Tag: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Global temps record high in November 2013

Cool U.S. readings the exception in a record-warm month

Planet Earth record-warm in November 2013. Graphic courtesy NASA.

Staff Report

FRISCO — November’s cool temperatures across parts of North America were the exception, as the rest of globe reported all-time record warmth for the month. According to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly update, the average global temperature was 1.40 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

Many regions saw all-time record highs, including southern Russia, northwest Kazakhstan, south India, southern Madagascar, parts of the central and south Indian Ocean, and sections of the Pacific Ocean.

Northern Australia, parts of North America, south west Greenland, and parts of the Southern Ocean near South America were cooler than average, but no regions of the globe were record cold during November. Read the full report here. Continue reading “Global temps record high in November 2013”


Climate: U.S. cooler than average in November

Near average temperatures prevailed across much of the U.S. during November 2013. Map courtesy NOAA.

Drought footprint keeps shrinking

Staff Report

FRISCO — The average temperature across the U.S. was slightly below average in November, mainly driven by cool readings in the eastern half of the country, according to the monthly climate update from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

A large swath of states extending from Texas up to the Northeast reported below average temperatures for the month. Warmer than average temperatures were reported across the desert Southwest and in Florida.

The average temperature of 41.6 degrees was just 0.3 degrees below the 20th century average, ranking near the median value in the 119-year period of record. Continue reading “Climate: U.S. cooler than average in November”

Can coral reefs adapt to global warming?

A diverse coral reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands. PHOTO BY CAROLINE ROGERS/USGS.
A diverse coral reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands. PHOTO BY CAROLINE ROGERS/USGS.

Genetic adaptations may enable some species to persist in warmer oceans

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Some coral reefs may be able to adapt to warming seas through genetic adaptation — but only if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced dramatically, according to scientists who took a hard look at the rate of coral bleaching.

The study projects that some corals could reduce the currently projected rate of temperature-induced bleaching by 20 to 80 percent of levels expected by the year 2100, giving hope that some corals can survive through the end of the century.

“The hope this work brings is only achieved if there is significant reduction of human-related emissions of heat-trapping gases,” said Mark Eakin, Ph.D., who serves as director of the NOAA Coral Reef Watch monitoring program, which tracks bleaching events worldwide. “Adaptation provides no significant slowing in the loss of coral reefs if we continue to increase our rate of fossil fuel use.” Continue reading “Can coral reefs adapt to global warming?”

New study shows link between Pacific sea surface temperatures and tornado patterns in the Midwestern U.S.

Cooler Pacific Ocean temps may drive tornado activity into southern U.S.

A tornado near Lakeview, Texas. Photo courtesy NOAA.
A tornado near Lakeview, Texas. Photo courtesy NOAA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After studying more than 56,000 tornados, researchers at the University of Missouri say they’ve found a clear link between Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures and the patterns of storms that spawn the violent twisters. The findings could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.

When surface sea temperatures were warmer than average, the U.S. experienced 20.3 percent more tornadoes that were rated EF-2 to EF-5 on the Enhanced Fuijta (EF) scale. (The EF scale rates the strength of tornados based on the damage they cause. The scale has six category rankings from zero to five.)

“Differences in sea temperatures influence the route of the jet stream as it passes over the Pacific and, eventually, to the United States,” said Laurel McCoy, an atmospheric science graduate student at the MU School of Natural Resources. “Tornado-producing storms usually are triggered by, and will follow, the jet stream. This helps explain why we found a rise in the number of tornadoes and a change in their location when sea temperatures fluctuated.” Continue reading “New study shows link between Pacific sea surface temperatures and tornado patterns in the Midwestern U.S.”

Study seeks early warning of ecological tipping points

Penguins could be a species prone to an ecological tipping point. bberwyn photo.

Ecosystem collapses could also have serious economic and social consequences

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — One of the biggest concerns raised by the rapid rise in global temperatures the past few decades is that some ecosystems may reach an environmental tipping point, from beyond which there is no recovery.

It’s hard to predict where those tipping points are and when they might be reached, but a team of scientists with NOAA Fisheries, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and Environmental Defense Fund wants to know if it’s at least possible to detect early warning signs in the world’s oceans.

The Ocean Tipping Points Project includes scientists and other experts from NOAA Fisheries, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and Environmental Defense Fund. The Project is just getting off the ground with a recent $3.1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Continue reading “Study seeks early warning of ecological tipping points”

Climate: From drought to deluge


Climate experts outline weather extremes across the U.S.

By Bob Berwyn

After years of persistent drought across big swaths of contiguous 48 states, the weather picture changed dramatically in 2012. Instead of dealing with parched ground, farmers in the Southeast weren’t able to harvest crops this summer because of standing water in the fields.

Mold and fungal diseases were reported across the region, particularly on crops such as corn, tomatoes and peanuts. The excess moisture has degraded the quality and flavor of many crops, including watermelons, tobacco, and peaches. Flooded soil  has hampered the growth of cotton and corn, with damage from excess moisture expected to cost billions, The National Climatic Data Center reported this week in its July update. Continue reading “Climate: From drought to deluge”

Global June temps the 5th-warmest on record

Many northern hemisphere land areas reported near-record warmth

Most areas of the globe reported temperatures running well above the 20th century average during June 2013.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The Globally averaged land and sea surface temperature was 1.15 degrees above the 20th century average, tying with 2006 as the fifth-warmest on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center monthly summary report released this week.

The average land-surface temperature was even warmer. At 1.89 degrees above average, it was the third-warmest June on record over the world’s land areas. Record-setting warmth was reported from many locations in northern Canada, far northwestern Russia, southern Japan, the Philippines, part of southwestern China, and central southern Africa.

The year to-date is also running hot, tied with 2003 as the seventh-warmest January to June period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature that was 1.06 degrees above the 20th century average. Continue reading “Global June temps the 5th-warmest on record”