Research News

The latest scientific research and publications news.

Unprecedented weakening of North Atlantic circulation theWeather Club Fri, 13/04/2018 - 10:36

The warm, saline waters of the Gulf Stream meander northeasterly across the Atlantic Ocean, eventually forming the North Atlantic Current.  During winter, these salty waters cool and descend – it is this deep convection that is a key part of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), the ocean conveyor belt. This conveyor belt is essential for heat exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere - it releases heat into the atmosphere above the North Atlantic Ocean then travels through the ocean, resurfacing in other areas of the world.

First direct proof that Global effort to repair the ozone hole is succeeding theWeather Club Fri, 26/01/2018 - 12:27

Research published in Geophysical Research Letters has used direct satellite observations of the ozone hole to show that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining, resulting in less ozone depletion.

Climate change to increase clear-air turbulence threefold theWeather Club Fri, 01/12/2017 - 13:38

Climate change is not just occurring at ground level, but also high up in the atmosphere – and it will have significant impacts on air travel. One of the ways in which it can impact air travel is by increasing the strength and incidence of clean-air turbulence (CAT), one of the leading causes of weather-related aviation incidents.  

Drizzle riddle solved theWeather Club Tue, 22/08/2017 - 09:49

A recent study by NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and University of Toronto indicates that updrafts are more important than previously thought in determining whether clouds produce drizzle rather than larger-sized raindrops. Such findings will help improve the accuracy of model predictions of rainfall, a challenge for both short-term weather forecasting and longer-term climate projections.

Extreme storms triple in Sahel due to Global Warming

Over the past 35 years extreme storms in the Sahel have tripled and it’s down to global warming, according to research conducted by NERC scientists at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. In such storms, clouds can grow to heights of 16 km and can produce substantial volumes of rainfall. Indeed, in 2009 one downpour deposited 263 mm of rainfall in several hours and forced 150,000 residents of Burkina Faso to leave their homes.

'Ice lollies' found in UK clouds

Clouds aren’t typically associated with ice lollies, but rather sunshine – until now. Researchers from Manchester University have found ice lolly-shaped icicles in cloud systems over the UK and the North Atlantic.

The ice formations – which are the shape of a stick attached to a large spherical head – were found in large concentrations during a research flight over the northeast Atlantic Ocean in 2016, and previously in southwest UK in 2009.

Seven climate change hotspots theWeather Club Mon, 26/06/2017 - 16:08

An article in The Guardian explores 7 climate change ‘hot spots’ – key parts of the world where climate change could have devastating effects, be it the impact of hurricanes, heatwaves, drought or flooding.

Study explains science behind newly recognised cloud: asperitas

Clouds have always been a feature of paintings and photographs, but images captured by amateur photographers confirmed the existence of a dramatic cloud form with a roughened, wave-like base. Citizen science has now helped experts to explain how the newly-recognised ‘wave-like’ asperitas cloud is formed.  

Sunlight reduces risk of arthritis theWeather Club Thu, 28/02/2013 - 10:26

Regular exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B (UV-B), may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. These were the findings from a long-term study of more than 200,000 women, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The report speculated that vitamin D, which the body produces when exposed to sunlight, might protect women from arthritis.