Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)


Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

In a previous post I have shared the “gaming” side of searching for patterns trying to identify similarities and differences between images representing meteorological variables.

Climatic events can be forecast with more or less accuracy by applying statistical analyses and modelling trying to identify the highest probable scenario to be found in our weather for short, medium and long terms.

The variables contemplated, with their synergies and interrelations, are so many that the effectiveness of weather forecast reach its highest in the short term and the uncertainty increases with the distance in time between the moment of calculation and the day for which the conditions are being forecast.

One of the reasons behind such uncertainty is that the atmosphere is an open environment in which climatic events form and move freely, gaining strength or dissipating its energy as the result of interacting with their surroundings.

In Oct 2014, researchers led by Masato Mori of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, ran multiple simulations linking the observed decline in sea ice in the Arctic since 2004 with an increased probability of the occurrence of persistent atmospheric circulation patterns, known as blocking patterns. A study published online in Nature Geoscience.

They discovered that atmospheric blocking patterns, leading to cold air transport and severe winter conditions occurred twice as often in the low sea ice scenario model runs. This approach showed that as a result of sea ice reduction in the Arctic, Barents and Kara seas, the probability of severe winters has more than doubled across Eurasia.

This new study agrees with previous work that the decline in sea ice cover in the Barents-Kara Sea area in early winter has led in recent years to unusually cold winters throughout Eurasia, including the UK, according to Colin Summerhayes, Emeritus Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute in the UK.

Summerhayes explains that the warming of the atmosphere associated with the absence of sea ice weakens the high level winds of the polar vortex. That in turn leads to meandering of the jet stream, with the meanders becoming stuck which is what meteorologists call ‘blocking’. This pull cold air south out of the Arctic, and because the system is stuck in position, the cold air supply can last quite a while.

The rise in blocking patterns correlates closely with the extra heating being delivered to the Arctic by climate change, according to the research which is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science  (PNAS). Coumou and his colleagues argue there are good physical reasons to think there is a causal link, because the jet streams are driven by the difference in temperature between the poles and the equator. As the Arctic is warming more quickly than lower latitudes, that temperature difference is declining, providing less energy for the jet stream and its meanders, which are called Rossby waves.

Prof Ted Shepherd, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, UK, but not involved in the work, said the link between blocking patterns and extreme weather was very well established. He added that the increasing frequency shown in the new work indicated climate change could bring rapid and dramatic changes to weather, on top of a gradual heating of the planet. “Circulation changes can have much more non-linear effects. They may do nothing for a while, then there might be some kind of regime change.”

I believe that these new studies are starting to identify possible alterations in atmospheric circulation that would affect the probability for climatic events to form and move in the North Hemisphere. The study of the origin behind such behaviour have led me to propose for open discussion the hypothesis of facing an increase in atmospheric energy content due to increases in CO2 and Water vapour. An increase in the energy been contained in the atmosphere would lead to a decrease in the differential energy gradients between atmospheric surroundings and weather systems. Ultimately, weather systems would not dissipate easily their energy into the surrounding atmosphere. You can find a more in depth discussion here and here.

In such scenario, how much would it be affected the probability of seeing same climatic events (Low and High pressures) happening at same locations in the Hemisphere but in different days?

What would it be the probability of seeing “two Low pressure events” happening at the same time, in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “two different days” separated by 8 months? Sure it is not such a big deal, just curious.

2 events 2014 to 2015 700hPa T NH

“Two Low pressure events” happening at the same time, in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “two different days” separated by 8 months. T and Wind direction at 700 hPa 4th Feb 2014 and 8th Oct 2014.

And then, what would it be the probability of seeing “two Low pressure events” happening at the same time in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “three different days” separated by 8th months and 3 months?

And the probability of seeing “three Low pressure events” happening at the same time, in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “two different days” separated by 3 months?

2014 to 2015 700hPa T NH

“Two Low pressure events” happening at the same time, in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “three different days” separated by 8 months and 3 months. T and Wind direction at 700 hPa 4th Feb 2014, 8th Oct 2014 and 14th Jan 2015. “Three Low pressure events” happening at the same time in same locations of the North Hemisphere in “two different days” separated by 3 months. T and Wind direction at 700 hPa 8th Oct 2014 and 14th Jan 2015.

Just a thought.

Related posts:

Advertisements

About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! DOIs can be generated on demand by request by email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com for those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project. Author´s profile: Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my previous work as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After couple of years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I find myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my research. In the present competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in opening my own line of research showing what I am capable of. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this blog has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my work and the intellectual rights represented by the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in this line of research. Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome. In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2017. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Energy Balance, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Finding out, Influence of Continentality, News, Polar vortex and Jet Stream. Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

  1. Pingback: Breaking Stereotypes Assessing Climatic Dynamics (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD) | Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s