Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Take Off For Southeastern Pacific Climate Study

Date:
October 7, 2008
Source:
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Summary:
During October and November 2008, some 150 scientists from 40 institutions in eight nations will take part in an international field experiment designed to make observations of critical components of the climate system of the southeastern Pacific.

Schematic of the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCAL-REx). The figure also shows the locations of extended observational buoys: the Improved Meterology (IMET) buoy and the Servicio Hidrografico y Oceanografico de la Armada de Chile (SHOA) buoy. ITCZ is the Intertropical Convergence Zone.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

During October and November 2008, some 150 scientists from 40 institutions in eight nations — including scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory — will take part in an international field experiment designed to make observations of critical components of the climate system of the southeastern Pacific.

Related Articles


Because elements of this system are poorly understood and poorly represented in global climate models, collecting real-time, complementary data from a variety of areas will go a long way toward improving scientists’ ability to use these models for making accurate predictions about Earth’s climate.

A total of five aircraft — including DOE’s G-1 Gulfstream research aircraft, operated by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with instruments developed at both PNNL and Brookhaven — and two research ships will sample the lower atmosphere and upper ocean during the experiment. Two sampling sites operated by research groups from Chile, Sweden, and the United States with conduct complementary sampling studies in the coastal region of Chile south of Santiago.

“We are motivated to participate in this study because the vast area of clouds in this region will provide an ideal laboratory for testing theories that have been developed at Brookhaven Lab regarding how precipitation forms in clouds and how aerosols affect cloud optical and microphysical properties,” said Brookhaven chemist Peter Daum, chief DOE scientist for the study.

The southeastern Pacific region is dominated by strong coastal upwelling, bringing cold, dense seawater from the deep ocean closer to the surface and resulting in extensive cold sea surface temperatures. It is also home to the largest subtropical deck of low-lying stratocumulus clouds on Earth.

“These and other chemical and physical factors shape the regional climate and affect the global weather in ways that are poorly understood,” said C. Roberto Mechoso, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chairs the research program. “Our research should produce a better understanding of the Southeast Pacific Ocean system, and improve our global computer climate models —which would lead to more confidence in climate forecasts, including predictions about global warming.”

Mechoso heads the scientific modeling arm of the research program, while Robert Wood, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, will lead the experimental field component.

Specifically, the scientists will focus on gaining a better understanding of:

  • the processes that control the properties of stratocumulus clouds – including the influence of tiny aerosol particles emitted from smelters and volcanoes located on the South American continent
  • the processes that control the transport of cold freshwater in the ocean
  • the chemical and physical interactions between the lower atmosphere and upper ocean

The study is known as the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems’ (VAMOS) Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-Rex). It is a component of a larger international climate study program, VOCALS. The major goal of the VOCALS program is develop and promote scientific activities leading to improved understanding, model simulation, and predictions of the southeastern Pacific ocean-atmosphere-land climate system on day-to-day and year-to-year timescales. The other major components of VOCALS are a modeling program ranging from local to global scales and a suite of extended observations from regular research cruises, instrumented moorings, and satellites.

The combination of intensive field measurements, long-term observations, and modeling will provide important insights that could directly benefit climate modeling, the researchers say.

Brookhaven Lab’s role in this research was funded by DOE’s Office of Science. VOCALS-REx receives additional support and participation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation, and the World Climate Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Scientists Take Off For Southeastern Pacific Climate Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006102541.htm>.
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2008, October 7). Scientists Take Off For Southeastern Pacific Climate Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006102541.htm
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Scientists Take Off For Southeastern Pacific Climate Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006102541.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
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