Posted on December 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
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
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
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: 2014 Arctic Report Card, Arctic amplification, global warming, Sea ice | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 16, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Is melting sea ice shifting the jet stream?
Study finds robust link between Arctic ice decline and severe Eurasian winter weather
FRISCO — If you feel like you’ve been on a weather roller coaster, maybe it’s because the jet stream has been behaving like one more and more often in recent years.
Instead of flowing around the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere with a few ripples, some years, the high-altitude river of air has been more like a writhing, out-of-control fire hose, snaking and looping, carrying huge surges of warm air north and cold. polar air south. At times, the jet stream has been getting stuck in that pattern for longer stretches. Continue reading
Filed under: global warming, climate and weather, Arctic, extreme weather | Tagged: global warming, extreme weather, Jet stream, Eurasian winter | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Last week’s Pacific storm dropped near-record rain
The video was created by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
FRISCO — A weekend storm rolling into Colorado won’t have a direct pineapple connection, but if the powder does pile up, it will be due to a big stream of moisture from the subtropical Pacific ocean that is wrapped into the approaching weather front.
As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described in a press release, the ‘Pineapple Express’’ happens when warm air and lots of moisture are transported from the Central Pacific, near Hawaii, to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The above animation of satellite imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite showed the stream of clouds associated with that moisture from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, 2014 and brought rain and snow to the western U.S. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather | Tagged: California drought, climate, El Nino, extreme weather | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Attribution studies still somewhat sketchy
Does global warming cause extreme weather?
FRISCO — A Stanford University climate researcher says that better modeling, advanced statistical analyses and a more robust set of observational climate data will help scientists under stand whether global warming is leading to more extreme weather events like floods, droughts and heat waves.
Such events appear to happening more frequently around the world, but because high-quality weather records go back only about 100 years, most scientists have been reluctant to say if global warming affected particular extreme events. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, drought, extreme weather, flooding, global warming, Storm surge | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Tree rings show the current combination of dryness and heat makes this the worst drought in 1,200 years
Researchers expect drought to become frequent and last longer. MAP COURTESY IPCC.
FRISCO — California’s current drought is already going down as one of the worst in recorded era, and a new tree-ring study by scientists shows it may be the driest period for the region in 1,200 years.
Researchers with the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution collected new tree-ring samples from blue oak trees in southern and central California.
“California’s old blue oaks are as close to nature’s rain gauges as we get,” said University of Minnesota professor Daniel Griffin. “They thrive in some of the driest environments where trees can grow in California.” These trees are particularly sensitive to moisture changes and their tree rings display moisture fluctuations vividly,” Griffin said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: California drought, climate change, extreme weather, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Warm spells affect permafrost and wildlife
Caption: Arctic foxes in Svalbard will have more than enough food during rainy and icy winters because there will be many reindeer carcasses for them to eat. The next winter, however, the fox population size will be reduced because a robust and small reindeer population will mean many few deaths and hence, very little carrion.
Credit: Brage B. Hansen, NTNU Centre for Conservation Biology.
FRISCO — A closely studied 2012 rain-on-snow event in Svalbard, Norway gave researchers a chance to take a close look at how global warming may play out on the fringes of the Arctic, where humans eke out a delicate existence in balance with the elements.
The extreme weather event in January brought record warmth to the cluster of islands inside the Arctic Circle, with high temperatures climbing well above freezing at a time of year when average readings are well below freezing. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, Svalbard | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
It’s all but certain that global warming will result in more frequent life-threatening heatwaves.
How hot will it get?
FRISCO — Life-threatening heatwaves like the blazing Russian summer of 2010 will occur as often as every two years across southern Europe, Africa and the Americas if global warming continues at its present pace.
Climate scientists already know that more heatwaves are one of the most certain consequences of more heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere, and a new index developed by the European Union’s Joint Research Center provides a way to compare heat waves over space and time. It takes into account both the duration and intensity of heat waves and can serve as a benchmark for evaluating the impacts of future climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: European Union, extreme weather, global warming, heatwaves, Joint Research Center | Leave a comment »