Pontus Lurcock and Fabio Florindo
Antarctic climate changes have been reconstructed from ice and sediment cores and numerical models (which also predict future changes). Major ice sheets first appeared 34 million years ago (Ma) and fluctuated throughout the Oligocene, with an overall cooling trend. Ice volume more than doubled at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. Fluctuating Miocene temperatures peaked at 17–14 Ma, followed by dramatic cooling. Cooling continued through the Pliocene and Pleistocene, with another major glacial expansion at 3–2 Ma. Several interacting drivers control Antarctic climate. On timescales of 10,000–100,000 years, insolation varies with orbital cycles, causing periodic climate variations. Opening of Southern Ocean gateways produced a circumpolar current that thermally isolated Antarctica. Declining atmospheric CO2 triggered Cenozoic glaciation. Antarctic glaciations affect global climate by lowering sea level, intensifying atmospheric circulation, and increasing planetary albedo. Ice sheets interact with ocean water, forming water masses that play a key role in global ocean circulation.
Eduardo Marone, Ricardo de Camargo, and Julio Salcedo Castro
This article describes the threat costal hazards pose to existing life in light of climate change and natural disaster. It includes an overview of flooding, extreme waves, and other water-related stressors. The article discusses how human-induced risks in the coastal zone, resulting from mismanaged urbanization, persistent pollution, and overexploitation of resources, exacerbate matters and pose extra pressure on the environment, science, and society. Ways of measurement and reaction to these events, as well as best practices for preparedness, are discussed. Businesses, individuals, and ecosystems are under threat of destruction from these circumstances. The article also emphasizes the need to make scientific work in this field accessible and understandable to society and decisión makers.
Physical Mechanisms Responsible for Track Changes and Rainfall Distributions Associated with Tropical Cyclone Landfall
Johnny C.L. Chan
As a tropical cyclone approaches land, its interaction with the characteristics of the land (surface roughness, topography, moisture availability, etc.) will lead to changes in its track as well as the rainfall and wind distributions near its landfall location. Accurate predictions of such changes are important in issuing warnings and disaster preparedness. In this chapter, the basic physical mechanisms that cause changes in the track and rainfall distributions when a tropical cyclone is about to make landfall are presented. These mechanisms are derived based on studies from both observations and idealized simulations. While the latter are relatively simple, they can isolate the fundamental and underlying physical processes that are inherent when an interaction between the land and the tropical cyclone circulation takes place. These processes are important in assessing the performance of the forecast models, and hence could help improve the model predictions and subsequently disaster preparedness.
Howard B. Bluestein
In the past four decades much has been discovered about tornado formation and structure from observations, laboratory models, and numerical-simulation experiments. Observations include nearby movies and photographs of tornadoes, fixed-site, airborne, and ground-based mobile Doppler radar remote measurements, and in situ measurements using instrumented probes. Laboratory models are vortex chambers and numerical-simulations are based on the governing fluid dynamical equations. However, questions remain: How and why do tornadoes form? and How does the wind field associated with them vary in space and time? Recent studies of tornadoes based on observations, particularly by radar, are detailed. The major aspects of numerically simulating a tornado and its formation are reviewed, and the dynamics of tornado formation and structure based on both observations and laboratory and numerical-simulation experiments are described. Finally, future avenues of research and suggested instrument development for furthering our knowledge are discussed.