FRISCO — The meltdown of Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is probably being caused by shifts in regional weather patterns and not by general atmospheric warming from heat-trapping greenhouses.
Using the east African mountain as a poster child for climate change is inaccurate, according to a pair of scientists, one with the University of Washington and the other with the University of Innsbruck.
“There are dozens, if not hundreds, of photos of mid-latitude glaciers you could show where there is absolutely no question that they are declining in response to the warming atmosphere,” said climatologist Philip Mote, a University of Washington research scientist. But climate processes in the tropics are far different from the changes happening in the Arctic and mid-latitudes, he said. Continue reading “Study: Global warming not driving Kilimanjaro meltdown”→
FRISCO — A new study may help forecast drought conditions in the oft famine-stricken and geopolitically crucial Horn of Africa. More than 40 million people in the region often live in exceptional drought conditions, most recently in 2010-2011, when the worst drought in decades triggered a humanitarian crisis.
It’s long been clear that El Niño can affect precipitation in the region, very little is known about the drivers of long-term shifts in rainfall. But the study suggests that temperatures in the Indian Ocean may be the key to understanding precipitation patterns in East Africa.
Study shows how warming temps will displace critical high pressure systems
By Summit Voice
Global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries, according to researchers with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Potsdam University.
The effects of these unprecedented changes would be extremely detrimental to India’s economy which relies heavily on the monsoon season to bring fresh water to the farmlands.
SUMMIT COUNTY —Humpback whales on opposite sides of the Indian Ocean are singing different songs, a team of marine biologists say, explaining that that their findings are unusual because humpbacks in the same ocean usually all sing very similar tunes.
Pulses of energy from the Madden-Julian oscillation in the Indian Ocean thought to influence weather worldwide
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A team of international researchers is heading to the Indian Ocean to learn more about the genesis of the Madden-Julian oscillation, a cyclical climate phenomenon believed to be the greatest driver of atmospheric variability in the one- to three-month time frame, linking weather and climate.
The pulses of atmospheric energy that move around the globe from the Indian Ocean are believed to be linked with the famed Pineapple Express weather events that bring tremendous amounts of precipitation to the western U.S.. They also influence the formation of hurricanes, and even the intensity of Colorado’s summer monsoon.
Understanding the origins of the oscillation could help forecasters pinpoint when major winter storms will hit the U.S.
Using aircraft, ships, moorings, radars, numerical models and other tools the six-month mission will study how tropical weather brews in the region and then moves eastward along the equator, with reverberating effects around the globe. Continue reading “Indian Ocean study key to understanding global weather”→
Warm, salty water from the south could balance impacts of melting polar ice cap
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Leakage from an ocean current running along the east coast of Africa could ameliorate some anticipated global warming impacts in the northern hemisphere, according to University of Miami researchers, who recently published a study in the journal nature suggesting that the Agulhas Current could be a significant player in global climate variability.
The Agulhas Current transports warm and salty waters from the tropical Indian Ocean to the southern tip of Africa. There most of the water loops around to remain in the Indian Ocean (the Agulhas Retroflection), while some water leaks into the fresher Atlantic Ocean via giant Agulhas rings.