The Great Climate Interconnect: Part 2
Change in ocean temperature in the Southern Hemisphere and the Intertropical Convergence Zone knock on to the Northern Hemisphere where Professor Camille Li of the University of Bergen, team leader of the Global Climate group at the associated Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, has been investigating changes in the intensity of mid-latitude storms in the North Atlantic. “The idea is that warmer water and air hold a greater amount of moisture which drives more intense storm systems leading to more extreme weather events.”
The latest IPCC report already considers as “very likely” the link of warming oceans and air to floods and droughts. The connection to heat waves is virtually certain, Camille says, and there are studies suggesting a possible link to outbreaks of cold air due to distortions of the polar vortex. “But, to be sure, we need a better understanding of the physics behind such processes.”
All this work feeds into the increasing number of global climate models that accompany IPCC reports and upon which the Panel draws to make predictions. Using assumptions and simplifications, these models can then be downsized to form the basis for regional forecasting of potential future climate.