Kota City Weather
Two super-fast conveyor belts of sinking crust explain why India set a continental speed record as it crashed into Eurasia, according to a new stud
09:42AM ET 05.05.15 Meteorologist Ari Sarsallari talks about severe weather ramping up this week for Midwest and Plains area
Category 3+ hurricane tracks from 2006-2013. No storm has made landfall in the U.S. as a Category 3 or greater since 2005. Credit: NOAA Coastal Service Center From water to your dating life, most droughts are tough. But in the case of major hurricanes, a dry spell can be a good thing. And the U.S. has been in one for nine years. Every day that passes without a major hurricane hitting the U.S. stretches the current record-setting hurricane drought just a bit further. The last major hurricane — defined as a Category 3 or greater — to strike the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida in October 2005. Just how odd is that? According to new research, a drought of this length would occur on average only once every 177 years. Prior to the current stretch, the longest period without a major storm making landfall in the U.S. spanned 8 years from 1861-68. The researchers, who published their findings in Geophysical Research Letters, analyzed data going back to 1851. To make their findings more robust, they also ran computer simulations to create a 63,000-year set of Atlantic hurricane seasons. There’s no sign that the current dry spell is the start of a longer hurricane-free period in the U.S. Instead, according to the new findings, “the admittedly unusual nine-year U.S. Category 3+ landfall drought is a matter of luck.” While the U.S. has enjoyed a lucky streak, other countries in the Atlantic basin have suffered. Cuba has seen five Category 3 or greater storms hit it since 2005, which the new study notes is “well above its long-term rate.” Then there’s also the matter of what forecasters consider a “major” hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson scale is what’s commonly used to measure hurricane intensity and is based solely on wind speed. “The whole Saffir-Simpson scale is an arbitrary convenience scale that allows us to talk about one aspect of storms,” Timothy Hall, a hurricane researcher at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said. “No one would ever say wind speed alone is the sole source of damage. Sandy and Katrina are examples of that.” Satellite view of Hurricane Wilma, the last major storm to make landfall in the U.S. in October 2005. Credit: NOAA/Wikipedia Sandy made landfall in October 2012 as an extratropical storm, a type of storm with a cold core as opposed to a warm one, and not a hurricane. Even by hurricane standards, Sandy only had Category 1 winds at the time it made landfall. That didn’t stop the storm from inflicting $67 billion damage along the Eastern Seaboard. Equally “minor” Hurricane Irene made landfall in 2011, but still cost $14 billion mostly due to heavy rain and inland flooding in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. However, Hall, who co-authored the study with re-insurance industry scientist Kelly Hereid, said wind speed is a key metric for insurance and re-insurance companies in terms of how they set premiums. And there are concerns that the current dearth of major storms has created a false sense of security for people living along the coast as well as in the insurance industry. Coastal communities have grown while insurance premiums have remained mostly stagnant or dropped, creating a potentially risky situation financially for insurance and re-insurance companies if a major hurricane causes outsize damage. “If the financial tools we’ve come to expect aren’t sufficient to cover the losses, then we could be worse off than before,” Hall said. Early forecasts indicate this year will be a quieter than normal Atlantic hurricane season, thanks in part to the lingering El Niño, which can help curtail the formation of storms. However, it only takes one hurricane to make an impact, no matter what the odd
<p>A tropical system could form near the Southeast coast of the United States later this week, which is several weeks ahead of the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.</p&g
Big surf kept rolling ashore Monday along south-facing sections of the Southern California coast after bodysurfers challenged the towering waves over the weekend and lifeguards were kept busy pulling people from the water.The highest surf was expected Monday, with some sets.
In the 19th century, the United States' first meteorologist came up with a plan to use controlled wildfires to fight drought—and to control the weathe
Al Roker tells us what to do if you're caught in a rip curren
Pounding surf pushed by a Pacific swell continues affecting Mexico's entire coast, swamping some beachfront restaurants and driving tourists off the sand.In Guerrero, civil protection director Raul Miliani, said Monday in an interview with Milenio TV that his state would request a declaration of disaster. The southern state has seen surf of 9 feet to 12 feet that has closed beaches.Miliani said that.
