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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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RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 12:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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