Researchers on expedition to solve 'small island problem'

December 22, 2014, University of Bath

Researchers from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering are starting their new year with an expedition to the island of South Georgia to carry out research into improving weather forecasting. You can follow the team's progress on their blog.

Whilst the rest of us are preparing to celebrate on New Year's Eve, the research team, led by Professor Nick Mitchell, will be taking off from RAF Brize Norton to fly to the Falkland Islands. Once there, they will transfer on to a ship for the four-day, 1000 miles journey to the remote and inhospitable South Georgia.

The South Georgia Wave Experiment (SG-WEX) will see the team carrying out observational and modelling experiments on atmospheric waves in the troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere in the island area. The will set up unique equipment to gather data about the nature and variability of these waves over the coming year.

The mountaineous island is a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean, lies in the southerly latitudinal region known as the 'furious fifties' for its severely turbulent wind conditions. The size and conditions of the island cause real problems for numerical weather prediction/climate models, which cannot accurately model waves from too small in comparison to the resolution of the models. This is widely known as the 'small island problem'.

The results will give us a better understanding of the fundamental physics of atmospheric , innovate new satellite analysis techniques and help to solve the 'small island problem'.

Explore further: Small islands may amplify tsunamis

Related Stories

Small islands may amplify tsunamis

November 5, 2014

Small islands, long thought to be natural tsunami barriers for coast-dwellers, may in fact amplify the waves they are supposed to break, researchers warned Wednesday.

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

November 25, 2014

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

Study reveals most biologically rich island in Southern Ocean

May 25, 2011

The first comprehensive study of sea creatures around the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia reveals a region that is richer in biodiversity than even many tropical sites, such as the Galapagos Islands. The study provides ...

Wild weather strands Shackleton adventurers

February 9, 2013

Two adventurers attempting to recreate an epic 1916 Antarctic expedition by Ernest Shackleton were on Saturday stranded on a plateau above a glacier after wild weather hit the final leg of their journey.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...

0 comments

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.