Climate

2016 was 2nd warmest year on record for U.S.
January 11, 2017 10:24 AM - NOAA

Last year will be remembered as warmer than average for much of the nation, and depending on where you live, 2016 was either parched, soggy — or both.

Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish
January 10, 2017 02:26 PM - NOAA Headquarters

Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time by a NOAA-supported research team, led by Oregon State University scientists.

Domoic acid, produced by certain types of marine algae, can accumulate in shellfish, fish and other marine animals. Consuming enough of the toxin can be harmful or even fatal. Public health agencies and seafood managers closely monitor toxin levels and impose harvest closures where necessary to ensure that seafood remains safe to eat. NOAA is supporting research and new tools to help seafood industry managers stay ahead of harmful algae events that are increasing in frequency, intensity and scope.

Rapid Arctic warming has in the past shifted Southern Ocean winds
January 10, 2017 11:28 AM - University of Washington

The global climate is a complex machine in which some pieces are separate yet others are connected. Scientists try to discover the connections to predict what will happen to our climate, especially in a future with more heat-trapping gases.

NASA Study Finds a Connection Between Wildfires and Drought
January 10, 2017 11:03 AM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

For centuries drought has come and gone across northern sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, water shortages have been most severe in the Sahel—a band of semi-arid land situated just south of the Sahara Desert and stretching coast-to-coast across the continent, from Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Sudan and Eritrea in the east. Drought struck the Sahel most recently in 2012, triggering food shortages for millions of people due to crop failure and soaring food prices.

Insects feel the heat: scientists reveal rise in temperature affects ability to reproduce
January 10, 2017 09:59 AM - The University of Sheffield

  • Even a mild rise in temperature damages insect’s ability to reproduce
  • Insect populations in high latitude countries are worst affected
  • Identifying genes linked to increased and decreased reproduction may help understand how insects cope with climate change and controlling insect pests

With 2016 reportedly the warmest year on record, scientists have discovered insects are already feeling the effects of climate change, as a rise in temperature is shown to damage their ability to reproduce.

Louisiana Faces Faster Levels of Sea-Level Rise Than Any Other Land on Earth
January 10, 2017 08:49 AM - , Care2

Louisiana—which faces faster levels of sea-level rise than any other land on Earth—could lose as many as 2,800 square miles of its coast over the next 40 years and about 27,000 buildings will need to be flood-proofed, elevated or bought out, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

Louisiana Faces Faster Levels of Sea-Level Rise Than Any Other Land on Earth
January 10, 2017 08:49 AM - , Care2

Louisiana—which faces faster levels of sea-level rise than any other land on Earth—could lose as many as 2,800 square miles of its coast over the next 40 years and about 27,000 buildings will need to be flood-proofed, elevated or bought out, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

NASA Sees Storms Affecting the Western U.S.
January 9, 2017 06:10 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Extreme rain events have been affecting California and snow has blanketed the Pacific Northwest. NASA/NOAA's GOES Project created a satellite animation showing the storms affecting the region from January 6 through 9, 2017, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured a look at the snowfall. 

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an animation of visible and infrared imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed a series of moisture-laden storms affecting California from Jan. 6 through Jan. 9, 2017. NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites and the NASA/NOAA GOES Project uses the satellite data to create animations and images. The animation shows a stream of storms affecting the U.S. West coast over that period, as a low pressure area center churned off of Canada's west coast.

Short-lived greenhouse gases cause centuries of sea-level rise
January 9, 2017 05:55 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Even if there comes a day when the world completely stops emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, coastal regions and island nations will continue to experience rising sea levels for centuries afterward, according to a new study by researchers at MIT and Simon Fraser University.

In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that warming from short-lived compounds — greenhouse gases such as methane, chlorofluorocarbons, or hydrofluorocarbons, that linger in the atmosphere for just a year to a few decades — can cause sea levels to rise for hundreds of years after the pollutants have been cleared from the atmosphere.

Crystallization method offers new option for carbon capture from ambient air
January 9, 2017 12:04 PM - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a simple, reliable process to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, offering a new option for carbon capture and storage strategies to combat global warming. 

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