Climate change is likely to increase precipitation rates and cloud formation

west side of O’ahu, Hawaii with clouds over the island. (Photo credit: Chris Ostrander /SOEST)

As far back as she can remember, the University of Hawaii at Mānoa undergraduate student Kayla white knew she would become a scientist.

“I have always been fascinated by the natural beauty of the planet and the biology that inhabits it, including us, and how everything on the planet is linked,” White said.

After learning about how all of Earth’s systems are interconnected and about the climate system as a whole, White became particularly interested in the impact humans have on the atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial environment, and the Earth. weather. This led her to the Global environmental science (GHG) program in EUH by Manoa Department of Oceanography, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technologies (SOEST).

girl in cap and graduation gown
Kayla White in graduation ceremonial dress. (Photo credit: Natalie Shulte)

for her GHG major thesis research, White worked with SOEST atmospheric science assistant professor Giuseppe Torri to develop a computer model of clouds so that they can simulate the effects of climate change on cloud formations. Specifically, they assessed the impact of changing sea surface temperature around a flat or mountainous island on clouds and subsequent rain.

“We have found that as the sea surface temperature increases, the rate of precipitation and cloud formations increase, and increase the most in the middle of the islands,” said White, a native of Dallas, TX. in May GHG program. “In addition, with warmer sea surface temperatures, precipitation lasts later in the evening and at night than before. This shows that with the increase in sea surface temperatures due to climate change, the large islands of the maritime continent, and more generally of the Pacific, could experience an increase in precipitation and clouds that last longer. long time.

“All of us in GHG and SOEST are very proud of Kayla’s accomplishments as he EUH Mānoa and we look forward to seeing his contributions during graduate study and beyond, ”said Michel Guidry, president of the GHG program.

This work is an example of EUH Mānoa’s goal of Research Excellence: Advancing the Business of Research and Creative Work (PDF) and Improve student success (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the 2015-25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

For more information, see SOESTthe website of.

–By Marcie Grabowski

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.