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Geophysical Research Letters

Cover image for Vol. 39 Issue 4

February 2012

Volume 39, Issue 4

  1. Solid Earth

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    2. Solid Earth
    3. Oceans
    4. Atmospheric Science
    5. Solid Earth
    6. Atmospheric Science
    7. Oceans
    8. Climate
    9. Atmospheric Science
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
    13. Climate
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    15. Atmospheric Science
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    17. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
    20. Solid Earth
    21. Climate
    22. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    23. Climate
    24. Solid Earth
    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
    34. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    35. Solid Earth
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      Optical reflectivity of solid and liquid methane: Application to spectroscopy of Titan's hydrocarbon lakes

      Kimberly A. Adams, Steven D. Jacobsen, Zhenxian Liu, Sylvia-Monique Thomas, Maddury Somayazulu and Donna M. Jurdy

      Article first published online: 29 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049710

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      Key Points

      • Measured visible and IR reflectivity of solid and liquid CH4 between 50 and 100K
      • Transition of solid to liquid CH4 shows a reflectance ratio of 1.32-1.67 at 2 mu m
      • Darkening of CH4 upon melting is consistent with observations of Titan's lakes
  2. Oceans

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    3. Oceans
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    6. Atmospheric Science
    7. Oceans
    8. Climate
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
    13. Climate
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    15. Atmospheric Science
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    17. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
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    21. Climate
    22. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    23. Climate
    24. Solid Earth
    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
    34. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    35. Solid Earth
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      Laboratory experiments on the generation of internal waves on two kinds of continental margin

      Tao Wang, Xu Chen and Wensheng Jiang

      Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049993

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      Key Points

      • Internal waves with three energy rays are generated at the abrupt shelf break
      • Internal waves with two energy rays are generated at the gentle shelf break
      • The phases of the internal waves lag behind the oscillatory barotropic tide
  3. Atmospheric Science

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    3. Oceans
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    6. Atmospheric Science
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    8. Climate
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
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    19. Climate
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    23. Climate
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    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
    34. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    35. Solid Earth
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      Kelvin-Helmholtz billows generated at a cirrus cloud base within a tropopause fold/upper-level frontal system

      Hubert Luce, Noriyuki Nishi, Jean-Luc Caccia, Shoichiro Fukao, Masayuki K. Yamamoto, Tomoaki Mega, Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, Takuya Tajiri and Masahisa Nakazato

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050120

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      Key Points

      • Kelvin-Helmholtz billows can persist over several days in frontal zones
      • The presence of cloudy air above frontal zones is conducive to KH instabilities
      • Large-amplitude KH billows do not break into 3D turbulence
  4. Solid Earth

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    4. Atmospheric Science
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    6. Atmospheric Science
    7. Oceans
    8. Climate
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
    13. Climate
    14. Solid Earth
    15. Atmospheric Science
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    17. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
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    22. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    23. Climate
    24. Solid Earth
    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
    34. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    35. Solid Earth
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      Magnetotelluric imaging of fluid processes at the subduction interface of the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand

      Wiebke Heise, T. Grant Caldwell, Graham J. Hill, Stewart L. Bennie, Erin Wallin and Edward A. Bertrand

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050150

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      Key Points

      • Magnetotellutic data was inverted using a 3D modelling algorithm
      • The model shows sedimentary underplating and a region of upward fluid escape
  5. Atmospheric Science

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    3. Oceans
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    6. Atmospheric Science
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    8. Climate
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
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    15. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
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    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
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    33. Planets
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      Air quality over the Canadian oil sands: A first assessment using satellite observations

      C. A. McLinden, V. Fioletov, K. F. Boersma, N. Krotkov, C. E. Sioris, J. P. Veefkind and K. Yang

      Article first published online: 22 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050273

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      Key Points

      • NO2 and SO2 show distinct enhancements over surface mining sites in the oil sand
      • NO2 and SO2 enhancement cover 30x50km2; NO2 increasing at a rate of 11%/year
      • Demonstrates method for analyzing localized sources using coarse resolution data
  6. Oceans

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    8. Climate
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    11. Oceans
    12. Space Sciences
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    15. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
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    22. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    23. Climate
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    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
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      Diapycnal diffusivities from a tracer release experiment in the deep sea, integrated over 13 years

      Craig D. Rye, Marie-Jose Messias, James R. Ledwell, Andrew J. Watson, Andrew Brousseau and Brian A. King

      Article first published online: 21 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050294

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      Key Points

      • A mean diffusivity estimate of ~3 x 10-4 m2/s for the deep Brazil Basin
      • This estimate is an average over a period of 13 years
      • This estimate is consitent with the equivilent measurement for 1 year
  7. Climate

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    8. Climate
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    12. Space Sciences
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    15. Atmospheric Science
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    19. Climate
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    23. Climate
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    25. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
    34. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
    35. Solid Earth
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      Warm Eocene climate enhanced petroleum generation from Cretaceous source rocks: A potential climate feedback mechanism?

