Put on your galoshes…We’re in the ITCZ!!!

The Inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) migrates annually from its northern position in the northern hemisphere summer to its southern position in the winter.

2 March, 2010

We had a full 24 hours of transit yesterday before arriving on site at 11pm for a night of long coring, gravity coring and box coring. We are now sitting within the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is the band of convection that circles the globe near the equator and occurs where the trade winds from north and south of the equator converge.  The ITCZ migrates northward in the Northern Hemisphere summer, and southward in the winter, and is responsible for the wet and dry seasons experienced in the tropics.  Right now we are positioned at  2º 51.5575′ North latitude, and are surrounded by impressive thunderclouds.

Large thunderclouds associated with the ITCZ off our starboard bow.

One of the major objectives of this cruise is to investigate the effects of the ITCZ position on Amazon Basin climate.  We know from previous studies that the mean position of ITCZ  has changed on glacial to interglacial periods (100,000 year cycles).  However, researchers are interested in learning more about the detailed movements of the ITCZ on shorter timescales as well (i.e. during the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Periods, 100-200 year timescales).

Kara and Carlie "sunbathing" on the steel beach. Hopefully they make it down the 5 flights of stairs to the main deck before the rain.

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2 Responses to “Put on your galoshes…We’re in the ITCZ!!!”

  1. Desiree Says:

    You ladies deserve a break!! Hope you are all having a fantastic trip. The reports are awesome. Keep them coming.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Hi, who do I contact to ask for permission reuse the ITCZ figure above for a publication. Thanks!

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