Worker productivity lost due to heat stress cost Australia some US$6.2 billion (5.6 billion euros) in 2013/14, said a study Monday that warned of worse to come as the planet warms.Three-quarters of respondents to a productivity questionnaire said they were affected by heat at the workplace over a 12-month period, according to findings published in the journal Nature Climate Change.Seventy percent said heat had made them less productive on at least one day in the previous 12 months, and seven percent said they had been absent from work at least one day.Based on data obtained from the representative group of 1,726 working Australians aged 18 to 65, a team of international researchers calculated the annual cost of absenteeism and impaired performance due to heat at $655 per person."This represents an annual economic burden of around $6.2 billion for the Australian workforce," the team wrote. "This amounts to 0.33 to 0.47 percent of Australia's GDP."The study was done in a particularly hot period in Australian history -- 2013 was the warmest year on record and 2014 the third warmest.The findings "suggest that adaptation measures to reduce heat effects should be adopted widely if severe economic impacts from labour productivity loss are to be avoided if heat waves become as frequent as predicted," wrote the authors.Negative impacts from heat can include accidents due to concentration lapses, and lower productivity due to impaired decision-making or fatigue.Already one of the warmest continents, Australia is particularly at risk of more frequent heat waves as a result of global warming.It is also one of the world's top per capita emitters of planet-warming greenhouse gases.The world's nations are negotiating a global pact to limit carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning. The agreement is meant to be sealed at a global summit in Paris in December, and take effect from 202
A portion of the wall at Halemaumau crater in Hawaii collapsed May 3, impacting the lava lake and triggering “a small explosion,” sending up a huge plume of particle
The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday (April 25) may have caused the world's tallest mountain to shrink a bit. But just how do scientists.
Changes in the Arctic Ocean are so profound that the region is entering what amounts to "a new era", according to Norwegian scientists. A switch from a permanent cover of thick ice to a new state where thinner ice vanishes in the summer will have far-reaching implications, they say. The Norwegian Polar Institute has been mounting an expedition to the Arctic Ocean during the year's coldest months.Scientists have to brave extreme temperatures and total darknes
<p>The Obama Administration's hotly debated plan to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the nation's power plants will save about 3,500 lives a year by cutting back on other types of pollution as well, a new independent study concludes.</p&g
<p>This summer, warmth and dryness will build in the West, worsening the historical drought conditions that have plagued California for four straight years. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast will have an abundance of moisture, raising concerns for flooding at times.</p&g
The magnificent, steep-sided fjords that slice deeply into the coastlines of New Zealand, Norway and Alaska are hugely popular attractions for tourists. But they may be surprisingly important to the Earth’s climate system as well. While fjords make up just one tenth of one percent of the oceans’ surface area they account for about 11 percent of the carbon locked away in marine sediments each year — carbon that can’t leak out into the atmosphere to add to global warming, says a new reportin Nature Geoscience. A fjord in Norway. Credit: Dag Endre Opedal/flickr The sediments come from rapid erosion of soil and plant debris into fast-running rivers that flow into the fjords from surrounding mountains. “We suspected fjords were important to the global carbon cycle, but when we really analyzed it, we realized, ‘wow!’ ” said Richard Smith, of the consulting firm Global Aquatic Research, in Sodus, N.Y., lead author of the study. Climate scientists already know that about half of the carbon that humans pump into the atmosphere, mostly through the burning of fossil fuels, is reabsorbed by the land and oceans in various ways. But the precise breakdown isn’t all that well understood. Nailing down the role fjords play won’t directly aid in the fight to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, since the erosion of sediments into fjords is a purely natural process that can’t really be sped up. Human activity such as overdevelopment of the land surrounding fjords could, however, slow the erosion process. “Fjords are pretty pristine areas,” Smith said. “They’re helping us by burying carbon. We should let them do their thing.” Their “thing” basically is to channel far more organic matter into the ocean than ordinary rivers do. “Classically, when you look at rivers like the Mississippi, they do transmit lots of material,” Smith said. That material is mostly soil filled with plant debris and carbon-rich organic matter, washed into the river from surrounding farmlands, grasslands and forests. Eventually, it washes downstream to form the silty Mississippi Delta, where that carbon will sit more or less indefinitely. The