Extreme rainfall events in one city or region are connected to the same kind of events thousands of kilometers away, an international team of experts finds in a study now published in one of the world’s leading scientific journals, Nature. They discovered a global connection pattern of extreme rainfall – this could eventually improve weather forecasts and hence help to limit damages and protect people. Extreme rainfall events are on the rise due to human-caused climate change, which makes the study even more relevant.
The researchers developed a new method rooted in complex systems science to analyze satellite data. The revealed extreme rainfall patterns are likely linked to giant airflows known as jetstreams that circle the globe high up in the atmosphere, forming huge waves between the Equator and the Poles.
Each year, extreme rainfall events cause devastation around the globe. For example, extreme rainfall has led to particularly severe flashfloods and mudslides in North India and Pakistan in recent years.
“We unravel a global teleconnection pattern that governs the occurrence of extreme rainfall events, and identify specific types of atmospheric waves as their likely main cause. The gained insights into atmospheric dynamics and the relation to extreme rainfall events will help increase our capability to predict such events,” says Niklas Boers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Imperial College London, lead-author of the new study.
Links between the Asian Monsoon and events for example in Europe
“The new technique applied to satellite data shows very surprising relationships between extreme rainfall events in different regions around the world,” says co-author Brian Hoskins, chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College.
“For example, extreme events in the South Asian Summer Monsoon are, on average, linked to events in the East Asian, African, European and North American regions. Although rains in Europe do not cause the rain in Pakistan and India, they belong to the same atmospheric wave pattern, with the European rains being triggered first. This should provide a strong test for weather and climate models and gives promise of better predictions.”
High-end mathematics and interdisciplinary science yield results with huge practical relevance
By breaking the globe into a grid, the team could see where events occurred and statistically determine their relations – even if the events did not occur at the same time. The researchers could thereby detect so far invisible patterns.
“This frontier interdisciplinary study, combining complex network theory and atmospheric science, yields breakthrough insights in studying extreme rainfall,” says co-author Jürgen Kurths, also from PIK.
“Complexity science can hence not only be applied to the spread of epidemics or to opinion formation in social networks, but also to improve our understanding of the atmosphere. Thus our high-end mathematical methods in fact produce results of tremendous practical relevance that can help to keep people safe in the face of climate change and other great challenges of our times.”
Article: Niklas Boers, Bedartha Goswami, Aljoscha Rheinwalt, Bodo Bookhagen, Brian Hoskins, Jürgen Kurths (2019): Complex networks reveal global pattern of extreme-rainfall teleconnections. Nature. [DOI:10.1038/s41586-018-0872-x]
Weblink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0872-x
For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
Jonas Viering | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Scientists Create New Map of Brain’s Immune System
18.02.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Forest Bird Community is endangered in South America
12.02.2019 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.
The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
19.02.2019 | Information Technology
19.02.2019 | Health and Medicine
19.02.2019 | Trade Fair News