Climate study predicts doubling of extreme La Niñas

Will global warming intensify extreme weather swings?

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How will climate change affect ENSO?

Staff Report

FRISCO — Global warming could increase the frequency of extreme La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean, with more droughts in southwestern United States, floods in the western Pacific regions and increased Atlantic hurricane activity.

The international study, published in Nature Climate Change, used advanced modeling to show how increased land-area heating, combined with more frequent El Niños, will feed a cycle of extreme La Niñas. Continue reading

It’s official: 2014 was the warmest year on record

More heat ahead …

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Record warmth around the world in 2014.

Staff Report

FRISCO — 2014 ended up as the warmest year ever for planet Earth, but just by a whisker, edging out 2005 and 2010 by 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit. The new temperature record was driven by persistent warmth across the world’s oceans, which have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas pollutants.

Heat absorbed in the oceans will fuel global warming for years to come, said Tom Karl, directory of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, which generates the monthly and annual climate reports for the U.S. and the world. With greenhouse gas emissions still rising, Karl said more record-warm years are ahead. Read the full report here. Continue reading

Climate: December 2014 the 2d-warmest for U.S.

2014 ends with record warmth in West

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Record heat in the West, but coolish in the East.

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Every state warmer than average in Dec. 2014.

Staff Report

FRISCO — All 50 U.S. states were warmer than average in December 2014, with the average reading across the contiguous 48 states. At 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, it will go into the record books as the second-warmest December on record, after 1939, according the latest state of the climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Nine states across the West, Southern Plains, and Northeast reported December readings ranking in the top 10, but no states were record warm during the month. Continue reading

Weather & climate summit returns to Breckenridge with sessions on sea ice and climate security

Annual conference includes all-star climate science speakers

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November’s above-average temperatures kept Earth on track to record its warmest year on record. Learn more from this year’s Glen Gerberg Weather and Cimate Summit.

Staff Report

FRISCO — This year’s Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge once again features some notable climate scientists, including James Balog, who has documented the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, and Dr. Richard Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center. As in past years, the sessions will be webcast live, enabling the general public to listen and even to ask questions online. Continue reading

U.S. Tornado activity again below normal in 2014

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Tornado numbers low for third year in a row.

Scientists say they can’t pinpoint and long-term trends

Staff Report

FRISCO — The number of tornadoes in the U.S. was below average for the third year in a row, NOAA scientists said last week. A preliminary count shows there were about 800 tornadoes in 2014, the lowest number since 1982 and about 20 percent below the long term average. Continue reading

Global warming: Many U.S. coastal areas to see frequent flooding sooner rather than later

High water at the mouth of the Mississippi River, near Venice, Louisiana.

High water at the mouth of the Mississippi River, near Venice, Louisiana. bberwyn photo.

Study eyes flood ‘tipping’ points

Staff Report

FRISCO — Rising sea levels will subject many coastal areas in the U.S. to frequent flooding by the middle of the century, according to a new NOAA study aimed at identifying flood “tipping points.” By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year the study concluded.

The research was led by NOAA scientists William Sweet and Joseph Park and published this week in the American Geophysical Union’s online peer-reviewed journal Earth’s Future. Continue reading

2014 Arctic report card documents ongoing global warming impacts

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A NASA Blue Marble view of Earth, with Greenland parts of the Arctic visible top-center.

Arctic warming twice as fast as rest of the planet

Staff Report

FRISCO — Parts of the Arctic Ocean are warming by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit every decade, and overall, Arctic temperatures are rising twice as fast the global average, climate scientists said today as they released results of an annual Arctic Report Card.

The report documents increasing air and sea surface temperatures, declining reflectivity at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, which reached a new record low last summer. And there is ongoing shrinkage of  spring snow cover on land and summer ice on the ocean.

The warming Arctic atmosphere was strongly connected to lower latitudes in early 2014 causing cold air outbreaks into the eastern USA and warm air intrusions into Alaska and northern Europe. Continue reading

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