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Posts Tagged ‘El Nino’

U.S. West Coast Erosion Spiked In Winter 2009-10, Previewing Likely Future As Climate Changes

July 27, 2011 2 comments

nanopatentsandinnovations

Knowing that the U.S. West Coast was battered during the winter before last by a climatic pattern expected more often in the future, scientists have now pieced together a San Diego-to-Seattle assessment of the damage wrought by that winter’s extreme waves and higher-than-usual water levels. Getting a better understanding of how the 2009–10 conditions tore away and reshaped shorelines will help coastal experts better predict future changes that may be in store for the Pacific coast, the researchers say.

Winter storm erosion of coastal bluffs at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Damaged roadway in photo is Great Highway (January 2010)

Credit: Patrick Barnard, USGS

Credit: Patrick Barnard, USGS
“The stormy conditions of Read more…

2010 – 2011: Earth’s most extreme weather since 1816?

June 28, 2011 Comments off

wunderground

Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur. But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen. The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I’ve been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I’ve finally managed to finish, so fasten Read more…

Climate phenomenon La Nina to blame for global extreme weather events

February 9, 2011 1 comment

Climate phenomenon La Nina to blame for global extreme weather events


Cyclone Yasi over Australia in February 2011. Image credit: NASA

(PhysOrg.com) — Recent extreme weather events as far as Australia and Africa are being fueled by a climate phenomenon known as La Nina — or “the girl” in Spanish. La Nina has also played a minor role in the recent cold weather in the Northeast U.S.

The term La Niña refers to a period of cooler-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean that occurs as part of natural climate variability. This situation is roughly the opposite of what happens during El Niño (“the boy”) events, when surface waters in this region are warmer than normal. Because the Pacific is the largest ocean on the planet, any significant changes in average conditions there can have consequences for temperature, rainfall and vegetation in distant places.

Scientists at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), part of Columbia’s Earth Institute, expect moderate-to-strong La Niña conditions to continue in the tropical Pacific, potentially causing additional shifts in rainfall patterns across Read more…

Map shows most of Northern Hemisphere is covered in snow and ice

February 4, 2011 Comments off



At first glance it looks like a graphic from a Discovery Channel program about a distant ice age. But this astonishing picture shows the world as it is today – with half the Northern Hemisphere covered with snow and ice.

The image was released by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Association (NOAA) on the day half of North America was in the grip of a severe winter storm.

The map was created using multiple satellites from government agencies and the US Air Force.

That Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland and the frozen wastes of Siberia are covered in white comes as no surprise. But it is the extent to which the line dips down over the Northern Hemisphere that is so remarkable about the image.

A new satellite map by the government agency NOAA shows the extent of the snow blanketing a vast area from the west coast of Canada to eastern China

The shroud of white stretches down from Alaska and sweeps through the Midwest and along to the Eastern seaboard. The bitter cold has reached as far as Texas and northern Mexico where in Ciudad Juarez temperatures today were expected to dip to minus 15C.

In the U.S. tens of millions of people chose to stay at home rather than venture out. In Chicago, 20in of snow fell leading to authorities closing schools for the first time in 12 years. The newspaper for Tulsa, Okalahoma, was unable to publish its print edition for the first time in Read more…