facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Daily climate becoming more erratic

Nov. 15, 2011 at 6:38 PM   |   Comments

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. study shows day-to-day weather has grown increasingly erratic and extreme, with significant fluctuations in sunshine and rainfall around the planet.

Princeton University researchers say extremely sunny or cloudy days are more common than in the early 1980s, and swings from thunderstorms to dry days rose considerably since the late 1990s.

These swings could have consequences for industries such as agriculture and solar-energy production, which are vulnerable to inconsistent and extreme weather, the researchers said in a release issued by the Ivy League school in New Jersey Tuesday.

Existing climate-change models have historically been based on monthly averages, an approach that hides variability, David Medvigy, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, said.

"Monthly averages reflect a misty world that is a little rainy and cloudy every day. That is very different from the weather of our actual world, where some days are very sunny and dry," Medvigy said.

"Nobody has looked for these daily changes on a global scale. We usually think of climate change as an increase in mean global temperature and potentially more extreme conditions -- there's practically no discussion of day-to-day variability."

Analysis of erratic daily conditions such as frequent thunderstorms may be crucial to understanding factors shaping the climate and affecting the atmosphere, the researchers said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Curiosity rover escapes hidden Mars sand trap
2
Navy aviation tests combined unmanned, manned operations
3
Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg: I'll take the ice bucket challenge, and improve it
4
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
5
Whale spotted in Virginia's Elizabeth River
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback