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
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
New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
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...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
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...
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...
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...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy