Climate

NASA Adds Up Record Australia Rainfall
May 22, 2017 02:21 PM - NASA

Over the week of May 15, extreme rainfall drenched northeastern Australia and NASA data provided a look at the record totals.

The rainfall was the heaviest rainfall in that area since tropical cyclone Debbie hit Queensland Australia in late March. Much of the recent extremely heavy rainfall was due to storms associated with a trough or elongated area of low pressure slowly moving over northeastern Queensland from the Coral Sea. More than 100 millimeters or 3.9 inches of rain in 24 hours was reported near Townsville. A trough of low pressure that moved eastward from central Australia was also encroaching into western Queensland.   

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa's Sahel, Says Study
May 22, 2017 02:13 PM - The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Pollution filters placed on coal-fired power plants in the United States starting in the 1970s have dramatically cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas that contributes to acid rain and premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected, rainfall over the Sahel could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations published in the study suggest.

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa's Sahel, Says Study
May 22, 2017 02:13 PM - The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Pollution filters placed on coal-fired power plants in the United States starting in the 1970s have dramatically cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas that contributes to acid rain and premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected, rainfall over the Sahel could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations published in the study suggest.

Smoke from Wildfires Can Have Lasting Climate Impact
May 22, 2017 02:08 PM - Georgia Institute of Technology

The wildfire that has raged across more than 150,000 acres of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Florida has sent smoke billowing into the sky as far as the eye can see. Now, new research published by the Georgia Institute of Technology shows how that smoke could impact the atmosphere and climate much more than previously thought.

Researchers have found that carbon particles released into the air from burning trees and other organic matter are much more likely than previously thought to travel to the upper levels of the atmosphere, where they can interfere with rays from the sun – sometimes cooling the air and at other times warming it.

Smoke from Wildfires Can Have Lasting Climate Impact
May 22, 2017 02:08 PM - Georgia Institute of Technology

The wildfire that has raged across more than 150,000 acres of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Florida has sent smoke billowing into the sky as far as the eye can see. Now, new research published by the Georgia Institute of Technology shows how that smoke could impact the atmosphere and climate much more than previously thought.

Researchers have found that carbon particles released into the air from burning trees and other organic matter are much more likely than previously thought to travel to the upper levels of the atmosphere, where they can interfere with rays from the sun – sometimes cooling the air and at other times warming it.

NASA's CPEX Tackles a Weather Fundamental
May 19, 2017 02:33 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A NASA-funded field campaign getting underway in Florida on May 25 has a real shot at improving meteorologists' ability to answer some of the most fundamental questions about weather: Where will it rain? When? How much?

Called the Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX), the campaign is using NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory outfitted with five complementary research instruments designed and developed at NASA. The plane also will carry small sensors called dropsondes that are dropped from the plane and make measurements as they fall. Working together, the instruments will collect detailed data on wind, temperature and humidity in the air below the plane during the birth, growth and decay of convective clouds -- clouds formed by warm, moist air rising off the subtropical waters around Florida.

NASA's CPEX Tackles a Weather Fundamental
May 19, 2017 02:33 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A NASA-funded field campaign getting underway in Florida on May 25 has a real shot at improving meteorologists' ability to answer some of the most fundamental questions about weather: Where will it rain? When? How much?

Called the Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX), the campaign is using NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory outfitted with five complementary research instruments designed and developed at NASA. The plane also will carry small sensors called dropsondes that are dropped from the plane and make measurements as they fall. Working together, the instruments will collect detailed data on wind, temperature and humidity in the air below the plane during the birth, growth and decay of convective clouds -- clouds formed by warm, moist air rising off the subtropical waters around Florida.

Canadian Archaeologists Challenge the Credibility of GIS Methods to Assess the Impact of Weather on Shoreline Erosion
May 19, 2017 01:44 PM - De Gruyter

Although computer models of archaeological sites are commonly used to yield insights which contribute to the protection of heritage materials, scientists often question their credibility, calling for these long-term trends be 'ground truthed' in order to ensure that calculated rates of change reflect observed phenomena ‘in the field’.  This is particularly true in areas which tend to experience more pronounced and cumulative impacts of modern climate change.

A recent study by Michael J. E. O’Rourke from the University of Toronto, published in Open Archaeology, provides a new perspective on the severe impacts of escalating climate change on the heritage resources of Canadian Arctic.  Referring to the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) analytical methods in assessing the threat of shoreline erosion to archaeological sites in the Canadian Arctic, it details steps taken to review the quality of the GIS model in light of a discrepancy with rates observed during annual survey visits.

Canadian Archaeologists Challenge the Credibility of GIS Methods to Assess the Impact of Weather on Shoreline Erosion
May 19, 2017 01:44 PM - De Gruyter

Although computer models of archaeological sites are commonly used to yield insights which contribute to the protection of heritage materials, scientists often question their credibility, calling for these long-term trends be 'ground truthed' in order to ensure that calculated rates of change reflect observed phenomena ‘in the field’.  This is particularly true in areas which tend to experience more pronounced and cumulative impacts of modern climate change.

A recent study by Michael J. E. O’Rourke from the University of Toronto, published in Open Archaeology, provides a new perspective on the severe impacts of escalating climate change on the heritage resources of Canadian Arctic.  Referring to the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) analytical methods in assessing the threat of shoreline erosion to archaeological sites in the Canadian Arctic, it details steps taken to review the quality of the GIS model in light of a discrepancy with rates observed during annual survey visits.

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally
May 19, 2017 08:21 AM - USGS

The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released today in “Nature Scientific Reports.”

This increase in flooding will be greatest and most damaging in tropical regions, impairing the economies of coastal cities and the habitability of low-lying Pacific island nations. Many of the world's largest populated low-lying deltas (such as the Ganges, Indus, Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers), also fall in or near this affected tropical region.

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