Posted on October 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
An extratropical cyclone
North Atlantic pressure variations driving variable pattern
FRISCO — Weather patterns affecting the UK are becoming more volatile, climate researchers concluded in a new study, concluding that the trend is being driven by extreme variations in pressure over the North Atlantic.
The month of December is showing the biggest variation, but contrasting conditions, from very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy are a clear sign of less stable weather, University of Sheffield scientists reported in a study published last month in the Journal of Climatology.
Winter weather conditions are commonly defined using the North Atlantic Oscillation, a south-north seesaw of barometric pressure variations over the North Atlantic which determine the strength of the westerly winds that shape North Atlantic weather systems. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, extreme weather, North Atlantic Oscillation, UK weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Iceberg tracks offer modern climate clues. bberwyn photo.
Study seeks abrupt climate change clues
FRISCO — Icebergs may have been drifting off the coast of Florida as recently as 21,000 years ago, university researchers said after developing a climate model that recreates ocean currents from the end of the last ice age.
The study implies that the mechanisms of abrupt climate change are more complex than previously thought, according University of Massachusetts Amherst oceanographer Alan Condron. The models are supported by the discovery of iceberg scour marks on the sea floor along the entire continental shelf. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: abrupt climate change, climate change, Florida, global warming, icebergs | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study projects major shifts in species richness patterns
A map from the new University of British Columbia study shows the current distribution of species richness based on data going back to the 1950s.
FRISCO — Many fish species are racing away from the equator and toward the poles to escape steadily warming ocean temperatures. In a worst-case scenario of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, many fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, moving poleward by as much as 26 kilometers per decade.
Under the best-case scenario, where the Earth warms by just 1 degree Celsius, fish would move 15 kilometres every decade, according to a new study by scientists with the University of British Columbia study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, fish, global warming, oceans, species richness | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study documents ‘climate refuge’ in Virgin Islands
Boulder brain corals were found in abundance under the mangroves and were healthy, while many of those in unshaded areas a short distance away were bleaching.
Photo Credit: Caroline Rogers, USGS.
FRISCO — Some coral species are finding a refuge of sorts from global warming by finding new habitat in the shade of red mangrove trees.
Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and Eckerd College documented discovery of the refuge in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where more than 30 species of reef corals were found growing in Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat within the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in St. John. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, coral reefs, global warming, mangroves, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘From space, there are no hiding places …’
The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan.
FRISCO — The Four Corners region is a methane hotspot, producing the largest concentration of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States. Atmospheric concentrations of the gas are more than three times the standard ground-based estimate, according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, energy, Environment, Four Corners, greenhouse gases, methane, methane hotspot | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
How will daily and seasonal temperatures respond to the buildup of greenhouse gases?
‘No no place is immune from effects of climate change
FRISCO — Along with rising average global temperatures, climate scientists are also starting to document how heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution is affecting seasonal, and even daily temperature variations.
For example, researchers in Alaska have documented a huge increase in autumn temperatures on the North Slope of Alaska linked with the loss of Arctic sea ice, but the changes are becoming apparent even far from the oceans.
After doing some serious number crunching, a pair of scientists from Germany and Wyoming say that the daily and nightly differences in temperatures worldwide are fast approaching yearly differences between summer and winter temperatures.
“We describe, for the first time, changes in temperature variability across the globe,” said George Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. “We’ve had a long discussion about changes in the mean temperature. It has been ongoing for over 30 years. “It’s very clear mean temperatures have shifted across the globe. It’s less clear if the variation in temperature has changed,” Wang said.
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, diurnal temperature variations, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
September trend for Arctic sea ice extent is down, down, down. Courtesy NSIDC.
Arctic sea ice bottoms out; Antarctic sea ice hits new high
FRISCO — Even without remarkably warm weather patterns across the Arctic, summer sea ice dropped to the sixth-lowest extent on record this year, while at the other end of the Earth, sea ice around Antarctica swelled to a record extent.
Through 2014, Arctic sea ice has now been declining at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. The ten lowest September ice extents over the satellite record have all occurred in the last ten years. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, Antarctic sea ice record, Arctic sea ice, climate change, global warming | 1 Comment »