Posted on February 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Bob, which raked the New England coast in 1991.
Historic record shows series of intense storms during eras of warmer sea surface temps
FRISCO — Climate researchers say New England’s coastal communities may need to prepare for major hurricane strikes sooner rather than later as the Atlantic Ocean continues to warm.
“We may need to begin planning for a category 3 hurricane landfall every decade or so rather than every 100 or 200 years,” said Jeff Donnelly, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, explaining that new research findings show that a string of giant storms pummeled the region during the first millennium, from the peak of the Roman Empire into the height of the Middle Ages. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, extreme weather, global warming, hurricanes, New England | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Warmer atmosphere means more moisture, more rain
FRISCO — After carefully reviewing data from hundreds of stream gauges, University of Iowa scientists say they’ve identified a clear trend of increasing floods during the past 50 years.
“It’s not that big floods are getting bigger, but that we have been experiencing a larger number of big floods,” said Gabriele Villarini, a civil and environmental engineer and corresponding author on the paper, published Feb. 9 in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Climate Change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, extreme weather, flooding, Midwest floods, NASA, University of Iowa | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can Chinook salmon survive global warming?
Research documents more fall and winter flooding
FRISCO — Threatened Chinook salmon have been able to adapt to many changes over millennia, but climate change presents a big new threat, as many rivers around Puget Sound have seen bigger fluctuations in stream flows during the past 60 years.
“There’s more flooding in late fall and winter,” said Eric Ward, an ecologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center. “This is happening when the eggs are in the gravel or when the juveniles are most susceptible.”
More pronounced fluctuations in flow can scour away salmon eggs and exhaust young fish, especially when lower flows force adult fish to lay eggs in more exposed areas in the center of the channel. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Chinook salmon, climate change, endangered species, extreme weather, global warming, Puget Sound | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A tornado near Lakeview, Texas. Photo courtesy NOAA.
New study could help produce better tornado forecasting
FRISCO — Under certain conditions, wildfire smoke transported thousands of miles can intensify tornadoes in U.S., according to University of Iowa researchers, who studied how smoke from agricultural burning in Central America affected tornado conditions in the United States.
The research specifically looked at the smoke impacts on an April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak that spawned 122 twisters, killing 313 people, considered the most severe tornado event since 1950. Continue reading
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Posted on February 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Extreme heat events piling up in cities around the world
South American cities in particular have seen an increase in heat waves, according to a detailed new UCLA study that tracked climate more than 200 urban areas.
FRISCO — The world’s urban areas are shaping their own local climate by affecting regional wind fields, and that is resulting in more frequent heatwaves, researchers say, reporting a climate “double-whammy” of global warming and an intensifying urban heat island effect.
Human activities and the built environment trap heat and prevent cities from cooling down, said UCLA geography professor Dennis Lettenmaier.
“Everything’s warming up, but the effect is amplified in urban areas,” Lettenmaier said after studying 217 urban areas across the globe and finding that prolonged periods of extreme heat increased significantly in 48 percent of them between 1973 and 2012. Continue reading
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Posted on January 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Will global warming intensify extreme weather swings?
How will climate change affect ENSO?
FRISCO — Global warming could increase the frequency of extreme La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean, with more droughts in southwestern United States, floods in the western Pacific regions and increased Atlantic hurricane activity.
The international study, published in Nature Climate Change, used advanced modeling to show how increased land-area heating, combined with more frequent El Niños, will feed a cycle of extreme La Niñas. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate science, El Nino, ENSO, extreme weather, global warming, La Niña | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Tornado numbers low for third year in a row.
Scientists say they can’t pinpoint and long-term trends
FRISCO — The number of tornadoes in the U.S. was below average for the third year in a row, NOAA scientists said last week. A preliminary count shows there were about 800 tornadoes in 2014, the lowest number since 1982 and about 20 percent below the long term average. Continue reading
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