Posted on May 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Sandy near peak strength on Oct. 25, 2012. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Feds say now is the time to get ready
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal weather experts said they are expected an above-average to active Atlantic Hurricane season this summer, urging residents of coastal and near-coastal areas in the southeastern U.S. to start preparing now.
Based on a combination of climate factors, NOAA predicted as many as 13 to 20 named storms, with seven to 11 of them developing into full-fledged hurricanes and potentially three to six major hurricanes with winds of more than 100 mph.
Factors involved in the forecast include a continuation of overall climate conditions that have resulted in an active pattern since the mid-1990s: Above average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and ENSO-neutral conditions in the Pacific which leads to less windshear, lower air pressure and overall atmospheric circulation that’s more conducive to hurricane formation. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: 2013 hurricane forecast, Atlantic hurricanes, Climate Prediction Center, hurricanes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Tropical cyclone | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New study measures effects of entanglement
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Stray fishing gear has long been a problem in the ocean, and a new collaborative study shows exactly how whales struggle when they get wrapped up in abandoned lines. By carefully tracking tangled whales, the scientists documented how the predicament hinders whales’ ability to eat and migrate, depletes their energy as they drag gear for months or years, and can result in a slow death. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: endangered species, marine conservation, Marine mammal, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Atlantic right whales, oceans | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wet, cool spring brings relief to Midwest
The most severe areas of drought encompass parts of the central-southern plains, spreading southwest into parts of Colorado and New Mexico.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Drought woes have eased in the Midwest after a wet spring, but the far West, California in particular, are facing continued dry conditions. California has reported its driest year to-date on record, with only 27 percent of normal precipitation for January through April. That doesn’t bode well for the state’s water supplies, although at least reservoir storage is close to normal in California.
New Mexico and Nevada are in bad shape when it comes to reservoir storage and there’s little relief in sight at the end of the snow season. Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said dry soil conditions in the southwest could contribute to higher than average temperatures this summer. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, La Niña, Uncategorized | Tagged: California, climate, drought, ENSO, La Niña, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Mexico | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Cirrus cloud study helps inform climate predictions.
Composition of seed material suggests human activity could be a significant factor
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Mineral dust and metallic aerosols are the key seeding agents for the formation of high-altitude cirrus clouds, which cover nearly a third of the globe at any given time. Often forming more than 10 miles up, cirrus clouds can cool the planet by reflecting solar radiation, and warm it, by trapping heat like a blanket.
A nine-year study of cirrus clouds using using instruments aboard high-altitude research aircraft is helping scientists get a better handle on the mechanisms driving cirrus cloud formation, and that, in turn, could help scientists predict future climate patterns. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: airborne dust, cirrus clouds, climate, cloud formation, Earth System Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mineral dust, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 1, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Humpback whales breaching in the Northwest Atlantic. Photo courtesy NEFSC/NOAA.
Acoustic research breakthroughs could help inform conservation efforts
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Breakthrough software is enabling scientists to better analyze humpback whale songs. For the first time, researchers have provided the a detailed description linking humpback whale movements to acoustic behavior on a feeding ground in the Northwest Atlantic.
“We have monitored and acoustically recorded whale sounds for years, and are now able to ‘mine’ these data using new computer software applications and methods, “ said Sofie Van Parijs, who heads the passive acoustics group at the Woods Hole Laboratory of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Gulf of Maine, humpback whales, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ocean conservation, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, whale songs | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Marine sanctuaries try to prepare for rising sea level, ocean acidification and more extreme weather
A new report identifies anticipated climate change impacts to the Olympic Peninsula. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Managers of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary say they’ll use a new report to try and prepare the resources they steward for the coming impacts of climate change, including increases in sea level; extreme weather events such as winds, waves, and storms; and coastal erosion from those events.
The report also says the region may experience an increase in ocean acidity, rising water temperature, as well as more extreme weather patterns, including Pacific Northwest regional rainfall increases triggering 100-year magnitude floods.
“Climate change poses an increasingly grave threat to the health of the ocean, and its impacts will be felt in marine protected areas like the Olympic Coast sanctuary,” said sanctuary superintendent Carol Bernthal. “This report begins our work to develop management strategies that will help us anticipate potential challenges and adapt to the changing marine environment through sound science, public outreach, and partnerships.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, extreme weather, global warming, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, oceans, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Coolest March readings since 1966, but drought eases in some areas
Maps compiled by NOAA show the contrast between temperatures in March 2012 and March 2013.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — With an average temperature that was .9 degrees below the 20th century average, the contiguous 48 U.S. states recorded the coldest March readings since 2002, when the monthly average was a whopping 2.2 degrees below average.
The monthly readings mark a huge contrast from one year ago, when the U.S. recorded its warmest-ever March, according to the National Climatic Data Center, which released the monthly State of the Climate report today (April 15). Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, global warming, seasons | Tagged: climate, March 2013 average temperature, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, State of the Climate, U.S. temperature record | Leave a comment »