Sunday, December 04, 2016

Atmosphere and Ocean Origins of North American Droughts

Research funded by CPO’s Climate Variability and Predictability (CVP) program has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate.

In this paper, authors Richard Seager (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University) and Martin Hoerling (NOAA ESRL) examine the causes of North American drought, investigate the predictability of drought, and explore the contribution of climate disturbances to drought.

Atmospheric models were forced using idealized and observed SST values to determine the contribution of tropical SST anomalies to precipitation and soil moisture as opposed to the contribution of atmospheric variability and other factors.

The authors find that up to 40 percent of the variability of annual mean precipitation in the North American south, southwest, and southern Great Plains can be explained by ocean forcing, and conclude that sea surface temperature can nudge the atmosphere into conditions, subsequently exacerbated or moderated by atmospheric variability, that can lead to drought.

The authors also find that the general warming trend over the United States, particularly in the southwest, may lead to a more rapid onset, and delayed resolution, of drought conditions in the future.

This paper is published in the June 2014 issue, and is part of a special collection on Global Drought Information System Worldwide. To view the article online, visit: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00329.1

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The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...

Events Calendar

12/7/2016 - 12/8/2016

NIDIS Midwest Drought Early Warning System Regional Workshop: Ohio and Kentucky

The National Integrated Drought Information System and its partners are presenting a Midwest drought information workshop to continue building a drought networking community in the region. The workshop will take place on December 7 and 8, 2016. 

12/5/2016 - 12/6/2016

NIDIS Midwest Drought Early Warning System Regional Workshop: Illinois and Indiana

The National Integrated Drought Information System and its partners are presenting a Midwest drought information workshop to continue building a drought networking community in the region. The workshop will take place on December 5 and 6, 2016.