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NASA scientists have developed a new model that is among the first to simulate the strength of updrafts in storms. This model was applied to a global warming scenario to give a possible peek at what future weather might look like

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies is a leading research center, located in New York, which studies Earth's past, present and future climates.

The Institute has recently announced a new study which discusses what future storms might look like in a global warming scenario.

NASA's scientists at the Institute developed a new climate model for the study.  The model is among the first to successfully simulate the strength of updrafts in storms.  This allows the model to give a more complete picture of the strength of storms that are occurring around the world, and those that may someday occur.

The model is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference between land and sea storms.  It also is the first model to simulate how the strength of storms may change in a warming environment.

The model is run over regions several hundred miles wide.  It does not directly simulate thunderstorms and lightning, but instead identifies conditions conducive to producing storms of varying strengths.

The model was applied to a future scenario in which the temperature had risen 5 degrees and CO2 levels in the air had doubled.  This simulation found that the land would be warmed more than the sea, and that thunderstorms on land would be produced at higher altitudes than they are today, leading to higher intensity.

The model predicts that some regions will have less humid climates, which would indicate fewer thunderstorms.  However, Anthony Del Genio, Ph.D., lead author illustrates why this scenario may be more dangerous, particularly to western wildfire-prone states:
"These findings may seem to imply that fewer storms in the future will be good news for disastrous western U.S. wildfires, but drier conditions near the ground combined with higher lightning flash rates per storm may end up intensifying wildfire damage instead"
Central and Eastern U.S. are particularly prone to severe thunderstorms.  These storms arise when strong updrafts combine with horizontal winds to produce thunderstorms and deadly tornados.  The study indicates that this most extreme class of storms will become increasingly common, in these areas, with warming.

These increases in storm severity are due to two factors.  First, the land warms more than the sea, respectively.  Second the freezing level, will raise to a higher altitude, where stronger updrafts are present.  These factors are both common to all climate change simulations, but this is the first simulation to explore their effects on storm intensity.

A movie of cloud cover in 2000 generated from data from the GOES-11 satellite, which was used to verify the model, is posted on NASA's website.


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Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By masher2 (blog) on 9/2/2007 12:34:17 PM , Rating: 3
> "The model predicts that some regions [will] have fewer thunderstorms. However, [the author] illustrates why this scenario may be more dangerous...</quote>

The study essentially says that, if world temperatures rise 5C (which the IPCC is predicting won't happen until around the year 2150), some areas will have fewer storms, other areas will have more. Any rational person would conclude the obvious; the net effect will be small..slightly better for some areas, slightly worse for others.

The conclusions the author draws are quite different, and represent the same "damned whichever way you turn" thinking that is typical of Hansen and his acolytes. More storms? That's bad. Fewer storms? That's bad also. This flawed rationale is based on the assumption that every single spot on the planet already has a perfectly ideal climate, and that any deviation whatsoever is harmful. Of course, the study qualifies this with "may be" and "possibly", secure in the knowledge that the media will subtract the wiggle words for them.

But ignoring all this, there's a much larger problem with this study. Its based strictly on computer modelling...modelling which isn't born out experimentally. Despite 100 years of global warming, no increase in storm frequency or intensity has yet been seen. The computer modelling of the early 1990s predicted it....when that didn't come to pass, those models had to be revised. Now, GISS's new model predicts it for somewhere around the year 2150.

Personally, I won't hold my breath.




RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 1:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point - there seems to be this false impression in people's minds that the current climate is opimal, plus people believe that climate should not be changing. Neither of these are truthful beliefs.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/3/2007 3:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
Scientists in this field are more concerned over the rate of climate change, which affects the ability of a species to adapt. Here's a related link:

http://www.nature.com/nature/links/040108/040108-1...


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By TheGreek on 9/4/2007 4:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well TomZ has discovered that hypsilurus boydii dries well and tastes like beef jerky. Since this is now a business opportunity this can only be viewed as a good thing.


By TomZ on 9/4/2007 5:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your post kind of reminds me of monkeys randomly typing and then somehow get lucky and put together a string of English-like characters. Even though people are amazed that it almost looks like a sentence, it still doesn't make any sense.

In other words, WTF are you talking about?


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/3/2007 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are some models predicting a more dramatic rise in temperature than what the IPCC predicts. I point out one such study in an earlier post.

quote:
Its based strictly on computer modelling...modelling which isn't born out experimentally.


The experimental apparatus is the planet...scientists have to rely on models here. Over time, those models should improve as more empirical data is collected.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By masher2 (blog) on 9/4/2007 7:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
> "There are some models predicting a more dramatic rise in temperature than what the IPCC predicts"

And there are models predicting a far smaller rise than the IPCC predicts. Some even predict cooling over the next 100 years.

> "Over time, those models should improve as more empirical data is collected. "

Perhaps they should, but so far they haven't. GCMs are continually retuned year after year, as recent data reveals they've again failed to accurately predict future trends.

There are scientists who believe that we don't have the mathematical basis yet to model chaotic systems like the global climate, and that accurate modelling is still 20 or more years away.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 12:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are scientists who believe that we don't have the mathematical basis yet to model chaotic systems like the global climate, and that accurate modelling is still 20 or more years away.


There's no doubt in my mind that the modeling behind this science will evolve and improve with time. And hopefully someday scientists will have a better grasp on modeling chaotic systems as you mention. I put trust in the scientific method and peer-review, which thus far supports the theory of global climate change and rising global temperatures due to human activity and greenhouse gas emissions.


By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
(laughs) Nice attempt to roll that up to support your views. There is no "consensus" about global warming, except by those who stick their head in the sand and ignore the discussions on the other side. Any reasonable person would conclude the jury's still out, based on the completed and ongoing studies.

Remember, there was "scientific method" and "peer review" of the consensus view in the 1970s that we were entering another ice age. Shows you how far off the so-called consensus can be.

Just for fun, please show me what hard evidence you've seen anywhere, anytime that proves that human activity is generating too much CO2 and causing harmful global warming? There is no evidence, only speculation. There is no data, only reports by politicians. Most of the studies are like the one in this article which pre-supposes an outcome, but doesn't prove whether that outcome is realistic or probable.


By Verran on 9/4/2007 4:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
I almost feel like even responding to this post at all does it too much justice. Half of me just wants to put a "LOL" here and move on. The other half wants to wade into the pool of completely unrelated half-logic sentences and show you how silly it is.

You put trust into the scientific method and peer review? What do that even mean? There are opinions of EVERY variety that can be backed by these two things. It sounds to me like you've just found one piece that's saying what you believe, so the fact that it's peer-reviewed means it's factual. What's even weirder is that this statement immediately follows an acknowledgment that the basis for your argument still has much maturing to do.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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