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Balmy November Virtually Assures 2012 to Be Hottest Year

Balmy November Virtually Assures 2012 to Be Hottest Year

With just more than three weeks left in the year, it’s virtually certain that 2012 will displace 1998 as the warmest year on record for the contiguous U.S. according to NOAA. The agency’s monthly State of the Climate Report, released on Thursday, shows that temperatures across the lower 48 states averaged 44.1°F for November -- 2.1°F higher than th… Read More

Accelerated Warming Driving Arctic Into New Volatile State

Accelerated Warming Driving Arctic Into New Volatile State

Since the "Arctic Report Card" began in 2006, each iteration has issued more shrill alarms about the pace and extent of the changes taking place in the Arctic. This year’s report is noteworthy for what it says about the acceleration of climate change in the Far North.… Read More

NASA Dazzles With ‘Black Marble’ Image of Earth at Night

NASA Dazzles With ‘Black Marble’ Image of Earth at Night

“This is not your father’s low light sensor,” said Steve Miller, a researcher at NOAA's Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Reseearch in the Atmosphere. He showcased the satellite’s capabilities, noting that the imagery scientists have retrieved from it represents a “paradigm shift” in what can be done under low light conditions. … Read More

Rogue ‘Ice Islands’ Pose New Threat in the Arctic

Rogue ‘Ice Islands’ Pose New Threat in the Arctic

Glaciologists were appalled in 2010 when Greenland’s Petermann Glacier discharged a slab of ice four times the size of Manhattan into Baffin Bay. They were appalled again when Petermann dropped a two-Manhattan slab in 2012 — understandably so, since these, along with even more gargantuan ice discharges from Antarctica, are a clear signal that the … Read More

New Evidence of Human Fingerprints on Global Warming

New Evidence of Human Fingerprints on Global Warming

It’s pretty easy to show that global temperatures are rising, or that spring is arriving earlier than it once did, but since climate has changed plenty of times in the past, that alone doesn’t prove anything. Tying climate change to human greenhouse-gas emissions — an area known as detection and attribution, or fingerprinting — is a lot harder … Read More

‘Atmospheric River’ Piles Up Massive Rain, Snow & Winds

‘Atmospheric River’ Piles Up Massive Rain, Snow & Winds

The National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in Maryland has compiled the most impressive statistics from the storms that struck between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3, which rolled in from the Pacific Ocean and tapped a feed of moisture that stretched from the tropics to San Francisco.… Read More

Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High, Report Finds

Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High, Report Finds

The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record 390.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2011, according to a report released Nov. 20 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). That’s a 40 percent increase over levels in 1750, before humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest. According to the Global Carbon Project, the… Read More

How Safe Are America’s 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines?

How Safe Are America’s 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines?

At 6:11 p.m. on September 6, 2010, San Bruno, California 911 received an urgent call. A gas station had just exploded and a fire with flames reaching 300 feet was raging through the neighborhood. The explosion was so large that residents suspected an airplane crash. But the real culprit was found underground: a ruptured pipeline spewing natural gas… Read More