Unexpected atmospheric behaviour disrupts regular climate cycle
A team of scientists has discovered an unexpected disruption in one of the most repeatable atmospheric patterns.
The normal flow of air high up in the atmosphere over the equator, known as the quasi-biennial oscillation, was seen to break down earlier this year. These stratospheric winds are found high above the tropics, their direction and strength changes in a regular two- to three-year cycle which provides forecasters with an indication of the weather to expect in Northern Europe. Westerly winds are known to increase the chance of warm and wet conditions, while easterlies bring drier and colder weather.
Scientists from NCAS at the University of Oxford and the Met Office were part of an international team that observed the unusual behaviour in February, noticing a reversal of the expected pattern in the winds. This same team then identified the reason why.
NERC research ship and FAAM aircraft photographed together
NERC has released exclusive images of two of the world's key scientific instruments taking part in a training mission ahead of going on public display at Into the blue, an interactive celebration of science taking place in Liverpool and Manchester next month. NERC is a world-leading science organisation, funding cutting-edge research around the globe. To do this they use some of the most advanced technology in the field. Follow @FAAM146 on twitter to see more images of the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements in action.
Into the blue - Manchester - registration open
Ever wondered why the sky is blue? Or pondered why the sea tastes salty? Come to think of it, how do clouds know when to rain? And what does it feel like to fly through a storm? At Into the blue you can find out the answers to these questions and more!
25 - 29 October 2016
The Runway Visitor Park, Sunbank Lane, Altrincham, WA15 8XQ
Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory supporting international science on greenhouse gases
The UK has become the newest member of an international consortium supporting science on greenhouse gases. The Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory, run by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and University of East Anglia, is one of the key sites in the UK contributing to this consortium.