2015 nearly sure to be warmest year on record

‘We have the knowledge and the tools to act. We have a choice. Future generations will not’


Global meltdown? @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

A new report released just days before the start of the Paris climate talks makes it clear why there is so much interest in reaching an agreement to cap global warming. The World Meteorological Organization said it’s all but certain that 2015 will be the hottest year on record.

The global average temperature for the year will probably cross a symbolic threshold, reaching 1.0 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era, capping a five-year span that is also the warmest on record, the WMO said, blaming a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming. Read more of the WMO information here. Continue reading

Climate: No slowdown in greenhouse gas buildup


Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 reached a new record in 2014 and aren’t about to drop anytime soon.

“Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations … Every year we say that time is running out”

Atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will soon stay above the symbolic 400 parts per million mark permanently, the World Meteorological Organization said this week in its annual report on the state of the global atmosphere. Continue reading

‘Climate change … requires urgent action, not tomorrow but today’


Sea level rise caused by global warming will affect millions of people by the end of the century.

World needs action on global warming

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — For many people, the concept of global climate change remains abstract until they feel the impacts of global warming first-hand — just ask the residents of Sandy Hook, New Jersey or Boulder, Colorado.

That’s completely understandable, and ultimately, the impacts of global warming will mostly play out in the arena of day to day, month to month and year to year weather.

Some areas, like the Southwest, are already starting to see longer and more intense heatwaves and droughts, while other areas, like the coast of Alaska, see rising sees encroach on the land.

Here is how the World Meteorological Organization reacted to this week’s release of the IPCC‘s latest global climate change assessment: Continue reading

WMO: ‘Unprecedented’ global warming from 1990 to 2010

Rate of sea level rise doubled in the first decade of the 21st century


Forget the global warming denier meme du jour. Global warming hasn’t slowed or stopped — in fact, 2000-2010 was by far the warmest decade on record.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — High-impact climate extremes and record warmth in many parts of the world marked the 2000-2010 period, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which last week released a report detailing the globe’s climate during the first 10 years of the 21st century.

It was the warmest decade since the start of modern measurements in 1850, with more national temperature records broken than in any previous decade. Along with analyzing  global and regional temperatures and precipitation, the report took a close look at extreme events, including heat waves in Europe (2203) and Russia (201o), Hurricane Katrina in the United States of America, Tropical Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, droughts in the Amazon Basin, Australia and East Africa and floods in Pakistan.

The decade was the warmest for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean surface temperatures. The record warmth was accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers. Continue reading

WMO: Global warming drives more climate disruption


Earth is warming inexorably. Satellite image via NASA’s Blue Marble collection.

World’s top meteorological body concerned about global trends

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —Climate-sensitive economic sectors like agriculture and energy are already feeling the pinch of more extreme fluctuations in the weather, driven by global climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which released its annual climate statement for 2012 last week.

“It is vital that we continue to invest in the observations and research that will improve our knowledge about climate variability and climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “We need to understand how much of the extra heat captured by greenhouse gases is being stored in the oceans and the consequences this brings in terms of ocean acidification and other impacts,” Jarraud said in the statement. Continue reading

Climate: Australian heatwave sets numerous records

Global warming kicks into high gear Down Under


Australian heatwave breaks records.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The New Year is barely a week old, but extreme weather continues, this time in the Southern hemisphere, where parts of Australia reached unprecedented high temperatures, in some cases ranging upward of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For the sake of comparison, Death Valley reported a reading of 136 degrees way back in July, 1913.

Temperatures during the recent Australian heatwave were so warm that the country’s meteorology bureau added a new color to its temperature-scale map — bright purple, designating readings of warmer than 50 degrees Celsius (129 Fahrenheit). Read the latest update from the bureau here. Continue reading

Environment: Antarctic ozone hole closes early this year

Warmer stratosphere, active polar vortex help speed seasonal recovery


A graphic from the WMO shows the progression of the Antarctic ozone hole.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Relatively warm stratospheric temperatures helped limit the size of this year’s Antarctic ozone hole, which disappeared completely by Nov. 10, earlier than in recent years.

Using data gathered from ground stations and weather balloons, the World Meteorological Organization said the warmer temps at an elevation of about 20 kilometers limited the formation of polar stratospheric clouds which, through a chemical chain reaction between water, nitric acid and halogenated reservoir gases cause ozone loss. In this respect, the 2012 ozone hole was similar to the one in 2010, when a sudden stratospheric warming in July and August gave rise to a smaller amount of polar stratospheric clouds than usual. Continue reading


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