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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

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Top Ten DVD List for September 2, 2014

This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams     Top Ten DVD List for September 2, 2014                         American Promise http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JKTFQTM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20   Whitewash http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00LLI7IHS/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20   Draft Day http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00KVFHBP6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20   Line of Duty: … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

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The Imperfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It’s Over

The Imperfect Marriage Help for Those Who Think It’s Over by Darryl and Tracy Strawberry Howard Books Hardcover, $24.99                                                       252 pages ISBN: 978-1-4767-3874-1 Book Review by Kam Williams “Marriage is a battlefield. Trust us, we know. Our marriage has suffered through—and survived—adultery, addiction, financial ruin, and the consequences of our own inner struggles… However, we finally wised … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

From Left to Right, Craig Tracy, Robin Slonina, RuPaul, & Lynda Carter

Mythica Blog: Mythica’s Naked Truth

Ok. I know this may be hard to believe but some of you didn’t know that I was a contestant on the GSN (Game Show Network) new bodypainting reality contest show, Skin Wars. Produced by Michael Levitt and Jill Goularte. Hosted by Rebecca Romijn. Judges were RuPaul, Craig Tracy (my personal hero) and Robin Slonina of Skin City. It is still currently airing Wednesday nights 9pm eastern/8 central on GSN. If you want to find the channel in your area go … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

The Benefits of the Conservation Easement tool for the Texas Landowner

    When owning property, there’s a list of information, rules, regulations, and rights the landowner needs to know in order to make sure that their property meets their objectives, whether it be a recreational or commercial investment. And for some, when it comes to managing resources and receiving the best benefits available, use of a tool referred to as a ‘conservation easement’ is one path to take.   By putting a … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

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Anchoring the National Conversation on Race

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Outdoors

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Tested: Wicked Ridge Crossbow’s Invader HP

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Sports

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The Tale of Two Commissioners

The Tale of Two Commissioners ~Amy Lignor When it comes to the ‘bug guns’ in the world of sports, there are two men that make the headlines for many things – right and wrong decisions, as far as the public is concerned. Goodell is the heavyweight in the NFL. This is a man who always seems to be facing controversy – especially with players in the NFL getting into trouble…trouble that causes them to earn everything from suspensions to financial … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Mythica on a Fracking Tour at Noble energy

Mythica Blog: What the Frack is going on!?!?!

Recently I was invited by a friend of mine who is a photographer for the oil and gas industry to go on a tour of a Colorado local energy company, Noble Energy. I went because I am the idiot who likes to hear both sides of a story. I'd also prefer to know something first hand than hearsay. So I went to learn about Fracking. I went on this tour with the same basic knowledge that most of the people I know have about Fracking. 1. Fracking is … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

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Captive is Captive No Matter How You Look at It

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