Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warmer Seas, Wetter Air Make Harder Rains

Date:
October 14, 2005
Source:
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Summary:
Storms will dump heavier rain and snow around the world as Earth's climate warms over the coming century, according to several leading computer models. Now a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) explains how and where warmer oceans and atmosphere will produce more intense precipitation.

Strong winds and rain from Hurricane Katrina bend trees in Pensacola, Florida, on August 29, 2005.
Credit: Photo by Nicolas Britto, courtesy FEMA

The greatestincreases will occur over land in the tropics, according to the study.Heavier rain or snow will also fall in northwestern and northeasternNorth America, northern Europe, northern Asia, the east coast of Asia,southwestern Australia, and parts of south-central South America duringthe 21st century.

"The models show most areas around the worldwill experience more intense precipitation for a given storm duringthis century," says lead author Gerald Meehl. "Information on whichareas will be most affected could help communities to better managewater resources and anticipate possible flooding."

NCAR authorsMeehl, Julie Arblaster, and Claudia Tebaldi analyzed the results ofnine atmosphere-ocean global climate models to explain the physicalmechanisms involved as intensity increased. Precipitation intensityrefers to the amount of rain or snow that falls on a single stormy day.

Boththe oceans and the atmosphere are warming as greenhouse gases build inthe atmosphere. Warmer sea surfaces boost evaporation, while warmer airholds more moisture. As this soggy air moves from the oceans to theland, it dumps extra rain per storm.

Though water vapor increasesthe most in the tropics, it also plays a role in the midlatitudes,according to the study. Combined with changes in sea-level pressure andwinds, the extra moisture produces heavier rain or snow in areas wheremoist air converges.

In the Mediterranean and the U.S. Southwest,even though intensity increases, average precipitation decreases. Theauthors attribute the decrease to longer periods of dry days betweenwet ones. The heavier rain and snow will most likely fall in lateautumn, winter, and early spring, while warmer months may still bring agreater risk of drought.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Center for Atmospheric Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Center for Atmospheric Research. "Warmer Seas, Wetter Air Make Harder Rains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051014072404.htm>.
National Center for Atmospheric Research. (2005, October 14). Warmer Seas, Wetter Air Make Harder Rains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051014072404.htm
National Center for Atmospheric Research. "Warmer Seas, Wetter Air Make Harder Rains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051014072404.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So 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:
from the past week

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