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Ballester, J, Burns JC, Cayan D, Nakamura Y, Uehara R, Rodo X.  2013.  Kawasaki disease and ENSO-driven wind circulation. Geophysical Research Letters. 40:2284-2289.   10.1002/grl.50388   AbstractWebsite

Kawasaki disease (KD) is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children worldwide. Recently, a climatological study suggested that KD may be triggered by a windborne agent traveling across the north Pacific through the westerly wind flow prevailing at midlatitudes. Here we use KD records to describe the association between enhanced disease activity on opposite sides of the basin and different phases of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, via the linkage to these tropospheric winds. Results show that years with higher-than-normal KD cases in Japan preferentially occur during either El Nino Modoki or La Nina conditions, while in San Diego during the mature phase of El Nino or La Nina events. Given that ENSO offers a degree of predictability at lead times of 6 months, these modulations suggest that seasonal predictions of KD could be used to alert clinicians to periods of increased disease activity.

Barnett, TP, Pierce DW, Hidalgo HG, Bonfils C, Santer BD, Das T, Bala G, Wood AW, Nozawa T, Mirin AA, Cayan DR, Dettinger MD.  2008.  Human-induced changes in the hydrology of the western United States. Science. 319:1080-1083.   10.1126/science.1152538   AbstractWebsite

Observations have shown that the hydrological cycle of the western United States changed significantly over the last half of the 20th century. We present a regional, multivariable climate change detection and attribution study, using a high- resolution hydrologic model forced by global climate models, focusing on the changes that have already affected this primarily arid region with a large and growing population. The results show that up to 60% of the climate- related trends of river flow, winter air temperature, and snow pack between 1950 and 1999 are human- induced. These results are robust to perturbation of study variates and methods. They portend, in conjunction with previous work, a coming crisis in water supply for the western United States.

Biondi, F, Cayan DR, Berger WH.  1997.  Dendroclimatology of Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carr.). American Midland Naturalist. 138:237-251.   10.2307/2426817   AbstractWebsite

Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carr.) has one of the most limited geographical ranges and population size in the Pinus genus: it is present only on Santa Rosa Island and on the coast between San Diego and Del Mar. Because the survival of Torrey pine within its limited natural distribution depends on the health and climatic sensitivity of the adult tree population, we performed a dendroclimatological study to quantify the long-term response of dominant trees to climate. A 168-yr tree-ring chronology (1827-1994) was developed using a total of 28 increment cores extracted from 17 trees at Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California. Tree-ring samples were visually and numerically crossdated to assign accurate calendar years to each growth increment. Annual tree growth was highly and directly related to precipitation falling between the previous November and the current April. Temperature was not a significant predictor of tree growth. At seasonal scale, tree growth was highly and directly related to winter and spring precipitation, and was also significantly correlated to summer fog. However, when combined with winter and spring precipitation in multiple regression models, summer fog was not a significant predictor of tree growth. Total November through April precipitation explained a larger amount of variance after 1900 (64% in 1900-1949, 70% in 1950-1994) than before 1900 (48% in 1850-1899). The spatial correlation with western North America winter and spring precipitation, as well as with published tree-ring chronologies, reveals a link with the American Southwest. Global correlation maps with winter sea level pressure and sea surface temperature indicate that Torrey pine growth benefits from a southerly displaced North Pacific storm track and from warmer ocean water further south, suggesting a connection with increased transport of lower latitude moisture.

Biondi, F, Perkins DL, Cayan DR, Hughes MK.  1999.  July temperature during the second millennium reconstructed from Idaho tree rings. Geophysical Research Letters. 26:1445-1448.   10.1029/1999gl900272   AbstractWebsite

An 858-year proxy record of July temperature for east-central Idaho shows multi-decadal periods of extreme cooling centered around AD 1300, 1340, 1460, and after AD 1600. These cold intervals are interrupted by prolonged warm spells in the early 1400s, late 1500s, and in the 1930s. The spatial signature of the paleoclimate record is centered on the north-central Rockies and central Great Plains, and expands over North America following a wave-like pattern. Neither instrumental nor proxy data in Idaho northeast valleys show unusual warming during the twentieth century. Climate episodes over the last three centuries are in broad agreement with the Greenland borehole temperature history. Low-frequency patterns are consistent with other northern hemisphere tree-ring records for the late Holocene, and provide a chronology of warm and cold intervals during the Little Ice Age.

Biondi, F, Gershunov A, Cayan DR.  2001.  North Pacific decadal climate variability since 1661. Journal of Climate. 14:5-10.   10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<0005:npdcvs>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Climate in the North Pacific and North American sectors has experienced interdecadal shifts during the twentieth century. A network of recently developed tree-ring chronologies for Southern and Baja California extends the instrumental record and reveals decadal-scale variability back to 1661. The Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) is closely matched by the dominant mode of tree-ring variability that provides a preliminary view of multiannual climate fluctuations spanning the past four centuries. The reconstructed PDO index features a prominent bidecadal oscillation, whose amplitude weakened in the late 1700s to mid-1800s. A comparison with proxy records of ENSO suggests that the greatest decadal-scale oscillations in Pacific climate between 1706 and 1977 occurred around 1750, 1905, and 1947.

Bonfils, C, Santer BD, Pierce DW, Hidalgo HG, Bala G, Das T, Barnett TP, Cayan DR, Doutriaux C, Wood AW, Mirin A, Nozawa T.  2008.  Detection and attribution of temperature changes in the mountainous western United States. Journal of Climate. 21:6404-6424.   10.1175/2008jcli2397.1   AbstractWebsite

Large changes in the hydrology of the western United States have been observed since the mid-twentieth century. These include a reduction in the amount of precipitation arriving as snow, a decline in snowpack at low and midelevations, and a shift toward earlier arrival of both snowmelt and the centroid (center of mass) of streamflows. To project future water supply reliability, it is crucial to obtain a better understanding of the underlying cause or causes for these changes. A regional warming is often posited as the cause of these changes without formal testing of different competitive explanations for the warming. In this study, a rigorous detection and attribution analysis is performed to determine the causes of the late winter/early spring changes in hydrologically relevant temperature variables over mountain ranges of the western United States. Natural internal climate variability, as estimated from two long control climate model simulations, is insufficient to explain the rapid increase in daily minimum and maximum temperatures, the sharp decline in frost days, and the rise in degree-days above 0 degrees C (a simple proxy for temperature-driven snowmelt). These observed changes are also inconsistent with the model-predicted responses to variability in solar irradiance and volcanic activity. The observations are consistent with climate simulations that include the combined effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols. It is found that, for each temperature variable considered, an anthropogenic signal is identifiable in observational fields. The results are robust to uncertainties in model-estimated fingerprints and natural variability noise, to the choice of statistical down-scaling method, and to various processing options in the detection and attribution method.

Borsa, AA, Agnew DC, Cayan DR.  2014.  Ongoing drought-induced uplift in the western United States. Science.   10.1126/science.1260279   AbstractWebsite

The western United States has been experiencing severe drought since 2013. The solid earth response to the accompanying loss of surface and near-surface water mass should be a broad region of uplift. We use seasonally-adjusted time series from continuously operating GPS stations to measure this uplift, which we invert to estimate mass loss. The median uplift is 4 mm, with values up to 15 mm in California’s mountains. The associated pattern of mass loss, which ranges up to 50 cm of water equivalent, is consistent with observed decreases in precipitation and streamflow. We estimate the total deficit to be about 240 Gt, equivalent to a 10 cm layer of water over the entire region, or the annual mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Bromirski, PD, Flick RE, Cayan DR.  2003.  Storminess variability along the California coast: 1858-2000. Journal of Climate. 16:982-993.   10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<0982:svatcc>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

The longest available hourly tide gauge record along the West Coast (U. S.) at San Francisco yields meteorologically forced nontide residuals (NTR), providing an estimate of the variation in "storminess'' from 1858 to 2000. Mean monthly positive NTR (associated with low sea level pressure) show no substantial change along the central California coast since 1858 or over the last 50 years. However, in contrast, the highest 2% of extreme winter NTR levels exhibit a significant increasing trend since about 1950. Extreme winter NTR also show pronounced quasi-periodic decadal-scale variability that is relatively consistent over the last 140 years. Atmospheric sea level pressure anomalies (associated with years having high winter NTR) take the form of a distinct, large-scale atmospheric circulation pattern, with intense storminess associated with a broad, southeasterly displaced, deep Aleutian low that directs storm tracks toward the California coast.

Bromirski, PD, Cayan DR.  2015.  Wave power variability and trends across the North Atlantic influenced by decadal climate patterns. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 120:3419-3443.   10.1002/2014jc010440   AbstractWebsite

Climate variations influence North Atlantic winter storm intensity and resultant variations in wave energy levels. A 60 year hindcast allows investigation of the influence of decadal climate variability on long-term trends of North Atlantic wave power, P-W, spanning the 1948-2008 epoch. P-W variations over much of the eastern North Atlantic are strongly influenced by the fluctuating North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) atmospheric circulation pattern, consistent with previous studies of significant wave height, Hs. Wave activity in the western Atlantic also responds to fluctuations in Pacific climate modes, including the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation. The magnitude of upward long-term trends during winter over the northeast Atlantic is strongly influenced by heightened storm activity under the extreme positive phase of winter NAO in the early 1990s. In contrast, P-W along the United States East Coast shows no increasing trend, with wave activity there most closely associated with the PNA. Strong wave power events exhibit significant upward trends along the Atlantic coasts of Iceland and Europe during winter months. Importantly, in opposition to the long-term increase of P-W, a recent general decrease in P-W across the North Atlantic from 2000 to 2008 occurred. The 2000-2008 decrease was associated with a general shift of winter NAO to its negative phase, underscoring the control exerted by fluctuating North Atlantic atmospheric circulation on P-W trends.

