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18 October 2016
New research suggests “flash droughts” — like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012 — could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data. Researchers analyzed the conditions leading up to the 2012 drought, which ultimately caused $30 billion in economic losses, looking for any warning signs that a drought was on the way.
30 August 2016
Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilization in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing – the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures, like the ones built at Yucatán, were no longer being constructed. The reason for this demise remains the subject of debate even today. Now, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) may have found the explanation: the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes.
9 June 2016
In a paper in Geophysical Research Letters, Georgie Bennett and colleagues have examined the response of Californian earthflows to the ongoing drought. They have found that the landslide have slowed markedly as conditions have become drier.
2 June 2016
A new study finds that in a Phoenix suburb, homeowners’ associations are good for water conservation. According to the study, homes in HOAs in Goodyear, Arizona use up to 17,000 fewer liters of water (4490 gallons) in the peak month of July compared to their non-HOA counterparts, roughly the amount needed to fill eleven hot tubs.
26 November 2014
I just finished a rather detailed piece for my station’s website about El Nino and long range forecasting. If you really want to understand what an El Nino is, and how it can help make a long range forecast, then it’s worth a read. Click the image below to read it. I warn you that it is long form, and there are 4 videos embedded that you really should watch. …
15 July 2014
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 …
19 June 2014
I am at the American Meteorological Society’s 42nd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology at Squaw Valley,Ca. We are just outside of Lake Tahoe, and I drove up from Las Vegas, through Death Valley and by Mammoth Lakes. The temperature ranged from 96 in Death Valley to 46 at Mammoth, and when i awoke here in Squaw Valley this morning it was 28 degrees! I thought I’d share some pics of …
14 January 2014
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
6 November 2013
AGU has launched the Thriving Earth Exchange, a new initiative that supports communities as they protect themselves from hazards, adapt to a changing planet, and create sustainable futures. Featured in this week’s edition of Eos, learn more about the program where AGU members will work with local leaders to contribute their Earth and space science expertise to significant societal challenges. The Thriving Earth Exchange is inspired by a series of …
27 August 2013
An amazing image here from the incredible nighttime visible sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite. You can see the horseshoe-shaped Rim fire now burning in Yosemite Park. Note the city lights of Las Vegas shining through the high cirrus deck over southern Nevada. As the planet warms in coming decades there is ever growing evidence that dry places like the U.S.West will get much drier still…. More from NASA: The …
17 August 2013
NASA has a bunch of stunning images online showing what a ~1 degree Celsius warming over the last century has done to the planet. Click on the image above for many, many more images. What’s even more amazing to me is the number of people who still believe the planet is not warming, or that this is all a natural cycle. Every possible internal cycle has been looked at. Even …