analyzing observations along with a multi-model ensemble of 20th century atmosphere-ocean coupled model simulations. Their analysis shows that the trend is unlikely the result of from natural climate variability and that a significant portion of the observed trend likely originates from external climate forcings, specifically sulfate aerosols. The authors conclude that anthropogenic sulfate emissions, originating primarily from industrial activity in the Northern Hemisphere, may have significantly altered the tropical Atlantic rainfall climate over the 20th century.

Reference: Chang, C. Y., J. C. H. Chiang, M. F. Wehner, A. Friedman, and R. Ruedy. 2010. “Sulfate Aerosol Control of Tropical Atlantic Climate Over the 20th Century,” Journal of Climate, Available on Early Online Release.

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)