Model

Weather pattern could provide early warning for catastrophic U.S. heat waves

Publication: NBC News   Date: October 27, 2013   View Article

The emergence of a newly identified atmospheric pattern is likely to provide two to three weeks advance warning that a stifling and potentially deadly heat wave will hit the U.S., according to a new study. Since current forecasts go out no more than 10 days, the additional notice could give homeowners, farmers, electric companies and hospitals critical time to prepare for severe heat.

The precursor is a so-called “wavenumber 5” pattern, a sequence of alternating high and low pressure systems — five each — that ring the northern mid-latitudes several miles above the Earth’s surface, according the research published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Ice-free Arctic may come as soon as 2054, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 15, 2013   View Article

Cruise ships and oil tankers may be sailing through ice-free waters of the Arctic as early as 2054, according to a new study that narrows to a handful of years the uncertainty of when this climate-change milestone will occur. Previous studies have pegged it to everywhere between 2015 and 2100.

The implications of an ice-free Arctic range from loss of habitat for polar bears and seals to a surge in extreme weather around the world and an acceleration of global climate change, according to Arctic experts.

It also matters for ships, noted study leader Jiping Liu, an assistant professor in the department of atmospheric and environmental sciences at the State University of New York at Albany. “If the Arctic is totally ice free, you don’t need to go through a specific route, you can go anywhere,” he told NBC News.

3-D model mimics volcanic blast

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 1, 2011   View Article

A new 3-D model that realistically mimics the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens is helping scientists understand the dynamics of such blasts and may help them map potential blast flows at dangerous volcanoes around the world.

The eruption of the volcano in Washington killed 57 people, leveled forests and sent a torrent of mud and debris down rivers that wiped out hundreds of homes and dozens of bridges.

The damage stems from a fast-moving current of superheated gas and hot rock and debris that was blasted out sideways from the volcano, Barry Voight, an emeritus professor of geology at Penn State, explained to me today.

Cloudy skies for climate science

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: April 19, 2011   View Article

As spring storms rumble across the Great Plains in the coming weeks, government scientists will have their heads in the clouds hoping to gain a better understanding of the dynamics at play so they can improve models of the global climate.

“One of the real areas of hot debate in our field these days is what happens to the strength of storms as the climate warms,” Michael Jensen, a meteorologist with the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, told me today.

Sea Level May Rise 40 Percent Higher Than Predicted, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 14, 2006   View Article

Global warming could push sea levels about 40 percent higher than current models predict, according to a study that takes a new approach to the calculation.

Most sea level models predict changes based on what we know about how ice sheets melt and warmer waters expand.

Manatee Protections in Belize Should Be World Model, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 27, 2006   View Article

Efforts to protect manatees in the coastal waters of Belize stand to benefit the global conservation of the huge, sluggish marine mammals, a leading expert says.

“In Belize they’ve got a strong [manatee] population, probably the densest in all of Central and South America,” said Caryn Self-Sullivan, a doctoral candidate in wildlife and fisheries at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Antarctic Snowfall Not Curbing Sea Level Rise, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 11, 2006   View Article

Snowfall amounts in Antarctica have not increased for the past 50 years, according to a new study.

The finding suggests that Antarctica’s snowfall is not slowing the sea level rise caused by global warming, as most climate models predict.

It also supports a theory that the icy continent is mostly isolated from the rest of the world’s climate system.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach