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10 February 2016

How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which would raise sea levels by several meters, according to new research. A temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) would be enough to initiate irreversible melting of the ice sheet, the new study found.


8 February 2016

60 Minutes of Real Climate Science

It’s almost impossible for the average person with no science background to get good basic info about climate change (on TV or online). So, here’s some information that you can rely on. First dispelling a popular myth, and then a lecture by Dr. Michael Mann to Physics students at the Univ. of Virginia recently. Regurgitated Climate Myth Those who find the truth extremely inconvenient to their political worldview, love to …


7 February 2016

If Journalism is About Truth, Then Why Are Top Newspapers Knowingly Publishing This Lie

Astrology is bunk. Hopefully you know that, but it really does beg the question of why almost every Sunday paper in America will publish a load of silly lies tomorrow, and yes it does matter. Science literacy is a serious issue in America, and I know this because not ONE of the top Republican candidates for President of the United States will admit that climate change is real, much less …


3 February 2016

Study shows North Atlantic Ocean carbon storage doubled over last decade

A new study shows that the North Atlantic Ocean absorbed 50 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world’s oceans in just 10 years.


1 February 2016

Understanding the 2015–16 El Niño and its impact on phytoplankton

This is part of a new series of posts that highlight the importance of Earth and space science data and its contributions to society. Posts in this series showcase data facilities and data scientists; explain how Earth and space science data is collected, managed and used; explore what this data tells us about the planet; and delve into the challenges and issues involved in managing and using data. This series …


25 January 2016

Suomi Sees the Snow

This image form the Suomi Satellite on Sunday afternoon. Snowfall for the storm is below: There is talk today among climate researchers (and synoptic meteorologists like me) about how climate change may be causing these Eastern Seaboard blizzards to be worse, and the very warm waters off the coast with this storm were definitely a factor in this one. See Chris Mooney’s piece in the Washington Post.


22 January 2016

In Case You Saw This in Forbes- It’s laughably wrong.

I suspect that some meteorologists are going to get some questions about a propaganda piece in Forbes stating that 2015 was not the hottest year on record. Trust me it was. NASA, The UK Met Office, and NOAA all do their own calculations and they say it was. Not only that, but their methods have been published in multiple papers, in the top journals of science. Forbes, instead of reporting …


21 January 2016

Rapid warming over the Indian Ocean reduces marine productivity

Increasing water temperatures in the Indian Ocean are taking a toll on the marine ecosystem, according to our new study.


17 January 2016

No, The Planet Did Not Stop Getting Warmer. Here’s the Proof.

Depending on how you interpret the data, the warming of the air may have slowed somewhat (This is very unlikely though) for a few years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but the planet as a whole is still warming steadily. We know this, because the oceans hold almost all the heat, and they are continuing to warm. The graph below is proof, and you might want to study …


13 January 2016

Ocean circulation changes may have killed cold-water corals

Successive and abrupt changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation over the past 4,500 years seem to have caused major reductions in some cold-water coral ecosystems, finds a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new study shows changes in sea surface circulation over the last few thousand years were more sudden than previously thought and in some cases led to abrupt collapses of cold-water coral ecosystems. The researchers found the first evidence that perturbations in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) led to cold-water coral ecosystems decline from 100 to 1,200 years ago.


1 January 2016

December 2015 Re-writes The Record Books. So Does the Entire Year.

December 2015 is in the record books and it was not just the warmest December on record for much of the Eastern Seaboard, it broke the old records by an amount that’s best described as incredible. This is what happens when you combine the strongest El Nino event on record, with the hottest year on record globally, along with the hottest oceans on record as well. Dr. Michael Mann at …


30 December 2015

2016 Brings A Changing Weather Pattern, but El Nino and The Hot Oceans Still Rule.

The weather pattern is finally changing. We’ve seen 5-6 weeks of extreme warmth in the Eastern U.S., floods and tornadoes in the south, and in the West, cold and snow. The new year will be different, but it will still be a rather mild and wet El Nino pattern, just not as warm as it has been in Eastern North America. The polar jet will dip down closer to New …


29 December 2015

Seesawing sea surface height corresponds with global temperatures, study finds

Patterns of sea level changes in the Pacific may be a better way to monitor global temperatures than measuring ocean temperatures at the sea surface, new research finds. Those changes in sea level can explain observed global temperature trends and even predict how much temperatures will change during the current El Niño event, according to the researchers.


