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After Much Ado, El Niño Officially Declared

After Much Ado, El Niño Officially Declared

Just when everyone had pretty much written it off, the El Niño event that has been nearly a year in the offing finally emerged in February and could last through the spring and summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. This isn’t the blockbuster El Niño many anticipated when the first hints of an impending… Read More

Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California’s Drought

Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California’s Drought

Another dismal wet season is nearly behind California. Extremely low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada has conspired with warm temperatures to keep the state in the grips of one its worst droughts on record for at least another year. The precipitation has been the key ingredient to start the drought, but heat has played an important role in maintainin… Read More

Climate Change a ‘Contributing Factor’ in Syrian Conflict

Climate Change a ‘Contributing Factor’ in Syrian Conflict

Moist air comes flowing off the Mediterranean into Syria each winter, unleashing rains that transform the dull brown countryside into myriad hues of green. But in 2005, the rains never fully materialized, the first of five consecutive failed rainy seasons that sparked the worst drought in Syria’s history and directly preceded the country’s descent … Read More

Climate Adaptation Experts Help Prepare for Disaster

Climate Adaptation Experts Help Prepare for Disaster

In 2008, floods in Thailand forced the temporary closure of four Nike factories, costing the company millions of dollars. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy demolished Verizon’s copper-wire infrastructure on the U.S. eastern seaboard, costing thousands of Verizon customers service and the company $1 billion in repair costs. Extreme weather … Read More

Looming Warming Spurt Could Reshape Climate Debate

Looming Warming Spurt Could Reshape Climate Debate

Humanity is about to experience a historically unprecedented spike in temperatures. That’s the ominous conclusion of a vast and growing body of research that links sweeping Pacific Ocean cycles with rates of warming at the planet’s surface. Papers in two leading journals this week reaffirmed that the warming effects of a substantial chunk of our g… Read More

How Sahara Dust Sustains the Amazon Rainforest, in 3-D

How Sahara Dust Sustains the Amazon Rainforest, in 3-D

The Amazon rainforest exists in part due to an atmospheric pipeline of dust from the Sahara Desert. And if that pipeline were to dry up or be diverted, massive biological changes could occur across the jungle. New research published on Tuesday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters uses satellite data to create the first three-dimensional look… Read More

For the West, A Winter That Has Felt More Like Spring

For the West, A Winter That Has Felt More Like Spring

From San Diego to Seattle, February has looked — and felt — a lot more like April. Flowers that normally wouldn’t start to bud until well into spring have already started to blossom and grow. Residents have been walking around in t-shirts and shorts, a rarity even for Southern California winters. “Winter has seemed to have completely forgotten… Read More

Dry or Snowy? Winter Weather Splits the U.S.

Dry or Snowy? Winter Weather Splits the U.S.

Snow, snow, and more snow. That’s what’s been dominating the headlines the past few weeks. However, other than the most recent winter storm that cut across the middle of the country and cut up along the East Coast, it’s really only a small area of the U.S. that is getting pounded with such high amounts of snow — yes, that’s you coastal New England.… Read More