I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
May 31 2020

hurricane strength increasing as predicted, economic stimulus is a chance to build resilience, our changing forest ecosystems, electrifying mail trucks, regenerative agriculture catching on

One of the challenging aspects of our new climate is the greater likelihood of stronger tropical cyclones (also known as hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons in the Pacific Ocean). As has been predicted for years by climate scientists, the Washington Post reports on a new study concluding that the strength of hurricanes is increasing worldwide. A key to this study was the effort of the scientists to standardize 39 years of cyclone data across the world’s ocean basins, allowing assessment of the long-term trend. Another unfortunate trend is toward hurricanes that suddenly make leaps in their intensity, like Hurricane Michael in 2018 and Cyclone Amphan this week in the Bay of Bengal.

These findings are of great concern as damage costs rise exponentially with wind speed (costs have historically increased by 10 percent for every 5 mph increase in wind speed). Many communities in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Puerto Rico are still recovering from recent major hurricanes. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) notes that FEMA is presently stretched thin due to COVID-19 and other disaster relief. New guidance indicates that much of FEMA’s on-the-ground assistance will now be online, complicating storm response efforts (disclosure: I sit on the UCS Board of Directors). Planning and managing evacuations is greatly complicated by “compound risk” from multiple factors, including COVID-19 exposure. Evacuees already face the challenge of social distancing in normal evacuation centers (during the current flooding in Michigan, citizens are choosing to sleep in their cars rather than risk exposure to the coronavirus). According to NOAA, 2020 will be an unusually active hurricane season…

read more
May 15 2020

2020 could be warmest year yet, the challenge of planning for sea level rise, reducing methane emissions, disinfecting the White House of quackery, solar and wind the cheapest sources of electricity

The Washington Post reports that last month tied for the warmest April on record for the globe. There is now a 75% chance that 2020 will be the warmest year since 1880 (and likely long before that). It is noteworthy that this is occurring despite there being no El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, as the latter phenomenon contributed to 2016 being the hottest year on record. James Hansen cautions that a La Niña may form later this year, and the cooling effect of this oceanic shift might keep 2020 from being a record year.

The Guardian reports on the dramatic melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the summer of 2019. This was driven by a high-pressure system above the region that caused melting over 96% of the ice sheet at some time in 2019, compared with an average of just over 64% between 1981 and 2010. Most importantly, the researchers conducting the study noted that IPCC scenarios do not include such high-pressure events, meaning that future melting could be twice as high as currently predicted. This result could have serious consequences for sea level rise…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
May 31 2020

hurricane strength increasing as predicted, economic stimulus is a chance to build resilience, our changing forest ecosystems, electrifying mail trucks, regenerative agriculture catching on

One of the challenging aspects of our new climate is the greater likelihood of stronger tropical cyclones (also known as hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons in the Pacific Ocean). As has been predicted for years by climate scientists, the Washington Post reports on a new study concluding that the strength of hurricanes is increasing worldwide. A key to this study was the effort of the scientists to standardize 39 years of cyclone data across the world’s ocean basins, allowing assessment of the long-term trend. Another unfortunate trend is toward hurricanes that suddenly make leaps in their intensity, like Hurricane Michael in 2018 and Cyclone Amphan this week in the Bay of Bengal.

These findings are of great concern as damage costs rise exponentially with wind speed (costs have historically increased by 10 percent for every 5 mph increase in wind speed). Many communities in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Puerto Rico are still recovering from recent major hurricanes. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) notes that FEMA is presently stretched thin due to COVID-19 and other disaster relief. New guidance indicates that much of FEMA’s on-the-ground assistance will now be online, complicating storm response efforts (disclosure: I sit on the UCS Board of Directors). Planning and managing evacuations is greatly complicated by “compound risk” from multiple factors, including COVID-19 exposure. Evacuees already face the challenge of social distancing in normal evacuation centers (during the current flooding in Michigan, citizens are choosing to sleep in their cars rather than risk exposure to the coronavirus). According to NOAA, 2020 will be an unusually active hurricane season…

read more
May 15 2020

2020 could be warmest year yet, the challenge of planning for sea level rise, reducing methane emissions, disinfecting the White House of quackery, solar and wind the cheapest sources of electricity

The Washington Post reports that last month tied for the warmest April on record for the globe. There is now a 75% chance that 2020 will be the warmest year since 1880 (and likely long before that). It is noteworthy that this is occurring despite there being no El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, as the latter phenomenon contributed to 2016 being the hottest year on record. James Hansen cautions that a La Niña may form later this year, and the cooling effect of this oceanic shift might keep 2020 from being a record year.

The Guardian reports on the dramatic melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the summer of 2019. This was driven by a high-pressure system above the region that caused melting over 96% of the ice sheet at some time in 2019, compared with an average of just over 64% between 1981 and 2010. Most importantly, the researchers conducting the study noted that IPCC scenarios do not include such high-pressure events, meaning that future melting could be twice as high as currently predicted. This result could have serious consequences for sea level rise…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES