A recent study of the Lorenz cycle has shed light on the complex interactions within the earth’s atmosphere. The research has shown the based on a study of the last 35 years of climatic data, more potential energy is being converted to kinetic energy, and this is why the violence of storms has been rising.
The study relied heavily on satellite based imaging, and sees the atmosphere from a mechanical perspective. They view the world as a “heat engine” and due to the increasing efficiency of that engine, the conversion of potential energy that would otherwise be harmless to us, is being converted more efficiently into kinetic energy, and that is what is feeding extreme weather.
Clearly this is not good news, and is just one more reason for us to look for ways that we can reverse global warming.
This study links the positive direction of the factors that comprise the Lorenz cycle to the increasingly dangerous storms in the southern hemisphere, and the ongoing drought in central Asia.
Although the overall energy that exists in our atmosphere is seen as constant, the warming that is occurring promotes what they refer to as “eddy energies”, which are what cause turbulence and storms.
This is the first study to approach the Lorenz cycle over such a long time frame, as the longest previous study had analyzed the Lorenz cycle over a period of 10 years. Seeing the cycle over a longer period will help the scientists to better understand how an increasingly efficient “heat engine” may effect our planet in the future.
As time goes on, we are learning more and more about just how damaging climate change is, and that we need to make changes to how we treat our world.