Warmer planet temperatures could cause longer-lasting weather patterns

Feb 18, 2010
Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri, is studying atmospheric blocking and how this weather pattern could be increasing due to global warming. Credit: University of Missouri

Whether it's never-ending heat waves or winter storms, atmospheric blocking can have a significant impact on local agriculture, business and the environment. Although these stagnant weather patterns are often difficult to predict, University of Missouri researchers are now studying whether increasing planet temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could lead to atmospheric blocking and when this blocking might occur, leading to more accurate forecasts.

"In this research, we're trying to see if increased in the and the resulting atmospheric warming will affect the onset and duration of future blocking events," said Tony Lupo, professor and chair of the atmospheric science department at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "We're hoping that the research will add cues that could help fellow forecasters better predict blocking and warn people in cases of long-lasting, ."

Atmospheric blocking occurs between 20-40 times each year and usually lasts between 8-11 days, Lupo said. Although they are one of the rarest weather events, blocking can trigger dangerous conditions, such as a 2003 European that caused 40,000 deaths. Blocking usually results when a powerful, high-pressure area gets stuck in one place and, because they cover a large area, fronts behind them are blocked. Lupo believes that heat sources, such as radiation, condensation, and surface heating and cooling, have a significant role in a blocking's onset and duration. Therefore, planetary warming could increase the frequency and impact of atmospheric blocking.

"It is anticipated that in a warmer world, blocking events will be more numerous, weaker and longer-lived," Lupo said. "This could result in an environment with more storms. We also anticipate the variability of will change dramatically over some parts of the world, such as North America, Europe and Asia, but not in others."

Lupo, in collaboration with Russian researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences, will simulate atmospheric blocking using computer models that mirror known blocking events, then introduce differing carbon dioxide environments into the models to study how the dynamics of blocking events are changed by increased atmospheric temperatures. The project is funded by the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation - one of only 16 grants awarded by the group this year. He is partnering with Russian meteorologists whose research is being supported by the Russian Federation for Basic Research.

Lupo's research has been published in several journals, including the Journal of Climate and Climate Dynamics. He anticipates that final results of the current study will be available in 2011.

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abadaba
3 / 5 (18) Feb 18, 2010
Did I imagine it or did scientists involved in many of the already sketchy studies on global warming admit that they made stuff up? Has it not been cooling for a decade? I live in Florida and I can tell you global warming has not touched this place. This is the coldest season I can remember. I woke up this morning at 8 00 to find the grass field behind my apartment iced over...in Florida...in mid February. It was annoying to hear about before they actually admitted they made it up and even more so now.
Sean_W
3.7 / 5 (15) Feb 18, 2010
Try feeding gold dust to seagulls and then cut them open to examine the entrails. By doing this, future climate changes can be divined.
toyo
3.5 / 5 (16) Feb 18, 2010
More models!
"Lupo, ...will simulate atmospheric blocking using computer models that mirror known blocking events".
The gall of these researchers, (who couldn't predict temperature over the next year, let alone the 100 years the IPCC blithely spouts off about), is that they think their models actually represent reality.
Sheer hubris.
But, of course, yet another chance for a reporter to associate global warming and carbon dioxide in the same sentence.
If you repeat the lie often enough...
Tonyb
2.9 / 5 (18) Feb 18, 2010
A few negatively spun emails do not invalidate GW. Many other research centres around the world have reached the same conclusions. Unless of course you subscribe to the world-wide conspiracy theory - then I'm afraid any rational discourse from me, or indeed anyone, will not disabuse you.
The last decade was the warmest on record - if that translates to "cooling for a decade" in your mind then so be it.
No, Florida does not constitute the world and neither does one season - which is why the weather is just the noise in the signal of climate with its many overlying signals/trends. One of these is the warmth of the sun ..... which has just shaken off an unusually long quiet period lasting several years. IE a colder period - yet the atmosphere could only plateau the rise in temperature.
There are other common sense indicators of warming. Earlier Springs (in the UK at least ) thinning Polar ice, increased acidification of Oceans, northward movement of Flora/Fauna.
Rick69
3 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2010
See how TonyB spells "centres" Detective Rick 69 deduces he is British and works for East Anglia University!
Skepticus
2.7 / 5 (12) Feb 18, 2010
It will be interesting to do a survey of the financial and social status of the AGW crowd. The result will surprise you...or not at all!
jonnyboy
2.9 / 5 (15) Feb 18, 2010
It amazes me more and more how the AGW crowd is now using GW in their articles (and postings for that matter) while at the same time continuing their attacks on "the deniers" whose main point is that there is absolutely no PROOF that AGW (man made) is occuring.
Feldagast
3.5 / 5 (11) Feb 18, 2010
Didn't one of those scientists from Anglia just say the other day that the last 15 years there has been no increase in the global temperature?
JayK
2.7 / 5 (12) Feb 18, 2010
1) You might actually read the BBC interview itself.
2) Most land-based temperature data has shown that there has been a plateau of temperatures over the last 11 years, and it has been theorized that this is due to the 11 year solar cycle that ended late 2008 or early 2009. In fact, some of the strongest solar radiation in over 11 years was recorded in late January, an indication that solar forcing will resume while temperatures during those 11 years have not dropped.
Ronan
2.8 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2010
It amazes me more and more how the AGW crowd is now using GW in their articles (and postings for that matter) while at the same time continuing their attacks on "the deniers" whose main point is that there is absolutely no PROOF that AGW (man made) is occuring.

