Global Sources of Moisture: characterization and study of its variability
tesis de doctorado
Castillo Rodríguez, Rodrigo Alberto
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The current work is a climatological study and characterization of the global sources of moisture for continental precipitation based on a Lagrangian analysis technique. It consists of a synopsis of a series of articles published in specialist publications, thereby demonstrating the quality of the outcomes. The five key articles form the main structure of this research and it is these that address the crucial aspects of the atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle, such as the characterization of the global sources of moisture, the interannual variability of the moisture transport, and the distribution of continental precipitation from oceanic moisture source regions. The study provides a robust identification of all major oceanic moisture sources as well as an assessment of their recent changes in amplitude, allowing three key scientific questions to be answered: (i) have the moisture source regions been stationary, or have they changed over the last three decades?, (ii) how do the changes in the intensity (more evaporation) and position of the sources affect the distribution of continental precipitation?, and (iii) what is the role of the main modes of climate variability such as ENSO, NAM and SAM in the variability of the moisture regions and the continental precipitation associated with each source? Moreover, by studying the potential influence on continental precipitation of the oceanic regions with higher evaporation minus precipitation rates in a future climate change scenario, this work is an analysis of the oceanic sources of continental precipitation linked to climate change. Finally, by using a catalogue to identify and characterize all the major moisture sources associated with the continental climatic regions based on two different regionalization schemes, this study provides a reliable and robust assessment of source-sink relationships in the atmospheric water cycle for regional climates, which is a requirement for understanding the major driving factor for extreme weather and climate events.
- Meteorología