Climate

Satellite Views Storm System Affecting Southern California
February 17, 2017 03:20 PM - NASA

An almost continuous onshore flow is expected to bring storms to California and portions of the Pacific Northwest in a very active, wet pattern over the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service.

NASA Examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's Rainfall
February 17, 2017 03:04 PM - NASA

Late on Feb. 15, Dineo made landfall in southern Mozambique. By Feb. 17 the storm weakened to a remnant low pressure area when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image that showed the center of the low pressure area over Zimbabwe and clouds extended over found Dineo's clouds stretched over southern Mozambique, Swaziland, eastern Botswana and northeastern South Africa.

It's More than Just Climate Change
February 17, 2017 02:48 PM - University of Maryland

A new scientific paper by a University of Maryland-led international team of distinguished scientists, including five members of the National Academies, argues that there are critical two-way feedbacks missing from current climate models that are used to inform environmental, climate, and economic policies. The most important inadequately-modeled variables are inequality, consumption, and population.

NIST Quest for Climate-Friendly Refrigerants Finds Complicated Choices
February 17, 2017 10:23 AM - National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have just completed a multiyear study to identify the “best” candidates for future use as air conditioning refrigerants that will have the lowest impact on the climate.

Unfortunately, all 27 fluids NIST identified as the best from a performance viewpoint are at least slightly flammable, which is not allowed under U.S. safety codes for most end uses. Several fluids among the list of refrigerants are highly flammable, including propane, the fuel for outdoor grills.

How untreated water is making our kids sick
February 17, 2017 07:17 AM - Florida State University

A Florida State University researcher has drawn a link between the impact of climate change and untreated drinking water on the rate of gastrointestinal illness in children.

Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
February 16, 2017 11:42 AM - European Geosciences Union

After long-awaited snowfall in January, parts of the Alps are now covered with fresh powder and happy skiers. But the Swiss side of the iconic mountain range had the driest December since record-keeping began over 150 years ago, and 2016 was the third year in a row with scarce snow over the Christmas period. A study published today in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union, shows bare Alpine slopes could be a much more common sight in the future.

Antarctic sea ice extent lowest on record
February 16, 2017 11:38 AM - British Antartic Survey

This year the extent of summer sea ice in the Antarctic is the lowest on record. The Antarctic sea ice minimum marks the day – typically towards end of February – when sea ice reaches its smallest extent at the end of the summer melt season, before expanding again as the winter sets in.

Snow Science in Support of Our Nation's Water Supply
February 16, 2017 11:29 AM - NASA

Researchers have completed the first flights of a NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists' understanding of Earth's water resources: snow.

NASA uses the vantage point of space to study all aspects of Earth as an interconnected system. But there remain significant obstacles to measuring accurately how much water is stored across the planet's snow-covered regions. The amount of water in snow plays a major role in water availability for drinking water, agriculture and hydropower.

How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions
February 16, 2017 10:26 AM - Nicole Moore via University of Michigan

New findings from the University of Michigan explain an Ice Age paradox and add to the mounting evidence that climate change could bring higher seas than most models predict.

The study, published in Nature, shows how small spikes in the temperature of the ocean, rather than the air, likely drove the rapid disintegration cycles of the expansive ice sheet that once covered much of North America.

New Methods Further Discern Extreme Fluctuations in Forage Fish Populations
February 15, 2017 04:34 PM - NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

California sardine stocks famously crashed in John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.” New research, building on the pioneering work of Soutar and Isaacs in the late 1960’s and others, shows in greater detail that such forage fish stocks have undergone boom-bust cycles for centuries, with at least three species off the U.S. West Coast repeatedly experiencing steep population increases followed by declines long before commercial fishing began.

Natural population fluctuations in Pacific sardine, northern anchovy and Pacific hake off California have been so common that the species were in collapsed condition 29 to 40 percent of the time over the 500-year period from A.D. 1000 to 1500, according to the study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. Using a long time series of fish scales deposited in low-oxygen offshore sedimentary environments off southern California, the authors from NOAA Fisheries and the University of Michigan described such collapses as “an intrinsic property of some forage fish populations that should be expected, just as droughts are expected in an arid climate.” 

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