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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>