Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists studying desert air to understand weather and climate


NASA, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists have assembled in the Arabian Desert to study tiny airborne particles called aerosols and their effect on weather and climate. The scientists are collaborating with researchers from the United Arab Emirates Department of Water Resources Studies and 20 other U.S., European and South African research laboratories to decipher the complex processes controlling the area’s climate.

The United Arab Emirates Unified Aerosol Experiment (UAE2) mission runs from August 5 through September 30. Scientists are using satellites, computer models and ground stations to understand the unique "mixing bowl" of desert dust, smoke and other aerosols created by the complex atmospheric circulations.

"The combination of man-made emissions, smoke from the Indian subcontinent and desert dust combine in the air to make a unique aerosol laboratory," said Hal Maring of NASA Headquarters, Washington.

"We have the most intensely monitored remote-sensing aerosol network ever assembled, including two radiation and aerosol super sites, 10 satellite instruments, six computer models, a research aircraft and a research vessel," said Jeff Reid, mission scientist from NRL in Monterey, Calif. "There are 70 scientists participating, 40 of them working in the field, from over a dozen institutions, including the large South African and Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) weather modification teams," he added.

Aerosols have always been an interesting puzzle piece in learning how climate works. Lighter aerosols reflect heat and sunlight and have cooling properties. Darker aerosols absorb heat and light, warming the atmosphere. UAE2’s mission will measure aerosol properties, where aerosols move, and whether they add or remove warmth. Scientists also hope to model and explain complicated weather patterns in the coastal regions of the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

By obtaining more accurate data about aerosols and their behavior, scientists will improve computer climate models and predictions of climate behavior in response to changes in aerosol concentrations. To accomplish this task, NASA will start from space, using primarily its Terra and Aqua satellites, but other satellites as well.

These satellite data will be compared to ground-based remote sensing measurements of mineral dust and pollutant aerosols gathered by 15 Aerosol Robotic Network instruments over land and water, NRL’s Mobile Atmospheric Aerosol and Radiation Characterization Observatory (MAARCO) and NASA’s Surface-sensing Measurements for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer.

Navy researchers will use the aircraft, MAARCO and satellite data to evaluate the Navy’s global and regional weather and aerosol-transport computer models. The Arabian Gulf region presents a challenge to meteorologists trying to simulate weather with computer models, because sea-surface and land temperatures vary to extremes and the topography varies dramatically. There are also strong small to medium-sized weather changes ranging from one storm cloud to a large cluster of thunderstorms the size of Connecticut.

Using MAARCO, scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Poland’s Warsaw University will study the impact of aerosols and clouds on incoming solar radiation and the hydrologic cycle and energy balance in this mostly rain-free area.

"This project will complement Scripps’ effort to understand climate change in this region of the world," said Piotr Flatau, a research scientist at Scripps, who will be working with Krzysztof Markowicz and others from Warsaw University during the project. "I know the Arabian Sea from research cruises during the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), but the UAE2 experiment brings a new set of challenges. While INDOEX took place in a mostly monsoonal region, the UAE is dry and hot. The temperatures are reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104° F) there right now and we do not expect much rain," Flatau said.

"The UAE Office of His Highness the President, Department of Water Resource Studies (DWRS), is providing extensive logistical support, including access to five weather radars and 50 surface stations," said Lt. Col. Mangoosh, Office of the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Krishna Ramanujan | NASA
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Gas hydrate research: Advanced knowledge and new technologies
23.03.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

nachricht New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>