Impact Of Global Warming On Weather Patterns Underestimated

Sep 22, 2005

The impact of global warming on European weather patterns has been underestimated, according to a new report published in Nature this week.

Dr Gillett, of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, compared Northern Hemisphere air pressure changes at sea level over the past 50 years with predicted changes from nine state-of-the-art climate models.

The Northern Hemisphere Circulation study found that present climate change models – computer representations of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface - have underestimated the changes in air pressure, leading to an underestimate of the impact of global warming on weather patterns.

While observations reveal that air pressure has dropped 4 millibars over Iceland in the past 50 years and risen by up to 3 millibars in the sub tropics, climate model trends were less than 1 millibar.

Previous research has shown that over the past thirty years air pressure trends have contributed about 1°C to warming over the UK in winter and up to 3°C in Siberia, as well as 60% of the rainfall increase seen in Scotland.

Over Southern England, the air pressure trends have likely made the winters milder and windier. Dr Gillett's findings indicate that these changes are not well-captured by climate models.

Dr Gillett, said: "Climate models are very good at simulating temperature changes, but this study shows that their simulations of pressure trends in the northern Hemisphere are not realistic. If we could understand and correct this bias, predictions of future regional climate change would be improved."

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: NASA selects leading-edge technology concepts for continued study

Related Stories

Early Titan was a cold, hostile place for life

Jun 30, 2015

Titan is a mysterious orange-socked moon of Saturn that is exciting to astrobiologists because it has some of the same kinds of chemicals that were precursors to life on Earth. It also has a hydrological ...

Why haven't Madagascar's famed lemurs been saved yet?

Jun 30, 2015

Lemurs are cute – there is no denying it. Their big eyes and fluffy faces mean they really are the poster animals of Madagascar, an island known internationally for its unique flora and fauna. But the plight ...

Recommended for you

ESA astronauts prepare for underwater training

38 minutes ago

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is to lead NASA's 20th underwater astronaut training mission this month. Starting on 20 July, the 14-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations sortie, or NEEMO, will see ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.