In one recent study, scientists with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science found that as sea ice disappeared, the areas of relatively warm open water began to strongly influence the atmosphere, increasing surface temperatures in the region, and shifting low- and high-pressure zones around most markedly in the fall and winter.
Severe winds to increase in the North Sea and the Gulf of Biscay, especially during autumn
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — European climate scientists say global warming will drive a northeastward expansion of the tropical Atlantic hurricane breeding ground, with four times as many storms of tropical origins affecting parts of Western Europe in coming decades.
In the Bay of Biscay, the number of storms with tropical-storm-force winds could increase from 2 to 13 by the end of the century, said researcher Reindert Haarsma.
The initial results suggest that the impacts may not be as great in the low-lying Netherlands as in some other areas because the strong winds associated with the events will generally be from the southwest, Haarsma said.
With hurricanes forming farther north and warmer sea surface temperatures in the region, tropical storms are more likely to reach the mid-latitudes, where they will merge with the prevailing westerlies. Even if they lose hurricane status, they are likely to remain stronger, and sometimes re-intensify before landfall, potentially with serious impacts in parts of Europe.
FRISCO — A new analysis of temperature records from a research station in West Antarctica suggests that temperatures in the remote region have climbed steeply in the last half-century, by as much as 4.3 degrees since 1958.
The findings, published in the most recent issue of Nature Geoscience, heighten concerns about the future contribution of Antarctica to sea level rise, because researchers say the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is especially sensitive to climate change.
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.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Delaying meaningful action on climate change is tempting, but will likely prove to be very costly in the long run, an international group of researchers warned this week in an article in Nature Climate Change.
The easiest path is to reaching the targeted 2-degree cap in global temperatire increases would be to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen by 2020, the goal is still attainable, but at a much greater cost, with much higher climate risks and and under exceedingly optimistic assumptions about future technologies.
The researchers say this is what needs to happen sooner, rather than later:
Nuclear power would need to remain on the table as a mitigation option, or people would need to quickly adopt advanced technology strategies, including electric vehicles and highly efficient energy end-use technologies such as appliances, buildings, and transportation. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants would need to be rapidly shut down and replaced with other energy sources.
Study will anchor new IPCC climate change assessment
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Just as thousand of delegates gather in Doha, Qatar for the UN’s annual climate talks, researchers are releasing a wealth of new observational data that verifies the output from existing climate models.
In recent example, a team of climate scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and colleagues from 16 other organizations compared simulations from 20 different computer models to satellite observations, finding that tropospheric and stratospheric temperature changes are clearly related to human activities.
National Science Foundation funding enables detailed research on trans-basin water diversions
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As some West Slope aquatic ecosystems teeter on the brink of collapse due to water diversions, a group of CU researchers will use a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to try and pinpoint tipping points, beyond which systems may be pushed into an unsustainable state.
The research will examine how changes in land use, forest management and climate may affect trans-basin water diversions in Colorado and other semi-arid regions in the western United States, finding thresholds that could compromise the sustainability of the policies and procedures that dictate the timing and quality of water diverted from Colorado’s West Slope to the Front Range.