Des chercheurs de l’Institut Weizmann des Sciences (Israël) montrent que dans l’hémisphère sud, les tempêtes hivernales se sont d’ores et déjà intensifiées jusqu’à atteindre le niveau pourtant prévu par les modèles climatiques seulement pour 2080. © Nasa Worldview

The Earth seems to be warming faster than expected

The Earth’s climate is warming. There is no doubt about it. But what still seems difficult to pinpoint is the actual rate at which this warming is occurring. Or even more so, the speed at which warming takes effect. And researchers today report a phenomenon that seems to indicate that our planet is reacting faster to climate change than they thought.

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In the preliminary version – which covers only the first nine months of 2021 – of its annual report State of the Global Climate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirms the trend towards global warming. For the first time, the bar has risen by 1 ° C from pre-industrial averages over the last twenty years. But most of all, the report highlights the many extreme weather events that have occurred in 2021 and their consequences for the planet and for humanity. © World Meteorological Organization

Researchers around the world are watching the evolution of the climate. They compile all sorts of phenomena physical, chemical and biological to try to predict as accurately as possible changes in the context of anthropogenic global warming. And today, surprise, des researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) reveal that in thesouthern hemisphereles winter storms intensified.

Surprise? Yes, because the climate models they foresaw it. But rather by the end of this century. However, the results published by the researchers show that the intensification of storms – in the southern hemisphere, but not yet in thenorthern hemisphere – in recent decades it has already reached the level that scientists envisioned it would reach … in 2080!

“A winter storm is a meteorological phenomenon that lasts only a few days.” Individually, not every storm has a lot of climate weight. ”Rei Chemke, a researcher, recalls in a press release from the Weizmann Institute of Science. But the cumulative effect of these storms, on the other hand, is significant. They affect the transfer of heathumidity and amount of movement in the atmosphere. What to touch the different climatic zones of the Earth. Without the winter storms that carry heat from the tropics to the poles, the Arctic side temperatures would be about 30 ° C lower than they are, for example.

Climate models to be corrected

The work of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science confirms that – just like the global warming – This phenomenon of rapid intensification of winter storms in the southern hemisphere over the past 20 years cannot be explained by internal fluctuations in the Earth’s climate system. Human activity is the main culprit.

Why haven’t climate models seen anything coming? “Changes in temperature, rainfall, sea ice and summer storms, for example, are all accurately simulated by modelsexplains Rei Chemke. But we have discovered there, a parameter for which the sensitivity of the models must be adjusted ”. Because this intensification of the storms is the result of changes in the atmospheric jets. And that current climate models are not able to predict the detail of these changes. A bias that should now be corrected, however. To give more accurate projections for the future.

In the meantime, this work directly warns that human activities could have a greater impact than researchers in the southern hemisphere in particular thought. They give a clearer picture of the damage that climate change is expected to cause to the region. And call for immediate and swift action to combat global warming and adaptation.

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