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A pattern of variability in the ocean and atmosphere that appears to be centered in the extratropical North Pacific, which emphasizes decadal, rather than interannual, timescales. Term was introduced by Mantua et al. (1997). More information on the PDO can be found here.
Time history tied to a particular mode of time/space variance in a spatiotemporal data set (see “Principal Components Analysis”).
A measure of the difference in sea level pressure between the western (e.g., Darwin, Australia) and central/eastern (e.g., Tahiti) equatorial Pacific, representative of the east-west changes in atmospheric circulation associated with the El Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon. Term was introduced by Sir Gilbert Walker (Walker and Bliss, 1932). More information on the SOI can be found here.
The instrumental record of surface temperature change is based on a combination of land air, marine air, and ocean surface temperature changes recorded over roughly the past century and a half. While several different datasets exist, the most widely used version has been produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in the UK. Issues of consistency and homogeneity of the measurements through time have been taken into account in constructing this global surface temperature database, and measures have been taken to ensure that all non-climatic inhomogeneities (including Urban Heat Island effects) have been removed.
An Urban Heat Island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surroundings. As population centers grow in size , they tend to have a corresponding increase in average temperature. Not to be confused with global warming, scientists refer to this phenomenon as the “Urban Heat Island Effect” (UHIE). There is little controversy in the existence of the UHIE. What is more controversial is whether, and if so how much, this additional warmth affects the (global) temperature record. The current state of the science is that the effect on the global temperature record is small to negligible. More information can be found here.
Water vapour act as a powerful greenhouse gas absorbing long-wave radiation. If the atmospheric water vapour concentration increases as a result of a global warming, then it is expected that it will enhance the greenhouse effect further. It is well known that the rate of evaporation is affected by the temperature and that higher temperatures increase the (saturated) vapour pressure (the Clausius-Clapeyron equation). This process is known as the water vapour feedback. One important difference between water vapour and other greenhouse gases such as CO2 is that the moisture spends only a short time in the atmosphere before being precipitated out, whereas the life time of CO2 in the atmosphere may be longer than 100 years.
The claims of McIntyre and McKitrick regarding the Mann et al (1998) temperature reconstruction have recently been discredited by the following peer-reviewed article to appear in the American Meteorological Society journal, “Journal of Climate“:
Rutherford, S., Mann, M.E., Osborn, T.J., Bradley, R.S., Briffa, K.R., Hughes, M.K., Jones, P.D., Proxy-based Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature Reconstructions: Sensitivity to Methodology, Predictor Network, Target Season and Target Domain, Journal of Climate, in press (2005).
Key excerpts from the article are provided below: [Read more…] about Rutherford et al 2005 highlights
PCA of the 70 North American ITRDB Tree-ring Proxy Series used by Mann et al (1998)