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Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson

Editorial

Andrea Thompson is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central, focusing on extreme weather and climate change. Previously, Andrea was a writer and reporter for Live Science and Space.com, reporting on climate change, weather and other science-related topics. She graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2004 and a Master's in the same subject in 2006. She attended the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University and graduated with a Master of Arts in 2006.

Most Recent News Entries:

‘Grey Swan’ Hurricanes Pose Future Storm Surge Threat

‘Grey Swan’ Hurricanes Pose Future Storm Surge Threat

Black swans are catastrophic events that no one sees coming, while “grey swans,” as the are known, are extreme events for which there’s no historical precedent, but that could still potentially be predicted. A new study takes this concept into the realm of weather and climate, finding that global warming might sharply increase the odds of grey swan… Read More

Atlantic Storm Sets Records as 3 Others Span Pacific

Atlantic Storm Sets Records as 3 Others Span Pacific

Tropical Storm Erika may have fizzled out, leaving Florida’s 10-year hurricane-free streak still running, but there is plenty of other tropical cyclone activity afoot: Once again this year, there is a string of storms spanning the Pacific, while over in the Atlantic, a hurricane has formed further east in the tropics than any other on record.… Read More

From Katrina, an ‘Amazing’ Decade of Climate Research

From Katrina, an ‘Amazing’ Decade of Climate Research

During the summer of 2005, Columbia University climate scientists Adam Sobel and Suzana Camargo were planning a workshop on a topic to which only a handful of scientists had given much thought: how the warming climate might alter hurricane activity. “It seemed to us sort of like a small, sort of obscure field,” Sobel said, so the pair didn’t … Read More

10 Years Later: Was Warming to Blame for Katrina?

10 Years Later: Was Warming to Blame for Katrina?

In the days after Aug. 29, 2005, when the world watched Hurricane Katrina become one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, a question reverberated through the public consciousness: Was climate change to blame? This question arose in part because of a desire after such terrible events to understand why they occur. … Read More

2015 Edges Closer to Warmest Year on Record

2015 Edges Closer to Warmest Year on Record

If you’re a betting person, it would be close to a sure bet to go all-in on 2015 taking the title of warmest year on record. “I would say [we’re] 99 percent certain that it’s going to be the warmest year on record,” Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said during a … Read More

El Niño Could Rank Among Strongest on Record

El Niño Could Rank Among Strongest on Record

This year’s El Niño is poised to join the ranks of the strongest such events on record, U.S. forecasters said Thursday, with potentially significant impacts for weather across the country this winter. “We’re predicting that this El Niño could be among the strongest El Niños in the historical record dating back to 1950,” Mike Halpert, the deputy… Read More

Underground Desert Aquifers Could Hold Missing Carbon

Underground Desert Aquifers Could Hold Missing Carbon

Here’s what we know: Carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere as the result of manmade emissions, trapping more and more heat and warming the planet. Here’s what we’re still working on: Of the excess CO2 that doesn’t stick around in the atmosphere — about 60 percent of it — exactly how much gets pulled into various so-called carbon sinks … Read More

Heat Continues to Roast West, Fueling Drought, Blazes

Heat Continues to Roast West, Fueling Drought, Blazes

The U.S. West was once again a land of extremes in July. From Alaska to the Pacific Northwest, July was unusually hot, with some spots recording daily and monthly heat records, while other parts of California got a rare deluge. The heat across much of the West has done no favors for the deep drought and has helped to fuel a surge in wildfires… Read More

Hawaii May Say ‘Aloha’ to More Hurricanes

Hawaii May Say ‘Aloha’ to More Hurricanes

For the second summer in a row, a tropical cyclone is headed toward Hawaii, a relative rarity for the island chain. But in a warming world, the 50th state could face more tropical storms and hurricanes, some research suggests, with one new study finding that climate change upped the odds of last year’s spate of storms. Though Hawaii is a tropical… Read More

Missing: One Year’s Worth of California Rain

Missing: One Year’s Worth of California Rain

The amount of rain that California has missed out on since the beginning of its record-setting drought in 2012 is about the same amount it would see, on average, in a single year, a new study has concluded. The study’s researchers pin the reason for the lack of rains, as others have, on the absence of the intense rainstorms ushered in by so-called… Read More

What Warming Means for 4 of Summer’s Worst Pests

What Warming Means for 4 of Summer’s Worst Pests

Summer may mean it’s time for outdoor fun in the sun, but it’s also prime time for a number of pests. All that extra time outdoors can bring everything from poison ivy rashes to exposure to Lyme disease from tick bites. And of course there’s that ubiquitous summer menace, the mosquito. With the rising temperatures brought about by global warming… Read More

Rain, Storm Surge Combine to Put U.S. Coasts at Risk

Rain, Storm Surge Combine to Put U.S. Coasts at Risk

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleanians thought they knew what areas were susceptible to flooding during a storm. So when Hurricane Isaac, a much weaker storm than Katrina, bore down on the city in 2012, those who live to the west of Lake Pontchartrain weren’t worried, as they had been spared the raging waters that inundated so… Read More