Drygalski Fjord extends into the southern end of South Georgia Island. Credit: David Stanley/flickr “But about 10 years ago, people realized that small, fast-moving mountainous rivers are more efficient at transporting organic matter,” Smith said. The reason is that sediments in a slow-moving stream like the Mississippi are constantly churned up to the top of the river, where some the organic matter can break down and send CO2 into the atmosphere. A mountain stream racing down the steep side of a fjord, by contrast, rushes the sediments down to the sea before much of the carbon can break down. Because fjords are basically narrow arms of the ocean that reach far inland, they dramatically increase the amount of shoreline that mountain streams can erode. “You’ve got an interface between mountainous land and the ocean that reaches hundreds of miles inland,” Smith said. “It’s a very quick means of transfer for sediments from land to sea.” To calculate how big a role fjords play in the planet’s carbon cycle, Smith and his colleagues looked at 573 sediment samples from the bottoms of fjords around the world, and 124 additional samples drilled from beneath the bottoms of fjords, where centuries upon centuries of older sediments are buried. At just 11 percent of the total carbon locked up in ocean sediments, which are themselves only a fraction of the carbon removed from the atmosphere by seawater, forests and other natural carbon absorbers, fjords are “a minor component of the overall annual sink,” according to Richard Keil, of the University of Washington, who was not involved in this research. “But if we’ve overlooked fjord carbon storage for so long, what else don't we know about? “It’s amazing to me how much we still have to learn about how the Earth functions,” Keil sai
May 4, 2015; 10:35 AM ET This footage from NOAA’s research team captured an active underwater eruption from 2009. This volcano is also one of the deepest underwater eruptions ever discovere
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile awoke with a vengeance on April 22, splashing lava down its slopes and sputtering a plume of ash high into the atmospher
May 04, 2015; 10:30 AM ET A severe thunderstorm warning was issued Sunday afternoon for parts of Minnesota and this footage shows large hail and damaging winds that swept the are
<p>Winter's full fury arrived late in much of the country but once it did it was relentless, quickly exhausting snow removal budgets and pushing the resources of state transportation agencies to their limit as they fought to keep highways safe and passable, according to a first-of-its-kind survey.</p&g
California introduced a world-leading carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program to drive down pollution rates after lawmakers approved an ambitious climate protection law in 2006. It also changed rules affecting utilities, spurring investments in some of the biggest solar power plants the world has yet seen. But an emerging body of research shows it’s going to take more than a clean energy blitz to help the state comply with the historic California Global Warming Solutions Act. The Zaca Fire sparked to life in Santa Barbara County, Calif., in 2007, eventually burning more than 200,000 acres. Credit: U.S. Forest Service/Wikipedia A Californian task force has been handed the confounding task of figuring out how forestry and land management practices could be improved to prevent what scientists say are surprisingly high levels of climate pollution escaping from its forests and other wildlands. A new study has shown that greenhouse gases are billowing out of the state’s forests faster than they are being sucked back in, with unnaturally intense wildfires mostly to blame. “Ecosystems are regrowing, but not fast enough,” Patrick Gonzalez, a U.S. National Park Service climate change scientist involved with the research, said. “The losses are outpacing the growth. The key element here is wildfire.” From 2001 through 2010, the state’s wildlands were responsible for about 8 million tons of carbon pollution annually — more climate pollution than is released every year by the entire economy of Vermont. That was the conclusion of a sophisticated analysis requested and partly funded by California’s air resources board. Wildfires affecting a small portion of the state were responsible for two-thirds of the estimated losses of carbon from what had been living plants. Under more stable natural conditions, the state’s forests would be expected to absorb about as much carbon as they lost every decade. At a time of unnaturally high carbon dioxide levels, the forests would ideally absorb more of the greenhouse gas than they produce. But the balancing act has been thrown off kilter. “There's a long history of discussion of using forests to sequester atmospheric carbon,” said Michael Goulden, a University of California at Irvine associate professor who studies the state’s forests, but who wasn’t involved with Gonzalez’s research. “This paper points out that any increase in forests’ carbon stock may prove ephemeral. Eventually, forests are disturbed, and then this extra carbon is released.” Gonzalez led a team that used field measurements and satellite data to compare statewide vegetation coverage at the beginning and end of the study period. The analysis was published as a peer-reviewed paper in Forest Ecology and