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18 April 2014

Great Lakes Ice Unprecedented? Hardly.

The headline above is on the Huffington Posts front page this evening, and it’s rather misleading. Yes, it’s been a rather cold winter around the Great Lakes and a cold spring has slowed the ice melt as well. It’s really not that big of a deal however, and the claim that this will affect the environment for years is more than dubious. The ice was worse in the cold winters …

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18 February 2014

David Gregory at Meet The Press Stops The Ridiculous

I wasn’t the only one who was very critical of NBC’s Meet The Press program last Sunday, but there was a bright spot. David Gregory stopped his guest cold when she started making totally incorrect statements about climate science. No, not Dr. Heidi Cullen (who is an expert), but the other guest (a politician) who knows nothing about the subject (except perhaps that it’s inconvenient to her political world-view). This …

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17 January 2014

Premiering Next Week- Revenge of The Polar Vortex (Starring the Dogs of Winter)

It’s coming back. Will it be as cold as the last one at the beginning of the year? Too soon to say but there are growing signs it will last longer and may come in several waves. Numerical weather ensembles (See last two blog posts) are in remarkable agreement that the cold will return. Model guidance is indicating temperatures as much as 40 degrees below normal by later next week! …

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14 January 2014

The Polar Vortex Gets Its 15 Minutes of Fame

I was asked by the AGU to do a post about the Polar Vortex for the AGU Blog THE BRIDGE. You can read it by clicking on the image below: and then you should read Bob Henson’s piece from the NCAR AtmosNews Journal

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13 January 2014

Don’t Let The Thaw Fool You, The Revenge of The Polar Vortex May be Coming

Numerical weather models tend to become very unreliable beyond 5 or 6 days but meteorologists have discovered a trick that helps in long-range forecasting. At least a bit. We still cannot pin down what day a storm will hit at a particular place but we can get a good idea of whether or not the pattern will be warm/cold/dry or stormy. Here is the trick: Run the weather model multiple …

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2 January 2014

Cold and Snow, and High Winds As Well For Northeast USA. Storms Threaten UK Again as Well.

A strong winter storm will hit the NE later tonight and this one will have bitter cold and high winds. Note the predicted wind gusts at sunrise Friday from the European Model, and because of this Gale Warnings are in effect for waters from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine and into Atlantic Canada. Rawinsonde balloons this morning show a jet stream approaching 180 knots heading into the Atlantic, and this …

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6 November 2013

NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge Heading Back To Antarctica

NASA is taking their Operation Ice Bridge back to Antarctica later this month after the mission was almost cancelled by the government shutdown.. This will be the first time the NASA P3 Orion aircraft will make the trip, and land on the ice runway at McMurdo Science Base. Ice Bridge has filled in the gaps in ice sheet measurements since Icesat 1 died. Icesat 2 will launch in 2016. Here’s …

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19 June 2013

Two Highly Repected Scientific Views On The Effects Of A Warming Arctic

This is a re-post from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media: Over the past year, Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., of Rutgers University has produced compelling evidence of links between the rapid reduction in Arctic sea ice and extreme weather events in the Northern Hemisphere. Her hypothesis — that the reduced temperature gradient between Arctic and temperate zones causes the jet stream to slow — was examined in early …

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24 March 2013

Motion To Dismiss The Indictment of Punxsutawney Phil

Motion for dismissal of Indictment  If it please the court, Your Honor, I would like to make a motion to dismiss the indictment for fraud against one Chuck Elles Groundhog (AKA Punxsutawney Phil) of Pennsylvania. I list my reasons below along with evidence that spring might really be just around the corner. Exhibit One: I know this may look like gobbeldy gook Your Honor, but the chart above is crucial to our motion. …

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21 February 2013

An Example of Good Science Journalism

This is a repost from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media- Less Snow but More Blizzards… AP’s Explanatory Journalism Trumps ‘Brazen Contradiction’ AP science reporter Seth Borenstein sets a high bar for explanatory journalism with piece on how declining snowfall and a heavy blizzard can both be linked to a warmer climate. “Scant snowfall and barren ski slopes.” And “a whopper of a blizzard.” It’s what climate skeptics see …

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1 February 2013

Greenland Ice Core May Rewrite Some Climate Books

I spent two weeks in the Summer of 2010 at the top of the World. To be specific I was in the middle of the Greenland Ice sheet at NEEM, about 650 miles from the North Pole, and while there I witnessed the recovery of the oldest core of ice ever recovered from Greenland. NEEM stand for North Greenland Eemian ice core. That ice core has now been analysed, and it had …

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12 January 2013

Dr. Richard Alley at the AGU- Well worth a watch!