Why should that be amazing? They obviously consider the evidence for anthropogenic global warming to be sufficiently strong to take it as a provisional fact, and therefore treat it as such in experiments/etc. examining its effects. They also consider deniers/skeptics' arguments to be flawed, and therefore devote a deal of energy to trying to make that apparent (they might not make the effort, but since they consider global warming to be a very real and dire threat, they would also consider the partly successful efforts of skeptics to convince the public otherwise to be dangerous, both to humanity and the planet itself).

Or, alternatively, it's a massive conspiracy (intentional or otherwise) of dishonest climatologists.
marjon
3 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2010
""In this research, we're trying to see if increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting atmospheric warming will affect the onset and duration of future blocking events," "

Sounds he starts with an unsupported assumption: CO2 causes atm warming.
Caliban
2.4 / 5 (8) Feb 18, 2010
marjon,
Come on, man! It can be demonstrated in the laboratory that increasing the concentration of CO2 in an analog of terrestrial atmosphere increases heat retention. To say that the process doesn't hold true in the actual atmosphere is to flatly reject science and the scientific method.
Are you ready to go that far?
TegiriNenashi
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 18, 2010
Why conspiracy theory where plain incompetence would do? Contrary to popular press that made the "leading scientists" phrase a cliche, I'd suggest it's a misnomer applied to climate field. For every brilliant visionary scientist there thousands mediocre one, and they tend to congregate in such lowly field as climate science.
brant
2.8 / 5 (9) Feb 18, 2010
A few negatively spun emails do not invalidate GW. Many other research centres around the world have reached the same conclusions. Unless of course you subscribe to the world-wide conspiracy theory - then I'm afraid any rational discourse from me, or indeed anyone, will not disabuse you.


They all use the same flawed manipulated data sets. Of course they say the same thing.

SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECORDS: POLICY DRIVEN DECEPTION?
http://scienceand...temp.pdf
Ronan
3.6 / 5 (7) Feb 18, 2010
Tegiri Nenashi: I have no idea if that's the case (although, I'm not sure what indicates that, exactly; what makes you think that that's so?), but even granting that it is, and that most or all of the people who know the most about climatology are only mediocre scientists...mediocre or not, they still know more about how Earth's climate system operates, and can describe it more effectively, than someone who isn't a climatologist at all. Although neither option would be ideal, I'd rather be operated on by a mildly incompetent surgeon than by a brilliant astrophysicist.
marjon
3.4 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2010
marjon,
Come on, man! It can be demonstrated in the laboratory that increasing the concentration of CO2 in an analog of terrestrial atmosphere increases heat retention. To say that the process doesn't hold true in the actual atmosphere is to flatly reject science and the scientific method.
Are you ready to go that far?

A laboratory is not the atmosphere. What I reject are conclusions based upon incomplete computer models of a very dynamic, and not well characterized, atmosphere.
Parsec
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2010
It amazes me more and more how the AGW crowd is now using GW in their articles (and postings for that matter) while at the same time continuing their attacks on "the deniers" whose main point is that there is absolutely no PROOF that AGW (man made) is occuring.


There is a difference between PROOF and the preponderance of the evidence. While we may never have absolute proof, the overwhelming and I mean really overwhelming majority of the science support AGW.
Loodt
2.3 / 5 (9) Feb 19, 2010
Parsec,

...the majority of the science support AGW...

