Hurricane Sandy lurched westward as it headed toward landfall in New York and New Jersey late Monday. In its turn, it also swapped energy sources, becoming extratropical. The process sometimes gives storms a boost of power. Read more about the transformation of Sandy; ATMO‘s Cliff Mass is quoted.
The hurricane-force winds of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm still blow memories through the minds of those who lived through the most powerful windstorm ever recorded in the lower 48 states and certainly the largest in the Pacific Northwest. The effects were so wide-ranging that they included attacks by escaped zoo animals. ATMO‘s Cliff Mass is quoted in this memorial.
Following a study of the last six summers’ worth of climate data, researchers have linked a change in summer Arctic wind patterns to global warming and an increase in the unpredictable weather. Co-authors on this study include JISAO‘s James Overland and Muyin Wang. Read more about the study here, or check out the in-press abstract.
“CoEnv Science in Motion” features community-generated stories from our faculty, staff and students, relating to how they share their science–through such means as blog cross-posts or guest posts, science communication through non-science outlets, and stories about engagement offline as well.
For this installment of SiM, we’re sharing a blog post from the lab of Dr. Julian Olden, a faculty member in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The original blog post was written by Lauren Kuehne, and can be found here.
Would you like an invasion with your heat wave? Extreme climatic events and species invasions
Extreme weather, like the July 2012 heat wave, may not only increase air-conditioning bills but also the likelihood and success of species invasions. A new paper co-authored by Dr. Olden in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, shows how these events – droughts, hurricanes, floods, and heat waves – can influence transport, establishment, spread, and impact of non-native species. Both empirical evidence and invasion theory suggest that these extreme events can 1) increase transport of non-native species, 2) reduce resistance of native communities, and 3) change the balance of competition between native and non-native species.
Extreme and more variable climate events are predicted to become more frequent and intense with ongoing climate change. Slowing the rate of species introductions around the world will probably require managers to factor in increases in the magnitude and the number of extreme climatic events.
Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences, offers a dissenting opinion to the new NASA study that ties increased instances of heat waves to global climate change. Mass says that heat waves are due to large-scale, naturally occurring weather patterns, which he says cannot be linked to climate change. Read more here.
A new study by Environment Washington links a national increase in rainstorms over the period of 1948-2011 to global warming. Read more about this study here; ATMO‘s Cliff Mass is quoted.
Lightning and thunder and drenching, landslide-causing rains, that’s what this July is made of. Check out what Yakima’s been dealing with; Assistant State Climatologist Karin Bumbaco is quoted.