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Category: RP1 Weather & climate interactions

Research brief: El Niño variations have little impact on terrestrial carbon cycle

Different expressions of El Niño do affect interannual variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, the effect over longer timescales is small. This means the changing frequency of these two types of El Niño events may be of little importance in terms of robustly simulating the future terrestrial carbon cycle.

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Research brief: The mystery of vertical mixing in the eastern Pacific cold tongue

In this study, the researchers used a high-resolution numerical simulation of the cold tongue region to show that strong turbulent mixing occurs not only on the Equator, but also off the Equator on the edge of the cold tongue associated with passing energetic oceanic waves with periods of 15-40 days known as Tropical Instability Waves.

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Research brief: Do aerosols produced by coral reefs influence climate?

Coral reefs are known to produce a chemical called dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which, when released into the atmosphere, can help form or grow tiny particles known as aerosols. Currently, this source of aerosols produced by coral reefs is unaccounted for in climate science and hence the impact of coral reef extinction on aerosols and climate is unknown.

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Research brief: Ring like structure in cyclone leads to rapid intensification of surface winds

The most intense and destructive tropical cyclones generally go through a period of rapid intensification, where “rapid” means that the near-surface winds increase by more than 15 m/s (54km/hr) in 24 hrs. However, the physical processes by which storms rapidly intensify are not well understood. This study uses very high-resolution simulations with the UK Met Office Unified Model of the 2016 north-Pacific tropical cyclone, Nepartak, to explore the processes responsible for its rapid intensification.

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Research brief: New Zealand’s costliest floods caused by atmospheric rivers

The largest rivers on Earth are not on the ground, but in the sky. Our new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, showed that nine out of ten of the most expensive floods in New Zealand (2007-2017) occurred during an Atmospheric River event, and seven to all ten of the top ten most extreme rainfall events at eleven different locations occurred during Atmospheric Rivers.

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