Another day of active severe weather is expected across parts of the Southern Plains into the Arklatex. Tornadoes (possibly strong), large hail and damaging winds are all possible.
Posts tagged storms.
Beach nourishment projects will restore shorelines but require expensive upkeep and affect ecosystems; federal taxpayers will foot the bill.
- John Moore / Getty Images
- Lucas Jackson / Reuters
- Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Enjoying NOAA/NWS’s brand new Storm Prediction Centerng website!
Pictures: rebuilding New Jersey’s shoreline communities and beaches after Hurricane Sandy.
Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Phoenix Arizona’s pyramid of complexities looks shakier than most because it stands squarely in the crosshairs of climate change. The area, like much of the rest of the American Southwest, is already hot and dry; it’s getting ever hotter and drier, and is increasingly battered by powerful storms. Sandy and Katrina previewed how coastal cities can expect to fare as seas rise and storms strengthen.
Doom read of the day: “Superheated American City Dealing with 110 Degrees for 33 Days — Phoenix Confronts Apocalyptic Climate Change”
Phoenix pulls back the curtain on the future of inland empires. If you want a taste of the brutal new climate to come, the place to look is where that climate is already harsh, and growing more so — the aptly named Valley of the Sun.
Pretty good pulse-taking by Bizweek.
Now some investors are taking another approach. Working under the assumption that climate change is inevitable, they’re investing in businesses that will profit as the planet gets hotter. (The World Bank says the earth could warm by 4C by the end of the century.) Their strategies include buying water treatment companies, brokering deals for Australian farmland, and backing a startup that has engineered a mosquito to fight dengue, a disease that’s spreading as the mercury climbs.
Derivatives that help companies hedge against abnormal weather and natural catastrophes are drawing increased interest from some big players. In January, KKR (KKR) bought a 25 percent stake in Nephila Capital, an $8 billion Bermuda hedge fund that trades in weather derivatives. (The firm is named after a spider that, according to local folklore, can predict hurricanes.)
“Climate risk is something people are paying more and more attention to,” says Barney Schauble, managing partner at Nephila Advisors, the firm’s U.S. arm. “More volatile weather creates more risk and more appetite to protect against that risk.”
Drought is helping spur business at Water Asset Management. The New York hedge fund, which has about $400 million under management, buys water rights and makes private equity and stock market investments in water treatment companies. “Not enough people are thinking long term of [water] as an asset that is worthy of ownership,” says Chief Operating Officer Marc Robert. “Climate change for us is a driver.”
Via Business Week
Vicious, invasive gallinipper mosquitoes are coming to eat you. They were brought to America by tropical storms, which deposited eggs in Florida. (Can’t wait for the headlines out of Florida this summer.)
Super-sized mosquitoes as big as quarters which can bite through clothing are headed to Florida ‘in large numbers’ this summerMega-mosquitoes which are the size of quarters are expected to take over areas of Florida ‘in large numbers’ this summer, scientists have warned. The hurricanes of last year brought large numbers of the insects to the Central and South Florida area which laid dormant eggs in the soil near ponds and streams. Now scientists are predicting heavy rainfall will come again and cause the eggs to hatch, releasing the super-sized bugs in large numbers.
The special breed of the nuisance bug, which can be 20 times bigger than common menacing Asian tiger mosquitoes, are described as ‘notoriously aggressive’. They were handed the perfect breeding ground by last year’s tropical storms, according to scientists at the University of Florida, so are coming to a town near you.
Psorophora ciliata, or Gallinipper mosquitoes as they are commonly known, have half inch long bodies and the same black-white color pattern of the more common Asian Tiger Mosquito with a wingspan of 6-7 millimeters.
They have a ‘Persistent biting behavior’ and their bite is much more painful. ‘The bite really hurts, I can attest to that,’ said Kaufman. They can also bite through light material, and like other mosquitoes only the females bite, the males Gallinippers feed on flower nectar. They also feed on other mosquito larvae and even tadpoles and are most active at dusk and dawn.
