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Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCSC is one of the world's leading centers for both observational and theoretical research in astronomy and astrophysics. The department was recently ranked first in the country in research impact, based on citation studies. Faculty and students in the department and our affiliated research centers are building and using first-rank telescopes and instrumentation—on Earth and in space—extending humanity’s vision to planets orbiting nearby stars and the first stirrings of the Universe.

The department includes 24 faculty members, whose research interests range from our solar system and the Milky Way to the most distant galaxies in the Universe and the most fundamental questions of cosmology.

UCSC is a leader in astrophysics education, and we attract some the best graduate students in the country, enrolling approximately 40 students working towards the Ph.D. degree.

UCSC Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

There are 36 publications in this collection, published between 2010 and 2021.
Other Recent Work (5)

Significant Changes to Twentieth-Century Temperature and Precipitation in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe: The Possible Anthropogenic Effect

A study of the weather records from six stations in the Sierra Nevada at and near Lake Tahoe, plus one station in the Diablo range of central California, reveals the following:

1. Since 1915, the date of the first major autumnal snowstorm has become progressively later at Tahoe City by 0.24 days/year (d/yr).

2. The change in the snowfall date results from an increase in the air temperature (T) at Tahoe City between 1909 and 2004, during the months of Septemberthrough December, of T′max = +0.011 °C/yr, T′min = +0.020 °C/yr, T′mean = +0.016 °C/yr. These values agree substantially with those published by Coats et al. (2006).

3. On average, the other five stations show a much smaller increase, amounting toT′max = +0.001 °C/yr, T′min = +0.012 °C/yr, T′mean = +0.007 °C/yr. Thismean value agrees well with the increase of T′mean = +0.007 – +0.008 °C/yr for the North American continent due to global warming (Jones and Moberg, 2003; Karoly et al., 2003).

4. The rate of temperature increase at Tahoe City is thus greater than would be expected from global warming and reflects a change in the microclimate of the Tahoe Basin, possibly due to human activity.

5. No overall change in precipitation with time is observed at any of the seven stations. However, statistically significant increases in precipitation with time occur, in the month of November, at the three Sierran stations located west of the Sierra crest, as well as at Tahoe City east of the crest. These increases coincide with the onset of the first substantial precipitation at these stations in the fall, and could be the result of “cloud seeding” by atmospheric pollutants, the precipitation becoming greater with time as the amount of pollution increases, and diminishing in December after these pollutants are washed out of the atmosphere by the first rains or snows.

Coats, R., J. Perez-Losada, G. Schladow, R. Richards, and C. Goldman: 2006, ‘The Warming of Lake Tahoe’. Climatic Change 76, 121–148.

Jones, P. D. and A. Moberg: 2003, ‘Hemispheric and Large-Scale Surface Air Temperature Variations: an Extensive Revision and an Update to 2001’. Journal of Climate 16, 206–223.

Karoly, D. J., K. Braganza, P. A. Stott, J. M. Arblaster, G. A. Meehl, A. J. Broccoli, and K. W. Dixon: 2003, ‘Detection of a Human Influence on North American Climate’. Science 302, 1200–1203.

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