Jeffrey Rogers, professor of geography at Ohio State University, led the new study, which found that average summer nighttime low temperatures in Ohio have risen by about 1.7 degrees Celsius (about 3 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1960s.
Why the change? It's not just the heat, it's the humidity, the researchers concluded -- coupled with increased cloudiness at night.
Three degrees Fahrenheit might not sound like much of an increase, but it is -- even though daytime highs have remained mostly the same, said Rogers, who is also the state climatologist for Ohio.
"A lot of Americans might expect that global climate change would cause extremely high daytime temperatures in the summer," he said. "But in Ohio at least, the high temperatures haven't been changing -- it's the overnight low temperatures that have been creeping up. That means the average temperature over the 24-hour period is creeping up as well."
And this is exactly how Rogers believes that climate change would manifest itself in this region of the Midwest -- nighttime lows are rising, so that over time there would be less difference between them and the daytime highs.That would mean a big change for Ohio, where a typical summer night is 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the day.
In the September 2007 issue of the Journal of Climate, Rogers and his coauthors report a survey of more than 120 years of Ohio weather data. Aside from a brief temperature spike during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, nighttime temperatures remained relatively unchanged -- until 1965, when they began to rise.
They linked the change to an increase in a measure of moisture in the air known as specific humidity, which is similar to the dew point. A second factor -- which Rogers thinks may be even more important than the humidity -- is an increase in cloud cover over Ohio since the 1940s.
"The moisture in the air keeps the heat in. It's literally an enhanced greenhouse effect with all that humidity here in the summer," Rogers said. "And at night, cloud cover acts like a blanket and traps heat that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere."
He and his colleagues are still trying to puzzle out why humidity and cloud cover are increasing.
Coauthors on the study included Sheng-Hung Wang, a research associate at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State, and Jill Coleman, an assistant professor of geography at Ball State University in Indiana.
Jeffrey Rogers | EurekAlert!
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
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences