Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

North Atlantic Atmospheric Circulation Increases Mountainous Weather Systems and River Flow in Upland Britain

Published: Friday, August 09, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, August 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the most important type of climatic variability in the northern hemisphere.

It controls the strength of westerly winds between the “Azores high”’ and the “Icelandic low” that bring a succession of weather systems to Western Europe. New research has looked at the influence of the NAO on orographic precipitation, mountainous weather systems, and river flow in upland Britain.

Orographic precipitation is when moist air rises and flows over a mountain. The side with the wind will have a much wetter climate than the other side.  In the UK, the heaviest orographic precipitation has long been associated with strong southwest to westerly winds in the warm, moist sectors of frontal depression.

The study, by the Universities of Durham and Bristol, has calculated seasonal precipitation totals for 90 station records over the last 180 years.  The team used precipitation data from the British Atmospheric Data Centre Met Office Integrated Data Archive Service database and the UK Meteorological Office historic station database, together with other available long records.

The study has found that the hydroclimatology of rainfall and river flow in upland areas is closely linked to the strength of atmospheric circulation, an effect which strengthens with increasing altitude. The identified effects are large enough to cause very high river flow during periods of highly positive NAO but may also lead to severe drought when the NAO is highly negative.

Professor Tim Burt in the Department of Geography at Durham University said: “Our results cast a new light on rainfall variability in upland Britain and have implications worldwide for any mountainous region where significant orographic precipitation is generated.”

Dr Nicholas Howden, Senior Lecturer in Water in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol, added: “What is novel here is the identification of large-scale interannual variability in seasonal precipitation and river flow totals across the British uplands controlled by the varying strength of atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic region.”

The researchers have found that NAO variations cause large differences in seasonal precipitation totals compared to NAO-neutral conditions, an effect increased with altitude - what is known as “double orographic enhancement.”  For NAO conditions since 1825, this gives a maximum range of 150 per cent in precipitation totals at the wettest upland location compared to NAO-neutral conditions.

The team have shown in autumn, winter, and spring, there is a strong positive relationship between upland precipitation and NAO, which is not seen at low altitude except on northwest coasts.  In summer, significant negative relationships are evident in the English lowlands. These precipitation patterns directly translate to seasonal run-off.

The study concluded that on an interannual timescale, ocean-atmosphere drivers like NAO and El Niño-Southern Oscillation will have more immediate effect on extreme precipitation. How these drivers behave in the longer term in response to anthropogenic climate change is an issue of some significance and further research is needed in this area.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Gene Variation Identified for Teen Binge-Eating
Researchers have identified a gene variant which can lead to teenage binge eating, they hope that their work will inform the development of future preventative measures.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
What Causes Immune Cell Migration To Wounds
Study shows triggers which lead immune cells to react and respond to wounded sites.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Fighting Prostate Cancer with a Tomato-Rich Diet
New research suggests that men who eat over 10 portions of tomatoes a week have an 18% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Breakthrough Shows How DNA is ‘Edited’ to Correct Genetic Diseases
An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes 'edit' genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Deciphering the Role of Fat Stem Cells in Obesity and Diabetes
New study will examine stem cells to pinpoint how excess fat is stored, potentially paving the way for new treatments to combat obesity-linked diseases.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Molecular Biology Mystery Unravelled
Machinery responsible for the entry of proteins into cell membranes.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Beauty and the Lab: Scientists Reveal the Art of Science
From a heart-shaped cell nucleus to a 3D molecular syringe, creative scientists have revealed the beauty found in complex and technical research.
Monday, December 16, 2013
New Swine Influenza Project to Better Understand Virus Transmission
The Pirbright Institute in Surrey has been awarded £4.4 million to work with researchers from universities on a long-term study on the transmission of swine influenza.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Reach 36 Billion Tonnes in 2013
Global emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels will reach 36 billion tonnes for the year 2013 – a level unprecedented in human history.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Human Neural Stem Cells Could Meet the Clinical Problem of Critical Limb Ischemia
New research has shown human neural stem cells could improve blood flow in critical limb ischemia through the growth of new vessels.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Bristol Spearheads UK’s Role in €4 Million Synthetic Biology Project
The University of Bristol has been awarded a share of a €4million (£3.3million) European Union grant to improve public awareness of synthetic biology.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
New Findings Could Influence the Development of Therapies to Treat Dengue Disease
New research into the fight against Dengue may influence the development of anti-viral therapies that are effective against all four types of the virus.
Monday, August 05, 2013
Cheap Anti-Cancer Drug is Effective in Treating Most Common Cause of Blindness in Older Adults
An anti-cancer drug has been proven to be equally as effective in treating the most common cause of blindness in older adults as a more expensive drug specifically formulated for this purpose.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Genome of 700,000-Year-Old Horse Sequenced
The oldest genome so far from a prehistoric creature has been sequenced by an international team.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Top Honours for University’s Environmental Efforts
The University of Bristol’s efforts to be environmentally friendly and ethical are first class, according to a new league table.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Scientific News
The Changing Tides of the In Vitro Diagnostics Market
With the increasing focus in personalized medicine, diagnostics plays a crucial role in patient monitoring.
LaVision BioTec Reports on the Neuro Research on the Human Brain After Trauma
Company reports on the work of Dr Ali Ertürk from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich.
NIH Study Shows No Benefit of Omega-3 Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Less May Be More in Slowing Cholera Epidemics
Mathematical model shows more cases may be prevented and more lives saved when using one dose of cholera vaccine instead of recommended two doses.
Investigating the Vape
Expert independent review concludes that e-cigarettes have potential to help smokers quit.
NIH Launches Human RSV Study
Study aims to understand infection in healthy adults to aid development of RSV medicines, vaccines.
Researchers Discover Synthesis of a New Nanomaterial
Interdisciplinary team creates biocomposite for first time using physiological conditions.
Poor Survival Rates in Leukemia Linked to Persistent Genetic Mutations
For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival.
Flu Remedies Help Combat E. coli Bacteria
Physiologists from the University of Zurich have now discovered why the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) multiplies heavily and has an inflammatory effect.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!