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20 December 2018

Northern Hemisphere heat waves covering more area than before

Heat waves in the Northern Hemisphere have gotten more expansive in recent decades, covering 25 percent more area now than they did in the 1970s, according to new research. A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, the University of Delaware and Stanford University analyzed 38 years of NASA climate and weather data and found the average size of a heat wave has grown by 50 percent over the entire Northern Hemisphere, including the ocean, and 25 percent over the Northern Hemisphere’s land. It’s the first study to examine how heat wave extent has increased over time on a global scale.

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1 October 2018

Half-degree of warming could have big impact on water availability

Approximately 117 million more people could face water shortages if global temperatures increase 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels compared to a 1.5-degree Celsius increase in temperatures, a new study suggests. The world’s water cycle, including evaporation and precipitation, is expected to intensify with global warming, according to the study. This could affect the distribution of freshwater and constrain the global water supply, which poses risks to national food security, economic prosperity and societal well-being.

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24 January 2018

Dust on snow controls springtime river rise in West

A new study has found that dust, not spring warmth, controls the pace of spring snowmelt that feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River.

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24 May 2017

LA lawns lose 70 billion gallons of water a year

In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees, new research finds. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a new study.

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17 May 2017

Researchers track groundwater loss during drought in California’s Central Valley

A new study from researchers at UCLA and the University of Houston reveals estimates of significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area.

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16 February 2017

Ancient cave reveals recent droughts in the Middle East were most severe for over a millennium

A stalagmite collected from a remote cave in the Middle East has revealed that recent droughts there were more severe than previously thought, and therefore possibly an important contributing factor for the turmoil in Syria. A research team traveled to Iraq to collect the stalagmite and used it to present the first ever detailed climate reconstruction of the Fertile Crescent extending back 2,400 years.

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16 December 2016

How do you track the mass of a tree over time? Watch it move.

Dancing trees may be able to teach scientists about tree health during a drought, according to a new study.

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18 October 2016

Soil moisture, snowpack data could help predict ‘flash droughts’

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.

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