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Brookhaven scientists take off for southeastern Pacific climate study
Date:10/6/2008

oso, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chairs the research program. "Our research should produce a better understanding of the Southeast Pacific Ocean system, and improve our global computer climate models -which would lead to more confidence in climate forecasts, including predictions about global warming."

Mechoso heads the scientific modeling arm of the research program, while Robert Wood, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, will lead the experimental field component.

Specifically, the scientists will focus on gaining a better understanding of:

  • the processes that control the properties of stratocumulus clouds - including the influence of tiny aerosol particles emitted from smelters and volcanoes located on the South American continent

  • the processes that control the transport of cold freshwater in the ocean

  • the chemical and physical interactions between the lower atmosphere and upper ocean

The study is known as the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems' (VAMOS) Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-Rex). It is a component of a larger international climate study program, VOCALS. The major goal of the VOCALS program is develop and promote scientific activities leading to improved understanding, model simulation, and predictions of the southeastern Pacific ocean-atmosphere-land climate system on day-to-day and year-to-year timescales. The other major components of VOCALS are a modeling program ranging from local to global scales and a suite of extended observations from regular research cruises, instrumented moorings, and satellites.

The combination of intensive field measurements, long-term observations, and modeling will provide important insights that could directly benefit climate modeling, the researchers say.


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Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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