Study of cloud cover in tropical Pacific reveals future climate changes

November 4, 2015
Walker Circulation. Credit: NOAA

A new analysis using changes in cloud cover over the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean showed that a weakening of a major atmospheric circulation system over the last century is due, in part, to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The findings from researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science provide new evidence that climate change in the tropical Pacific will result in changes in rainfall patterns in the region and amplify warming near the equator in the future.

"Our findings show that an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases leads to significant changes in atmospheric circulation and tropical ," said Katinka Bellomo, an alumna of the UM Rosenstiel School. "This study demonstrates that we can predict these changes in the Walker circulation from changes in cloud cover."

The UM Rosenstiel School researchers used historical observations of cloud cover as a proxy for wind velocity in to analyze the Walker circulation, the atmospheric air flow and heat distribution in the tropic Pacific region that affects patterns of tropical rainfall. Their findings revealed a weakening and eastward shift of the Walker circulation over the last century due to greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis showed that changes in can serve as a proxy in climate models for wind velocity in the atmosphere, which cannot be directly measured.

"This study makes innovative use of a decades old-dataset," said Amy Clement, professor of at the UM Rosenstiel School. "It is impressive that visual observations from the decks of ships transiting the Pacific Ocean over a half-century can tell us something so fundamental about climate change."

This new information can be incorporated into current climate models to predict future changes in the magnitude and pattern of the Walker Circulation due to increased . The study suggests that rainfall will decrease over Indonesia and in the western Pacific and increase over the central Pacific Ocean.

The study, titled "Evidence for weakening of the Walker circulation from cloud observations," was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Explore further: New study questions long-held theories of climate variability in the North Atlantic

More information: Geophysical Research Letters, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065463/abstract

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7 comments

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philstacy9
1 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2015
runrig
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2015
http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/616937/GLOBAL-COOLING-Decade-long-ice-age-predicted-as-sun-hibernates


Old news my friend ... see:

http://phys.org/n...ant.html

And read the comments - especially mine.
Scroofinator
3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2015
And read the comments - especially mine.

Dang runrig, toot your own horn much?
philstacy9
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2015
runrig
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2015
http://www.expres...-melting

Again - see here and note the comments especially mine.

http://phys.org/n...eet.html

Scroof: I am the one posting a reply so why shouldn't I refer to them??
Scroofinator
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2015
You can do what you want, but you're doing a disservice to the idea of science to say that your opinion is the right one. When you start forcing views you move beyond science, you start to become, dare I say, religious...

But hey I'll play.

Remember when I predicted the current El Nino back in 2014, and you said
The current budding El Niño event has us guessing.... So I fail to see how we could pin down one years in the future. It's akin to forecasting a specific weather event years into the future. Far too much chaos involved.

http://phys.org/n...ino.html
Now these predictions weren't technically mine, they were from Landscheidt, I just actually had an open mind (and free of judgment of personal character) when reading his research.

So he can read your comments to know what science currently thinks of climate, or he could read mine to know some of the other ideas out there.

runrig
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2015


Remember when I predicted the current El Nino back in 2014, and you said
The current budding El Niño event has us guessing.... So I fail to see how we could pin down one years in the future. It's akin to forecasting a specific weather event years into the future. Far too much chaos involved.

http://phys.org/n...ino.html
Now these predictions weren't technically mine, they were from Landscheidt, I just actually had an open mind (and free of judgment of personal character) when reading his research.

So he can read your comments to know what science currently thinks of climate, or he could read mine to know some of the other ideas out there.


Scroof:
It was evident a Nino was coming This is a science site. Science isn't "Religion".
Religion requires no science, only 'belief'.
There's the small matter of causation physics, backed up by evidence/repeatability via other scientists.

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