Posted on December 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Tree rings show the current combination of dryness and heat makes this the worst drought in 1,200 years
Researchers expect drought to become frequent and last longer. MAP COURTESY IPCC.
FRISCO — California’s current drought is already going down as one of the worst in recorded era, and a new tree-ring study by scientists shows it may be the driest period for the region in 1,200 years.
Researchers with the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution collected new tree-ring samples from blue oak trees in southern and central California.
“California’s old blue oaks are as close to nature’s rain gauges as we get,” said University of Minnesota professor Daniel Griffin. “They thrive in some of the driest environments where trees can grow in California.” These trees are particularly sensitive to moisture changes and their tree rings display moisture fluctuations vividly,” Griffin said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: California drought, climate change, extreme weather, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Extreme weather events don’t seem to affect people’s beliefs on global warming, new research shows.
Ideology trumps science
FRISCO — A string of extreme global weather events between 2010 and 2012 didn’t do much to change public opinion about global warming, according to a new study by Michigan State University researchers.
They started their research with polling data collected in March 2012, after by far the warmest U.S. winter in recent memory. But most people surveyed didn’t link the unusually warm weather with global warming. In fact, only 35 percent of U.S. citizens thought that global warming caused the warm winter, according to the paper published this week in Nature Climate Change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, global warming, global warming beliefs | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Warm spells affect permafrost and wildlife
Caption: Arctic foxes in Svalbard will have more than enough food during rainy and icy winters because there will be many reindeer carcasses for them to eat. The next winter, however, the fox population size will be reduced because a robust and small reindeer population will mean many few deaths and hence, very little carrion.
Credit: Brage B. Hansen, NTNU Centre for Conservation Biology.
FRISCO — A closely studied 2012 rain-on-snow event in Svalbard, Norway gave researchers a chance to take a close look at how global warming may play out on the fringes of the Arctic, where humans eke out a delicate existence in balance with the elements.
The extreme weather event in January brought record warmth to the cluster of islands inside the Arctic Circle, with high temperatures climbing well above freezing at a time of year when average readings are well below freezing. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, Svalbard | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
It’s all but certain that global warming will result in more frequent life-threatening heatwaves.
How hot will it get?
FRISCO — Life-threatening heatwaves like the blazing Russian summer of 2010 will occur as often as every two years across southern Europe, Africa and the Americas if global warming continues at its present pace.
Climate scientists already know that more heatwaves are one of the most certain consequences of more heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere, and a new index developed by the European Union’s Joint Research Center provides a way to compare heat waves over space and time. It takes into account both the duration and intensity of heat waves and can serve as a benchmark for evaluating the impacts of future climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: European Union, extreme weather, global warming, heatwaves, Joint Research Center | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Is a super storm winding up in the Bering Sea?
Big cyclone to affect weather across North America
FRISCO — Weather watchers are closely tracking what could become the strongest storm on record in the Gulf of Alaska.
What was once Typhoon Nuri is heading into the Bering Sea, west of Alaska, and some forecasters expect the storm’s central low pressure to drop below 930 millibars on Friday night — even lower than Hurricane Sandy’s. The current record stands at 925 millibars from a powerful storm that moved over the Bering Sea on Oct. 25, 1977. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic outbreak, Bering Sea, climate change, extreme weather, Polar vortex, Superstorm Nuri | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 28, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A new NOAA study tracks the occurrence of seasonal tornadoes across the U.S.
Fewer outbreaks, but more twisters?
FRISCO — Tracking tornado trends is a big deal in the global warming era, as researchers seek to determine whether climate change will result in more catastrophic and life-threatening weather events.
Since the 1950s, researchers say, the overall number of annual tornadoes has remained steady, but a new analysis of data shows there are fewer days with tornadoes each year, but on those days there are more tornadoes.
A consequence of this is that communities should expect an increased number of catastrophes, said lead author Harold Brooks, research meteorologist with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, NOAA, tornado numbers, tornado trends, tornadoes | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A dust storm engulfs Stratford, Texas in April of 1935. The drought of 1934 was likely made worse by dust storms triggered by the poor agricultural practices of the time.
Credit: NOAA/George E. Marsh Album.
Severe dust storms spawned even more widespread drought, research shows
FRISCO — With all the recent talk of looming megadroughts, the 1934 peak of the Dust Bowl era still remains the most severe and widespread drought in North America during the past 1,000 years, climate scientists say.
Based on tree-ring studies and other physical records, the only other comparable event was way back in the 1500s.
The extent of the 1934 drought was approximately seven times larger than droughts of comparable intensity that struck North America between 1000 A.D. and 2005, and was caused in part by an atmospheric phenomenon that may have also led to the current drought in California, according to a new study. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: California drought, climate, climate change, drought, Dust Bowl, extreme weather, weather | 1 Comment »