Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered over a 35-year period.
The examination of the movement and interaction of mechanical energies across the atmosphere, published Jan. 24 in the journal Nature Communications, is the first to explore long-term variations of the Lorenz energy cycle – a complex formula used to describe the interaction between potential and kinetic energy in the atmosphere – and offers a new perspective on what is happening with global warming.
“It is a new way to look at and explain what people have observed,” said Liming Li, assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and corresponding author of the paper. “We found that the efficiency of Earth’s global atmosphere as a heat engine is increasing during the past four decades in response to climate change.”