Navigation Links
'Missing' polar weather systems could impact climate predictions
Date:12/16/2012

Intense but small-scale polar storms could make a big difference to climate predictions according to new research from the University of East Anglia and the University of Massachusetts.

Difficult-to-forecast polar mesoscale storms occur frequently over the polar seas, however they are missing in most climate models.

Research published today in Nature Geoscience shows that their inclusion could paint a different picture of climate change in years to come.

Polar mesoscale storms are capable of producing hurricane-strength winds which cool the ocean and lead to changes in its circulation.

Prof Ian Renfrew, from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "These polar lows are typically under 500 km in diameter and over within 24-36 hours. They're difficult to predict, but we have shown they play an important role in driving large-scale ocean circulation.

"There are hundreds of them a year in the North Atlantic, and dozens of strong ones. They create a lot of stormy weather, strong winds and snowfall particularly over Norway, Iceland, and Canada, and occasionally over Britain, such as in 2003 when a massive dump of snow brought the M11 to a standstill for 24 hours.

"We have shown that adding polar storms into computer-generated models of the ocean results in significant changes in ocean circulation - including an increase in heat travelling north in the Atlantic Ocean and more overturning in the Sub-polar seas.

"At present, climate models don't have a high enough resolution to account for these small-scale polar lows.

"As Arctic Sea ice continues to retreat, polar lows are likely to migrate further north, which could have consequences for the 'thermohaline' or northward ocean circulation potentially leading to it weakening."

Alan Condron from the University of Massachusetts said: "By simulating polar lows, we find that the area of the ocean that becomes denser and sinks each year increases and causes the amount of heat being transported towards Europe to intensify.

"The fact that climate models are not simulating these storms is a real problem because these models will incorrectly predict how much heat is being moved northward towards the poles. This will make it very difficult to reliably predict how the climate of Europe and North America will change in the near-future."

Prof Renfrew added: "Climate models are always improving, and there is a trade-off between the resolution of the model, the complexity of the model, and the number of simulations you can carry out. Our work suggests we should put some more effort into resolving such storms."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Horton
l.horton@uea.ac.uk
44-016-035-92764
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Microbial missing link discovered after man impales hand on tree branch
2. Missing link discovered in the defence mechanism of the tuberculosis pathogen
3. UCLA researchers discover missing link between stem cells and immune system
4. What we know and dont know about Earths missing biodiversity
5. Researchers discover first gene linked to missing spleen in newborns
6. Finding life in the volcanic systems of the Antarctic Polar Front
7. Making sense out of the biological matrix of bipolar disorder
8. University of Texas Medical Branch selected to manage Center for Polar Medical Operations
9. Polar And LOOK Launch The Worlds First Pedal-Based Power Cycling System
10. Duck-billed dinosaurs endured long, dark polar winters
11. NRC authors brief federal agencies on the state of polar regions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/9/2016)... -- Elevay is currently known as the ... high net worth professionals seeking travel for work   ... there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. ... deal with a firm handshake. This is why wealthy ... citizenship via investment programs like those offered by the ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan Capital, an integrated wealth management firm ... Future of San Diego Life Science event at the Estancia La Jolla Resort and ... event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon and Seragon, and Faheem ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Oxitec ... 25 th at 10:15 a.m. ET before the United ... role genetically engineered mosquitos can play in controlling the spread ... of the Zika virus.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ... male mosquito with a self-limiting gene. Trials in ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, ... clients have treated over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem Cell Therapy. ... level of care for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross Rich ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems Inc. (AFS), a ... out of Maple Ridge, British Columbia ... its existing portfolio of contract manufacturing clients by ... with its sister companies Surround Technologies (STI) and ... industrial group that specializes in providing contract manufacturing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: