Posted on January 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘Climate change is already affecting the American people’
There is no letup in the steady long-term rise of global temperatures.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Coming shortly after the National Climatic Data Center reported that 2012 was the warmest year on record for the U.S., a new federal report on global warming doesn’t mince words, starting with the first paragraph of the executive summary:
“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heatwaves, heavy downpours, ain, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising oceans are becoming more acidic and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting.”
Along with laying out the science, the report cites experiences that most Americans can relate to. “Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience. So, too, have coastal planners from Florida to Maine, water managers in the arid Southwest and parts of the Southeast, and Native Americans on tribal lands across the nation.” (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean conservation | Tagged: climate change, drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Isaac moving into the Gulf of Mexico in August, 2012. Satellite image courtesy NOAA.
Extreme weather communications, sea level rise and Arctic meltdown on the agenda
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Following a year that ended up being the warmest on record for the contiguous 48 states, and that included a monster drought and superstorm Sandy, weather experts have a lot to talk about.
This week, broadcast meteorologists will have a chance to meet face to face with climate researchers and other experts during the annual Glenn Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge, Colorado (Jan. 14-18).
This is the second year the summit is being held in Breckenridge, but the main purpose is stil the same — building relationships between broadcast meteorologists and scientists who are doing groundbreaking research, said conference organizer Dave Jones, president and CEO of StormCenter Communications, Inc. (more…)
Filed under: Arctic, Breckenridge, climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Breckenridge Colorado, Colorado, extreme weather, Glenn Gerberg weather and climate summit, Jim Cantore, National Hurricane Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 22, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy develops over the southwestern Atlantic. Satellite photo courtesy NOAA.
Heat wave and drought, tropical storms and tornadoes top the list
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Extreme weather events that may be linked with global warming caused at least 239 deaths in 2012, with the biggest loss of life resulting from Hurricane Sandy, which raked the Caribbean before spinning up the East Coast and then coming ashore over New Jersey.
A summer-long heat wave and associated drought that spanned a big portion of North America caused more than 120 direct deaths and possibly more due to heat stress, according to NOAA, which released preliminary data on the year’s billion-dollar extreme weather events. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: cost of climate change, drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, Hurricane Sandy, NOAA | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
University of Tennessee researchers say the eastern U.S. can expect more heatwaves and increased precipitation in a warming world. Image courtesy NASA.
New climate model pinpoints predictions down to the city level
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As climate models become more sophisticated, researchers have started to fine-tune global warming impacts to the regional level, including more drought and water shortages expected in the Southwest, seasonal ice-free conditions in the Arctic, and hotter, wetter conditions in the Eastern U.S., according to a new University of Tennessee study.
The researchers, Joshua Fu, a civil and environmental engineering professor, and Yang Gao, a graduate research assistant, say heat waves will become more severe in most regions of the eastern United States and, that both the Northeast and Southeast will see a drastic increase in precipitation. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, East Coast, extreme weather, global warming impacts, IPCC, National Center for Atmospheric Research | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Black howler monkeys may face threats from extreme weather linked with global warming. Photo courtesy Denver Zoo.
Mammal species, including rare primates, face the greatest threat
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Mammal species like black howler monkeys are most at risk from extreme weather events tied to climate change, according to a new study by the Zoological Society of London. In general, mammals are most threatened, according to the research, which mapped out mammal habitats and overlapped with areas expected to see intensified drought and cyclones.
The paper, published this week in the journal Conservation Letters, describes the results of assessing almost six thousand species of land mammals in this way. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, climate, extreme weather, global warming, wildlife, Yucatan spider monkey, Zoological Society of London | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Oct. 29 Image courtesy of NASA GOES Project.
More CO2 equals more powerful st0rms
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The combination of more atmospheric carbon dioxide and less particulate pollution could result in a steady increase in the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes, according University of Iowa researcher Gabriele Villarini, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering
The study is a compilation of results from some of the best available climate computer models of climate, said Villarini, who is also an assistant research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. Villarini conducted the study with Gabriel Vecchi of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: American Meteorological Society, carbon dioxide, climate change, extreme weather, global warming, North Atlantic tropical cyclone, tropical storms | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA satellite image shows a snow-covered UK in January 2010.
Modeling study suggests significant seasonal shifts in rainfall patterns
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Shifts in large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns driven by global warming could lead to an increased risk of damaging floods in parts of the UK, according to a modeling study by German researchers.
The research suggests a season shift in rainfall trends, with heavier precipitation in late autumn in the south-eastern regions of the country. In the the northwest, the heaviest rainfalls will be a little earlier — in November, rather than December.
These shifts will coincide with times of the year when river catchments in those regions are at their maximum water capacity, meaning there would be an increased risk of flooding. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, extreme weather, flooding, global warming, UK, United Kingdom | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 8, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Effort aims to help communities prepare for potential disruption
New European forecast model aims to help address climate disruption.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —While the U.S. is still generally mired in a nonproductive debate about whether global warming is real, a new European climate initiative will try to blend seasonal to decadal forecasting to take advantage of recent advances in the ability to forecast climate variability and change.
The initiative will work to develop new and improved tools to provide specific information for stakeholders like the energy, health, water resources, food security, forestry and transport sectors.
The project is based on the concept that Monthly-to-decadal forecasts hold potential to be of great value to a wide range of relevant decision making, wherever the outcomes are heavily influenced by climate variability. Despite its potential value in informing European business and adaptation strategy, such forecast information is currently under-used. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, Climate disruption, Environment, Europe, extreme weather, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Landscape-level conservation projects critical to giving species some resilience in the face of climate change
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The gradual rise in global temperatures may have long-term effects on biodiversity, but some species — including UK butterflies — may be more threatened by extreme weather events related to climate change. Events like drought could push some insects toward extinction.
“We have provided the first evidence that species responses to extreme events may be affected by the habitat structure in the wider countryside; for example in the total area and fragmentation of woodland patches,” said lead author Dr. Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
The UK has suffered from a number of severe droughts over the last few decades, including in 1976 and 1995. Under global warming, the frequency of such summer droughts is expected to increase. The intense summer drought in 1995 led to marked declines in insect species associated with cooler and wetter microclimates and scientists are interested in how to make species populations more resilient, so they can recover from extreme climate events. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Colorado, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, butterflies, conservation, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast. Satellite image courtesy NOAA.
Record-breaking storm spurs more public awareness about the potential for more frequent extreme weather events
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With several all-time weather records shattered and early estimates that Hurricane Sandy may cost the U.S. economy some $20 to $25 billion, it’s clear that the storm lived up to its billing. Along with the cleanup, there’s also a raging debate about whether global warming was a factor in the storm’s development and path.
On the one side, environmental activists seeking to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gases have jumped on the so-called super storm as an opportunity to tout their cause. On the other side, global warming deniers and others have pulled out timeworn statistics about past hurricanes that supposedly were equally as strong.
The arguments at the extreme sides of the spectrum don’t ring true. Of course, there is no way to scientifically prove that increases in air and ocean temps directly contributed to this storm. There’s still so much natural variability in nature that you just can’t establish a causal link. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, climate change, Environmental Defense Fund, extreme weather, global weather, Hurricane Sandy, sea level rise, superstorm Sandy, Tropical cyclone | 1 Comment »