Google+

Climate Change Can Explain Some 2011 Departures From The Norm

Texans sweltered through the hottest, driest spring and summer on record last year. Much of the blame can be attributed to a recurring climate pattern known as La Niña, which emerges every few years as surface waters chill in the eastern equatorial Pacific. But Earth’s steadily warming climate contributed as well, a new analysis concludes.

Since the 1960s, the likelihood of Texas seeing extremely hot, dry weather in a La Niña year has mushroomed 20-fold due to human-induced global warming, David Rupp of Oregon State University in Corvallis and his colleagues calculate.

They were among six international teams probing climate’s link to extreme events in late 2010 through 2011. The collected findings appear in the July Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, or BAMS.

Severe food shortages, in places causing famine, gripped the Horn of Africa last year after drought left the land parched from winter 2010 through the following spring. La Niña played a role there, too. However, computer analyses of global climate conditions since 1979 find that a recent warming of surface waters in the Indian and Pacific Oceans can destabilize La Niña weather patterns. Chris Funk of the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Barbara, Calif., concludes that these probably intensified 2011’s drought in East Africa.

Other teams pointed to global warming as a likely contributor to excessive heat in central Europe last summer and to unusually balmy temperatures in central England in November 2010. In the British case, that kind of heat could be expected to recur every 20 years now — a 62-fold increase over the 1960s.

Yet global warming can’t be blamed for all monster weather. Unprecedented flooding that submerged large tracts of northern Thailand, including its capital, for up to two months last year resulted from rainfall intensity the region had encountered before. But water management practices and heavy industrialization of a flood plain slowed drainage last year.

These new analyses are pioneering efforts to get near real-time assessments of climate’s role in extreme weather events, says climatologist Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

For years, he says, climate scientists have argued that although global warming can increase the frequency of extreme weather, they couldn’t pin any particular event on human-caused climate change. That appears to be changing, Peterson and his colleagues argue in their introduction to the new report.

Using the developing field of “attribution science,” researchers are beginning to apply massive computing capacity to explore how global temperatures, reflectivity and moisture patterns can affect the odds of localized extreme weather events.

In 2011, droughts beyond Africa and Texas brought billions of dollars in crop losses, says Jessica Blunden of the National Climatic Data Center. The North Atlantic saw above-average hurricane activity (19 named storms, well over the long-term average of 12), and seven separate U.S. tornado outbreaks each wreaked more than $1 billion in damage.

Polar regions racked up their own extremes, says Martin Jeffries of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who like Blunden, was an editor of a second new analysis: State of the Climate in 2011, released July 10 as a BAMS supplement. Barrow, Alaska, sustained a record 86 consecutive days when the minimum air temperature failed to dip below freezing.

Understanding global warming’s role in extreme events extends well beyond blaming rights. Peterson notes that water managers may need to change policies if evidence begins pointing to persistent changes in the recurrence rates and lengths of droughts or the frequency of heavy rains. Right now, linking these events is difficult, usually works only for events lasting longer than a month, and takes a year to complete. Peterson’s team hopes to see the science mature to the point that assessments might be turned around more quickly and tackle events lasting mere days.

Source: Science News / Janet Roloff

Entertainment

Spectacular Disaster Flick Depicts Real-Life Events Surrounding BP Oil Spill

  Deepwater Horizon Film Review by Kam Williams Spectacular Disaster Flick Depicts Real-Life Events Surrounding BP Oil Spill On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, located 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana, exploded when high-pressure methane gas blew out the drill pipe. 11 members of the crew perished in the ensuing fiery inferno which engulfed the platform. The accident also caused the worst oil spill in U.S. … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Doing Our Part

  Doing Our Part by Amy Lignor   There are books being published as of late – wonderful books telling the stories of amazing wildlife rescues, as well as neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. that have taken on projects to save the wildlife in their own surrounding areas.   We always talk about these “success stories,” yet never actually give information on exactly how these “problems” turned into “victories.” … [Read More its Good for You...]