Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Land's greenness affects monsoon rains' strength

04.11.2008
In Asia, how green your garden grows may affect the strength of the summer monsoon, according to a new study.

Scientists investigating the East Asian Summer Monsoon have found that the abundance of vegetation during winter and spring months is an important indicator of how much summer precipitation will fall.

The East Asian Summer Monsoon influences the lives of a quarter of the world's people and is critical for the cultivation and production of rice, East Asia's staple food. Forecasts of monsoon intensity and duration largely affect yearly agricultural planning.

"By including the land cover in our monsoon forecast models, we were able to explain about 80 percent of the variation in monsoonal rainfall. That's a huge improvement in how well models successfully predict the strength of the monsoon several months out," says the study's lead author Eungul Lee.

Lee conducted the work as a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). He's now at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lee and his CIRES colleagues published their findings last week in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Earlier monsoon models, which base their predictions on ocean factors such as sea surface temperature, typically explain just 25 percent to 40 percent of variations in East Asian summer rainfall. Such low predictive skill makes it impossible to accurately forecast droughts or floods, says Lee.

The CIRES team doubled the predictive capability of these models by including both ocean factors and estimates of the greenness of the landscape. They find that land cover in certain regions of Asia correlates particularly well with the strength of the monsoon.

Specifically, Lee and his colleagues find that strong northern East Asian Summer Monsoons tend to follow verdant springs in southern Asia but are weaker when northern and central Asia are more green. Southern East Asian Summer Monsoons are strongest following springs with abundant vegetative growth in Mongolia and western Asia.

Vegetation may indicate high soil moisture, the researchers say.

"In northern Asia, high soil moisture is probably cooling the land as it evaporates, in the same way that sweating cools the body. This cooling decreases the temperature difference between the land and ocean, inhibiting the formation of a strong monsoon system," says study coauthor Thomas Chase.

In contrast, higher soil moisture in southern Asia, near the ocean, appears to provide an additional moisture source to fuel monsoonal rains.

Earlier this year, the researchers found similar links between land cover and the Indian Monsoon.

"Findings from both regions enhance our hopes of identifying land- atmosphere relationships that will allow us to better predict the North American Monsoon, which serves as an important source of moisture for the U.S. Southwest," says Balaji Rajagopalan, who participated in both studies.

Peter Weiss | AGU
Further information:
http://www.agu.org

Further reports about: Land's greenness Monsoon Summer Vegetation monsoon models monsoon rain soil moisture

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>