Bromirski, PD, Cayan DR, Flick RE.  2005.  Wave spectral energy variability in the northeast Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 110   10.1029/2004jc002398   AbstractWebsite

The dominant characteristics of wave energy variability in the eastern North Pacific are described from NOAA National Data Buoy Center ( NDBC) buoy data collected from 1981 to 2003. Ten buoys at distributed locations were selected for comparison based on record duration and data continuity. Long- period ( LP) [ T > 12] s, intermediate- period [ 6 <= T <= 12] s, and short- period [ T < 6] s wave spectral energy components are considered separately. Empirical orthogonal function ( EOF) analyses of monthly wave energy anomalies reveal that all three wave energy components exhibit similar patterns of spatial variability. The dominant mode represents coherent heightened ( or diminished) wave energy along the West Coast from Alaska to southern California, as indicated by composites of the 700 hPa height field. The second EOF mode reveals a distinct El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-associated spatial distribution of wave energy, which occurs when the North Pacific storm track is extended unusually far south or has receded to the north. Monthly means and principal components (PCs) of wave energy levels indicate that the 1997 - 1998 El Nino- winter had the highest basin- wide wave energy within this record, substantially higher than the 1982 - 1983 El Nino. An increasing trend in the dominant PC of LP wave energy suggests that storminess has increased in the northeast Pacific since 1980. This trend is emphasized at central eastern North Pacific locations. Patterns of storminess variability are consistent with increasing activity in the central North Pacific as well as the tendency for more extreme waves in the south during El Nino episodes and in the north during La Nina.

Bromirski, PD, Cayan DR, Helly J, Wittmann P.  2013.  Wave power variability and trends across the North Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 118:6329-6348.   10.1002/2013jc009189   AbstractWebsite

Multiyear climate variations influence North Pacific storm intensity and resultant variations in wave energy levels. The timing of these decadal fluctuations and strong El Nino's have had a strong influence on long-term trends. Here we investigate variations in the North Pacific wave power, P-W, determined from WAVEWATCH III (WW3) wave model significant wave height, Hs, and peak period data forced by NRA-1 winds spanning the 1948-2008 epoch. Over the entire hindcast, upward trends in Hs and P-W, especially in winter, are observed over much of the North Pacific, strongly influenced by an apparent storm intensification after the mid-1970s regime shift. Heightened P-W is concentrated in particular regions of the basin, and is associated with increased wave activity during the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Wave power events, P-E, defined as episodes when Hs exceeded the 90th percentile threshold for at least 12 h, exhibit significant upward trends along much of the U.S. Pacific coast during winter months. Importantly, the hindcast exhibits a recent decrease in P-W across much of the North Pacific, in contrast to the long-term increase of P-W and Hs. This recent decrease is associated with the prevalent PDO cool phase that developed after the late 1990s. Variability and intensification of coastal P-W and P-E have important practical implications for shoreline and beach erosion, coastal wetlands inundation, storm-surge flooding, and coastal planning. These considerations will become increasingly important as sea level rises.

Brooks, BA, Bawden G, Manjunath D, Werner C, Knowles N, Foster J, Dudas J, Cayan D.  2012.  Contemporaneous Subsidence and Levee Overtopping Potential, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. 10 AbstractWebsite

The levee system in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta helps protect freshwater quality in a critical estuarine ecosystem that hosts substantial agricultural infrastructure and a large human population. We use space-based synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to provide synoptic vertical land motion measurements of the Delta and levee system from 1995 to 2000. We find that Delta ground motion reflects seasonal hydrologic signals superimposed on average subsidence trends of 3-20 mm/yr. Because the measurements are insensitive to subsidence associated with peat thickness variations over Delta-island length scales, it is most likely that InSAR rates reflect underlying Quaternary sedimentary column compaction. We combine InSAR rates with sea-level rise scenarios to quantify 21st century levee overtopping potential. If left unmitigated, it is likely that 50 to 100 years from now much of the levee system will subside below design thresholds.

