Tag Archives | Weather

U.S. Heat Waves of 2011 Linked Directly to Man-Made Climate Change

New-York-City---Times-Square---Naked-Cowboy---1---(Gentry)Lauren Morello and ClimateWire report that new analysis shows there is “virtually no explanation other than climate change” for extreme heat events including last year’s scorching weather in Texas and Oklahoma, via Scientific American:

Yes, it really is that hot.

Extreme summer heat — like the sizzling temperatures that hit Texas and Oklahoma last year and Moscow in 2010 — occurs far more frequently now than it did 30 years ago, according to a new study from NASA climatologist James Hansen.

Between 1951 and 1980, just 0.2 percent of Earth’s land areas experienced that kind of scorching summer, on average. Today, that number has soared to 10 percent, according to Hansen’s statistical analysis of global temperature data. And the likely cause is man-made climate change.

“We can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small,” Hansen and his co-authors wrote in a study that will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Half Of U.S. Counties Are Now Disaster Areas

America: it was good while it lasted. After a summer of extreme weather patterns, half of the country is classified as disaster zones, Yahoo! News reports:

Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government’s list of natural disaster areas as the nation’s agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties — 1,584 in 32 states — have been designated primary disaster areas, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that’s considered the worst in decades.

As of this week, nearly half of the nation’s corn crop was rated poor to very poor, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. About 37 percent of the U.S. soybeans were lumped into that category, while nearly three-quarters of U.S.

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U.S. Weather In 2012 Setting Heat Records

If 2012 heralds the end of the world, the weather thus far has certainly been appropriate. Via the The Hill:

Federal data released Thursday show the United States has had its warmest spring, it’s warmest year to date, and warmest 12-month stretch on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing that temperatures during the March-May period in the contiguous United States were far above average, according to records dating back over a century.

“The spring season’s (March–May) nationally averaged temperature was 5.2°F above the 1901-2000 long-term average, surpassing the previous warmest spring (1910) by 2.0°F,” NOAA reported. NOAA, citing temperature data that extend back to the late 1800s, also reported that the first five months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the lower-48 states.

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Blue Goo Falls From Sky Into British Man’s Yard

gooThe mysterious spheres of jelly are “not meteorological” in nature. The whole thing smacks of a 90s Nickelodeon game show gone horribly awry. Via BBC:

A man in Dorset has been left mystified after tiny blue spheres fell from the sky into his garden. Steve Hornsby said [they] came raining down late on Thursday afternoon during a hail storm.

He found about a dozen of the balls in his garden. He said: “[They’re] difficult to pick up, I had to get a spoon and flick them into a jam jar.” The Met Office said the jelly-like substance was “not meteorological”.

Mr Hornsby, a former aircraft engineer, said: “The sky went a really dark yellow colour…As I walked outside to go to the garage there was an instant hail storm for a few seconds and I thought, ‘what’s that in the grass’?”

Walking around his garden he found many more blue spheres were scattered across the grass.

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Heat Wave Due To “Exceptionally Strong” Air Mass

Photos: Alex E. Proimos

Photos: Alex E. Proimos

Today has been the coolest day all week in the Northeast of the US.  The Midwest, Northeast and Southern parts of the country have been experiencing consecutive days of high temperatures and humidity which have contributed to many deaths throughout the country. What is the cause of this cantankerous heat and is it an indication of future affects of global warming? The National Geographic reports:

A stubborn high-pressure system is the culprit behind the dangerously high heat wave that’s been baking much of the U.S., experts say.

The high-pressure system—a large area of dense air—is being held in place by upper-level winds known as the jet stream. Within the system, dense air sinks and becomes warmer, and since warm air can hold more moisture than cooler air, there’s also very high humidity. (Learn more about Earth’s atmosphere.)

Stationary high-pressure systems aren’t unusual during the summer, according to Eli Jacks, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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New Little Ice Age In Store Next Decade?

89705312_aa574e68a8The Telegraph says we may enter a short mini-Ice Age in the next decade due to low solar activity. Consider it Mother Nature giving us a temporary reprieve from global warming so that we have time to set things right:

Sunspot activity, which follows an 11-year cycle, is due to peak in 2013 after which it will start to wane slightly. But astronomers think the next upswing will be less intensive than normal, or could fail to happen at all. That could affect weather on Earth because low solar activity has been linked to low global temperatures in the past.

Three studies, presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s solar physics division, all point towards declining sunspot activity into the next decade.

Between 1645 and 1715 almost no sunspots were observed, a solar period which came to be called the Maunder Minimum. During those decades Europe suffered frequent unusually harsh winters, and the time was later termed the Little Ice Age.

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Iranian President Ahmadinejad Accuses The West of Weather Control

Cloud SeedingReports Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story:
TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday accused Western countries of devising plans to "cause drought" in the Islamic republic, as he inaugurated a dam in a central province. "Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the central city of Arak in Markazi province. "According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump" their water on their continent, he said. By doing so, "they prevent rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran," Ahmadinejad charged. Iran has experienced several droughts in recent years.
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Qatar To Use Remote-Controlled Clouds By 2022 World Cup

cloudsOf course, due to dangerous levels of pollution and radiation, by 2022 we will venture outdoors only for very brief periods. BLDG BLOG reveals the sky-architecture of the future:

“Artificial clouds” driven by solar-powered engines might be deployed at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to help keep the stadiums from overheating. Each cloud, as a short video hosted over at the BBC explains, “is constructed from an advanced, lightweight, and strong carbon-fiber material.”

The interior of the cloud is injected with helium gas to make it float. The cloud hovers like a helicopter and is remotely controlled. In this way, the cloud hovers over the football ground, shielding it from direct sunlight and providing a favorable climatic environment. The cloud is also programmed to continuously change its shielding position according to the prevailing east-to-west path of the sun.

After all, I suppose it makes sense that the next step in temporary event architecture will be a remote-controlled swarm of rearrangeable horizontal and vertical surfaces, forming ceilings, roofs, walls, floors, ramps, and stairways.

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