Posted on August 28, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Cold snaps more likely during El Niño winters
How does El Niño affect weather in Europe?
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
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, extreme weather | Tagged: Arctic outbreaks, climate, El Nino, Europe, extreme weather, Sudden stratospheric warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Dwindling precipitation in the Southwest spells trouble for native fish. bberwyn photo.
Study shows significant loss of fish habitat by mid-century
FRISCO — Big sections of vulnerable stream habitat for native fish in the Southwest are likely to disappear by mid-century as global warming causes stream flows to dwindle.
By 2050, stream-drying events could increase by 17 percent, and the number of zero-flow days could go up by 27 percent in the Verde River Basin, affecting species like speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), roundtail chub (Gila robusta) and Sonora sucker (Catostomus insignis).
The drying trend will fragment aquatic habitat, hampering feeding and spawning. Some populations that are already isolated may very well disappear, said Ohio State University researcher Kristin Jaeger, an assistant professor at the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, rivers, water | Tagged: climate change, drought, endangered species, extreme weather, global warming, Southwest, Verde River | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More extremes expected in a warming world
A NASA climate maps shows much of the globe was warmer than average during June 2014.
FRISCO — After crunching the latest climate numbers in a supercomputer, researchers with Northeastern University report that temperatures may become more volatile in coming decades, on both the hot and cold end of the spectrum.
Increasing temperature variability means that, while each year’s average hottest and coldest temperatures will likely rise, those averages will also tend to fall within a wider range of potential high and low temperate extremes than are currently being observed. This means that even as overall temperatures rise, there may still be extreme cold snaps. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | 1 Comment »
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 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 March 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘There is no standstill in global warming … The laws of physics are non-negotiable’
Will this year bring the next spike in global temperatures?
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Some of the weather extremes in 2013 were consistent with the effects of human-caused global warming, according to the annual climate statement from the World Meteorological Organization.
The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend. Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record.
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change WNO, extreme weather, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Long-term Pacific Ocean cycles could be driving SW drought
What’s the role of natural climate variability in Southwestern droughts?
FRISCO — If you’re ready to blame drought in the southwestern U.S. on global warming, it might be time to rethink that conclusion.
According to scientists with the University of California, Riverside, dry conditions in the region may be linked with an expansion of the Earth’s tropical belt during the past few decades. And that expansion is likely driven by multi-decadal sea surface temperature variability in the Pacific Ocean, according to the new study. Other explanations for this widening have been proposed, including radiative forcing due to greenhouse gas increase and stratospheric ozone depletion. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, drought, extreme weather, PDO | Leave a comment »