Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

International Research Team To Study Indian Ocean Monsoon

Date:
April 26, 1999
Source:
University Of Colorado At Boulder
Summary:
An international team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder will begin a research effort in the Indian Ocean April 26 to study the South Asian summer monsoon, which has been shown to affect weather patterns as far away as the United States.

An international team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder will begin a research effort in the Indian Ocean April 26 to study the South Asian summer monsoon, which has been shown to affect weather patterns as far away as the United States.

Peter Webster, director of CU-Boulder's Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences who is directing the massive project, said the team will be studying the upper 400 meters of the ocean and its interaction with the overlying atmosphere. "Studies on the coupling of the ocean and atmosphere should provide new clues in predicting the summer monsoon and its variability," he said.

The $2 million effort, known as the Joint Air-Sea Monsoon Interaction Experiment, or JASMINE, is a joint venture of CU-Boulder, the University of Washington, the University of Hawaii, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, NASA and several Australian agencies.

"Roughly 65 percent of the world's population lives in monsoon regions," said Webster. "This is the fastest growing region on the planet. By the year 2025, it is anticipated this number will grow to 75 percent."

Data indicate the last Indian monsoon impacted the behavior of El Niño and subsequent weather patterns in the United States, said Webster. "Our primary goal is to understand the basic physics that underpin these variations in the Indian Ocean monsoons and eventually allow us to predict them so that the people of the region will have warning some months in advance of drought or floods."

The six-week expedition will be aboard the NOAA Ship, Ron Brown, and will take place in the Bay of Bengal in the northeast Indian Ocean between April 26 and June 6, he said.

Variability of South Asian monsoons occurs on time scales of 20 days to 40 days, Webster said. They can change from strong periods of precipitation to severe droughts that affect agrarian populations in the region, he said.

"It is the variability on these time scales that really impact agriculture and society," Webster said. Other monsoon systems significantly affect the climates of Asia, Africa and Australia.

The strength of the summer monsoon is influenced by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation System, or ENSO, which takes place in the Pacific Basin, said Webster. Marked by periodic changes in the equator's atmospheric mass and pressure every two to 10 years, the Southern Oscillation triggers El Niño's signature movement of warm water from the western Pacific eastward that raises ocean temperatures.

Because of its interplay with ENSO, the annual Indian monsoon season frequently disrupts climate worldwide, from droughts in Australia and Indonesia to heavy rainfall and flooding over the coast of South America and the southeastern United States.

Webster co-directed a massive research effort known as the TOGA-COARE program that involved more than 1,000 scientists, technicians and students from 20 nations from 1991 to 1994 to better understand the ocean-atmosphere interactions in the tropical Pacific.

That study indicated heavy rains from systems ranging from small, warm clouds to large weather disturbances created a freshwater "lens" of water on the surface of the Pacific northeast of Australia, inhibiting mixing with the underlying saltwater as it expanded eastward across the Pacific during El Niño.

"This fresh layer of water is the main reason the tropical Pacific remains so warm during these periods," he said.

Roughly twice the size of the United States, the warm pool of water off the Australian coast is known as Earth's "boiler box" because of its influence on worldwide weather.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Colorado At Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Colorado At Boulder. "International Research Team To Study Indian Ocean Monsoon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990426062957.htm>.
University Of Colorado At Boulder. (1999, April 26). International Research Team To Study Indian Ocean Monsoon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990426062957.htm
University Of Colorado At Boulder. "International Research Team To Study Indian Ocean Monsoon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990426062957.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — An Austrian balloon pilot has succeeded in taking a balloon deep underground, a feat which he believes is a world first. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Rescue crews finished recovering the remaining 27 bodies from atop Japan's Mount Ontake Monday. At least 31 people were killed Saturday in the mountain's first fatal volcanic event in modern history. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

AP (Sep. 27, 2014) — A volcano erupted in central Japan on Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area. (Sept. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins