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What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

So if the world is warming, that means winters should be less snowy, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK, it’s a lot more complicated. While the average annual snowfall in most parts of the world is indeed expected to decline, the extreme snowfalls — those that hit a place once every 10 or 20 years and can cause major headaches… Read More

Crowdsourced Photos Provide Drought Snapshots

Crowdsourced Photos Provide Drought Snapshots

On May 24, a roiling dust cloud enveloped a desolate stretch of road in Prowers County, a rural county in southeast Colorado. The county and surrounding area had been deeply mired in drought for more than 2 years and the photo bore proof of just what drought looked like to its residents. The short note accompanying the photo added more context: “Ph… Read More

Visualize It: Old Weather Data Feeds New Climate Models

Visualize It: Old Weather Data Feeds New Climate Models

In the 1930s, there were no computers to run climate models or record weather observations. Instead, weather reports were written or typed on typewriters and forecast maps were drawn by hand. Those observations from the past contain valuable data that can help scientists better understand what the climate may look like in the future. But gathering… Read More

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the fate of the planet’s coastlines is dangling from its underbelly. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has long been a relatively minor factor in the steady ascent of high-water marks, responsible for about an eighth of the 3 millimeters of annual sea-level rise. But when it comes to climate change… Read More

The Jargonaut: What’s a Rossby Wave?

The Jargonaut: What’s a Rossby Wave?

This is the year of obscure atmospheric phenomenon. The polar vortex chilled everyone’s winter. Methane releases might be carving mysterious craters in the Arctic ice. And blocking patterns got the blame for Colorado’s so-called thousand-year flood. So if you want to impress friends and relatives with your meteorological knowledge, you’re going to … Read More

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

The key to the slowdown in global warming in recent years could lie in the depths of the Atlantic and Southern oceans where excess heat is being stored – not the Pacific Ocean as has previously been suggested, according to new research. But the finding suggests that a naturally occurring ocean cycle burying the heat will flip in around 15 years’ ti… Read More

What Iceland’s Volcanoes Can Teach Us about Climate

What Iceland’s Volcanoes Can Teach Us about Climate

It’s not quite a sharknado, but the possible impending eruption of a mile-high volcano under Iceland’s largest glacier represents a fascinating example of a real-life natural disaster combo—quite literally fire and ice. Seismologists have detected some 3,000 tremors in the vicinity of Bárðarbunga since Saturday, a sign that the mountain might just … Read More

A Tale of Two Cities: Miami, New York and Life on the Edge

A Tale of Two Cities: Miami, New York and Life on the Edge

Walking along the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale and admiring the 60-foot yachts docked alongside impressive homes, it’s hard to imagine that this city could suffer the same financial fate as Detroit. But it is almost as hard to imagine how they will avoid a similar crisis given the sea level rise predicted by scientists. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale … Read More