Meteorological data can tell you when your climate will change.
But climate scientists have struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of changes.
Now, scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have come up with a system that can measure atmospheric changes in real time, helping climate scientists monitor global warming, drought, forest fires and other changes in the atmosphere.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers said they were able to capture the rapid, high-resolution changes in atmospheric chemistry caused by a few hundred hours of observations at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“It’s the first time we’ve actually measured atmospheric changes at the surface of the Earth,” said lead author Michael Ruhl, a research scientist at NCAR.
“That’s the kind of data that we would really like to use to help climate scientists predict and understand the effects of climate change.”
In the paper, Ruhll and his colleagues use a software package called Cancher that allows scientists to create graphs showing how fast and how slowly atmospheric concentrations change.
By running these plots for a few hours, the scientists can determine the concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that will change the climate.
“We can measure changes at a scale that is really, really rapid,” Ruhlt said.
“It’s like, what are you seeing?”
The researchers are now testing this technique on the National Climate Assessment, a report produced by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which assesses the future of global climate research.
The National Climate Assessments, which are released every five years, are the most comprehensive assessments of climate science available, and include detailed data about how the world is changing, how it will change, and how much the world will have to pay to keep its temperature rise to a safe level.
Ruhls team wanted to see if they could find a way to create a comparable data set for monitoring climate change.”
The climate is evolving so fast that it’s hard to keep track of the change that’s happening,” Ruchel said.
For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released climate data for every decade since 1850, but the average temperature is only slightly higher than it was at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when the world was still in its Bronze Age.”
The researchers said this work could be useful for climate scientists trying to make predictions of how the climate will behave in the future. “
There’s no way to do it on a regular basis without going through all the different datasets.”
The researchers said this work could be useful for climate scientists trying to make predictions of how the climate will behave in the future.
“In a climate change scenario, we want to know, what is the likelihood that we’re going to see a change in the frequency of events like heat waves and drought?”
“What we really need to do is understand what the likelihood is of us seeing more and more of these extreme events.”