28 December 2015

Bizarre December Weather Continues

  The Garland, Texas tornado (on Boxing Day) has been rated EF 4 with winds around 200 mph. The Doppler radar network now using dual polarization made it possible to know that the tornado was on the ground and lofting debris into the air. This is perfect example of how fundamental science research can lead to life saving technology. Below is an update on the Dallas area tornado outbreak from …


21 December 2015

Climate change and bark beetles spell doom for Rocky Mountain spruce forests

The combination of climate change and spruce bark beetles could drastically alter Rocky Mountain spruce and pine tree populations over the next three centuries, according to a new study. Using an improved model of forest growth, death, and regeneration, a group of scientists predicts that spruce populations will decline and lodgepole pines will take their place.

According to new research presented at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, the demographics of a forested region can be dramatically affected by insect outbreaks and fires over time. In addition, different kinds of trees have different tolerance to drought, strong winds and temperature changes. “These act to create competition between individual species and even between trees,” said Adrianna Foster, an environmental scientist at the University of Virginia and lead author of the new study.


18 December 2015

Global Temperature Record Smashed for the 7th Month in A Row

NASA released the global temperature data today and it agrees with that of NASA and Japan that November was the hottest on record. More from NOAA here: “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2015 was the highest for November in the 136-year period of record, at 0.97°C (1.75°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F), breaking the previous record of 2013 by 0.15°C (0.27°F). This marks …


Rainforests not so rainy: Cutting trees cuts rainfall

Deforestation threatens to upset the delicate water balance within the Amazon rainforest by altering not just ground cover but patterns of rainfall overhead, according to a new study.

Previous research has shown that during the dry season, areas of the Amazon cleared for cattle grazing get more rainfall than the surrounding forest. But most of this research was conducted in the 1980s, when the Amazon was deforested in small patches only a few kilometers wide, said Jaya Khanna, a researcher at Princeton University and lead author of the new study. Khanna’s is the first long-term study of the effects of deforestation on precipitation in the Amazon. Her results, presented at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, show that rainfall patterns in cleared areas today are vastly different from those in the 1980s.


17 December 2015

Harbor seals hang out on glacier ice

Harbor seals are the most widespread pinniped species in the world. They range as far south as Baja California in Mexico, and as far north as Artic Canada and Greenland. In the colder areas of that vast distribution, they sometimes make themselves at home on floating chunks of ice below tidewater glaciers.

Glaciers are constantly on the move, flowing slowly downhill under the force of their own weight. When that path leads them into the ocean, they’re called tidewater glaciers. During the summer, harbor seals, up to several thousand at a time, congregate in Alaska’s tidewater glacier fjords.


16 December 2015

Why They Lost- Climate Denial Becomes A Stand-up Comedy Routine

  You might think that I’m going to tell you that it’s faked, but no, the graph is absolutely correct! Really! It’s also yellow journalism, and the end to the journalistic reputation of the folks who put it out (Unless they want to retract it and apologize). I added a little value to this graphic that will explain why it’s so egregious. Andy Revkin at the New York Times decided …


15 December 2015

Restoring white Arctic will fall to future generations who never knew it

Scientists and policymakers have discussed for decades how to slow the rate of global warming and melting Arctic ice—most recently at the Paris talks—but few have discussed how to restore the ice after it is lost. That task will likely fall to future generations who not only grew up without a white Arctic but may have conflicting interests in keeping it blue, according to an analysis presented on Monday by scientists at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.