background preloader

Arctic Warming is Altering Weather Patterns, Study Shows

Arctic Warming is Altering Weather Patterns, Study Shows
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published April 3. Given recent news that Arctic sea ice set a record low, it's a reminder that changes in the Arctic can affect the U.S. and Europe. By showing that Arctic climate change is no longer just a problem for the polar bear, a new study may finally dispel the view that what happens in the Arctic, stays in the Arctic. The study, by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and Stephen Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ties rapid Arctic climate change to high-impact, extreme weather events in the U.S. and Europe. The study shows that by changing the temperature balance between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, rapid Arctic warming is altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the hemisphere. The jet stream, the study says, is becoming “wavier,” with steeper troughs and higher ridges. The strong area of high pressure shunted the jet stream far north into Canada. Related:  Observed and expected environmental effects

Amazon inhales more carbon than it emits This finding resolves a long-standing debate about a key component of the overall carbon balance of the Amazon basin. “The study is the first to characterise forest disturbances across all spatial scales from a few square metres to hundreds of hectares across the entire Amazon,” according to co-author Professor Emanuel Gloor of the University of Leeds, who jointly led the study. The Amazon's carbon balance is a matter of life and death: living trees take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow, and dead trees put the greenhouse gas back into the air as they decompose. The new study, published today in Nature Communications, is the first to measure tree deaths caused by natural processes throughout the Amazon forest, even in remote areas where no data have been collected at ground level. To compare this with Amazon carbon absorption, the researchers used censuses of forest growth and different modeling scenarios that accounted for uncertainties in the censuses. Further information

Global Warming Facts, Causes and Effects of Climate Change Jump to Section: Q: What is global warming? A: Here's a simple definition of global warming. Climate change deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” or a “slowdown” in rising global temperatures, but several recent studies, including a 2015 paper published in the journal Science, have disproved this claim. Q: What causes global warming? A: Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year. Curbing dangerous climate change requires very deep cuts in emissions, as well as the use of alternatives to fossil fuels worldwide. Q: How is global warming linked to extreme weather? The impacts of global warming are being felt across the globe. A: We’ve started.

The United States Just Experienced The Warmest 12 Months On Record The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its latest State of the Climate data, and the results are pretty compelling and dramatic. According to the data gathered, the last twelve months have been the hottest period for the United States since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. Last summer was the second hottest on record, last winter was the fourth warmest, and last March was the hottest. The average temperature for the lower-48 states was 55.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.8 degrees above the average for last century. Over the past year, 22 states saw record-breaking warm temperatures, and 19 more saw some of their top-10 warmest temperatures. January through April 2012 have run about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average, a new record, and 17 more states had temperatures that made it into their top 10 records. NOAA also records precipitation trends, noting it was drier than usual in most places, but nothing dramatic or record-breaking.

Study concludes climate change will wreak havoc on oceans by 2100 CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study looking at the impacts of climate change on the world’s ocean systems concludes that by the year 2100, about 98 percent of the oceans will be affected by acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen, or lack of biological productivity – and most areas will be stricken by a multitude of these stressors. These biogeochemical changes triggered by human-generated greenhouse gas emissions will not only affect marine habitats and organisms, the researchers say, but will often co-occur in areas that are heavily used by humans. Results of the study are being published this week in the journal PLoS Biology. It was funding by the Norwegian Research Council and Foundation through its support of the International Network for Scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems (INDEEP). The models had a range of outcomes, but all agreed that most of the world’s oceans would suffer negative impacts of varying intensities from the four major stressors.

IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Drought Reaches Record 56% of US | Extreme Weather The United States is parched, with more than half of the land area in the lower 48 states experiencing moderate to extreme drought, according to a report released today (July 5). Just under 56 percent of the contiguous United States is in drought conditions, the most extensive area in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The previous drought records occurred on Aug. 26, 2003, when 54.79 percent of the lower 48 were in drought and on Sept 10, 2002, when drought extended across 54.63 percent of this area. When including the entire nation, the monitor found 46.84 percent of the land area meets criteria for various stages of drought, up from 42.8 percent last week. "The recent heat and dryness is catching up with us on a national scale," Michael Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said in a statement. "It's early in the season, though. The U.S.

Warnings of global ecological tipping points may be overstated Deforestation in Borneo. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler. There's little evidence that the Earth is nearing a global ecological tipping point, according to a new Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper that is bound to be controversial. "When others have said that a planetary critical transition is possible/likely, they've done so without any underlying model (or past/present examples, apart from catastrophic drivers like asteroid strikes)," lead author Barry Brook and Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide told mongabay.com. According to Brook and his team, a truly global tipping point must include an impact large enough to spread across the entire world, hitting various continents, in addition to causing some uniform response. "These criteria, however, are very unlikely to be met in the real world," says Brook. The idea of such a tipping point comes from ecological research, which has shown that some ecosystems will flip to a new state after becoming heavily degraded.

The scientific consensus on global warming « Later On From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the preeminent scientific organization in the US. Note that this article is not based on a mere count of articles, but rather looks at statements from various scientific organizations. Science 3 December 2004: Vol. 306. no. 5702, p. 1686 DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: The Scientific Consensus on Climate ChangeNaomi Oreskes*Policy-makers and the media, particularly in the United States, frequently assert that climate science is highly uncertain. Climate Change, Extreme Weather Environmental Issues > Health Main Page > All Health Documents (January - December 2012) 2188 RecordHeat Days FEMA News Photo 1094 Days of Record Rainfall FEMA/Aaron Skolnik 245 Days of Record Snowfall Brace yourself for more weird and wild weather, because 2012 may well outdo 2011 when it comes to shattering extreme weather records. This endless cycle of wildfires, droughts, rainstorms and floods leaves a trail of death, injury and destruction that hurts communities, damages our health and undermines our economy. 2011's severe weather events struck communities all over the US, breaking 3,251 monthly weather records. We can take two steps right now to protect our families and future generations: Methods: The data used to develop the online tool comes from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NOAA-NCDC) for 2012 US weather data. NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating. Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.

Related: