Climate Change Researchers Glimpse the New Millenium
LONG BEACH, California, January 11, 2000 (ENS) - Weather scientists from around the country are presenting climate change research this week at the 80th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society. Conference attendees are taking a close look at how new technologies and innovative models can provide a clearer picture of the effects of global warming in the new millennium.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) chose as its theme, "Applying Environmental Science to Societal Needs in the New Millennium." Numerous talks are highlighting technological and theoretical breakthroughs that could bring the causes of global warming into focus, and suggest possible solutions.
M. Pat McCormick, co-director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University, is the Remote Sensing Lecturer for this year's meeting. His lecture, "Remote Sensing from Space Using Occultation and Lidar Techniques," will be presented on Wednesday.
"Most instruments that scientists use to observe the Earth from space cannot see through even thin clouds or their view is distorted by clouds," says McCormick. "Many surface features and important phenomena in the lower atmosphere are completely hidden. Lidar can pierce many types of clouds and its very small beam can pass between clouds."
A researcher at Colorado State University believes that regional assessments of climate change in the U.S. and one prepared by a United Nations panel overlook factors that are critically important to the realism of models of global climate change.
Roger Pielke Sr., professor of atmospheric science, and colleagues have shown in their research that the effect of landscape and human caused land-use changes can have a profound effect on climate variability and change. This work calls into question the realism of the climate predictions used in the U.S. regional, national and international assessments because these factors have not been included in the model.
A new approach to modeling regional impacts of climate change produces accurate simulations of the 1993 U.S. floods and 1988 drought, says NASA scientist Michael Fox-Rabinovitz. He will present his findings Thursday in a talk titled "Regional Climate Simulation of the Anomalous U.S. Climate Events with a Variable Resolution Stretched Grid GCM."
NASA scientists have completed the first globally complete long term data set for use in understanding El Niño/La Niña events, which some scientists associate with global climate change. The data set, part of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), is a result of rainfall analysis that examines precipitation monthly around the globe over a 20 year period.
The GPCP Project Scientist, Dr. Robert Adler of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, will present the analysis Wednesday.
According to Adler, these globally averaged values and the regional and time-varying patterns are extremely important as validation for computer models of the global atmosphere.
Just as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation affects broad areas of the globe, there are anomaly patterns based in mid-latitudes that change the weather in large areas of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA will present a poster on, "A Global Precipitation Perspective on Persistent Extratropical Flow Anomalies," highlighting research by NASA scientists Adler, George Huffman and David Bolvin. The poster shows how the accompanying changes in the storm tracks rearrange the precipitation patterns, using two cutting edge global precipitation data sets that the authors recently developed. This analysis has the advantage of relating the known precipitation effects over land to the total pattern over land and ocean.
NASA will offer "Electronic Theater 2000: Visions of Earth and Space", at the symposium as well. The exhibit will display the latest animations of the La Niña hurricanes - Floyd, Georges, Mitch, Bonnie and others - from GOES and TRMM satellites and GOES 3-D stereo animations of Oklahoma City and Salt Lake City tornadic thunderstorms. The Theater will also show dust storms in Africa and huge smoke plumes from raging fires in Mexico. More information is available at: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/rsd/ETheater/