RICHLAND, Wash., Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Scientists usually study weather as a consequence of global climate patterns -- an output rather than an input. But new research by scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a reminder that weather can be analyzed as both a cause and an effect.
Researchers at PNNL built a computer model to measure the impact of local weather conditions on global climate patterns. Scientists hope building "upscale" connections between weather and climate will improve the accuracy of global models.
As their new model revealed, rain, storm clouds and local turbulence can influence air patterns in another hemisphere. Local weather can shift jet streams and reroute storms on the other side of the globe.
The new global variable-resolution model works by simultaneously tracking local weather patterns, with a high resolution of detail, and global patterns with a coarser level of detail. Scientists tested their predictive results against a model using high resolution to track weather and climate across the entire globe. The two models yielded similar results, suggesting the global variable-resolution model is capable of yielding accurate predictions while using less computer power.
Scientists detailed their latest efforts in the Journal of Advance in Modeling of Earth Systems. They intend to continue tweaking the divergent resolution levels to tease out finer-detail connections between local and global patterns.