Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Models of Weather Pattern

12.12.2005


For a mathematician, Joseph Biello spends a lot of time thinking about the weather. But the UC Davis assistant professor isn’t looking out the office window. He is using mathematical theory to build a model of the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a tropical weather pattern that influences drought and rainfall in the western U.S.



The Madden-Julian Oscillation was discovered in 1972 when researchers looked closely at meteorological data. It lasts 30 to 60 days and appears as clusters of tropical thunderstorms over the Indian Ocean before sweeping eastward into the Pacific, where it dissipates.

Measured in weeks, the Madden-Julian Oscillation lies in a gray area between short-term weather forecasts and long-term climate studies, said Bryan Weare, a professor of meteorology at UC Davis who also studies the phenomenon. A better understanding of the weather pattern would help with medium-range weather and climate forecasting.


Weare is trying to understand, for example, the conditions that cause the oscillation to begin over the Indian Ocean. Once the oscillation is under way, you can use it to make predictions about weather phenomena over a month or so, he said. But how it occurs in the first place is not well understood. So far, his work supports theories that link surface moisture over the ocean to thunderstorms, he said.

The phenomenon has subtle effects on weather in the U.S. There is a link between days of very intense rainfall on the West Coast and rainfall associated with a Madden-Julian Oscillation near the equator, Weare said. On the other hand, Biello said that there also seems to be a link between a strong oscillation and a general drought on the West Coast.

So far this winter, the Madden-Julian Oscillation appears to be weak, according to data from the National Weather Service. But the oscillation can occur several times over the winter months.

To understand the weather, you have to look at processes at vastly different scales of space and time, Biello said.

"To understand the Earth, you have to understand raindrops," he said. Biello’s specialty is to build mathematical models that incorporate these different scales. Often, weather and climate models divide the planet into a grid of squares, kilometers across, and look at how those squares interact. But that means making assumptions about what is going on within the squares, Biello said.

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Interactive software tool makes complex mold design simple

16.08.2018 | Information Technology

Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor

16.08.2018 | Health and Medicine

Fraunhofer HHI develops next-generation quantum communications technology in the UNIQORN project

16.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>