Tag: weather

Rain in the Arctic

By Guest Blogger | January 22, 2013 11:00 am

Tom Yulsman is co-director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Climate Central, the Daily Climate and Audubon.

Courtesy NOAA

As cold temperatures swept into much of the United States on Monday, and wicked winter weather paralyzed much of Western Europe, the high temperature in Tromsø, Norway—above the Arctic Circle—topped out at nearly 40 degrees.

And it rained.

I know this for a fact, because I am here in Tromsø for the Arctic Frontiers conference, which ironically enough, is partly about climate change. The organizers handed out—yes, you guessed it—-umbrellas.

The long and short of the answer to what’s going on is, of course, complex—and not fully understood. What we take to be weird weather is certainly one of those things that happens from time to time. And in wintertime, one of the factors that can bring it on is a phenomenon known as the Arctic Oscillation.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts

Following warmest year on record, frigid U.S. temps in 2013

By Guest Blogger | January 7, 2013 4:00 pm

Tom Yulsman is co-director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Climate Central, the Daily Climate and Audubon.

In a week or so, it will be official: 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States. In fact, if a projection by Climate Central turns out to be correct, 2012 will smash the previous record by a whopping 1 degree F.

But for a good portion of the country, 2013 has gotten off to a rather frosty start. On Jan. 3, with much colder than normal temperatures extending all the way to the Gulf Coast, the most frigid spot in the nation (including Alaska) was officially Alamosa, Colorado. Here, the temperature plunged to an astonishing low of -33 degrees.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: climate change, weather

Icy Relations: Extreme-Weather Question Drives Wedge Between Climate Scientists

By Keith Kloor | August 8, 2012 1:33 pm

By Keith Kloor, a freelance journalist whose stories have appeared in a range of publications, from Science to Smithsonian. Since 2004, he’s been an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. You can find him on Twitter here.

Last year, after Al Gore said in a speech that climate change was responsible for various extreme weather events around the globe, he got spanked by Oxford climate scientist Myles Allen, who wrote a column in the Guardian entitled, “Al Gore is doing a disservice by overplaying the link between climate change and the weather.”

I have to wonder if Allen is now thinking the same thing of NASA climatologist James Hansen. Because, as New York Times reporter John Broder puts it, Hansen, this week, has “roiled” the climate science community “with a new scientific paper explicitly linking high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to recent severe heat waves and drought.”

The controversial paper was published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS). A day earlier, Hansen previewed the study’s findings in a Washington Post op-ed, in which he made this jaw-dropping assertion:

It is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts
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