2011-02-08 12:19:35Tropical Atlantic sees weaker trade winds and more rainfall
John Hartz
John Hartz
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The following are the lead paragrpahs from an article posted on ScienceBog today (Feb 7, 2011).

"Earth’s global temperature has been rising gradually over the last decades, but the warming has not been the same everywhere. Scientists are therefore trying to pin down how the warming has affected regional climates because that is what really matters to people, and to adaptation and mitigation strategies. Their efforts, however, had hit a roadblock because the necessary observations of the winds over the oceans were biased.

"Developing a new method to remove the bias, Hiroki Tokinaga and Shang-Ping Xie at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, found that their corrected observations show the trade winds in the tropical Atlantic have weakened and the pattern of ocean surface temperature has changed. As a result, the equatorial Amazon and the Guinea Coast are seeing more rainfall and the Sahel less. The findings are published online in the February 6, 2011, issue of Nature Geoscience."

 http://scienceblog.com/42471/tropical-atlantic-sees-weaker-trade-winds-and-more-rainfall/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogrssfeed+%28Science+Blog%29

In light of another Gneral Chat post about drought in the Amazon, what caught my eye in the above was the statement about more rainfall in the equatorial Amazon. 

2011-02-08 15:41:59
Rob Painting
Rob
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Badger, I don't have access to the full study, but it's likely the effect is confined to a small part of the Amazon. "Equatorial" would put it in the NE corner of the rainforest.

 

I'm not aware of any studies that show a trend for the Amazon rainfall as a whole. There seems to have been little change throughout the last century for instance. But Li 2008 shows a slight drying trend in the Southern Amazon:


http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1498/1767.full

 

2011-02-09 04:42:25Rob Painting
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

There is another summary of the paper posted on Science Daily that is more detailed than the one posted on ScienceBlog.  

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110206132902.htm

The Science Daily summary includes the following:

"Accompanying these changes in wind and ocean temperature is a very significant increase in rainfall, not only over the ocean but also over adjacent land areas such as the equatorial coastal regions of the Amazon and the Guinea Coast."

2011-02-09 05:39:29
Rob Painting
Rob
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118.93.198.21
Ah, that makes sense. Cheers Badger.