Posted on December 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
How warm will your town be at the end of the century?
November 2013 was the warmest on record for Planet Earth.
FRISCO — The jury may still be out on exactly how hot the Earth will be by the end of the century, but as climate models improve, scientists are narrowing the range.
In a recent effort to show changes on a regional scale, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon State University created a set of maps and summaries of historical and projected temperature and precipitation changes for the 21st century, down to a county level. Find your local global warming forecast here.
The maps and summaries are based on NASA downscaling of the 33 climate models used in the fifth annual Climate Model Intercomparison Project and the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report. The resulting NASA dataset is on an 800-meter grid with national coverage. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, global warming, IPCC, local climate impacts | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Many experts think seas could rise 2 meters by 2100
Sea level rise is already inundating parts of the Mississippi Delta. bberwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Keeping sea level rise below 1 meter will require significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a team of German and American researchers said this week after compiling the best available and most recent science.
Even with big cuts, sea level is expected to rise 40-60 centimeters by 2100 and 60-100 centimeters by 2300, according to the survey.
“While the results for the scenario with climate mitigation suggest a good chance of limiting future sea-level rise to one meter, the high emissions scenario would threaten the survival of some coastal cities and low-lying islands,” said Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Continue reading
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Posted on October 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New study says IPCC projections are too conservative
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — In a classic case of climate disruption, research shows that the dry season in southern Amazonia has lengthened by about one week per decade since 1979. Parts of the region may not be able to support rainforest vegetation much longer. A big forest die-back could trigger the release of large volumes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a team of scientists warned this week.
The changes could disrupt plant and animal communities in one of the regions of highest biodiversity in the world, said University of Texas professor Rong Fu, who led the team of scientists. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: Amazon Rainforest, Climate disruption, global warming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 27, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Capping temperature increase at 2 degrees is almost unattainable
Global temperatures were well above average in Nov. 2012. Map courtesy NASA.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —With 2012 winding down, climate scientists are taking stock of progress on controlling heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and the general conclusion is that it’s just about too late to stop the plunge off the climate cliff.
Researchers with the Global Carbon Project said in a report earlier this month that reductions required to limit global warming to the targeted 2 degrees Celsius are becoming a receding goal.
“A shift to a 2-degree Celsius pathway requires an immediate, large, and sustained global mitigation effort” said Global Carbon Project director Dr. Pep Canadell. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate change, Environment, Global Carbon Project, global warming, greenhouse gases, IPCC | 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. Continue reading
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 November 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Doubling of CO2 likely to result in 2.2 to 4.8 degrees Celsius warming
New research helps pinpoint the amount of heating caused by greenhouse gases.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Climate scientists know that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane trap heat in the atmosphere, but there’s still some uncertainty about how the overall system responds to varying levels of those gases.
By studying the paleoclimatic record, researchers have been able to measure relationships between past greenhouse gas increases and temperatures to some degree, and new research is helping them evaluate past climate sensitivity data to help improve comparison with estimates of long-term climate projections developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The scientists found that the likely range of climate sensitivity consistently has been of the order of 2.2 to 4.8 degrees Celsius per doubling of CO2, which closely agrees with the IPCC estimates. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate, Climate sensitivity, global warming, greenhouse gases, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Radiative forcing | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 28, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Observational data is piling up and showing that sea level rise is exceeding the rate predicted by the IPCC
Glaciers and ice caps are melting, and sea level is rising even faster than forecast by the IPCC. Photos courtesy NASA. (Click the image for more information.)
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sea levels during the past two decades are rising 60 percent faster than the general estimates made by the IPCC, according to new research published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The scientists with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Tempo Analytics and Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales said that, while temperature rises appear to be consistent with the projections made in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report , satellite measurements show that sea-levels are rising at a rate of 3.2 mm a year compared to the best estimate of 2 mm a year in the report.
“This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist, but in fact has under-estimated the problem of climate change,” said lead author Stefan Rahmstorf. “That applies not just for sea-level rise, but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea-ice loss.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, Current sea level rise, Environmental Research Letters, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, sea level rise | 6 Comments »
Posted on September 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Venice is at-risk to rising sea level. Photo by Bob Berwyn.
Heat island effect may drive rising sea levels, creating extra risk for populated coastal areas
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists with the UK’s University of Southampton say they may have documented another unanticipated global warming feedback loop, as sea surface temperatures in coastal regions appears to be rising up to 10 times faster than the global average.
Based on a study in the famed Venice Lagoon, the researchers said they think the warming is due at least in part to the urban heat island effect, with highly developed areas radiating extra heat to their surroundings. The findings suggest the sea surface temperature increases driven by the heat island effect may outpace other factors in coastal areas. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, Earth science, global warming, IPCC, sea level rise, sea surface temperatures, Urban heat island, Venice | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 31, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
The year of the tipping point?
Is Colorado a hotspot for global warming?
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — If 2011 goes down as the year that global warming awareness reached a critical mass, it could be attributed to the spate of unusual weather events around the globe. From massive tornado outbreaks in the Midwest, to heatwaves, Mississippi flooding, droughts and more, there appears to be growing acceptance of the fact that the Earth’s changing climate is creating more and more damage and displacement.
That doesn’t mean every year from now on is going to be the same — it’s not a linear equation. But, on the whole, the scientific consensus is that more heat and water vapor in the atmosphere, as well as higher sea levels, generally spell trouble for humankind. Formally, this recognition was expressed in a recent report from the IPCC: New IPCC report links climate change and extreme weather.
The growing public acceptance may also be reflected by the increasingly shrill tone of the last few global warming deniers. On web sites like the ironically named Real Science, poster have taken to name-calling, and characterizing respected climate researchers as “morons” and worse.
And it’s not just coastal areas. Earlier this year, the National Weather released its new “climate normals,” and Colorado stands out like a sore thumb on a national map as the state with biggest jump in average maximum temperatures based on the 30-year increments NOAA uses to establish those baselines: Is Colorado Ground Zero for global warming? Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: climate change, Colorado, Environment, global warming, IPCC, Summit County News | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 23, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Climate change could convert nearly 40 percent of the Earth’s land-based ecosystems
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Global warming and climate change has the potential to change plant communities across nearly half the Earth’s land surface and drive the conversion of nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems from one major ecological community type, changing forest to grasslands and tundra to forest, for example.
Most of Earth’s land that is not covered by ice or desert is projected to undergo at least a 30 percent change in plant cover – changes that will require humans and animals to adapt and often relocate.
Ecologically sensitive hotspots will see the greatest degree of species turnover, including the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, eastern equatorial Africa, Madagascar, the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and North America’s Great Lakes and Great Plains areas. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, IPCC, NASA, Summit County News | 1 Comment »