      K. F. Kroeger and R. H. Funnell

      Article first published online: 21 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050345

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      Key Points

      • Southwest Pacific petroleum systems reacted to climate warming
      • Models predict an up to 50% increase in oil and gas generation
      • Leakage from sedimentary basins may have driven early-Eocene climate
  8. Atmospheric Science

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    8. Climate
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    12. Space Sciences
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    26. Climate
    27. Oceans
    28. Atmospheric Science
    29. Space Sciences
    30. The Cryosphere
    31. Climate
    32. Atmospheric Science
    33. Planets
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      Observational bounds on atmospheric heating by aerosol absorption: Radiative signature of transatlantic dust

      Amit Davidi, Alex B. Kostinski, Ilan Koren and Yoav Lehahn

      Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050358

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      Key Points

      • We show a robust radiative heating signal of 2-4K within the dust layer
      • We introduce new heating term and decouple aerosol and meteorological signals
      • The heating peaks as a result of 2 opposing trends: origin
  9. Solid Earth

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    4. Atmospheric Science
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    8. Climate
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    12. Space Sciences
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    26. Climate
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      Pressure effect on low-temperature remanence of multidomain magnetite: Change in demagnetization temperature

      Masahiko Sato, Yuhji Yamamoto, Takashi Nishioka, Kazuto Kodama, Nobutatsu Mochizuki and Hideo Tsunakawa

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050402

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      Key Points

      • Low-temperature remanences demagnetized due to the Verwey transition
      • First report on the demagnetization of low-temperature remanence under pressure
      • Behavior of the demagnetization correlates with that of the Verwey transition
  10. Oceans

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    8. Climate
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      Infragravity wave source regions determined from ambient noise correlation

      Nicholas Harmon, Timothy Henstock, Meric Srokosz, Frederik Tilmann, Andreas Rietbrock and Penny Barton

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050414

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      Key Points

      • OBS data can be used to understand infragravity/tsunami waves
      • Noise cross correlation is used to locate the source of infragravity waves
      • In Sumatra, the dominant source region is from the S. Indian Ocean or the coast
  11. Space Sciences

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      Response of the polar magnetic field intensity to the exceptionally high solar wind streams in 2003

      Renata Lukianova, Kalevi Mursula and Alexander Kozlovsky

      Article first published online: 21 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050420

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      Key Points

      • The HSS effect in 2003 is visible in the polar observatory annual means
      • The quiet and disturbed time westward electrojet is enhanced in the HSS years
      • Effect is important for separation the internal and external (MI) field signals
  12. Climate

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    27. Oceans
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      Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave

      F. E. L. Otto, N. Massey, G. J. van Oldenborgh, R. G. Jones and M. R. Allen

      Article first published online: 22 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050422

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      Key Points

      • Former studies on the Russian heat wave 2010 are not contradictory
      • Russian heat wave 2010 likely attributable to anthropogenic climate change
  13. Solid Earth

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      Contributions of gamma-ray spectrometry to terrestrial impact crater studies: The example of Serra da Cangalha, northeastern Brazil

      Marcos Alberto R. Vasconcelos, Emilson P. Leite and Alvaro P. Crósta

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050525

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      Key Points

      • This paper presents the gamma-ray signature of Serra da Cangalha impact crater
      • We applied a mathematical method in order to enhance the K anomaly
      • K anomaly may be indicative of hydrothermal processes inside the crater
  14. Atmospheric Science

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      Assessing possible dynamical effects of condensate in high resolution climate simulations

      J. T. Bacmeister, P. H. Lauritzen, A. Dai and J. E. Truesdale

      Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050533

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      Key Points

      • Condensate loading is significant at resolutions of 25 km and finer
      • Loading may reduce the occurrence of extreme precipitation rates
      • Parameterized loading may affect longer-term means as well as variability
  15. Solid Earth

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      Monitoring volcanic activity using correlation patterns between infrasound and ground motion