Dr. Richard Alley is one of those few scientists who really connect with the public. He was asked to do the Bjerknes lecture at the AGU meeting in San Francisco last month and it’s an hour of good plain-spoken climate science from a real expert in paleoclimate. I did enjoy the loony letter he shared at the beginning of the lecture. Anyone who works in the science field gets these (I have …

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4 December 2012

New Science On Sea Level Rise Indicates Greenland And Antarctic Ice Melt Increasing.

Superstorm Sandy was a devastating tragedy, but if something like that could have a silver lining then the new public awareness of sea level rise is perhaps it. Just weeks after Sandy, comes a major paper in Science. The paper is the result of a collaboration by the top experts studying the mass balance of polar glaciers. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Science and read Richard Kerr’s …

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1 November 2012

What Those Who Understand Atmospheric Physics Are Talking About After Sandy

Asking if Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change is like asking someone at the South Pole which way is north. This kind of storm could almost certainly form in a world where the CO2 levels have been unchanging and Arctic sea ice levels were stable. That said, anyone who claims Sandy was ( or was not) caused by the changing climate just doesn’t get it. It may be possible …

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17 October 2012

Could A Record Warm NW Atlantic Bring A Cold Winter For the Northeast??

Notice how incredibly warm the Northwest Atlantic ocean is now. The warmth stretches well northward to Greenland, and out into the North Atlantic as well. Now look at the 500 millibar height anomalies for September. (The 500 millibar pressure level is about 6 km above the surface and a warmer atmosphere pushes this level higher) The height anomalies are directly related to the warmth of the atmosphere. Notice here how the warm oceans are producing …

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26 July 2012

Greenland Melt Was Predicted In Advance By Paper Awaiting Publication

The image above is based on data from the Indian Oceansat-2 satellite and shows that on 12 July 2012 virtually all of the Greenland ice sheet surface was melting. The highest point on the ice sheet, Summit at 3,200 meters saw temperatures at 36 degrees! The melt areas can be detected by the albedo of the ice sheet and this can be confirmed by a network of automated surface stations …

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18 July 2012

Death Valley Low of 107 (41.7ºC) Sets Record For The Planet!

The temperature at sunrise in Death Valley on July 12 was 107 degrees. This ties the warmest overnight temperature ever recorded on Earth. Death Valley also holds the record for the hottest ever in America at 134 degrees, just two behind the planet record of 136 (58ºC) in Libya (but far below the 180 degrees last August, in the queue for Dumbo at Disney World ;).) The heat this summer has been nothing less than amazing and …

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10 July 2012

Last 12 Months In U.S. Are Warmest On Record. (A 1 in 1.59 million event)

The NCDC released the June temperature data today and while it was the 14th warmest on record, added to the 5 months before it make the first six months of the year the warmest on record. Not only that, but it is also the warmest 12 consecutive months on record. We still had a La Nina back in the fall so the warmth of the last 12 months worldwide is even more …

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6 July 2012

Strong Signs of El Nino Brewing In The Pacific (Global temps will likely jump to new records.)

Imagine you are slowly filling a bathtub with water, and are measuring how deep the water is at frequent intervals. Also imagine, that at times your dog jumps in while you’re measuring, and this of course causes you to get a higher water level. The dog gets back out, and the water level drops slightly, but not as much as it was before because the faucet is still running, and …

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3 July 2012

Welcome To The New Climate- NCAR Climate Expert Kevin Trenberth on PBS

It’s not a proper question to ask if this heat wave is being caused by climate change. Climate change has a hand in all of these extremes now. A better way to think about it is to say  that climate change makes these kind of events worse and more frequent. I wrote a piece for the NCAR Currents magazine earlier this year on just this question. Kevin Trenberth at NCAR was on the …

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