Santa’s revenge: new evidence supports link between climate change, severe weather – Source: The Globe and Mail
Ivan Semeniuk The Globe and Mail, Feb. 15 2014
Scientists call it Santa’s revenge. It’s the theory that persistent weather patterns at the mid-latitudes – like this winter’s tediously long-lasting polar vortex or California’s severe drought – are a direct consequence of climate change heating up the Arctic. New evidence suggests the link is real, even as experts continue to argue over how much it is influencing the weather on a day to day basis. The effect has implications for severe weather predictions, food security and water use across the northern hemisphere. If the data are right, they suggest that climate change in the Arctic is coming home to roost in a big and expensive way.“It’s starting to get harder to say that something isn’t happening,” said Jennifer Francis, a research professor at Rutgers University who presented her findings Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
Prof. Francis based her remark on a reanalysis of data used in weather forecasting over the past 35 years. The study supports the idea that Arctic warming is changing the jet stream, a high-altitude wind that rings the globe, and is a key factor influencing the weather experienced by much of North America and Eurasia.The cause of the jet stream is well understood. Because warm air is less dense than cold air, warm air in the south has a tendency to rise and spill northward, onto the colder air that sits above the Arctic. The Earth’s rotation bends that northward flow into an west-to-east direction. The greater the temperature difference, the faster the air flows and the straighter the jet stream’s ribbon-like path across the northern hemisphere.
With Climate Change, West Nile Virus Could Be Your New Neighbor – Feb. 28, 2014 – source – Time – Science & Space
A new study shows how climate change will contribute to the spread of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus
Invasive species aren’t just species—they can also be pathogens. Such is the case with the West Nile virus. A mosquito-borne virus identified in the West Nile subregion in Uganda in 1937—hence the name—West Nile wasn’t much of a concern to people elsewhere until it broke out of Africa in 1999. The first U.S. cases were confirmed in New York City in 1999, and it has now spread throughout much of the world. Though 80% of infections are subclinical—meaning they yield no symptoms—those who do get sick can get very sick.The virus can led to encephalitis—inflammation of the brain and nervous system—and even death, with 286 people dying from West Nile in the U.S. in 2012. There were more than 5,500 cases reported that year, and the scary thing is that as the climate warms, West Nile will continue to spread.
Climate Change Might Just Be Driving the Historic Cold Snap – Jan. 6, 2014 – source: Time- Science & Space
Climate change skeptics are pointing to the record cold weather as evidence that the globe isn’t warming. But it could be that melting Arctic ice is making sudden cold snaps more likely—not less ….
Sea ice is vanishing from the Arctic thanks to climate change, which leaves behind dark open ocean water, which absorbs more of the heat from the sun than reflective ice. That in turn is helping to cause the Arctic to warm faster than the rest of the planet, almost twice the global average. The jet stream—the belt of fast-flowing, westerly winds that essentially serves as the boundary between cold northern air and warmer southern air—is driven by temperature difference between the northerly latitudes and the tropical ones. Some scientists theorize that as that temperature difference narrows, it may weaken the jet stream, which in turns makes it more likely that cold Arctic air will escape the polar vortex and flow southward. Right now, an unusually large kink in the jet stream has that Arctic air flowing much further south than it usually would.Still, this research is fairly preliminary, in part because extreme Arctic sea ice loss is a fairly recent phenomenon, so scientists don’t have the long data sets they need to draw more robust conclusions about the interaction between Arctic warming and cold snaps.
Cold weather snap fuels misinformation over climate change – Jan. 5, 2014 – source: Aljazeera
…. those who think cold weather disproves climate change may be ignoring a solid and ever-increasing body of evidence. Cold weather is just that — weather, which is defined by NASA as “conditions of the atmosphere…over a short period of time.” According to most climate scientists, no weather condition can be linked to climate change.Just as the cold snap can’t necessarily be linked to climate by itself, neither can the unprecedented heat wave currently hitting Australia. (It’s so hot, meteorologists have been forced to add new colors to their heat maps.) But unlike individual events, weather patterns can be linked to climate change. And scientists point out that patterns suggest it’s getting hotter and weather is becoming more dangerous.
Cold fact: More record lows than highs in the USA in 2013 – January 2, 2014 – source: USA Today
“For the first year since 1993, there were more daily record lows than daily highs that were either tied or set in 2013,” reported Weather Channel meteorologist Guy Walton, who keeps track of the data from the climate center. Through Dec. 28, there were 11,852 daily record lows in 2013, compared with 10,073 daily record highs, according to Walton. A “daily” record occurs when a specific location sets a record high or low temperature for a particular day; other types of records include monthly and all-time. Walton said that an unusually cold spring was the main factor in the “cool” 2013. The year was a stunning turnaround from the USA‘s amazingly warm year of 2012, when more than 34,000 record highs were measured, compared with 6,644 record lows.
Overall, the year was likely a blip in a long-term warming trend: “The ratio of daily highs to daily lows continues to be near 3 to 1 for this decade, so far,” Walton said. Also for the decade so far, there have been 700 all-time record highs set, compared with only 74 all-time record lows. Because the USA accounts for only about 2% of Earth’s surface, what happens here is far from representative of the planet as a whole…
THE KEY TO SURVIVING CLIMATE CHANGE – BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING – Dec. 21, 2013 – source: New Scientist
Be prepared – for anything. That will be the message of the next report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), its first attempt in seven years to forecast the impact of climate change on specific geographical regions. Due out in March, it will emphasise versatility over any fine-tuned mitigation measures.
Building on the IPCC’s October report on the latest climate science, the Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability report is designed to predict how those global trends will change the areas we live in – as well as wildlife, water supplies, flooding, food and national economies. In other words, the stuff people really care about…………
CLIMATE CHANGE COVER-UP CONTINUES: CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY – Dec. 20, 2013 – source: Examiner.com
As climate change continues to rear it’s ugly head through extreme weather events, a new study released today gives further proof that the effort to discredit climate change science is alive and well. The author of the study, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle, said money is being spent by wealthy individuals and corporations to fuel a ‘climate-change counter movement’.Brulle says,“This is how wealthy individuals or corporations translate their economic power into political and cultural power.”
Some scientists point to this counter movement as ‘crimes against humanity.’ “The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change. Such financial support has hardened conservative opposition to climate policy, ultimately dooming any chances of action from Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet,” the study found….
NOVEMBER 2013 HOTTEST ON RECORD – Dec. 18, 2013 – source: Nature World News
Land and ocean temperatures around the world soared in November 2013, making it the hottest month since 1880, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Most regions in Africa, Eurasia and South America experienced a warmer-than-usual November along with parts of Southwest Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, the agency said.
“The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was record highest for the 134-year period of record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F),” according to the report by NOAA.However, the U.S. was among a group of few places on earth that had a cooler-than-average November. Along with North America, parts of Greenland and Australia had lower temperatures during last month. This is the 37th consecutive November that has had higher-than-usual temperature when compared with the 20th century average……