Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New research identifies how one storm can affect another

Weather forecasting and climate modelling for the notoriously unpredictable Sahel region of Africa could be made easier in the future, thanks to new research results coming from the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis study (AMMA).

A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters describes how the AMMA scientists gathered new atmospheric data by using satellite imagery to plot flight paths over areas where storms had produced very wet soils. Dropsondes (weather reconnaissance devices) were launched from a research aircraft above these wet areas to record data such as humidity, wind strength and temperature. The findings allowed the scientists to compare the atmospheric conditions above wet soils with those above adjacent dry soils.

The data showed that temperatures fell by up to 3°C in the air just above the wet soils and also confirmed theoretical studies that predict soil moisture can affect winds. The temperature contrasts between very wet soils and nearby dry soils can have a dramatic effect on weather conditions. Air over wet soils can build up considerable humidity, while the warm air over dry soils rises. When the wet and dry conditions combine, storms are likely to build.

Lead author Chris Taylor from Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said, "Even small patches of moist soils, just ten kilometres across, were found to influence wind patterns. This provides a mechanism where storms can develop in a region because it rained there several days previously."

The results of the study will help climate modellers who have traditionally struggled to accurately represent climate in the region.

Dr Doug Parker from the University of Leeds said, "If we can get it right for West Africa, other parts of the world will automatically benefit."

Further information
NERC Press Office
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1EU
Tel: 01793 411727
Mob: 07917 086 369
Barnaby Smith
Press Office
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Tel: 01491 692439
Mob: (0)7920 295384
The study was jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the European Community's Sixth Framework Research Programme.

The study was carried out using the NERC/Met Office atmosphere research aircraft ( the BAe146)

The aircraft if managed by the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM)

The Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) is the result of a collaboration between the Met Office(TM) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and has been established as part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) to provide an aircraft measurement platform for use by all the UK atmospheric research community on campaigns throughout the world.

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is the UK's leading research organisation for land and freshwater science. Its scientists carry out research to improve our understanding of both the environment and the processes that underlie the Earth's support systems. It is one of the Natural Environment Research Council's research centres.

The Natural Environment Research Council is one of the UK's eight research councils. It uses a budget of about £370m a year to fund and carry out impartial scientific research in the sciences of the environment. It is addressing some of the key questions facing mankind, such as global warming, renewable energy and sustainable economic development.

Dr Doug Parker is from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.

The University of Leeds is acclaimed world-wide for the quality of its teaching and research. One of the largest universities in the UK, Leeds is also the most popular among students applying for undergraduate courses. An emphasis on innovative research and investment in high-quality facilities and first-rate infrastructure means that no fewer than 35 departments are rated internationally or nationally 'excellent'.

Marion O'Sullivan | NERC
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>