Climate Blog and News Recap: 2010 08 13
Steve Easterbrook had an interesting look at modeling uncertainty last month.
Roger Pielke Jr runs a naive forecasting experiment
Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: Skill in Prediction: Part II, The Naive Forecast
Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: Skill in Prediction: Part IIb, The Naive Forecast
Urban Wet Island?
Tamino points to a specific humidity study which correlates well with surface temperature records.
Extended Solar Minimum Linked to Changes in Sun’s Conveyor Belt
A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the Sun’s conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the Sun’s equator and its poles. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of solar cycles and could lead to better predictions.
An Ancient Earth Like Ours: Geologists Reconstruct Earth’s Climate Belts Between 460 and 445 Million Years Ago
The researchers state: “The world of the ancient past had been thought by scientists to differ from ours in many respects, including having carbon dioxide levels much higher — over twenty times as high — than those of the present. However, it is very hard to deduce carbon dioxide levels with any accuracy from such ancient rocks, and it was known that there was a paradox, for the late Ordovician was known to include a brief, intense glaciation — something difficult to envisage in a world with high levels of greenhouse gases. ”
The team of scientists looked at the global distribution of common, but mysterious fossils called chitinozoans — probably the egg-cases of extinct planktonic animals — before and during this Ordovician glaciation. They found a pattern that revealed the position of ancient climate belts, including such features as the polar front, which separates cold polar waters from more temperate ones at lower latitudes. The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation — but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.
Rain Contributes to Cycling Patterns of Clouds: Researchers Demonstrate How Honeycomb Clouds Exhibit Self-Organization
Like shifting sand dunes, some clouds disappear in one place and reappear in another. New research published in Nature shows why: Rain causes air to move vertically, which breaks down and builds up cloud walls. The air movement forms patterns in low clouds that remain cohesive structures even while appearing to shift about the sky, due to a principle called self-organization.
These clouds, called open-cell clouds that look like honeycombs, cover much of the open ocean. Understanding how their patterns evolve will eventually help scientists build better models for predicting climate change. This is the first time researchers have shown the patterns cycle regularly and why.
New Study Examines Effects of Drought in the Amazon
According to Paulo Brando, the paper’s lead author, “Our study builds on field studies and remote sensing studies to demonstrate that relatively undisturbed Amazon forests are quite tolerant of seasonal drought, unlike other types of vegetation and severely disturbed forests. Our study also points to several potential mechanisms controlling seasonal and inter-annual oscillations in vegetation productivity across the Amazon Basin. To date, discussions of these mechanisms have been largely lacking in the scientific debate about how Amazon forests may respond to climate change.”
Higher Temperatures to Slow Asian Rice Production
Production of rice — the world’s most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty — will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, according to a new study by an international team of scientists.
The research team found evidence that the net impact of projected temperature increases will be to slow the growth of rice production in Asia. Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 percent in several locations.
The Great Russian Heat Wave of July 2010
Indonesian Ice Field May Be Gone in a Few Years, Core May Contain Secrets of Pacific El Nino Events
The Ohio State University researchers, supported by a National Science Foundation grant and the Freeport-McMoRan mining company and collaborating with Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) Indonesia and Columbia University, drilled three ice cores, two to bedrock, from the peak’s rapidly shrinking ice caps.
They hope these new cores will provide a long-term record of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon that dominates climate variability in the tropics
Deployment of Buoys to Measure Air and Sea Interactions in Typhoons Launched from Taiwan
An international team of scientists and technicians from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School, the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Environment Canada are participating in a groundbreaking buoy deployment that will help them to better understand interactions between the ocean and atmosphere during typhoons. The research is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research.
The R/V Revelle, a Scripps research vessel departed from the port of Kao-hsiung, Taiwan with two tandem buoy sets onboard: the boat-shaped EASI (Extreme Air-Sea Interaction) buoy and the ASIS (Air-Sea Interaction Spar) buoy. This is the first time these buoys will be used in the typhoon-prone Western Pacific. In the past, these buoy deployments have taken place in the Atlantic Ocean during hurricane season, and on separate experiments in the Southern Ocean and Labrador Sea.
The researchers are deploying the two sets of buoys in tandem, about 450 miles southeast of Taiwan to thoroughly test them in typhoon force conditions. The buoys will be out at sea for 3 months collecting valuable data that scientists will use to understand the exchange dynamics and fluxes occurring between the atmosphere and ocean during the intense typhoon conditions.