The Worst Mistake in History by Jared Diamond - Could civilisation itself be a crisis measure, a result of the overpopulation brought about by the unique success humanity? A fascinating perspective on progress.
The Case Against Babies by Joy Williams - A strong argument for abstaining from reproduction.
Planet of Weeds by David Quammen - Decreasing biological diversity tends to favour adaptable invasive species, like us.
The US military - not politicians - is leading the federal government on climate change action.
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
Via Boston Globe
The original on Flickr is fantastic! Alas, the suburbs still kinda suck…
I took these images from my rooftop after my wife and I saw this storm coming up. I could see that the cloud was beginning to twist into a tornado with a rainbow underneath it….how weird is that?! It was 8pm with the sun setting which made the color of everything on the yellow/orange side.
It was sunny all day until we heard thunder. This storm was moving away from me otherwise my wife might have yelled me down from the roof. The neighbours were out watching too. It was quite the spectacle. The result of this storm is that it faded away into cloud patterns but not before dumping golf-ball sized hail on farms 3 miles out of town. There was major damage to cars, trucks, roofs with a few horses being spooked!
I just left South Carolina a few days early (in part) because of this storm. Airports are getting packed on the east coast, just an FYI.
Lumbering coast to coast, a winter storm hammered the Great Plains on Thursday, and more than a dozen more states were forecast to be hit in coming days.
To many climatey folks, bigger snow storms in winter is a no brainer. But to the rest of the world more snow is an utter contradiction. Indeed, climate deniers exploit this ignorance as a means to protect their own profits. Notorious climate denier congressman James Inhofe (R-OK) receives nearly 90% of his campaign contributions from oil companies, so he is happy to sell his soul to continue protecting his donors from climate legislation. He knows that, to the general public, “global warming” should mean warmer winters, and therefore less storms. It’s the perfect way for a politician to prey on his constituents.
Of course, more snow in winter does not disprove climate change. Indeed, it confirms what climate science has been saying for decades - more intense storms throughout the year.
More moisture in the air means larger precipitation events, regardless the time of year - winter or summer. The best lay-analogy I’ve heard is that climate change works like steroids - storms are “juiced,” making for stronger storms. Pretty simple, to my mind. But how this “juicing” works is a bit more complicated. Physics, computer models, atmospheric science, geography, temperatures, weather cycles, etc., all act together as the “steroid.”
Explaining why there will be bigger snow storms in winter is, therefore, one of the biggest challenges amongst climate researchers and science journalists who aim to inform the public.
USA Today gifted us this fine report explaining how winter storms will become more intense. The clarity is perfect:
Global warming could lead to more blizzards but less overall snow.With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit.
Then when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming.
How can that be? It’s been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction.
But the answer lies in atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture, snow experts say. And two soon-to-be-published studies demonstrate how there can be more giant blizzards yet less snow overall each year. Projections are that that’s likely to continue with man-made global warming.
— The United States has been walloped by twice as many of the most extreme snowstorms in the past 50 years than in the previous 60 years, according to an upcoming study on extreme weather by leading federal and university climate scientists. This also fits with a dramatic upward trend in extreme winter precipitation — both rain and snow — in the Northeastern U.S. charted by the National Climatic Data Center.
— Yet the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University says that spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has shrunk on average by 1 million square miles in the last 45 years.
— And an upcoming study in the Journal of Climate says computer models predict annual global snowfall to shrink by more than a foot in the next 50 years. The study’s author said most people live in parts of the United States that are likely to see annual snowfall drop between 30 and 70 percent by the end of the century.
“Shorter snow season, less snow overall, but the occasional knockout punch,” Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said. “That’s the new world we live in.”
Ten climate scientists say the idea of less snow and more blizzards makes sense: A warmer world is likely to decrease the overall amount of snow falling each year and shrink snow season. But when it is cold enough for a snowstorm to hit, the slightly warmer air is often carrying more moisture, producing potentially historic blizzards.
Great read via the underrated USA Today
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit