Featured image: From Fig. 1 in Ao et al. (2021). An image of the Late Oligocene-age red mudstone that is the subject of this study, between bracketing sandstone sections. This mudstone outcrop (known as the Duittingou section) is located in the Lanzhou Basin, China, in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Image licensed under CC BY-NC.
Paper: Eccentricity-paced monsoon variability on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau in the Late Oligocene high CO2 world
Authors: Hong Ao, Diederik Liebrand, Mark J. Dekkers, Peng Zhang, Yougui Song, Qingsong Liu, Tara Jonell, Qiang Sun, Xinzhou Li, Xinxia Li, Xiaoke Qiang, Zhisheng An
The intensity and frequency of rainfall affects food supply around the world, the structural integrity of buildings and homes, and flooding in the impermeable “concrete jungles” of cities. However, not much is known about how rainfall has fluctuated naturally in the distant past, making it more difficult for scientists to predict how climate change will affect future precipitation. Recently, an international team of authors addressed a small part of this problem by uncovering how rainfall in Asia changed under different climates far back in time. Their scientific adventure started once they identified a particularly special rock formation in China, where invisible traces of ancient rainfall had been preserved.
Continue reading “It’s magnetic! Probing the predictability of ancient rainfall using a mountainous ridge of red stone”
Featured image of a road in Death Valley in California by jplenio on Pixabay
Paper: Winter Precipitation Changes in California Under Global Warming: Contributions of CO2, Uniform SST Warming, and SST Change Patterns
Authors: L. Dong and L. R. Leung
As with any job tasked with predicting the future, climate scientists have a tough but important responsibility: understand how the climate will be different at the end of the century. Predicting future climate is especially critical in areas with large, vulnerable populations and that grow a large part of the food supply. California, for example, has a population of over 39 million and is a source of two-thirds of the fruits and one-third of the vegetables grown in the US. Changes to its climate will impact not only its own residents but also the population and economy of the whole country.
Continue reading “Will California get more precipitation in future winters?”
Featured image: Sand Dunes by Free-Photos on Pixabay
Paper: Dusty Atmospheric Rivers: Characteristics and Origins
Authors: Kara K. Voss, Amato T. Evan, Kimbery A. Prather, and F. Martin Ralph
Atmospheric rivers, narrow plumes of highly concentrated water vapor in the atmosphere, can cause heavy rain over the coastal western United States and southwest Canada. In fact, up to half of California’s annual rainfall comes from atmospheric rivers, and while this rain helps replenish California’s water sources, it can also cause flooding and mudslides. A new study sheds light on how dust kicked up from deserts halfway around the world in Africa and Asia may influence these atmospheric rivers and control California’s rain patterns.
Continue reading “How does dust from African and Asian deserts affect rainfall over California?”