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Studies kick off on sea-air interactions at the confluence of Asia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean

hits:2487     Date:12/29/06

With the support of the national Basic Research Program (dubbed 973 Program), a research team led by WU Guoxiong from the CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics recently started a five-year project on sea-air interactions at the confluence of Asia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean & its short-term influence on China's climate.

The region where the Asian continent, Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean meet is a key geographic juncture whose atmospheric anomalies have an indelible influence on China's short-term climate at the seasonal or annual scales according to experts. The irregular sea-air interactions (i.e. the exchanges of energy, momentum and mass at the interface between the seawater and air) play a critical role in causing large-scale, continuous or eruptive climatic disasters in this country. Statistics in recent years show that the economic losses inflicted by climatic disasters each year account for 3% to 6% of China's GDP. It is an urgent demand from the socio-economic development to make precision prediction on local climate at the seasonal or annual scale so as to provide scientific grounds for decision-making in various sectors ranging from industry, agriculture to hydropower generation.

However, due to an inadequate understanding on the key physical processes and predictability on short-term climate and the inefficient climate-predicting models, our capacity in short-term climate forecasting is far from being satisfactory to meet the national demands in this regard. Aiming at the confluence, the project is of important scientific significance and high practical value in revealing the objective laws for the short-term climatic irregularities and upgrading our efforts both in calamity prediction and reduction.

The research will focus on the sea-air interactions in the confluence and their impact on the seasonal and annual climatic anomalies. Based on the multi-spherical interactions in the atmosphere, the project is expected to expose the influences of such phenomenon as ocean thermal conditions, circulation, heat, and water vapor transfer on the subtropical high pressure in western Pacific.

It will strive to make clear the regulatory mechanism in control over sea-air interactions by the sea-land thermal contrast, so as to reveal the impact of the sea-air interaction on Asian monsoon against the background of the huge thermodynamic disparity between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Indian Ocean.

Also, the study will make efforts to clarify the impact of the intra-seasonal or interannual oscillation on the monsoon and China's short-term climate under the interaction between the monsoon and warm ocean surface in the warm pool caught between Western Pacific Ocean and Eastern Indian Ocean. It will reveal the linkage between the water-cycling pattern in Asia's monsoon-dominated areas and China's drought and water-logging irregularities. In addition, the scientists will develop new numerical models with high simulation capacities on oceanic currents and the climatic modes coupling with them. At the same time, they will achieve valuable progresses in assimilation of the confluence's oceanographic data and their predictability.

Source from CAS

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