Yesterday's news, pre-climategate, propaganda!

Now that the holy IPCC report is being ripped apart, page by page, chapter by chapter, all credibility has been lost.

Prepare for the New Cooling you sucker!
Andrux
3 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2010
hasn't anyone heard that we just escaped a tiny ice age with our high levels of CO2? We had reached a long lasting solar minimum and now its over. The warming is starting this year, as solar maximum should hit in 2013 (no apocalypse theory just check out nasa.gov) starting in 2010 the number of sunspots will increase dramatically to reach there peak in 2013. They say this should bring down a few satellites and power-grids and that it could be an even more dramatic event than the storm in 1859 ( http://science.na...tion.htm ). More work for us I guess!!
deatopmg
3 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2010
@parsec
you are correct - the preponderance of evidence does support AGW. However, if you inspect that evidence one finds that it has been selectively manipulated. How exactly that has been done is now unraveling due to the hack or release (pick one) of the CRU evidence.

1st; the tree ring data after 1960 was manipulated to "hide the decline" because it pointed out that the instrumental data was suspect due to the location of of those instruments in heat islands. Otherwise, all of the tree ring data before 1960 would have to be scrapped as being in error.
2nd; Mann's et al hockey stick graph was created using faulty statistical methods form cherry picked tree ring data from a small area of Russia. Therefore, Mann's argument that the MWP, eliminated from his graph, was not global is insincere at best. 3rd; we now know that the manipulations involved application of increasing arbitrary + corrections to the recent instrumental data. The raw data shows NO warming!
+ much, much more!
deatopmg
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2010
@Andrux
NASA has been predicting that the the solar minimum is over every few months for the past 4 yrs. It is likely that the activity will increase a little over the next few yrs then decline until 2020 or so. This is based on historical solar data which correlates well w/ the angular momentum of the solar system. Search Landscheidt for more.
jscroft
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2010
Come on, man! It can be demonstrated in the laboratory that increasing the concentration of CO2 in an analog of terrestrial atmosphere increases heat retention. To say that the process doesn't hold true in the actual atmosphere is to flatly reject science and the scientific method.


Really? Then account for this: http://thedeadhan...ata.aspx

Follow the links at the bottom of the page. Read the paper, understand the physics. The bottom line: THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT! Not in the atmosphere. Not even in GREENHOUSES!

It has been conclusively demonstrated that CO2 levels LAG temperature changes, not the reverse. So, um, COME ON, MAN!

If you want your argument to be taken seriously, try these three novel ideas:

- Quit quoting surveys and fudge factors as hard data.

- Identify the biases in your data BEFORE they show up in the newspaper.

- Get your hands out of my friggin' pocket!
JayK
2 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2010
Oh, that's just cute. jscroft thinks he understands greenhouses.

Not just that, but it thinks it understands correlation and causation linkages!

Oh, and deatopmq? January was the 4th warmest on record.

They're so darn cute when they're little.
jscroft
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 19, 2010
You're kidding me, right?

The paper is entitled "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse E ffects Within The Frame Of Physics" and is available in PDF form at http://arxiv.org/...61v4.pdf

If you can follow the math, THEN I'll consider you qualified to discuss the result. Poke a hole in it and I guess you can condescend. I couldn't.

Stupid trolls.
JayK
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2010
A refutation? You can read German, right?

http://www.ing-bu...eite.pdf

One in English:

http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.4324

There is the issue of his associations with groups whose specific agenda is to discredit climate science and other environmental sciences, but that isn't as fun as proving him wrong with the same science he tried to use.

jscroft
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 19, 2010
Yes, yes, very interesting. Of course, Gerlich & Tscheuschner refute the theoretical MECHANISM of the "greenhouse effect", whereas Smith's "refutation" assumes that this mechanism HOLDS and proceeds to his conclusion from there.

This isn't a refutation... it's the scholarly equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and whistling Dixie.

Once again: unless you can actually follow the math and argue against assertions actually MADE instead of the ones you WISH had been made, you ought to consider finding something more productive to do with your time.

