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A recent study: Predicting climate fluctuations for the next 5 years

 5 years from now, will winter be mild or cold? Will the summer be rainy? Unfortunately, reliable answers to these questions are not currently possible despite the great scientific advances in climatology and the methods used in the field of weather forecasting.

But a new scientific study by German researchers finds that some of the main factors that influence climate, such as the surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean; can be predicted several years into the future; This makes forecasting weather trends over Europe possible as well.

A recent study: Predicting climate fluctuations for the next 5 years

The study, by researchers from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research and the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research in Germany, was published July 21 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The role of the ocean:

It is known that the climate system on Earth is very complicated by the mutual influence of its different components, such as the atmosphere, oceans and land ice; This causes natural climate changes whose time ranges extend between a few months and decades, and the ocean plays a key role in these changes in the long term.

In the new study, the researchers examined the possibility of using wind data to predict North Atlantic surface temperature changes several years into the future, and they believe such differences in sea surface temperatures affect the climate in Europe.

“Predictions of climate change are possible in certain regions on Earth. An example of this is the biennial El Niño in the tropical Pacific, which can be expected a few months in advance,” says Dr. Annika Rings, a researcher at GEOMAR.

The lead author of the study adds - in a press release published on the center's website - that this study "focuses (on changes that occur) over a longer time period, in a region where the natural variation is much greater than in the tropics."

Expectations are possible:

If such predictions are possible, what kind of information would they require? And what are its characteristics? These questions were addressed by the study authors and concluded that long-term predictions of atmospheric variability are possible thanks to slow ocean changes, which extend over many years.

But the difficulty lies - according to the researcher, Rings - "that ocean observations - necessary to design the model that will be used to calculate these forecasts - must be as accurate as possible. At a time when ocean observations, especially underground, are still limited in quantity and quality." .

In the absence of such accurate data, the researchers used to build a computer model designed to predict ocean changes over years, using raw values ​​that were extracted from describing wind changes at the ocean's surface.

Over time, the ocean model's predictions become true enough to make successful predictions more than 7 years into the future, the study author explains in the statement.

To explain this mechanism linking wind movement to changes in the ocean's surface, the researchers say, winds cause a change in the movement of currents within the ocean, accumulating more heat than usual in a particular region of the North Atlantic.

This heat is then transferred to the northeast over several years; This eventually leads to a rise in sea surface temperature in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, in response to winds that blew many years earlier.

This study confirms previous findings that sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic can influence European climate.

Therefore, building accurate computer models to predict the surface temperature of the North Atlantic over several years will be of great interest to decision makers in politics, economics and society, as well as the general public.


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