Burns, JC, Herzog L, Fabri O, Tremoulet AH, Rodo X, Uehara R, Burgner D, Bainto E, Pierce D, Tyree M, Cayan D, Kawasaki Dis Global Climate C.  2013.  Seasonality of Kawasaki Disease: A global perspective. Plos One. 8   10.1371/journal.pone.0074529   AbstractWebsite

Background: Understanding global seasonal patterns of Kawasaki disease (KD) may provide insight into the etiology of this vasculitis that is now the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in developed countries worldwide. Methods: Data from 1970-2012 from 25 countries distributed over the globe were analyzed for seasonality. The number of KD cases from each location was normalized to minimize the influence of greater numbers from certain locations. The presence of seasonal variation of KD at the individual locations was evaluated using three different tests: time series modeling, spectral analysis, and a Monte Carlo technique. Results: A defined seasonal structure emerged demonstrating broad coherence in fluctuations in KD cases across the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropical latitudes. In the extra-tropical latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, KD case numbers were highest in January through March and approximately 40% higher than in the months of lowest case numbers from August through October. Datasets were much sparser in the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere extra-tropics and statistical significance of the seasonality tests was weak, but suggested a maximum in May through June, with approximately 30% higher number of cases than in the least active months of February, March and October. The seasonal pattern in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropics was consistent across the first and second halves of the sample period. Conclusion: Using the first global KD time series, analysis of sites located in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropics revealed statistically significant and consistent seasonal fluctuations in KD case numbers with high numbers in winter and low numbers in late summer and fall. Neither the tropics nor the Southern Hemisphere extra-tropics registered a statistically significant aggregate seasonal cycle. These data suggest a seasonal exposure to a KD agent that operates over large geographic regions and is concentrated during winter months in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics.

Burns, JC, Cayan DR, Tong G, Bainto EV, Turner CL, Shike H, Kawasaki T, Nakamura Y, Yashiro M, Yanagawa H.  2005.  Seasonality and temporal clustering of Kawasaki syndrome. Epidemiology. 16:220-225.   10.1097/01.ede.0000152901.06689.d4   AbstractWebsite

Background: The distribution of a syndrome in space and time may suggest clues to its etiology. The cause of Kawasaki syndrome, a systemic vasculitis of infants and children, is unknown, but an infectious etiology is suspected. Methods: Seasonality and clustering of Kawasaki syndrome cases were studied in Japanese children with Kawasaki syndrome reported in nationwide surveys in Japan. Excluding the years that contained the 3 major nationwide epidemics, 84,829 cases during a 14-year period (1987-2000) were analyzed. To assess seasonality, we calculated mean monthly incidence during the study period for eastern and western Japan and for each of the 47 prefectures. To assess clustering, we compared the number of cases per day (daily incidence) with a simulated distribution (Monte Carlo analysis). Results: Marked spatial and temporal patterns were noted in both the seasonality and deviations from the average number of Kawasaki syndrome cases in Japan. Seasonality was bimodal with peaks in January and June/July and a nadir in October. This pattern was consistent throughout Japan and during the entire 14-year period. Some years produced very high or low numbers of cases, but the overall variability was consistent throughout the entire country. Temporal clustering of Kawasaki syndrome cases was detected with nationwide outbreaks. Conclusions: Kawasaki syndrome has a pronounced seasonality in Japan that is consistent throughout the length of the Japanese archipelago. Temporal clustering of cases combined with marked seasonality suggests an environmental trigger for this clinical syndrome.

Bytnerowicz, A, Cayan D, Riggan P, Schilling S, Dawson P, Tyree M, Wolden L, Tissell R, Preisler H.  2010.  Analysis of the effects of combustion emissions and Santa Ana winds on ambient ozone during the October 2007 southern California wildfires. Atmospheric Environment. 44:678-687.   10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.11.014   AbstractWebsite

Combustion emissions and strong Santa Ana winds had pronounced effects on patterns and levels of ambient ozone (O(3)) in southern California during the extensive wildland fires of October 2007. These changes are described in detail for a rural receptor site, the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, located among large fires in San Diego and Orange counties. In addition, O(3) changes are also described for several other air quality monitoring sites in the general area of the fires. During the first phase of the fires, strong, dry and hot northeasterly Santa Ana winds brought into the area clean continental air masses, which resulted in minimal diurnal O(3) fluctuations and a 72-h average concentration of 36.8 ppb. During the- second phase of the fires, without Santa Ana winds present and air filled with smoke, daytime O(3) concentrations steadily increased and reached 95.2 ppb while the lowest nighttime levels returned to similar to 0 ppb. During that period the 8-h daytime average O(3) concentration reached 78.3 ppb, which exceeded the federal standard of 75 ppb. After six days of fires, O(3) diurnal concentrations returned to pre-fire patterns and levels. Published by Elsevier Ltd.