      M. Ichihara, M. Takeo, A. Yokoo, J. Oikawa and T. Ohminato

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050542

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      Key Points

      • A new method to detect infrasound using a single microphone and a seismometer
      • Infrasonic and eruptive activities of two recent eruptions of volcanoes in Japan
      • The method extends possibilities of infrasonic monitoring at active volcanoes
  16. Atmospheric Science

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      A new approach for estimating entrainment rate in cumulus clouds

      Chunsong Lu, Yangang Liu, Seong Soo Yum, Shengjie Niu and Satoshi Endo

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050546

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      Key Points

      • A new approach is presented to estimate entrainment rate in cumulus clouds
      • The uncertainty from this approach is smaller than that from the traditional one
      • This approach has three advantages compared to most existing approaches
  17. Solid Earth

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      Very low frequency earthquakes along the Ryukyu subduction zone

      Masataka Ando, Yoko Tu, Hiroyuki Kumagai, Yoshiko Yamanaka and Cheng-Horng Lin

      Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050559

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      Key Points

      • VLFEs along the Ryukyu subduction are identified using broadband seismograms
      • VLFEs occur on thrust faults near the Ryukyu trench axis
      • This paper proposes the presence of coupled regions in the Ryukyu trench
  18. Climate

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      Asymmetric seasonal temperature trends

      Judah L. Cohen, Jason C. Furtado, Mathew Barlow, Vladimir A. Alexeev and Jessica E. Cherry

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050582

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      Key Points

      • Global warming has not stopped
      • The cessation of an observed warming trend is isolated to winter
      • The coupled climate models poorly simulate the observed winter trend
  19. Solid Earth

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      The largest aftershock: How strong, how far away, how delayed?

      M. Tahir, J.-R. Grasso and D. Amorèse

      Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050604

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      Key Points

      • The largest aftershock is larger in size for reverse than for strike slip event
      • The largest aftershock is the closest to the mainshock for reverse events
      • Space and size patterns are in agreement with static stress changes
  20. Climate

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      Long tails in regional surface temperature probability distributions with implications for extremes under global warming

      Tyler W. Ruff and J. David Neelin

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050610

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      Key Points

      • Non-Gaussian tails in surface temperature probability distributions are common
      • Probabilities of extreme events under global warming depend on local tail shapes
      • Prototypes imply tail formation is dependent on regional flow characteristics
  21. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies

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      The genesis of an inter-field marine sandwave and the associated anti-asymmetry migration of neighboring crests

      Daniel M. Hanes

      Article first published online: 22 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050641

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      Key Points

      • Asymetric sand waves migrated in the opposite direction than expected
      • Migration was accompanied by the formation of a new inter-field sand wave crest
      • Results bring into question common understandings regarding bedform dynamics
  22. Climate

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      Does proxy uncertainty affect the relations inferred between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and wildfire activity in the western United States?

      Kurt F. Kipfmueller, Evan R. Larson and Scott St. George

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050645

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      Key Points

      • The PDO is believed to influence wildfire activity over one to several decades
      • The choice of reconstruction determines the inferred PDO/fire relationship
      • Without guidance from paleoclimatology, PDO-fire tests will remain uncertain
  23. Solid Earth

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      On the threshold of flow in a tight natural rock

      P. G. Meredith, I. G. Main, O. C. Clint and L. Li

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050649

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      Key Points

      • We measure very low permeabilities in an initially crack-free rock
      • Permeability is extremely sensitive to very small changes in porosity
      • The results validate a continuum percolation model
  24. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies

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      Assimilation of passive and active microwave soil moisture retrievals

      C. S. Draper, R. H. Reichle, G. J. M. De Lannoy and Q. Liu

      Article first published online: 18 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050655

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      Key Points

      • Assimilating ASCAT or AMSR-E SM significantly improves root-zone SM skill
      • Assimilating ASCAT or AMSR-E SM yields similar skill, regardless of land cover
      • The minimum SM observation skill for positive assimilation impact is quantified
  25. Climate

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      Western European cold spells in current and future climate

      Hylke de Vries, Reindert J. Haarsma and Wilco Hazeleger

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050665

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      Key Points

      • Cold spells when viewed relatively do hardly change statistics
      • Important role of temperature gradient in determining stand dev. of temp
      • Intermodel spread in cold-spell stats mostly caused by diffs in mean and stdev
  26. Oceans

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      Detection of the Earth rotation response to a rapid fluctuation of Southern Ocean circulation in November 2009

