OPEN ACCESS

Articles online

ENSO Influence on Coastal Fog-Water Yield in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Category: Others

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.01.0022
PDF | RIS | BibTeX

Camilo del Río 1,2, Juan-Luis Garcia1,2, Pablo Osses1,2, Nicolás Zanetta1,2, Fabrice Lambert1, Daniela Rivera1, Alexander Siegmund3,4, Nils Wolf4, Pilar Cereceda1,2, Horacio Larraín2, Felipe Lobos2

  • 1 Instituto de Geografía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 2 Centro UC Desierto de Atacama, Santiago, Chile
  • 3 Heidelberg Center for the Environment & Institute for Geography, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
  • 4 Research Group for Earth Observation (rgeo), Department of Geography, Heidelberg University of Education, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany

Highlights

We explore the relation of ENSO and fog-water yields in coastal Atacama Desert.
We contrast 17 years of fog-water data with atmospheric and oceanographic variables.
Ocean and atmospheric interrelated functioning are expose at different time and scales.
ENSO influence on fog and explain 79% of the summer fog water variability.
Use of fog as a water resource is sustainable under possible future climate scenarios.


Abstract

Fog water represents an alternative, abundant and currently unexploited fresh water resource in the coastal Atacama Desert (~20°S). Here, the stratocumulus clouds meet the Coastal Cordillera, producing highly dynamic advective marine fog, a major feature of the local climate that provides water to a hyper-arid environment. One of the main issues that arises in harvesting fog water is our limited understanding of the spatial and inter-annual variability of fog clouds and their associated water content. Here we assess the role of regional-wide El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forcing on local inter-annual fog-water yields along the coast of Atacama. We contrast 17 years of continuous fog-water data, with local and regional atmospheric and oceanographic variables to determine the link in between them and the inter-annual dynamics of fog in northern Chile. Sea surface temperature (SST) in ENSO zone 1 + 2 shows significant correlations with offshore and coastal Atacama SST, as well as with local low cloud cover and fog water yields, which go beyond the annual cycle beat, exposing a potential causal link and influence of ENSO on fog along the Atacama. On inter-annual time scale, we found that when ENSO 3 + 4 zone SST, specifically during summer, overcome a > 1°C temperature threshold, they incite significantly higher summer fog water yields and explain 79% of the fog variability. Furthermore, satellite images displaying regional extent Sc cloud and fog presence during ENSO extremes reveal higher cloud abundance during El Niño at this latitude. However, 75% of the yearly fog water is collected during winter, and does not appear to be affected in a significant manner by Pacific oscillations. Thus, our results suggest that the utilization of fog as a fresh water resource may be sustainable in the future, regardless of ENSO-induced variability in the region.

Keywords

Southeast Pacific (SEP) Stratocumulus cloud Fog-water El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Estación Atacama UC Oasis de Niebla Alto Patache


Related Article

Preparation of Fe2O3/Al2O3 and Fe2O3/TiO2 Pellets as Oxygen Carrier for Chemical Looping Process

Young Ku , Pao-Hsien Lin, Hsuan-Chih Wu, Yu-Cheng Liu, Yao-Hsuan Tseng, Hao-Yeh Lee
Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.03.0121
PDF

Characterization and Modeling of Fog in the Mexico Basin

Pohema González-Viveros, Ernesto Caetano, Fernando García-García
Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0548
PDF

Atmospheric Emission Characteristics and Control Policies of Anthropogenic VOCs from Industrial Sources in Yangtze River Delta Region, China

Chenghang Zheng, Jiali Shen, Yongxin Zhang, Xinbo Zhu, Xuecheng Wu, Linghong Chen, Xiang Gao
Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.06.0234
PDF

Fog Spatial Distributions over the Central Namib Desert - An Isotope Approach

Kudzai Farai Kaseke, Chao Tian, Lixin Wang , Mary Seely, Roland Vogt, Theo Wassenaar, Roland Mushi
;