About these ads

Climate: Longer droughts, warmer temps to fuel massive increase in European forest fires

asf

Smoke from forest fires in Greece streams out across the Mediterranean Sea. GIF composite image via NASA and Wikipedia.

Study projects 200 percent increase in burned areas by 2090 without mitigation and adaptation

Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —The American West isn’t alone in facing an increased wildfire threat. Global warming is expected to result in a sharp increase in European forest fires during the coming decades. By 2090, areas burned by fires could increase by as much as 200 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Regional Environmental Change.

Warmer temperatures and longer droughts will combine to fuel forest fire conditions in areas that are already susceptible, particularly the Mediterranean region, the researchers said, suggesting that better forest management, including preventive fires, could keep the increase to less than 50 percent. Continue reading

About these ads

Climate study explores link between El Niño, the polar vortex and extreme cold outbreaks in Europe

Cold snaps more likely during El Niño winters

anomnight.current.small

How does El Niño affect weather in Europe?

Staff Report

FRISCO —El Niños don’t just affect anchovy fishermen in Peru and the ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada. The somewhat cyclical variation in equatorial Pacific sea surface temps can shift weather patterns worldwide, including in Europe, which may be more susceptible to extreme cold outbreaks in El Niño years, according to a new study led by a University of Colorado, Boulder researcher.

Other research has hinted at the connection, but the new paper is the first to show that El Niños might be linked with Sudden Stratospheric Warming events, when temperatures high in the atmosphere change radically, affect the polar vortex, a belt of winds that form a boundary between the cold Arctic and the temperate mid-latitudes. Sudden Stratospheric Warming weakens those winds, often leading to outbreaks of bitter cold Arctic air across Europe and possibly the eastern U.S. Continue reading

Does solar activity affect regional climate?

g

A composite image assembled from NASA satellite images shows the UK covered with snow during a spell of cold winter weather in January 2010.

Yes, but effects are small compared to changes driven by greenhouse gases

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After carefully studying cycles of solar activities and matching them against seafloor sediments that offer clues about ocean temperatures, Cardiff University scientists say low sunspot activity may be linked with phases of cold weather in Europe.

The study found that changes in the Sun’s activity can have a considerable impact on the ocean-atmospheric dynamics in the North Atlantic, with potential effects on regional climate.

While the effects of variations in solar energy are small compared to the impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the effects of solar output on the ocean and atmosphere should be taken into account when making future climate projections, the researchers said. Continue reading

Climate: New study shows regional variations in European warming

Biggest changes coming to Scandinavia

hg

How will global warming play out at the regional level?

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Even if global warming limited to the 2 degree Celsius target level, parts of Europe will warm much more than the global average, with the biggest increases in Scandinavia and Russia, where temperatures are likely to climb up to 6 degrees Celsius in the next few decades.

A new study, published in the IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, shows robust precipitation increases over Central and Northern Europe in the winter and Northern Europe in the summer, with a more extreme precipitation events, increasing the flood risks which are already having significant economic consequences. Southern Europe is an exception, and will experience a general decline in mean precipitation. Continue reading

Climate: How will Europe cope with growing flood risks?

New study outlines adaptation options

Central Europe 72h rain fall at 2.6.2013 en

Widespread heavy rainfall led to historic flooding across Central Europe in June, 2013. Map via Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —Europe needs to update its risk management strategy to adapt to the growing threat of floods, an international team of experts said this week, projecting that flood costs will climb dramatically during the next few decades.

By 2050, average annual flood-related costs could soar to €23.5 billion, up from the €4.9 billion in average annual losses for the 2000 to 2012 period, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change by researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and other European institutions.

Eying the widespread transnational threat, the team of economists and hydrologists advocated for restructuring pan-European funding mechanisms to better manage flood risks. Continue reading

Morning photo: Alleys

Come for a stroll …

Corfu

An inviting alleyway in the old town of Corfu, designated as a world heritage district.

FRISCO — While yesterday’s photo essay offered a bird’s eye view of city rooftops, today’s edition is at ground level, taking a look at some alleys around the world. By definition, an alley, or alleyway, is a narrow lane, path, or passage way, often for pedestrians only, which usually runs between or behind buildings, often in the older parts of towns and cities. For a traveler or explorer, that’s a pretty prosaic point of view. We prefer to see alleys as a pathway to adventures in unknown destinations. After all, what could be more inviting than a narrow, winding cobblestone path, beckoning to the unknown. Continue reading

Climate: Big greenhouse gas cuts possible in Europe

The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.

Continued use of coal will make it tough for Europe to meet emissions targets.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Europe could cuts it greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent at a moderate cost, using existing technologies, according to an international multi-model analysis by the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum.

The researchers shared their findings just as the European Commission prepares to announce whether it will scale up its efforts on emissions reduction in the next decade. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,509 other followers