      S. L. Marcus, J. O. Dickey, I. Fukumori and O. de Viron

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050671

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      Key Points

      • A rapid drop and recovery in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current occurred in 2009
      • The resulting anomaly in oceanic angular momentum changed the length of day
      • This unique LOD signature highlights the unusual Southern Ocean state in 2009
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      An assessment of deep steric height variability over the global ocean

      Rui M. Ponte

      Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050681

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      Key Points

      • Substantial deep steric height variability, particularly associated with eddies
      • Strong thermal contributions, tightly correlated with salinity contributions
      • Difficult to infer deep steric variability from information about upper ocean
  27. Atmospheric Science

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      Thermotidal and land-heating forcing of the diurnal cycle of oceanic surface winds in the eastern tropical Pacific

      Ken Takahashi

      Article first published online: 22 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050692

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      Key Points

      • Atmospheric shortwave absorption drives the diurnal cycle away from coasts
      • Diurnal cycle in winds is a thermal tide, in precipitation it is a local effect
      • Near the coast, land heating is as important. Andes modulate the response
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      On the dynamics of the secondary eyewall genesis in Hurricane Wilma (2005)

      K. Menelaou, M. K. Yau and Y. Martinez

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050699

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      Key Points

      • Simulation of Wilma to study the genesis and the replacement cycle
      • Empirical normal mode analysis conducted to examine the propagation of VRWs
      • Wave-mean flow interaction is shown to be a mechanism for secondary eyewall
  28. Space Sciences

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      Geomagnetic detection of the sectorial solar magnetic field and the historical peculiarity of minimum 23–24

      Jeffrey J. Love, E. Joshua Rigler and Sarah E. Gibson

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050702

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      Key Points

      • Minimum 23-24 showed recurrence intervals of 9.0 and 6.7-d
      • Historical geomagnetic activity data show that minimum 23-24 was unusual
      • The heliosphere during minimum 23-24 had unusual sectorial structure
  29. The Cryosphere

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      A new, high-resolution surface mass balance map of Antarctica (1979–2010) based on regional atmospheric climate modeling

      J. T. M. Lenaerts, M. R. van den Broeke, W. J. van de Berg, E. van Meijgaard and P. Kuipers Munneke

      Article first published online: 21 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050713

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      Key Points

      • Good agreement of modeled SMB field with observations
      • Very high accumulation in West Antarctica is confirmed
      • No significant SMB trend on Antarctica in period 1979–2010
  30. Climate

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      Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing

      Jonathan E. Nichols and Yongsong Huang

      Article first published online: 29 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050720

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      Key Points

      • Holocene northeast US hydrological change is consistent with solar forcing
      • Small changes in solar forcing are amplified in our region by Arctic Oscillation
      • Leaf-wax abundances in peatlands provide high-resolution climate information
  31. Atmospheric Science

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      On the information content of surface meteorology for downward atmospheric long-wave radiation synthesis

      Gab Abramowitz, Laure Pouyanné and Hoori Ajami

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050726

      Key Points

      • Demonstration of inadequacy of existing long-wave down sysnthesis techniques
      • Show that temperature and humidity provide enough information for improvement
      • Propose better perfoming and extremely simple solution
  32. Planets

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      Is Titan's shape caused by its meteorology and carbon cycle?

      M. Choukroun and C. Sotin

      Article first published online: 29 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050747

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      Key Points

      • Ethane can substitute methane in clathrate hydrates on Titan
      • The densification of clathrates by this exchange induces subsidence
      • The subsidence is consistent with Titan's shape as measured by the Cassini probe
  33. Hydrology and Land Surface Studies

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      Nonlinear effects of salt concentrations on evaporation from porous media

      Mansoureh Norouzi Rad and Nima Shokri

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050763

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      Key Points

      • In certain condition higher salt concentration may cause higher evaporation rate
      • Onset of efflorescence is a nonlinear function of salt concentration
      • Maximum salt coverage rate at surface coincide with end of stage-1 evaporation
  34. Solid Earth

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      Anisotropic Rayleigh-wave tomography of Ireland's crust: Implications for crustal accretion and evolution within the Caledonian Orogen

      G. Polat, S. Lebedev, P. W. Readman, B. M. O'Reilly and F. Hauser

      Article first published online: 22 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1029/2012GL051014

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      Key Points

      • Suture-parallel flow in the middle and lower crust in the Caledonian Orogen
      • Limited effect of post-Caledonian stretching or underplating on Ireland's crust
      • No regional-scale effect of the Variscan Orogeny on middle and lower Irish crust

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