Posted on April 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Parts of Europe, central Asia were record warm
Hot and cold in March 2014. Map courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — The average global temperature in March 2014 soared to the fourth-highest reading on record, mainly due to warmer temperature readings over land surfaces, which averaged 2.39 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century norm, according to the monthly report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Climate analysts said it was the warmest March since 2010 — the last time that an El Niño cycle influenced global temperatures. The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 1.30 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term historic average. For the year to-date, the global temperature is running 1.08 degrees above average, making it the seventh-warmest January-March period on record. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, global temperature record, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A warming Arctic is changing the configuration of the jet stream, which affects mid-latitude weather. GRAPHIC COURTESY NOAA.
New study traces historic changes in North American weather patterns
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A new University of Utah-led study suggests that this past winter’s persistent weather pattern across North America is linked with changes in the jet stream that may become even more pronounced as the Earth’s climate warms.
“If this trend continues, it could contribute to more extreme winter weather events in North America, as experienced this year with warm conditions in California and Alaska and intrusion of cold Arctic air across the eastern USA,” said geochemist Gabe Bowen, senior author of the study. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, global warming, Jet stream | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A new study of Greenland ice cores suggests parts of the ice sheet persisted through previous global warming spells.
Will there be a meltdown?
FRISCO — At least some parts of the Greenland ice sheet likely survived some of the warmest interludes in the Earth’s geologic climate history, researchers said last week as they announced findings of a study that discovered an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.
“We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years,” said University of Vermont geologist and lead author Paul Bierman. The finding provides strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: climate, climate change, global warming, greenland, Greenland ice sheet | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Findings shed new light in links between temperatures, CO2 and glaciation
How will Antarctic ice sheets and glaciers respond to global warming? bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — The relationship between global temperatures and the massive glaciation of historic ice ages may be a bit more complex than previously believed.
By studying the chemical composition of Mediterranean Sea fossils as old as 5.3 million years, scientists found a new way to assess sea-level changes and deep-sea temperature variability over the past 5.3 million years. The findings will result in a better understanding of ice age climate, and could offer new insight into the relationship between carbon dioxide levels, global temperatures and sea levels. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, global warming, greenhouse gases, ice age | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Global warming seen as key factor in trend
Study documents significant trend in size and frequency of western wildfires.
Western wildfires: How much bigger will they get?
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The size and frequency of western wildfires have been increasing at a startling rate the past few decades, researchers said this week after scrutinizing satellite data to measure burned areas.
The number of wildfires larger than 1,000 acres increased by a rate of seven fires a year from 1984 to 2011 and the total areas burned grew by about 90,000 acres per year — an area the size of Las Vegas, according to the new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal published by the American Geophysical Union.
“We looked at the probability that increases of this magnitude could be random, and in each case it was less than one percent,” said Philip Dennison, an associate professor of geography at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and lead author of the paper. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, extreme weather, forest fires, global warming | Tagged: climate, Environment, global warming, Wildfires | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Climate story sponsored by the CRWCD. Click the banner for more info on the 2014 State of the River meetings.
In March, record cold readings outnumbered record highs by five to one
A tale of two winters, east and west. Map courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — Federal climate experts this week confirmed what a lot of people already knew instinctively — a long, cold winter stretched well into March in many parts of the country, with the average monthly temperature for the month coming in at 1 degree Fahrenheit below the 20th century average.
Across the country, there were five times as many record cold daily maximum and minimum temperatures (5822) as record warm daily maximum and minimum temperatures (1149) — an anomaly in an era when warm temperature records have consistently outnumbered cold records for months and years at a time. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather | Tagged: climate, March 2014 temperatures, NOAA, western drought | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA photo taken from the International Space Station shows sunlight glinting off the Amazon River.
Drought the main driver of destructive fires
By Staff Report
FRISCO — Longer droughts, land-use changes and wildfires may be pushing parts of the Amazon rainforest toward an ecological tipping point, a team of scientists said after analyzing the effects of fire in a series of study plots.
The changes may abruptly increase tree mortality and change vegetation over large areas, the researchers said, pointing out that current Amazon forest models don’t include the impacts of wildfires. As a result, projections of future forest health tend to underestimate the amount of tree death and overestimate overall forest health, said Dr. Michael Coe, of the Woods Hole Research Center. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Amazon Rainforest, drought, Environment, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Curbing global warming will require big cuts in greenhouse gases
March 2014 temperatures were above average across most of the globe.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —Greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb despite international attempts to curb heat-trapping gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its latest climate report.
Issued Sunday in Berlin, the report shows that greenhouse gas emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades. Only with significant institutional, social and technological changes will humankind be able to meet its stated target of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius, the scientists wrote. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, IPCC | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Statistical analysis of temperature data affirms climate models
Warmer than average temperatures prevailed across most of the globe in March 2014.
FRISCO — A new statistical analysis of temperature records dating back to 1500 suggests it’s more than 99 percent certain that the past century of global warming is caused by the emission of heat-trapping, industrial-age greenhouse gases. The study was published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics.
In a press release, the McGill University researchers said the study doesn’t use complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions. Instead, it examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature. The results all but rule out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | 1 Comment »