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Scientists probe Indian Ocean for clues to worldwide weather patterns
Date:9/22/2011

e from this international field campaign could be profound in terms of our understanding of weather, climate, and climate change," Moore says.

The DYNAMO field campaign brings a considerable array of instruments to bear on the MJO, including two research aircraft provided by NOAA and the French Airborne Environment Research Service, four ships from the United States, India, Indonesia and Japan, a half-dozen meteorological radars, moored buoys and a suite of other instruments.

Especially critical during the field campaign are radars, which provide information about the microphysics inside clouds and rainstorms that lead to the development of the MJO.

At the project "Super Site" on Addu Atoll, a meteorological radar array with seven different frequencies will be used to scan the MJO as it moves through the region.

These radars are NCAR's S-PolKa, a dual-wavelength Doppler radar that can distinguish the sizes and shapes of precipitation particles and observe the water vapor from which clouds form, thereby shedding light on the development of clouds and rainfall; Texas A&M C-band radar that can estimate rainfall and latent heating; and a suite of radars in a mobile facility of AMIE that detect different types of clouds.

"DYNAMO and AMIE mark the first time in the modern era that we'll be able to use remote sensing techniques, particularly radar, to measure atmospheric phenomena from individual cloud droplets to large raindrops," Moore says. "We have instrument capabilities for this project that we didn't have 10 or 15 years ago."

In addition to measuring the sky, the researchers also will turn their attention to the sea.

The physical properties of the ocean, such as temperature and salinity, are as important to the MJO as are the properties of the atmosphere.

A collection of ocean sensors, deployed from ships and moorings in the open ocean, will collect data on ocean-atmosphere interactions.

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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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