Hydroclimate: Understanding rainfall extremes

Warming induced by greenhouse gases will increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, causing heavier rainfall events. Changing atmospheric circulation dynamics are now shown to either amplify or weaken regional increases, contributing to uncertainty in future precipitation extremes.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3305


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NASA Examines Peru's Deadly Rainfall

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM constellation of satellites provide data on precipitation rates and totals. Recently the GPM core observatory measured the heavy rainfall that caused extensive flooding and loss of life in Peru.

Extreme flooding and frequent landslides that occurred in March have forced many from their homes. An El Niño-like condition with warm ocean waters developed near Peru's coast. This extremely warm water off Peru's western coast has been blamed for promoting the development of these storms. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are about average elsewhere in the central and east central Pacific.

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Biosphere–atmosphere interactions: Deforestation size influences rainfall

Changes to the land surface, such as land clearing and logging of forest areas, impacts moisture cycling. Now a shift from small-scale to large-scale deforestation in the southern Amazon is found to modify the mechanisms and patterns of regional precipitation.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3238


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NASA Examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's Rainfall

Late on Feb. 15, Dineo made landfall in southern Mozambique. By Feb. 17 the storm weakened to a remnant low pressure area when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image that showed the center of the low pressure area over Zimbabwe and clouds extended over found Dineo's clouds stretched over southern Mozambique, Swaziland, eastern Botswana and northeastern South Africa.

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NASA Analyzes Heavy Rainfall Over Southern Thailand

Widespread flooding has recently caused the deaths of dozens of people in southern Thailand. Frequent and persistent downpours have resulted in record rainfall totals and NASA calculated rainfall over the region from January 5 to January 12, 2017.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite is part of a constellation of satellites that can measure rainfall from space. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the data is input into NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data product.

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Impacts of changing rainfall regime on the demography of tropical birds

Increasing dry season length in central Panama reduced population growth rates and viability in nearly one-third of the 20 tropical bird species investigated. Such changes are projected to alter tropical bird community structure in protected areas.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3183


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How Solar power is bringing food security to Africa

Malawi is a country on the front line of climate change. Unlike nations ravaged by a typhoon or rich western cities swamped with floodwater, the kind of impacts Malawians face barely raise a flicker of interest in the media. Compared to a hurricane, a few degrees of temperature rise and shifting rainfall patterns sound mild, but in reality they have the potential to be far more devastating writes JOE WARE
Environment news & analysis, climate change reports –
The Ecologist

Hydrology: What brings rain to the Sahel?

The Sahel has suffered through severe droughts but recent years have seen increased rainfall. Now research suggests warming of the Mediterranean Sea surface may dictate future rainfall in the region.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3080


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Anthropogenic Mediterranean warming essential driver for present and future Sahel rainfall

Historically the sea surface temperature of the tropical oceans has influenced Sahel rainfall. This study shows that increased surface temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea have driven recent rainfall increases.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3065


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Study Offers Clues To Better Rainfall Predictions

Ocean Leadership ~

Rain droplets (Credit: public domain)

(Click to enlarge) Rain droplets (Credit: public domain)

The saltiness, or salinity, of seawater depends largely on how much moisture is pulled into the air as evaporative winds sweep over the ocean. But pinpointing where the moisture rains back down is a complicated question scientists have long contended with.

(From Science Daily)– Now, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found a potential path to better seasonal rainfall predictions. Their study, which is published in the May 6, 2016 issue of Science Advances, shows a clear link between higher sea surface salinity levels in the North Atlantic Ocean and increased rainfall on land in the African Sahel, the area between the Sahara Desert and the savannah across Central Africa.

“We know that higher salinity is a likely signature of increased moisture export from the ocean,” said Laifang Li, a postdoctoral scholar in physical oceanography at WHOI and lead author of the study. “So, we were motivated to look at whether salinity, which is typically used to understand ocean dynamics and variations in the water cycle, could be utilized as a predictor of precipitation on land. Our study, for the first time, provides evidence that high springtime salinity levels in the northeastern portion of the subtropical Atlantic correlate significantly with increased monsoon-season rainfall in the African Sahel. This discovery has important predictive value for this region, where even slight variations in rainfall can be a matter of life or death for millions of people.”

Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160506160119.htm

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