Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NCAR model shows decrease in global dust by 2100

09.12.2003


One of the first global-scale simulations of dust and climate from preindustrial times to the year 2100 projects a worldwide decrease in airborne dust of 20–63% by the end of this century. The computer model studies show less wind, more moisture, and enhanced vegetation in desert areas as carbon dioxide increases over the next century, keeping more of the world’s dust on the ground. Coauthor Natalie Mahowald of the National Center for Atmospheric Research presented the results this week at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in San Francisco.



"Reductions in global dust levels could have a profound impact on future climate predictions," says Mahowald. Dust helps to lower global temperature by reflecting sunlight, as well as by depositing iron in the ocean and thus fertilizing marine organisms that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Mahowald and Chao Luo (University of California, Santa Barbara) combined NCAR’s global Climate System Model with other software specifically tailored to simulate dust under a variety of climate regimes. The climate changes are driven primarily by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 280 parts per million in 1890 (preindustrial) to 500 ppm by 2090--a scenario considered reasonable by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


The NCAR simulation shows decreasing winds and increasing moisture across arid, low-lying regions such as the Sahara, which produce much of the world’s dust. It also includes the process through which a gradual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide may stimulate photosynthesis of plants in arid regions, which in turn would reduce the extent of unvegetated areas and the dust they produce.

Mahowald and Luo examined six different scenarios for the interaction of plants and climate across each of three decades: 1880–1889 (preindustrial), 1990-1999, and 2090–2099. For the six scenarios, the decrease in extent of desert dust sources in 2090–2099 compared to 1990–1999 ranges from 0 to 39 percent. The decrease in how much dust gets entrained into the atmosphere is even more dramatic: from 20 to 63 percent, depending on the scenario.

The wide variation among scenarios highlights the uncertainty in this new area of research, says Mahowald. She believes that climate assessments such as those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may be underestimating both the magnitude and the uncertainty of dust’s global impact on climate.

"There is substantial spread in the model projections for climate close to large arid regions such as the Sahel," says Mahowald. "It is very difficult to predict whether particular regions will get wetter or drier."


The research was funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s primary sponsor.

Anatta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucar.edu/ucar/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>