‘Rollercoaster’ temps prevailed as iceberg flotillas invaded North Atlantic
By studying chemical tracers in seafloor sediments, scientists have been able to show that periods of abrupt climate change during the last ice age are somehow linked with dramatic changes in key ocean currents, especially the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which carries heat from the tropics to the northern latitudes.
Specifically, the study looked at series of abrupt climate changes that occurred between 60,000 and 25,000 years ago, ending as the last ice age peaked. A press release on the study describes it as an era when “temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere went on a rollercoaster ride, plummeting and then rising again every 1,500 years or so.”
“People have long supposed this link between overturning circulation and these abrupt climate events. This evidence implicates the ocean,” said L. Gene Henry, the lead author of the study and a graduate student at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The findings, published in the journal Science, show for the first time that the ocean’s overturning circulation slowed during every one of those temperature plunges — at times almost stopping. Continue reading “Abrupt climate change linked with ocean current shutdown”→
June storms highlight impacts of rising seas, shifting storm patterns
Just after the Australian government announced massive cuts to the country’s science agency, researchers are warning that there’s more of a need then ever to track climate change impacts.
A series of recent storms that lashed Australia’s east coast are reminder that rising sea level presents a growing threat to coastal communities, according scientists with the University of New South Wales.
‘Blocking highs’ becoming more common over Greenland
Just a few weeks after scientists reported record early melting on parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a new study helps explain some of the recent dramatic climate shifts in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere.
Stationary high pressure systems over Greenland have become more frequent since the 1980s, said University of Sheffield geographer Prof. Edward Hanna, adding that the pattern is also linked with extreme weather over northwest Europe, including unusually wet conditions in the UK in the summers of 2007 and 2012.
Officials prep for impacts to vulnerable populations
Michigan residents are likely to face a growing range of climate-related threats in coming decades, including respiratory diseases, heat-related illnesses and water- and vector-borne diseases, according to a new report from university researchers and state health officials.
Overall, the experts said that changing climate conditions like warmer temperatures and more frequent big rainstorms are an emerging public health threat in the state, where the average temperature has increased by anywhere from 0.6 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1951. Average annual precipitation has increased by 4.5 percent during that period. Continue reading “Michigan eyes climate-related public health threats”→
Flooding, droughts and wildfires all expected to increase
New European climate modeling doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the decades ahead. With global warming, Europe is facing a progressively stronger increase in multiple climate hazards, according to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Destructive floods that raged through parts of the Balkan region in 2014 are part of a global trend toward more extreme rainfall events — a pattern increasingly linked with changes in atmospheric circulation.
Local flood protection efforts inadequate to meet growing climate change threat
As extreme rain events become more frequent, European efforts to address the threat of river flooding should focus on adapting to impacts rather than trying to avoid them, according to a new study published in the journal Climatic Change.