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23 July 2014
The quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 came as a surprise to many, as seasonal forecasts had consistently predicted an unusually large crop of named storms. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, finds that internal variability—processes that unfold without being dictated by larger-scale features—can make one season twice as active as another, even when El Niño and other large-scale hurricane-shaping elements are unchanged. The results suggest that seasonal hurricane forecasts could be improved by conveying the amount of unavoidable uncertainty in the outlook.
This week, I’m with a group of in-service middle school teachers for a week-long workshop on climate science. It is always inspiring to connect with K-12 teachers to see and hear about their passion for their classrooms and for teaching – and always frustrating to hear that they have to do so with so few resources that include outdated textbooks. And in those outdated textbooks we will find the “scientific …
Two key events happened yesterday in relation to the Oso landslide in Washington State – the remains of the last victim were recovered and a new report analysing the landslide was released.
At the AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference last month in Lake Tahoe, I presented a talk about widespread rumors on Facebook last January that a paralyzing snowstorm was coming. This is just one example of the love/hate relationship that meteorologists have with Facebook, and I was quoted in an article on TV News Check about this as well a couple of weeks ago. As I told the reporter for TV News …
22 July 2014
Washington DC is an interesting city. When the original plans were being made in the 1780s and 1790s, they called for a 100-square-mile area to be allocated for the city, and George Washington (who was President at the time) wanted to include the City of Alexandria in Virginia. But the Residence Act, passed in 1791, specified that all the federal buildings had to be on the Maryland side of the river (mostly because someone realized that the law allowed the President to choose the location and some members of Congress didn’t want him taking advantage of that and including his own property to the south of Alexandria). So we ended up with a diamond-shaped District 10 miles on a side, overlapping both Virginia and Maryland, with the actual city in Maryland.
The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the “remobilization” of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.
Last Tuesday a landslide destroyed a 20 million Euro ski jumping facility in Erzurum, Turkey. The collapse was in part caught on a video
21 July 2014
From NOAA: “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985. “ FYI May …
On Thursday a rockslide occurred in Maoxian County in Sichuan Province, China. The terrifying moments of the landslide were captured on a dashboard camera
Exactly 45 years ago tonight, everyone who could see a TV, was in front of one. The clip below is the actual coverage from CBS News that evening. You can actually watch all of the Moonwalk online, and if you were not born yet, I highly recommend you do so. A lot of folks do not realize that when the camera came on (and a lot of folks doubted it …
19 July 2014
Tom Karl NOAA NCDC Director: “The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization.” (to CBS News ) Entire report here. The ABSTRACT: and this one sidebar is particularly interesting:
18 July 2014
In the Boreal forests of Canada there have been huge wildfires this month and the smoke is covering much of Canada. Late images this afternoon show the smoke is moving across the Great Lakes states as well, and it may move into the northeast U.S. soon. This part of the world has warmed more than any other over the past 60 years, and Climate Central has a nice write-up …
17 July 2014
The Public Affairs team at AGU is hosting a webinar 17 July 2014 titled ‘How to Have a Successful District Visit’ from 1:00-2:00 EDT today! Join us for an interactive lesson on science communication.
Just looking at the latest on El Nino from the CPC, and I must say I’m not yet impressed. Most of the atmosphere/ocean coupled models are still forecasting an El Nino to develop, but temps in the Pacific have cooled some in the past two weeks. Perhaps more importantly, the atmosphere has not started to respond, with greater than normal rainfall continuing in the West Pacific. In an El Nino, …
16 July 2014
“Buzz! Buzz! We want you to have time to speak with the Los Angeles Times,” a woman named Christina interjected. I was standing, clutching my notepad and recorder, in Buzz Aldrin’s office in West Los Angeles on probably the most challenging assignment of my summer (so far) as a scientist-turned-reporter for the LA Times.
“I firmly believe that if every teaching faculty member could carve out the time to read one or two great books on teaching and learning every year, we would collectively serve our students much better than we do already.” – James Lang (Top 10 Books on Teaching, June 11, 2014) I think it is safe to say that each of us are challenged to find time to read a book …
15 July 2014
When Fiscal Year 2014 comes to a close on 30 September, the clocks should roll over to 1 October without another catastrophic government shutdown. But, here we are, in the middle of a hot and steamy July, and while things aren’t as bad as they were last year, they most certainly are not where they should be.
Over the weekend I visited the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. This a selection of images of landslides and rockfalls that I saw along the way.
A new paper in Nature Geoscience has found that the increasing drought in Australia is very likely due to rising greenhouse gases, and dropping levels of stratospheric Ozone in the atmosphere, and NOT a normal climate fluctuation. Model data also showed that it will likely get worse as greenhouse gases increase over the next century. Key Findings (from GFDL release-see link below) An important new tool for prediction of regional-scale …
14 July 2014
Climate models that simulate the airborne African dust that influences Atlantic Ocean hurricanes are not up to the task of accurately representing the characteristics of that dust.
In a new study, researchers led by Amato Evan, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, examined the performance of 23 state-of-the-art global climate models used in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers found that none of them yielded accurate data on dust characteristics.