Jan 29, 2010

LIS science: Sea surface temperature

Tropical convection and sea surface temperatures

While the tourist might think of intense rainstorms as a good reason to stay inside and read, the scientist sees the rainstorms as an exchange of energy that helps drive the global weather and climate system.

Most of the heat generated at the sea surface in the tropics is transported upward into the atmosphere and then to higher latitudes by deep convective storms. This is an important link in the circulation of air and moisture around the planet, but little is known about the heat balance and the number of thunderstorms formed.

Maps of lightning distributions will help use understand global circulation patterns over the oceans and then circulation for the planet as a whole.

Back to the Lighting Imaging Sensor story.