Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study of cloud cover in tropical Pacific reveals future climate changes

05.11.2015

UM Rosenstiel School researchers find new evidence for weakening of Walker circulation

A new analysis using changes in cloud cover over the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean showed that a weakening of a major atmospheric circulation system over the last century is due, in part, to increased greenhouse gas emissions.


Walker Circulation is illustrated.

Credit: NOAA Climate.gov

The findings from researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science provide new evidence that climate change in the tropical Pacific will result in changes in rainfall patterns in the region and amplify warming near the equator in the future.

"Our findings show that an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases leads to significant changes in atmospheric circulation and tropical rainfall patterns," said Katinka Bellomo, an alumna of the UM Rosenstiel School. "This study demonstrates that we can predict these changes in the Walker circulation from changes in cloud cover."

The UM Rosenstiel School researchers used historical observations of cloud cover as a proxy for wind velocity in climate models to analyze the Walker circulation, the atmospheric air flow and heat distribution in the tropic Pacific region that affects patterns of tropical rainfall.

Their findings revealed a weakening and eastward shift of the Walker circulation over the last century due to greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis showed that changes in cloud cover can serve as a proxy in climate models for wind velocity in the atmosphere, which cannot be directly measured.

"This study makes innovative use of a decades old-dataset," said Amy Clement, professor of atmospheric science at the UM Rosenstiel School. "It is impressive that visual observations from the decks of ships transiting the Pacific Ocean over a half-century can tell us something so fundamental about climate change."

This new information can be incorporated into current climate models to predict future changes in the magnitude and pattern of the Walker Circulation due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The study suggests that rainfall will decrease over Indonesia and in the western Pacific and increase over the central Pacific Ocean.

###

The study, titled "Evidence for weakening of the Walker circulation from cloud observations," was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The study's authors include: Katinka Bellomo and Amy C. Clement of the UM Rosenstiel School. The work was supported by grants from National Science Foundation Climate and Large Scaled Dynamics, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Program Office, grant # NA10OAR4310204 and Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research, grant #DESC0004897. The publication can be accessed here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065463/abstract

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit: http://www.rsmas.miami.edu.

Diana Udel | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
21.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Scientists shed light on carbon's descent into the deep Earth
19.07.2017 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>