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Archive for July 15th, 2010

Tropical Storm Conson Moves West

Posted by feww on July 15, 2010

Image of the Day:

Tropical Storm Conson

TS Conson. Natural-color image of th estorm taken by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite on July 14, 2010. Source: NASA E/O. Download large image (5 MB, JPEG). Click image to enlarge.

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Collapse Headlines – 15 July 2010

Posted by feww on July 15, 2010

Indian Ocean sea level rise threatens millions in coastal areas

Millions are at risk along low-lying coastlines in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka as sea levels continue rising unevenly in the Indian Ocean: Study

Original Caption:  The Indian Ocean/West Pacific Warm Pool extends almost half way around the globe, stretching along the equator south of India, through the waters off Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and New Guinea, and into the central Pacific Ocean. The waters of the Warm Pool are warmer than any other open ocean on Earth. Because these waters are hot enough to drive heat and moisture high into the atmosphere, the warm pool has a large effect on the climate of surrounding lands. In fact, the slow fluctuations of size and intensity of the warm pool may be linked with the intensity of El Niño.

UCAR Caption: A new study in Nature Geoscience finds that Indian Ocean sea levels are rising unevenly and threatening residents in some densely populated coastal areas, particularly those along the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Java. This image shows the key player in the process, the Indo-Pacific warm pool, in bright orange. This enormous, bathtub-shaped area spans a region of the tropical oceans from the east coast of Africa to the International Date Line in the Pacific. The warm pool has heated by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or 0.5 degrees Celsius, in the past 50 years, primarily because of human-generated emissions of greenhouses gases. (Image source:  NASA Earth Observatory.)

“Our new results show that human-caused atmosphericoceanic circulation changes over the Indian Ocean, which have not been studied previously, contribute to the regional variability of sea-level change,” say the researchers.

“Sea level rise is particularly high along the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Java, the authors found. The rise—which may aggravate monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and India—could have future impacts on both regional and global climate.”

“The key player in the process is the Indo-Pacific warm pool, an enormous, bathtub-shaped area spanning a region of the tropical oceans from the east coast of Africa to the International Date Line in the Pacific. The warm pool has heated by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or 0.5 degrees Celsius, in the past 50 years, primarily because of human-generated emissions of greenhouses gases.”

“Our results from this study imply that if future anthropogenic warming effects in the Indo-Pacific warm pool dominate natural variability, mid-ocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago, coasts of Indonesia, Sumatra, and the north Indian Ocean may experience significantly more sea level rise than the global average,” says the lead author.

World’s mangroves retreating at alarming rate: study

The world’s mangroves are being destroyed about 4 times faster than other forests, a new study reports.

“The ‘World Mangrove Atlas’ report noted that mangrove forests provide huge economic services, acting as nurseries for sea fish, storing carbon and providing robust defenses against floods and cyclones at a time of rising sea levels.” A report said.

A bird is seen in a swamp at Hithadoo at Addu Atoll December 9, 2009.  Credit: Reuters/Reinhard Krause. Image may be subject to copyright.

“The greatest drivers for mangrove forest loss are direct conversion to aquaculture, agriculture and urban land uses. Coastal zones are often densely populated and pressure for land intense. Where mangroves remain, they have often been degraded through overharvesting,” the study says.

Pollution Speeds Up Snow Melt in Europe, Asia

Springtime warming and snow melt are  occurring at a faster rate in Eurasia than in North America since 1980, a report said.

“Climate scientist Mark Flanner, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and a recent Advanced Study Program graduate at the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Atmospheric Research, led a study that investigated these changes, ultimately finding that warming rates and snow cover decline in Eurasia may be twice what they are in North America.”

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U.S. Had 8th Warmest June, Wetter

Posted by feww on July 15, 2010

2010 Climate Extremes Index: Six pct above average

U.S. Had Eighth Warmest June on Record, Above-Normal Precipitation: NOAA

June 2010 average temperature of 71.4ºF for the contiguous United States was 2.2 degrees F above the century (1901-2000) average of 69.2ºF. At 3.33 inches, the average precipitation for June was 0.44 inch higher than the long-term average.

June 2010 Statewide Ranks. Source: NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

U.S. Temp Highlights

  • The Southeast, South and Central regions saw their second, fifth and seventh warmest June on record, respectively.  But the Northwest temperature average was below normal for June.
    • Delaware: Record-warm June temperatures.
    • New Jersey and North Carolina: Average temperatures of 5 to 6 degrees F above the long-term mean.
    • Seventeen other states experienced 10 warmest temperatures.
    • Oregon and Washington:  Below normal average temperatures for June.
    • Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island have experienced their warmest January-June period on record.
    • Eight other states in the Northeast and Great Lakes had a top-10 warm January-June period.
    • Florida had its seventh-coolest year-to-date on record.
  • April-June period was  much warmer than normal for 20 states, which experienced either their warmest, or second-warmest such period on record.
    • Northeast and Southeast Climate Regions.had their warmest April-June on record.
  • Significant cool conditions persisted in the West and Northwest.
    • Oregon and Idaho had below normal temperatures for April-June.
    • Northwest Climate Region’s had 9th coolest such period.

U.S. Precipitation Highlights

  • The prevailing high pressure that brought warmth to the South and Southeast also blocked many storm systems from entering the region, increasing the threat of drought. However, the active upper level pattern in the northern tier states alleviated drought conditions and produced record flooding in the High Plains.
    • Michigan: Wettest June on record,
    • Iowa: 2nd wettest
    • Nebraska and Illinois  3rd Wettest
    • Indiana:  4th
    • Wisconsin: 5th
    • Oregon 6th:
    • Ohio: 10th wettest on record.
    • Maryland and Virginia: Below average precipitation for June.
  • Widespread precipitation for April-June period
    • Iowa and Washington each had its second wettest for April-June.
    • Oregon: Fourth wettest
    • Nebraska: ninth wettest w
  • Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey saw their seventh, ninth and tenth driest such periods, respectively.

Precipitation: June 2010 Statewide Ranks. Source: NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

Other Highlights (Unedited from NOAA Website)

  • Alex, the first June hurricane in the Atlantic since 1995, made landfall just south of the U.S.-Mexico border on June 30th, affecting portions of South Texas. Alex’s sustained winds of 105 mph made it June’s most intense Atlantic hurricane since Alma in 1966.
  • NCDC’s Climate Extremes Index for the first half of 2010 was about six percent higher than the historical average. The CEI measures the occurrence of several types of climate extremes, like record or near-record warmth, dry spells, or rainy periods. The elevated 2010 value was driven by large footprints of: extreme wetness (more than three times the average footprint), warm minimum temperatures (“warm overnight lows”), and areas experiencing heavy one-day precipitation events.
  • NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center tabulated 387 preliminary tornado reports during June. If confirmed, this will be the second most active June on record, behind 1992.
  • NOAA’s Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index indicated June’s temperature-related energy demand for the contiguous U.S. was 11.9 percent above average. The unusual warmth in the highly populated South and Southeast resulted in the second highest June value in 116 years.
  • Drought coverage decreased slightly in June. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported 8.5 percent of the United States was affected by drought on June 29. Slight improvements were seen in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes during June, while conditions deteriorated in Louisiana.

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