Tag Archives: climate scientist

Unclouding Our View of Future Climate

If we had a second Earth, we could experiment with its atmosphere to see how increased levels of greenhouse gases would change it, without the risks that come with performing such an experiment. Since we don’t, scientists use global climate models.

In the virtual Earths of the models, interlocking mathematical equations take the place of our planet’s atmosphere, water, land and ice. Supercomputers do the math that keeps these virtual worlds turning — as many as 100 billion calculations for one modeled year in a typical experiment. Groups that project the future of our planet use input from about 30 such climate models, run by governments and organizations worldwide. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Climate Scientist: More Extreme Heat and Drought in Coming Decades

Lab climate expert is a lead author on the National Climate Assessment.

By the end of this century climate change will result in more frequent and more extreme heat, more drought, and fewer extremes in cold weather in the United States. Average high temperatures could climb as much as 10 or more degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the country. These are some of the projections made by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) climate scientist Michael Wehner and his co-authors on the National Climate Assessment (NCA). (more…)

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Climate change: fast out of the gate, slow to the finish

Washington, D.C.— A great deal of research has focused on the amount of global warming resulting from increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But there has been relatively little study of the pace of the change following these increases. A new study by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures concludes that about half of the warming occurs within the first 10 years after an instantaneous step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but about one-quarter of the warming occurs more than a century after the step increase. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters.

The study was the result of an unusual collaboration of a climate scientist, Ken Caldeira, who contributed to the recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, and Nathan Myhrvold, the founder and CEO of a technology corporation, Intellectual Ventures LLC. It is the third paper on which they have collaborated. (more…)

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UMass Amherst Climate Model is First to Study Climate Effects of Arctic Hurricanes

AMHERST, Mass. – Though it seems like an oxymoron, Arctic hurricanes happen, complete with a central “eye,” extreme low barometric pressure and towering 30-foot waves that can sink small ships and coat metal platforms with thick ice, threatening oil and gas exploration. Now climate scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and in England report the first conclusive evidence that Arctic hurricanes, also known as polar lows, play a significant role in driving ocean water circulation and climate.

Results point to potentially cooler conditions in Europe and North America in the 21st century than other models predict. (more…)

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UA Climate Scientists Put Predictions to the Test

A new study has found that climate-prediction models are good at predicting long-term climate patterns on a global scale but lose their edge when applied to time frames shorter than three decades and on sub-continental scales.

Climate-prediction models show skills in forecasting climate trends over time spans of greater than 30 years and at the geographical scale of continents, but they deteriorate when applied to shorter time frames and smaller geographical regions, a new study has found.

Published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, the study is one of the first to systematically address a longstanding, fundamental question asked not only by climate scientists and weather forecasters, but the public as well: How good are Earth system models at predicting the surface air temperature trend at different geographical and time scales? (more…)

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Global Warming Refuge Discovered Near At-Risk Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati

Ocean currents may mitigate warming near handful of equatorial islands

Scientists predict ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems.

But a new study shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a way that mitigates warming near a handful of islands right on the equator.

Those islands include some of the 33 coral atolls that form the nation of Kiribati. This low-lying country is at risk from sea-level rise caused by global warming. (more…)

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Climate Change Stirs ‘Perfect Moral Storm,’ Prof Says

The world is sailing into some killer storms and its leaders have done almost nothing to protect its boat. That’s the view of UW Professor Steve Gardiner, who likens climate change to a perfect storm — a convergence of three difficult problems that so far we’ve found ourselves unable to face, much less solve.

Gardiner is not a climate scientist but a philosopher — one who deals with matters of ethics. The book he’s written about the issue is A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. (more…)

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Rising Air Pollution Worsens Drought, Flooding UMD-Led Study Shows

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can strongly affect cloud development in ways that reduce precipitation in dry regions or seasons, while increasing rain, snowfall and the intensity of severe storms in wet regions or seasons, says a new study by a University of Maryland-led team of researchers.

The research provides the first clear evidence of how aerosols — soot, dust and other small particles in the atmosphere — can affect weather and climate; and the findings have important implications for the availability, management and use of water resources in regions across the United States and around the world, say the researchers and other scientists. (more…)

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