It’s unusually warm in The Last Frontier.
View More Temperatures in Alaska are toppling records
Large swaths of Alaska have seen record or near-record warmth this March said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. And the trend isn’t quitting. …
In Nebraska and Iowa there’s a brown sea where there should be homes, roads, gas stations, and open country.
Historic floods have deluged vast swaths of the Midwest — even flooding a third of the U.S. Air Force base that houses the nation’s critical U.S. Strategic Command. But the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the floods aren’t nearly over. The agency’s 2019 Spring Outlook found that nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states are at risk for flooding in the coming months.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center, said in a statement. Read more…
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View More Wow: U.S. gov’t warns there’s a spring flood risk for two-thirds of the Lower 48
Cyclone Idai left death, destruction, and a sprawling inland sea in its wake.
The powerful tropical cyclone — which struck Mozambique last Thursday as the equivalent of a Category 2 or 3 hurricane with winds of around 100 mph — has left at least 150 dead and 600,000 in need of help in the flooded nation said the EU, though the Associated Press reports over 300 fatalities as of March 21 when accounting for deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe.
The cyclone’s widespread flooding — in part overshadowed by simultaneous and historic flooding in the Midwest — has left behind an inundated area some 200 square miles in size (518 square kilometers), with the inland sea reaching up to 15 miles wide, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA). Read more…
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View More Giant inland sea created by the disastrous Mozambique cyclone
Solar geoengineering is widely viewed as risky business.
The somewhat sci-fi concept — to use blimps, planes, or other means to load Earth’s atmosphere with particles or droplets that reflect sunlight and cool the planet — has crept into the mainstream conversation as a means of reversing relentless climate change, should our efforts to slash carbon emissions fail or sputter. But geoengineering schemes come with a slew of hazards. A number of studies have cited the ill consequences of messing with Earth’s sun intake, including big falls in crop production, the likelihood of unforeseen adverse side effects, and critically, a weakened water cycle that could trigger drops in precipitation and widespread drought. Read more…
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View More Geoengineering might not be so ludicrous an idea — if we gave Earth the right dose
Yes, records for cold temperatures are breaking as an off-balance polar vortex sloshes over a vast region of the U.S.
And while it sure feels frigid out there, overall, the number of daily cold records set in the U.S. has been consistently dwarfed by the number of warm or high temperature records. The score isn’t even close. High records over the last decade are outpacing low records by a rate of two to one.
Earth has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the late 1800s, and this boost in warming translates to significantly more heat records than cold records. But during winter — particularly when biting Arctic air sometimes washes over the U.S. — cold records will still be made. Read more…
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View More It’s damn cold, but heat records in the U.S. still dominate
It’s coming back.
The polar vortex — a deep mass of frigid air that rotates around the top of the world — has been knocked off balance, which means it’s liable to spill cold air into the U.S. Although winter temperatures in the lower 48 states have generally been normal or warmer than average, a blast of intensely cold air first spilled down to the Midwest and the northeastern U.S. around January 20. Now, atmospheric scientists say it’s likely to return at the end of January.
For many places, that means it will be the coldest stretch of the year.
“It’s going to get really cold at the end of January and early February,” Jeff Weber, a meteorologist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, an earth sciences research organization, said in an interview. Read more…
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View More The polar vortex will return, this time with the coldest temps of the year
The polar vortex — a spinning mass of winter-chilled Arctic air — has become wobbly and weak. It’s expected to slosh down and blanket a considerable part of the East Coast and Midwest with frigid polar air beginning this weekend, bringing to some Midwestern places.
“We’re gonna freeze,” John Martin, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in an interview.
The polar vortex typically lives in the high Arctic each winter. So why does this mass of frigid air sometimes swirl so far down south and away from its home?
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View More Blame a wobbly polar vortex for why you’re so damn cold
Australians will be cranking up the pedestal fans, as extreme heatwave conditions sear across most of the country.
Temperatures have soared above average across much of the continent, peaking at 49.1°C (120.38°F) in the town of Marble Bar in Western Australia, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
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View More Australia swelters in extreme weather as one town breaks heat record
In the early hours of December 16, 2017, hot embers began raining down on the Southern California town of Montecito.
Ominous, orange flames soon appeared on hills above the wooded community as the infamous Thomas Fire, burning for nearly two weeks at that point, lunged over the ridge and pushed into the enclave below.
The odds weighed in the fire’s favor: The winds picked up overnight, blowing 65 mph gusts in the direction of hundreds and hundreds of homes.
But when the smoke and ash finally settled, the fire had lost — for the most part, anyhow.
“They thought for sure that they were going to lose 400 or 500 homes — instead they only lost seven,” Crystal Kolden, a fire scientist at the University of Idaho and former wildland firefighter, said in an interview. Read more…
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View More How a quiet California town protects itself against today’s megafires
More harrowing footage of the California wildfires shows just how close the fires in the southern part of the state keep creeping to large urban areas.
View More Terrifying footage shows Southern California fires nipping at a highway
The new video from ABC7 show the Peak Fire burning right up to the edge of a busy Highway 11…
Apocalyptically horrendous air has descended upon India’s sprawling capital territory, Delhi.
According to November 4 measurements taken by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, the Air Quality Index (AQI) hit 534. For perspective, the scale only goes up to 500, wherein levels are described as “Hazardous.”
“534 is higher than your highest value — which is insane,” Anthony Wexler, the director of the Air Quality Research Center at the University of California, said in an interview.
But, come early November, terrible air quality becomes the norm in northern India. This time of year, farmers burn off bounties of crop waste to clear fields. Read more…
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View More The air quality in India is horrendously bad right now. Here’s why.