More severe weather is on the way for the southern Plains on Tuesday as well as parts of the Midwest and the Northeast.
Posts tagged maps.
Great read and video of the researchers in Mongolia.
Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?
Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have worked in Mongolia since 1995. In 2010, Lamont researcher Neil Pederson and Amy Hessl of West Virginia University were seeking old trees for a study of wildfire history. High in the Khangai Mountains, north of the steppe where the long-disappeared Mongol capital of Karakorum once lay, they explored a nearly solid-rock plain of hardened lava left by a volcanic eruption some 8,000 years ago. Growing out of fissures and thin soils were thousands of gnarled, stunted larches and Siberian pines–a tree-ring scientist’s treasure. Annual rings of many species reflect rainfall or temperature in predictable ways. These can be read like books; and trees in the driest, harshest sites like this are exquisitely sensitive to rain, live to extraordinary ages, and leave trunks that may stand for centuries after they die. They are truly ancient manuscripts, writ with a fine hand.Pederson and Hessl analyzed 17 trees to chart a yearly record of rainfall back to 658 AD. They saw that from 1211-1230—the exact time of the Mongols’ rise—central Mongolia saw one of its wettest periods ever. That time also was unusually warm, as shown by a 2001 paper from other Lamont researchers.
NY and NJ beaches are nearly fully restored after Hurricane Sandy devastated the coast late last year. Here is a nice interactive map of restored beaches from the NYTimes.
Crowd-Sourcing Helps Map Global Emissions
Climate science researchers from Arizona State Univ. are launching a first-of-its-kind online “game” to better understand the sources of global warming gases. By engaging “citizen scientists,” the researchers hope to locate all the power plants around the world and quantify their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The game has officially begun and is housed on a website called “Ventus.” Ventus (the Latin word for wind) has a simple interface in which users enter basic information about the world’s power plants. By playing the game, people around the globe can help solve the climate change problem.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/videos/2013/05/crowd-sourcing-helps-map-global-emissions
Looks like a nice project.
“The United States Geological Society (USGS) has launched an online database and map that keeps track of more than 100 million different species and where they live within the United States,
Biodiversity Serving Our Nation (BISON) contains location-specific records of where living species are within the US. Its data comes from hundreds of different organizations and thousands of scientists, making it the most comprehensive map of American biodiversity ever made.
Anyone can search by scientific or common name of any living species (plant or animal), and can look to see what lives within any specific geographic area they want by drawing a perimeter—so, for example, searching to see exactly which forests in Virginia have been infected with a tree fungus.”
Current wildfire and wind condition map. Includes crowdsourced pictures and videos from flickr and youtube.
Good link to book mark.
Just in the U.S., 13 temperature record were broken today - over 800 for the year so far.
Today’s crime map of downtown DC. Some of these are car jackings.
Sea ice is any form of ice found at sea that originated from the freezing of sea water. It is the most visible feature of the Arctic Ocean, with its extent waxing and waning with the seasons. Ice thickness is highly variable, ranging from a thin veneer to tens of meters. While the existence of sea ice reflects the cold conditions inherent to high latitudes, sea ice also strongly modulates the energy budget and climate of the Arctic and beyond, particularly because it is white, and hence reflects much of the sun’s energy back to space (it has a high albedo) and also through acting as a lid, insulating the underlying ocean from a generally much colder atmosphere.
Historically, at its maximum extent in March, Arctic sea ice covered an area more than 15 million square kilometers, somewhat less than twice the size of the contiguous United States. The minimum extent, occurring in September, the end of the melt season, was typically around 7.0 x106 km2. However, as assessed over the modern satellite record spanning 1979 to the present, Arctic sea ice extent exhibits downward linear trends for all months, weakest in winter and strongest for September. The downward September trend appears to have accelerated over the past decade. Through 2001, the September trend stood at -7.0% per decade. Through 2012, it was more than twice as large at -14.3% per decade. The six lowest September extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past six years, with September of 2012 setting a new low mark. Decreased summer ice extent has been accompanied by large reductions in winter ice thicknesses that are primarily explained by changes in the ocean’s coverage of thick multiyear ice (MYI). MYI is ice that has survived at least one summer melt season. In the mid-1980s, MYI accounted for 70% of total winter ice extent, whereas by the end of 2012 it had dropped to less than 20%. At the same time the proportion of ice older than 5 years declined from 50% of the MYI pack to less than 8%.
Ice loss is also contributing to strong rises in Arctic air temperature during autumn and winter, not just at the surface, but extending through a considerable depth of the atmosphere. As discussed, sea ice acts as a lid, insulating the underlying ocean from a generally much colder atmosphere. With less ice, the insulating effect is weaker, so heat can readily be transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere above. This strong warming, termed Arctic amplification, is starting to extend beyond areas of ice loss to influence Arctic land areas.
Continued loss of the ice cover is in turn likely to impact on patterns of atmospheric circulation and precipitation not just within the Arctic, but into middle latitudes; there is evidence that this is already occurring. The basic reason for this is that the outsized warming of the Arctic changes the atmospheric stability and temperature differences between the Arctic and lower latitudes. Finally, as the ice cover retreats, the Arctic is becoming more accessible for marine shipping as well as oil and natural gas exploration, increasing the economic and strategic importance of the region.
Starbucks tiny-mini-rant P2
Imagine you are from Boston selling, I don’t know, hand-made lobster necklaces. Now imagine that the advertisement for your labor intensive necklaces pointed to a map of Juneau, Alaska. I think it’s fair to say that you’d be a little bit perturbed (actually, if you’re truly from beantown, you’d be “wickedpissed”).
That’s basically what I found at the huge Starbucks next to Yale University’s campus the other day.
On one counter, there was a stack of these black cards advertizing a new bean from Tanzania. But the dot representing “Tanzania” is actually 4,200 miles away - in Mali, which is a desert. A big desert called the Sahara. Let’s hope the hard working Tanzanian coffee growers don’t see this… :-/
Planned charging stations for Tesla’s 300-mile range Model S
So tempted to sell the ol’ benz and buy a Tesla.
The Boston Bomber Brothers are from Chechnya (Update. NYTimes has more on where they’re from here.). So, where is Chechnya? The above maps zoom in to Chechnya and its small capital of Grozny.
Located in southeastern Europe, Chechnya is technically part of Russia. It’s war torn and in rough shape. It’s rich in oil and minerals, has a population of about 1 million people, and is an important crossroads between the Middle East, Russia, and Europe.
- Extreme poverty, corruption, and high unemployment due to its long history of war, here. The country is in shambles.
- Capital city: Grozny. Population 270,000
- Grozny is spliced by the Terek River
- Languages: Russian and Chechen
- Major religions: Mostly Sunni Muslim, second is Christianity
- Conquered by Russia in 1858, it was originally held by a Imam Shamil who tried to establish an Islamic state.
- Chechnya has been fighting with Russia for independence for nearly 200 years
- It is part of the Northern Caucuses, which refers to the collection of Russian states along the major mountain called the Caucuses. More on the Caucus region, here.
There is very little climate change research in the region. But, the area is vulnerable to water shortages, drought, agricultural mismanagement, and heavy pollution. More on the climate angle, here.
Some smart people mapped every picture Colonel Chris Hadfield took from the International Space Station. Mind: Blown. The pic above shows a small mining town and its pollution during winter in China. Fantastic website.
U.S. Drought Monitor - April 2013
Brutal wildfire year lies ahead for the west and south west.