Earth Science News  





. New Clues To Air Circulation In The Atmosphere

The new theory stresses the importance of storms setting the temperature and winds in the mid-latitudes
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Aug 28, 2008
Air circulates above the Earth in four distinct cells, with two either side of the equator, says new research out in Science.

The new observational study describes how air rises and falls in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface, creating the world's weather. This process of atmospheric circulation creates weather patterns and influences the climate of the planet.

It is important to understand these processes in order to predict weather events, and to improve and test climate models.

Previous theories have claimed that there are just two large circular systems of air in the atmosphere, one either side of the equator. These theories suggested that air rises at the equator and then travels towards either the north or south polar regions, where it falls.

The new research suggests instead that there are two cells in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the first cell, air rises at the equator and then falls in the subtropics. In the second cell, air rises in the mid-latitudes - approximately 30 to 60 degrees north and south of the equator - and then falls in the polar regions.

The researchers say that this second cell of rising air is a mechanism responsible for setting the distribution of temperature and winds in the mid-latitudes which has not been fully appreciated before. The mid-latitudes include the UK, Europe and most of the United States.

Dr Arnaud Czaja from Imperial College London's Department of Physics and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, one of the authors of the new research, explains: "Our model suggests that there is a second cell of air in each hemisphere which is characterised by air rising, clouds forming, storms developing and other processes associated with moisture in the air occurring in the mid-latitudes."

Current theories to describe weather patterns in the mid-latitudes do not take these moisture-based processes into consideration. Dr Czaja argues that these theories are therefore incomplete, and that water vapour plays as much of an important role in the weather systems of the mid-latitudes as it does in the tropics, where it is a well-documented driver of weather events.

The research team carried out their study by conducting new analyses of extensive meteorological data. Dr Czaja says that he hopes the research will lead to a more detailed understanding of how air circulation in our atmosphere works, and how it affects the weather:

"With more attention than ever before being focused on understanding our planet's climate, weather systems and atmosphere, it's important that scientists challenge their own assumptions and current theories of how these complex processes work. I think our study sheds new light on the driving forces behind the weather in the mid-latitudes," Dr Czaja added.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Imperial College London
The Air We Breathe at TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Strange Clouds At The Edge Of Space
Huntsville AL (SPX) Aug 26, 2008
When in space, keep an eye on the window. You never know what you might see. Last month, astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) witnessed a beautiful display of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Death toll in China chemical plant blast rises to 20: state media
  • Police, money silence protests over China quake school deaths
  • China quake refugees still facing uncertain future
  • Japanese scientists seek quake secrets in Parthenon design

  • Climate Leaders Call On Washington For Better Climate Change Protection
  • Climate Change Could Be Impetus For Wars, Other Conflicts
  • Drier, Warmer Springs In US Southwest Stem From Human Effect On Winds
  • Droughts Have Lasted Centuries In Eastern North America

  • GOCE To Look At The Earth Surface And Core
  • Tropical Storm Fay's Center Now Moving Inland
  • Saharan Dry, Dusty Air Lessened Intensity Of 2007 Hurricane Season
  • Ball Aerospace Begins Final Prep For NPOESS OMPS Instrument

  • Analysis: Brazil seeking new oil fortunes
  • Analysis: Montreux Convention and energy
  • British 'greasers' reach Athens in frying oil-powered cars
  • Oil prices climb above 117 dollars on Hurricane Gustav

  • Sharp unveils new anti-bird flu air purifier
  • HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge
  • Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks
  • Canopus Biopharma Chinese Researcher Team Up To Treat Avian Influenza

  • Even Seaweeds Get Sunburned
  • Through A Glass Darkly
  • Shipwrecks On Coral Reefs Harbor Unwanted Species
  • Exploding Chromosomes Fuel Research About Evolution

  • Heavy Metal Linked To Poor Growth And Fertility In Sydney Harbor Crustaceans
  • Even in Europe, 20 million people without toilets: forum
  • Greenland Ice Core Reveals History Of Pollution In The Arctic
  • Study Shows Continued Spread Of Dead Zones

  • New Book Supports Theory Of Man The Hunted
  • Oetzi The Iceman Dressed Like A Herdsman
  • Face Recognition: Nurture Not Nature
  • Desperate families snub corrupt police in Mexico kidnap epidemic

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement