5 years ago

Changes in terrestrial near-surface wind speed and their possible causes: an overview

Deming Zhao, Jian Wu, Qidong Yang, Jinlin Zha


Changes in terrestrial near-surface wind speed (SWS) are induced by a combination of anthropogenic activities and natural climate changes. Thus, the study of the long-term changes of SWS and their causes is very important for recognizing the effects of these processes. Although the slowdown in SWS has been analyzed in previous studies, to the best of knowledge, no overall comparison or detailed examination of this research has been performed. Similarly, the causes of the decreases in SWS and the best directions of future research have not been discussed in depth. Therefore, we analyzed a series of studies reporting SWS trends spanning the last 30 years from around the world. The changes in SWS differ among different regions. The most significant decreases have occurred in Central Asia and North America, with mean linear trends of − 0.11 m s−1 decade−1; the second most significant decreases have occurred in Europe, East Asia, and South Asia, with mean linear trends of − 0.08 m s−1 decade−1; and the weakest decrease has occurred in Australia. Although the SWS in Africa has decreased, this region lacks long-term observational data. Therefore, the uncertainties in the long-term SWS trend are higher in this region than in other regions. The changes in SWS, caused by a mixture of global-, regional-, and local-scale factors, are mainly due to changes in driving forces and drag forces. The changes in the driving forces are caused by changes in atmospheric circulation, and the changes in the drag forces are caused by changes in the external and internal friction in the atmosphere. Changes in surface friction are mainly caused by changes in the surface roughness due to land use and cover change (LUCC), including urbanization, and changes in internal friction are mainly induced by changes in the boundary layer characteristics. Future studies should compare the spatio-temporal differences in SWS between high and low altitudes and quantify the effects of different factors on the SWS. Additionally, in-depth analysis of extreme SWS events and prediction of future mean and extreme SWS values at global and regional scales are also necessary.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-017-3997-y

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-017-3997-y

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