P.S. Ja, ich kann auf Deutsch lesen. En Francais aussi. V'Russkiye yazuk tozhe, and I can chat up your sister in a half-dozen more, you pompous jerk.
JayK
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2010
By the way, many things can be proven mathematically that are fundamentally incorrect, which is exactly what that paper you tried to use did. I did understand the math, and then when I saw the part where the author does the same conflation of greenhouses (air to glass/glass to air relationships) with the idea of trace gases? Yeah, I just stopped there, it was too ridiculous to go on.
Tonyb
4 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2010
It has been conclusively demonstrated that CO2 levels LAG temperature changes, not the reverse. So, um, COME ON, MAN!

etc.. etc... etc ...

- Get your hands out of my friggin pocket!


Yes it has actually, that is the NATURAL cycle - as should be expected when man was absent from the planet in world destroying numbers. In the geological past temperature rise was caused by other ( known ) factors, chiefly, the warm phases of the Milanvovitch cycle. The warming THEN released CO2 - it occuring naturally via processes including combustion of organic matter, fermentation, and from thermal decomposition of CaCO3.

As for the hand in your pocket comment ... no comment is needed it speaks for itself.

PS: English yes but just an ex UKMO forecaster.
Loodt
Feb 19, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
jscroft
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2010
@TonyB Let's not forget probably the most significant source (and sink, for that matter) of CO2: the absorptive capacity of ocean water. Even a little warming causes a tremendous outgassing of CO2, and a little cooling produces exactly the reverse effect.

Look, I'm not pulling an AlGore here and asserting that the science is "settled"--how laughable is that?--against AGW/ACC/Axx. What I WILL point out is that, particularly post-Climate|Glacier|X-gate, making statements about "world-destroying numbers" is really putting the cart before the horse.

Step one ought to be making predictions that actually pan out. THEN we can talk about overhauling the entire global economic system. Otherwise, I'm calling BOLSHEVIK and checking my ammunition, haha.
Caliban
2.9 / 5 (8) Feb 19, 2010
- Get your hands out of my friggin' pocket!

That speaks to the heart of the matter. If AGW is made the basis of global economic, environment and development policy, then there goes all that sweet, sweet quick-buck profiteering from the ol' petro/natural resource exploitation.
No more pump and burn, slash and burn, strip and run. A New World Order where Biz is compelled to account for ALL the costs of doing business.
Would cost a lot of people a lot of money. Naturally, they won't give up without a fight. Naturally they will not shrink from denying established, overwhelmingly documented science that threatens what they percieive to be theirs by divine right. Pathetic.
I recommend that you start putting your money into Green industry. There's plenty of money to be made- you'll just have to get into it for the long term, as there'll be a lag while the rest of us get the machine fired up!
Tonyb
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2010
So man must not be on this planet?


Did I say that? Of course we should - just in sustainable numbers. Population control will have to be looked at by some world body eventualy.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2010
So man must not be on this planet?


Did I say that? Of course we should - just in sustainable numbers. Population control will have to be looked at by some world body eventualy.

Stalin and Mao tried that last century.
jscroft
2 / 5 (4) Feb 20, 2010
Population control will have to be looked at by some world body eventually.


Fine. You first.
Loodt
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 20, 2010
Tonyb,

And what shape of nose, colour of eyes, or skin tone would satisfy the ...some world body...?
Caliban
1 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2010
Right- it's going to be a bitch, but we don't have any choice. At a time not very far removed, there will be a hugely excess population, unemployed and unemployable. There is a lesson to be learned in the plight and recent history of Haiti. This scenario is going to be played out the world over, and not usually on islands. The notion that people should breed without let because human life is sacred has got to go. Birth control. Wars, planned or not- will not suffice. Mass famine/disease will not suffice. Better choose now before the choice is taken from you.
Caliban
1 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2010
Physorg is exhibiting some problems uploading my rants.
Intended to add:
Compulsory Birth Control, with the addition of Voluntary Euthanasia- through either a "Living Will"- type instrument, or on a walk-in(with waiting period-say 7 days)basis.
Sanescience
3 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2010
Even if AGW is real and effects temperatures, the loss of life will pale compared to human conflicts caused by political and resource pressures. So the earth might warm up some, it is by far a better problem to have than the earth cooling down. The earth is over due to enter it's next cooling trend, if that is true, then all better start praying that AGW really does exsist, because were going to need it.
jscroft
2 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
@Caliban: your population predictions were falsified when that idiot Ehrlich made them back in the sixties... and when he revised them in the seventies... and the eighties... and the nineties...