How This El Niño Is And Isn’t Like 1997

How This El Niño Is And Isn’t Like 1997

It was the winter of 1997-1998 when the granddaddy of El Niños — the one by which all other El Niños are judged — vaulted the climate term to household name status. It had such a noticeable impact on U.S. weather that it appeared everywhere from news coverage of mudslides in Southern California to Chris Farley’s legendary skit on “Saturday Night… Read More

Record Hot First Half May Herald Warmest Year Yet

Record Hot First Half May Herald Warmest Year Yet

In what has become a monthly refrain this year, yet another month has set a global temperature record, with June 2015 coming in as the warmest June on record going back to 1880. It follows other record or near-record hot months during the first six months of this year, so there’s a good chance 2015 will take 2014’s place atop the podium as the warm… Read More

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Rebounds, But Not Recovering

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Rebounds, But Not Recovering

Over the last few decades, and particularly in recent years, the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by a skin of sea ice has steadily shrunk. But it’s not just this extent that matters — the volume of sea ice, which takes into account its thickness, is also important, but traditionally much more difficult to measure. The 2010 launch of the European… Read More

4 Takeaways from the Annual Climate Review

4 Takeaways from the Annual Climate Review

As has been seen year after year, the warming of the Earth is causing major changes in many aspects of the planet’s climate, and 2014 was yet another year that showed this trend in stark relief, a report released Thursday says. Numerous records were broken last year, according to the State of the Climate report, an annual checkup of the global… Read More

Heavier Rains Mean More Toxic Blooms for Lake Erie

Heavier Rains Mean More Toxic Blooms for Lake Erie

Come September, Lake Erie might face a toxic algae bloom that could rival the record-setting spread of scum that happened in 2011. And such blooms could become more common as the warming climate fuels more downpours that wash bloom-fueling fertilizers into the lake. The forecast for a severe bloom this year, made in early July by scientists with … Read More

Climate Change Is Increasing Stress on Oceans

Climate Change Is Increasing Stress on Oceans

Climate change is seriously stressing out the oceans. That’s the conclusion of a new study that used measurements of an array of human pressures on the ocean — from acidification to overfishing — to make a map of where those factors combined into stressed-out hotspots, as well as how the combinations of stressors had changed over time. They found… Read More

Warming Waters Fueled Intense Russian Rainstorm

Warming Waters Fueled Intense Russian Rainstorm

The torrential rains that fell on the coastal Black Sea town of Krymsk, Russia, in July 2012 shouldn’t have been possible. In the historical records, there is nothing like the 6.7 inches of rain that fell in the area in less than a day, causing catastrophic flash floods that led to the deaths of more than 170 people. One team of scientists says… Read More

Warming Doubles Chances of European Heat Wave

Warming Doubles Chances of European Heat Wave

If you were in Paris or Madrid as June transitioned to July, you could be forgiven for thinking you had been transported to the equator, as temperatures across Western Europe soared over 100°F, toppling records during major sporting events like the Tour de France. The unusually early surge of summer heat was almost certainly affected by the overall… Read More

El Niño Helps Boost Pacific Storm Season

El Niño Helps Boost Pacific Storm Season

Satellite views of the Pacific Ocean right now show an impressive trail of storms, strung like pearls on a necklace across the basin. While the western Pacific in particular is almost always a hotbed of tropical cyclone activity, this current flare-up is linked in part to a robust El Niño event that is showing signs it could continue to strengthen.… Read More

Record Warmth Continues to Bake U.S. West

Record Warmth Continues to Bake U.S. West

The U.S. West is still baking. The temperatures for June are in and five Western states saw their warmest June ever (helping to make the month the second warmest June for the contiguous U.S.), and four continue to see their warmest year-to-date, just as 2015 hits the halfway mark. In drought-plagued California, “we’re beating the record set… Read More

2015 Arctic Sea Ice: How Low Will It Go?

2015 Arctic Sea Ice: How Low Will It Go?

The Fourth of July weekend wasn’t just about fireworks and cookouts, it also marked the end of a key period of summer melt in the Arctic that can determine how low sea ice goes for the year. The floating ice cap has been on a steady downward trajectory for decades, thanks to global warming, and in recent years it has hit record lows with the added … Read More

Soaring Temps in Pacific Northwest Shattered Records

Soaring Temps in Pacific Northwest Shattered Records

Scorching temperatures above 110°F are more often associated with the stark landscapes of places like Death Valley than the cooler reaches of the Pacific Northwest. But a suped-up heat wave has left parts of Washington feeling much more like the desert Southwest and has shattered longstanding high temperature records in many spots. The searing heat… Read More

Rapidly Acidifying Arctic Ocean Threatens Species

Rapidly Acidifying Arctic Ocean Threatens Species

Parts of the Arctic Ocean within the next 10 years could reach levels of ocean acidification that would threaten the ability of marine animals to form shells, new research suggests. Die-offs in such creatures could have ramifications up the food chain in areas that include some of the most productive fisheries in the world and provide a preview… Read More