Posted on June 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘No action is clearly the most expensive solution of all’
Global warming ramped up in May with a record-high average temperature worldwide.
FRISCO — Inaction on climate change is probably the costliest option for the European Union, which could not only see direct costs of €190 billion, but also a net loss of 1.8 percent of its current GDP. Premature mortality accounts for more than half of the overall welfare losses (€120 billion), followed by impacts on coasts (€42 billion) and agriculture (€18 billion).
“No action is clearly the most expensive solution of all. Why pay for the damages when we can invest in reducing our climate impacts and becoming a competitive low-carbon economy?” said Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. “Taking action and taking a decision on the 2030 climate and energy framework in October, will bring us just there and make Europe ready for the fight against climate change,” she said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change impacts, climate costs, Environment, EU, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study finds that online movie viewing is more energy efficient
FRISCO —All those trips to the video store and Red Box, and all the fossil fuel used to manufacture and transport DVDs and CDs added up to more than 4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions that could have been avoided (in 2011) if all media were simply streamed online, scientists concluded after taking a close look at the carbon budget of the entertainment business.
The study, published May 29 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, says more energy efficient electronic devices have tipped the balance toward online consumption of movies and music. A significant proportion of the energy consumption and carbon emissions for streaming comes from the transmission of data, which increases drastically when more complex, high-definition content is streamed. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: carbon dioxide, clmate change, CO2, Environment | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
High runoff taking a toll on roads
Flood waters caused a major washout of Montezuma Road in Summit County, Colorado. Photo courtesy Summit County Road and Bridge.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Spring runoff is starting to take a toll on high country roads, with a major washout reported along Montezuma Road and minor flooding in other areas, including a partial washout on the Meadow Creek trailhead road in Frisco.
East of Keystone, Summit County officials reported a 45-washout of Montezuma Road, leaving Montezuma residents withouth vehicular access. According to the county, the road is washed out 15-feet deep near the Peru Creek trailhead. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, extreme weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado news, flooding, Frisco, Montezuma, Summit County | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The water in the Antarctic Sound can be smooth as glass, and sometimes look thick and oily, probably because it’s so cold. Click on the photo to learn about some of the environmental issues in Antarctica.
“During that time, the sea level on a global basis rose about 50 feet in just 350 years…”
FRISCO — There’s precedent for rapid meltdown of the Antarctic ice sheets, scientists said this week announcing findings from a new study that tracked the history of the ice sheets back to the last ice age.
The scientists said the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age — and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.
Results of this latest study are being published this week in the journal Nature. It was conducted by researchers at University of Cologne, Oregon State University, the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Lapland, University of New South Wales, and University of Bonn. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, global waming | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Tropical cyclones appear to be migrating north.
Study finds that point of maximum intensity has moved poleward by 35 miles per decade
FRISCO — Tropical storm trackers say that the location where cyclones reach their maximum intensity is shifting north by about 35 miles each decade. The changes could put more coastal infrastructure at risk, while other areas that rely on tropical storms for water could be left high and dry, researchers said.
The amount of poleward migration varies by region. The greatest migration is found in the northern and southern Pacific and South Indian Oceans, but there is no evidence that the peak intensity of Atlantic hurricanes has migrated poleward in the past 30 years. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: climate change, extreme weather, global warming, tropical storms | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Manhattan’s seawall could be breached every 4-5 years
Local factors and global warming combined have increased the flooding risk in New York. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
FRISCO — Parts of New York are even more susceptible to dangerous flooding than previously thought, researcher said this week, explaining that the chances of water overtopping the Manhattan seawall now at least 20 times greater than they were 170 years ago.
According to the research, maximum water levels in New York harbor during major storms have risen by nearly two and a half feet since the mid-1800s. Sea-level rise has raised water levels along New York harbor by nearly a foot and a half since the mid-19th century, and the research shows that the maximum height of the city’s “once-in-10-years” storm tide has grown additionally by almost a foot in that same period. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, New York, rising sea level | 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 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 »