On Thursday, a study was published in Israel, which highlighted that winter storms appear to be intensifying considerably in the Southern Hemisphere due to climate change. The study from the Weizmann Institute of Science disclosed that the changes had previously been expected to occur in 2080. Published in a journal called Nature Climate Change, the study is simply part of the effort that scientists all over the globe are making for predicting and modeling climate change in a better way. These scientists are making use of 30 intricate and massive computer networks to accomplish this goal.
A comparison was conducted in the study of the current observations of winter storms occurring in the Southern Hemisphere with that of the predictions that had been made previously about the intensification of these storms caused by humans. They discovered that the reality was worse than their expectations. The institute issued a statement in which it said that the intensification of storms that has occurred in the last few decades has already reached levels that they had not expected to reach till 2080. Hailing from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the Weizmann Institute, Dr. Rei Chemke led the study.
The other people who collaborated included MIT’s Dr. Janni Yuval and Princeton University’s Dr. Yi Ming. According to the report, the current models of climate change have underestimated how the storm tracks have intensified in the past couple of decades. Chemke said that winter storms don’t usually last for more than a few days and there is not a lot of climatic impact associated with every storm. But, their long-term impacts become apparent when data is studied cumulatively over an extended time period. Chemke elaborated that these storms can influence the momentum as well as moisture in the atmosphere and the transfer of heat.
Subsequently, this has an impact on the different climate zones on the planet. These storms are important for the poles because they regulate the temperature in these areas. He stated that heat from tropical regions is transported away to the poles via these winter storms. Therefore, if they were not to play their role, the pole temperatures would reduce by almost 30°C. According to Chemke, these trends could turn out to be a major threat in the next few decades for places in the Southern Hemisphere. The focus of the study was the storms in the Southern Hemisphere only because the intensification there has been significantly higher than the north.
But, Chemke said that if this trend continues, the intensification would eventually hit the Northern Hemisphere in the next years and decades. The statement said that the study had also tried to figure out if these changes were because of human activity, or if climate patterns were changing naturally. It had discovered that the intensification of storms that has happened over the last 20 years cannot be because of internal climatic reasons alone. Another area that the study investigated was why the changes in storm could not be predicted accurately by current models and it turned out that atmospheric jet streams had changed.