NASA has begun mapping air currents in the Earth’s atmosphere, which will increase the accuracy of weather forecasts

NASA has begun mapping air currents in the Earth’s atmosphere, which will increase the accuracy of weather forecasts

When modeling weather forecasts on Earth, such global phenomena as the transport of aerosols and lightest particles by atmospheric currents have not been taken into account. Meanwhile, many air “rivers” have stable routes and carry more or less the same aerosols from the same geographic locations. Experts from NASA decided to clarify the formation of weather phenomena by atmospheric currents and promise to improve the accuracy of forecasts.

NASA
NASA

In their study, scientists used observations of air currents from 1997 to 2014. In the process of studying air currents and aerosols transported by them – dust, soot, ash, sea salt, and other particles and water compounds – an algorithm was developed to assess the distribution of suspended particles on a planetary scale.

The propagation assessment was based on the algorithm for assessing the movement of water vapor in the atmosphere and modified to track particles from the vents of active volcanoes (sulfites), soot and ash from forest fires and the burning of fossil fuels, the spread of sand from deserts, and even the transport of vegetation. Pathogens that can harm farming. Then the algorithm for the movement of air aerosols was superimposed on a digital weather model of the Earth. For the first time, researchers were able to estimate air currents and the transport of aerosols on the global climate of our planet.

It has been found that atmospheric air currents carry 40% to 100% of aerosols during infrequent extreme weather events. Therefore, atmospheric phenomena such as dust clouds covering cities or smog from burning forests do not happen as often and not as intense as they do on the ground. In other words, the intensity of aerosol transport by air flows is extremely uneven in time. Scientists also found out that the same geographical areas serve as sources of the same aerosols; for example, deserts are dusty, and forests smoke.

A new approach to analyzing atmospheric river flows on a global scale will enable researchers to begin studying the multiple characteristics of various phenomena, including interactions with storms and global warming. Also, the new approach will help to take into account the danger of the spread of plant pathogens and increase food security.

 

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