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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Understanding the regional pattern of projected future changes in extreme precipitation

Regional projections of daily extreme precipitation are uncertain, but can be decomposed into thermodynamic and dynamic contributions to improve understanding. While thermodynamics alone uniformly increase extreme precipitation, dynamical processes introduce regional variations.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3287


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New Ocean Observations Improve Understanding Of Motion

Ocean Leadership ~

Scientists have used observational data to determine the length scale when sea level is no longer useful for calculating ocean circulation. (Credit: PublicDomainPictures.net)

(Click to enlarge) Scientists have used observational data to determine the length scale when sea level is no longer useful for calculating ocean circulation. (Credit: PublicDomainPictures.net)

Oceanographers commonly calculate large scale surface ocean circulation from satellite sea level information using a concept called “geostrophy”, which describes the relationship between oceanic surface flows and sea level gradient. Conversely, researchers rely on data from in-water current meters to measure smaller scale motion.

(From PhysOrg)– New research led by University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM) oceanographer Bo Qiu has determined from observational data the length scale at which using sea level height no longer offers a reliable calculation of circulation.

Upper-ocean processes dissipate heat, transport nutrients and impact the uptake of carbon dioxide—making circulation a critical driver of biological activity in the ocean. The movement of water in the ocean is determined by many factors including tides; winds; surface waves; internal waves, those that propagate within the layers of the ocean; and differences in temperature, salinity or sea level height. Additionally, like high and low pressure systems seen on TV weather maps, the ocean is full of eddies, slowly swirling masses of water.

 “As length scales become smaller from several hundred miles to a few tens of miles, we discovered the point at which geostrophic balance becomes no longer valid—meaning that sea level is no longer useful for calculating ocean circulation,” said Qiu, professor at the UHM School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). “That is due to the presence of oceanic internal wave motions which essentially disrupts the motion that would be caused by geostrophy.”

Scientists use sea level as a means to calculate ocean circulation because satellites circle Earth daily, acquiring sea level data frequently and accurately. Prior to this study, published in Nature Communications, oceanographers knew that sea level can be used to provide a picture of circulation in a general way but not in very fine detail. However, the specific level of detail that can be provided using this approach was not known, until this study.

Further, in areas of the ocean with persistent or frequent eddies, Qiu and co-authors from the Japan Meteorological Agency, Caltech and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory determined that sea level can reliably be used to calculate circulation at a fairly high resolution, that is, at fairly small length scales (resolution of 10 miles). However, in areas where motion is dominated by internal waves, satellite sea level can only be used to infer motion on a very large scale (resolution of 125 miles).

Read the full article here: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ocean-motion.html#jCp

 

The post New Ocean Observations Improve Understanding Of Motion appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification

Public understanding of climate change is well researched, but little is known about public perceptions of ocean acidification. New survey data shows that public awareness of ocean acidification in Great Britain is low compared to that of climate change.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3005


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Advances in understanding the development of blood cancers

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have uncovered a protein that is key to the development of blood cancers caused by a common genetic error. 

The discovery is a missing piece in the puzzle of understanding how high levels of a protein called MYC drive cancer development, and may to lead to future strategies for early treatment or possibly even prevention of these cancers.

Seventy per cent of human cancers have abnormally high levels of MYC, which forces cells into unusually rapid growth.

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Functions Of Global Ocean Microbiome Key To Understanding Environmental Changes

Ocean Leadership ~

Arachnoidiscus sendaicus, a microorganism collected from the Falkland Platform in the South Atlantic Ocean (Credit: California Academy of Sciences Geology)

(Click to enlarge) Arachnoidiscus sendaicus, a microorganism collected from the Falkland Platform in the South Atlantic Ocean (Credit: California Academy of Sciences Geology)

The billions of marine microorganisms present in every liter of seawater represent a structured ecological community that regulates how Earth functions in practically every way, from energy consumption to respiration. As inhabitants of the largest environment on Earth, microbial marine systems drive changes in every global system.

(From ScienceDaily) — The function and behavior of this community will determine how the global ocean responds to broader environmental changes, according to a new review article published in the journal Science by University of Georgia marine scientist Mary Ann Moran.

The ocean microbiome covers the majority of Earth’s surface, extending an average of more than 2 miles deep to the sea floor. Made up of an extraordinary diversity of microorganisms, the ocean microbiome was one of the first microbiomes to be studied. As its distribution and makeup become better understood, questions about its functional capabilities under stress have grown.

 Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151210181647.htm.

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Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Understanding El Niño

Some questions and answers about the meteorological phenomenon. The 2015 El Niño event is one of the strongest ever recorded.
NYT > Oceans

Towards predictive understanding of regional climate change

This Review considers recent advances in our understanding of regional climate change, critically discusses outstanding issues, and recommends targets for future research.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2689


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Zoos Boost Biodiversity Understanding

Zoos and aquariums around the world have a crucial role to play in helping people understand how they can protect animals and their natural habitats, new research from the University of Warwick, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and Chester Zoo has found.

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Aura’s Ten Year Mission Improves our Understanding of Ozone

This week, on July 15, NASA’s Aura satellite celebrated its 10th anniversary. Happy belated, Aura! The mission of Aura, which is Latin for breeze, centers on obtaining measurements of ozone, aerosols and key gases throughout the atmosphere. And after one decade in space, the satellite has provided vital data about the cause, concentrations and impact of major air pollutants.
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