Posted on April 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Historical water data not a good basis for planning; strategic planning and prompt action needed
Many parts of the world could experience serious drought by mid-century.
The western U.S. may already be in a new drought regime driven by global warming.
FRISCO —The western U.S. will likely be one of the first places to experience unprecedented drought driven by climate change, according to new research by scientists with the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate adaptation, climate change, drought, European Geophysical Union, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, IIASA, water supplies | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘This is a taste of what the ocean will be like in future decades’
Exceedingly high water temperatures in the eastern Pacific have persisted for several years, influencing weather across western North America and beyond.
FRISCO — Climate scientists have long known that the West has experienced significant long-term droughts during past millennia, but they don’t know exactly why. Understanding the cause may be more important now, given the huge impacts of the current drought in California, so researchers have been focusing on a huge mass of warm water hugging the West Coast.
Those conditions may be linked with a relatively unknown decadal weather pattern called the North Pacific Mode, which may be a significant weather driver, along with the El Niño-La Niño oscillation, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, according to the University of Washington’s Dennis Hartmann. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: California drought, climate change, ENSO, North Pacific mode | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Record low streamflows expected in many areas this summer
Precipitation for the 2015 water year- to-date is now below normal over most of the West except for some northwestern areas. The dry March has significantly affected this picture since a month ago, when far more of the West was near normal.
FRISCO —Federal water watchers say their April 1 readings show that precipitation thus far in the 2015 water year (beginning October 1, 2014) is now below normal over most of the West except for some northwestern areas and coastal Alaska.
Snowpack has declined significantly since last month throughout the West due to the warm and dry March. Only high- elevation areas in the Rocky Mountains and Interior Alaska retain somewhat near normal snowpack.
Streamflow forecasts have dropped since last month due to a lack of snow accumulation during March and an early snowmelt, with most regions now expecting below normal streamflow. Reservoir storage is currently below normal in the Southwest and Nevada, with near to above normal storage elsewhere. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, drought, extreme weather, global warming, streamflow forecast, Western United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 31, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can we transcend carbon?
FRISCO — Acknowledging the need to switch to a low-carbon economy to avoid disastrous climate change, the United States today pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent in the next 10 years. All the climate pledges are updated and indexed at this UN website.
It’s all over the news:
And you can read it for yourself here:
Less covered in the U.S. media was Russia’s climate pledge.
One of the biggest challenges in getting people to see the path toward a low-carbon economy as a path of innovation and economic opportunity.
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: global climate treaty, global warming, greenhouse gas reductions, U.S. INDC | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Is there a ‘safe’ limit for global warming?
‘No safe limit’
FRISCO — While the world haltingly stumbles down a path aimed at limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, some experts say that target isn’t enough to protect at-risk ecosystems and the world’s most vulnerable populations.
In a commentary for the open access journal Climate Change Responses, Penn State geographer Petra Tschakert said the goal is “utterly inadequate,” leaving millions of people vulnerable to devastating flooding, heatwaves and other impacts they are ill-equipped to deal with. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, COP climate talks, Environment, global warming, IPCC | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Findings from Swiss-American team present nuanced view of how climate change affects weather extremes
One of this past winter’s northeastern snowstorms swirls off the coast of New England in the satellite image via NASA Earth Observatory.
FRISCO — Adding more fuel to the debate over climate change and extreme weather, Swiss and American scientists this week said their new study shows that global warming tends to reduce temperature variability.
The cold and snowy weather that gripped much of the eastern U.S. this winter was probably not linked to Arctic amplification and increased waviness of the jet stream, according to the scientists with ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology.
Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability than changes in the jet stream, the researchers said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, extreme weather, global warming, Jet stream | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Real science, from real scientists.
Expert speakers available in all 50 states
FRISCO — Debates about global warming can quickly descend into murky territory, especially if they take place in a political context. But communities looking for straightforward and nonpartisan scientific information can find from a science speakers network that includes climate experts from all 50 states.
The Climate Voices Initiative was launched last year by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the United Nations Foundation, aiming to bring together scientists with members of local communities to discuss climate science and regional effects of climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate adaptation, climate science, Environment, global warming | 1 Comment »