Get my drift? Either account for the abject failure of the population alarmists' previous predictions, or consider finding another hobby.
Caliban
1.8 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
@jscroft,
Alarmist doesn't have anything to do with it. I know what you'll say- there is no problem with overpopulation, every birth is annointed and ordained by god, or allah, or krishna, or the demon of the high east, or whatever, and that it is sacrilege and blasphemy to prevent or abort birth. But how many orphaned starvlings have you adopted? How much time and money do you spend ministering to impoverished youth?
It's all well and good to ignore a problem, but that doesn't make it disappear. Right now, millions are starving and diseased- and corrupt government and non-existent infrastructure are only a part of the problem. In many places, the carrying capacity of the land has been exceeded: in many others, there is drought: in more still, there is war. Unless some catastrophe or combination of many wipes out a vast portion of humanity, population will continue to increase apace. And they're already on the move. Greater numbers mean more pressure.
Caliban
2 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
Even though the overall rate has slowed somewhat in the past few years, we can expect continued growth in the third world, precisely where there is the most competition for resources, and also, arguably, the greatest vulnerability to environmental variability. The main reason for the slowdown in population growth is the decline in births in the first world, as the costs of affluence become apparent. It isn't cheap raising, feeding, and clothing children and giving them $150 sneakers, ipods, computers, tvs, cars, braces, private school, and college educations. And even that only holds true for people of middle- or upper class origin. A couple of hard shoves- like collapse of fisheries or extended drought in the subcontinent will get people moving in numbers. The effects will be disastrous.
So tell me again why population growth isn't a problem? That it can safely be disregarded?
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2010
Greater numbers mean more pressure.

Greater numbers means more minds to innovate and provide solutions.
That is if those minds are not prevented by their governments from creating and developing such innovations.
Caliban
2 / 5 (3) Feb 21, 2010
Ah, marjon,
Ever the optimist. Try to bear in mind that not every nation and people exists in the blessed, post-industrial corporatocracy that is America, where every person is left to rise to the very pinnacle of their potential.
jscroft
2 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
I know what you'll say - there is no problem with overpopulation, every birth is annointed and ordained by god, or allah, or krishna, or the demon of the high east, or whatever.... So tell me again why population growth isn't a problem? That it can safely be disregarded?


Because poverty is not a consequence of overpopulation. Overpopulation is a consequence of poverty... which, in turn, is a consequence of the unequal distribution of capitalism. Wealthy nations barely replace their OWN populations.

Socialists would make us all poor, so that our population will be culled by war, tyranny, or starvation. Capitalists would make us all rich, so that simple senescence is enough to manage our fat, happy populations.

See? No "sacred heart of every child" required, you arrogant jerk.
Caliban
1.3 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
Aw- is it a tender wittle thing? It doesn't like to be beaten to the punch? Behave like an adult, and you'll be treated like one.

Poverty and overpopulation are not mutually exclusive- they are most intimately and definitely co-consequential. Per capita income is only a relative wealth indicator. Example: 2 guys. One makes 300k/yr, the other 10k. Per capita: 155k. Why is the 10k a year guy feeling impoverished- he has a per capita income of 155k a year! Maybe he should beget him some more progeny. Oh, wait- he should get him some more Capitalism!
jscroft
2 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2010
I just love the way these statists reveal themselves. :)

Not so tender, Caliban... just calling it as I see it. But keep talking! Keep making your case against liberty! You've acquitted yourself so well thus far, haha.
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2010
Now I'm a liberty-hatin' statist?
That's quite a leap from voicing my concern, which -IMHO- should be shared by all of us regarding the inevitably negative consequences of ignoring overpopulation+poverty effects socially, economically, environmentally and politically.
The only thing funny about that is how wildly you mistake my political philosophy.
jsa09
1 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2010
Calliban is correct in that the world is overpopulated with people and s/he is also correct in stating that saying "We can support this population at the present means everything is rosy." is just plain stupid.

Our so called well off countries are still causing extinction of other life and most of the land is being taken up with agriculture or housing, poorer nations don't want to stay poor.

Do you honestly think that it is fine if the world reaches a population where the entire planet is either consisting of towns, parks, mines and farms?

That is what is happening. With improvements in agricultural yields over the past century mass starvation has been averted - in the future this may continue for a while yet and perhaps we can all survive on yeast farmed nutrition and solar power. A few hundred years time we will be living off recycled raw materials as many of the worlds mineral wealth is converted into goods.

Does that mean it is sustainable?

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