To better understand global weather patterns and increase scientific collaboration between the U.S. and India, researchers supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have completed a month-long cruise studying summer monsoon conditions in the Bay of Bengal.
Summer, or southwest, monsoons are moisture-soaked seasonal winds that bring critical rainfall to the Indian subcontinent during the June-September wet season. An abundant season provides sustaining rainfall that replenishes water reservoirs and reaps bountiful crop harvests. By contrast, a weak season could lead to drought, soaring food prices and a battered economy.
"This research will lead to an improved understanding and prediction of the ocean and atmosphere," said Dr. Frank Herr, who heads ONR's Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department. "It also enables ONR to test new and innovative oceanography technology, as well as develop stronger partnerships with Indian scientists."
Incomplete knowledge of the dynamics of monsoons makes it difficult to accurately predict the onset, strength and intraseasonal variations in the monsoon season. ONR's collaborative research will gather data to help improve and refine the forecasting of these winds.
"The predictability of ocean weather is very important to the Navy's global operations and the safety of ships at seas," said ONR Program Manager Dr. Terri Paluszkiewicz. "Fundamental studies of monsoon air-sea interaction are crucial for better weather and climate prediction for the entire global community."
Led by Dr. Amit Tandon, an engineering professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, approximately 25 American and Indian scientists worked aboard the research vessel R/V Roger Revelle, which is operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography under a charter agreement with ONR. Another team of Indian and U.S. scientists on the Indian research vessel Sagar Nidhi worked jointly with those on the Roger Revelle.
Tandon's team studied the uppermost layer of the Bay of Bengal--which is part of the Indian Ocean and a region of monsoon formation. Although the bay is composed of salt water, large amounts of fresh water from rivers and rainstorms dump into it regularly.
"The layer of relatively less salty water near the surface responds rapidly and dramatically to solar heating and nighttime cooling," said Tandon. "It regulates moisture supply to the atmosphere and can trap the sun's heat beneath the surface of the water, releasing it into the air weeks, or even months, later--increasing the power of a monsoon."
The researchers used wirewalkers (wave-powered vehicles that can sample water at various depths), buoys, gliders and towed platforms--equipped with data-collecting sensors--to compile information about the Bay of Bengal's water and air temperature, atmospheric moisture, and mixtures and movements of fresh and salt water--all factors contributing to monsoon activity.
"Our field study has mapped out the upper ocean structure of the north Bay of Bengal in unprecedented detail, with cutting-edge oceanography instrumentation, some of which is being used for the first time," said Tandon.
With this research complete, U.S. and Indian scientists will now analyze the cruise data, in the hopes of eventually designing a computer forecasting model to accurately predict future monsoon formation.
Monsoon research aligns with several tenets of the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, a maritime strategy shared by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The strategy calls for increased focus on battlespace awareness, which includes surveillance, intelligence gathering and greater knowledge about the environments in which warfighters operate.
Bob Freeman | EurekAlert!
New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale
15.08.2017 | Rice University
Global warming will leave different fingerprints on global subtropical anticyclones
14.08.2017 | Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research