Management, building on earlier work that provided more tentative findings in a state report published in late 2013. The new study was the most comprehensive stocktaking of fluctuating carbon reserves ever undertaken for California’s landscapes. Much of the carbon released by burned vegetation is thought to have entered the atmosphere, mostly as climate-changing carbon dioxide, though some of it would still be lying on the ground inside rotting tree trunks and other downed vegetation. Decades of fire fighting are the major culprit. Fire suppression policies have allowed fuel to build up on forest floors, and they have allowed allowed forests to grow thick with young trees that burn hotter and over larger areas than was the case under more natural conditions. Additionally, the West Coast has been warming and drying more rapidly than most of the rest of the world recently, with climate change and natural variation both appearing to play roles in producing dangerously incendiary landscapes. Areas that lost more carbon than they gained from 2001 to 2010 are shown in red. Carbon gains shown in green. Credit: P. Gonzalez et al. / Forest Ecology and Management The findings came as an unwelcome surprise, both for California and for the climate in general. California’s 2006 global warming law calls for the state to produce no more climate-changing pollution in 2020 than had been the case in 1990. It also calls for ecosystems — primarily forests — to be releasing no more carbon by 2020 than they’re absorbing. Some of California’s forests hold more carbon on each square foot of land than is found anywhere else in the world, and it was long thought that the state’s forests and other land ecosystems were absorbing at least as much carbon as they were losing. That’s partly because forests in the state have been recovering in recent decades from once-rampant clearfelling. But the findings also offer cause for some optimism — optimism that improved land management could reverse the trend. “In this time period, we’ve seen that there are losses from wildfires,” Karen Magliano, chief of the board’s science division, said. “We’ve also seen that, when you look at healthy forests, that they’re continuing to grow, and continuing to sequester carbon. That’s a very important aspect.” Magliano also said more research is needed to refine the estimates of carbon losses. In August, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) formed the Forest Climate Action Team, comprising officials from different state agencies charged with producing a “forest carbon plan” by 2016. A draft is expected this year. “They’re looking at a number of different policy options and actions that will help enhance sequestration of carbon,” Magliano said. “Certainly, improved fuel management is one aspect, given that we’ve had many years of very strong fire suppression.” Gonzalez said it will be “challenging” but “possible,” with appropriate fire management, to nurture mosaics of blazes throughout California’s ecosystems that would “naturally store more carbon” over the long term. Letting more lightning-ignited fires burn when they’re sparked far from population centers, and pre-emptively starting more fires in targeted areas, would both help, Gonzalez said. The ideal fire patterns and fire regimes fostered through the state would be “ecologically appropriate,” he said, meaning they would be adapted to unique local conditions. “It’s also challenging because climate change is altering what the ‘ecologically appropriate’ fire regimes will be,” Gonzalez said. “Nevertheless, when successful, such fire management will produce stands of older, larger trees whose long-term carbon storage can outweigh the short-term emissions.” Once that happens, California’s forests will rejoin the human residents of the state in their fight to slow climate chang
<p>Forecasters troubled by the high death count from twisters in Alabama and Joplin, Missouri, four years ago say they must put away their "nerd-speak" and find better ways to communicate if the public is going to react appropriately when bad weather approaches.</p&g
Within the botanical menagerie that makes up the Amazon rainforest, which is so important it’s frequently dubbed the “lungs of the planet,” scientists have pinpointed a small number of tree species that are doing the heaviest breathing as they help to slow global warming. Their discovery — that 182 species store half the rainforest’s woodbound carbon — suggests that the future of the world’s climate, and the contours of its coastal areas, are intertwined with the fate of this small portion of an estimated 16,000 Amazonian tree speci
Wildfire smoke can enhance red hues in sunrises and sunsets, even thousands of miles away from where wildfires are burnin
LOS ANGELES — A small earthquake has rattled the greater Los Angeles area, shaking buildings and waking residents. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.9 hit at 4:07 a.m. Sunday. It was centered a mile northwest of the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, just north of the cities of Inglewood and Culver City.It was the second earthquake in less than a month along the Newport-Inglewood fault. A magnitude-3.5 quake hit the same area.
A 4.2-magnitude earthquake shook Lower Michigan on Saturday with weak shaking reported westward to the Chicago area.
Raw drone footage shot in Nepal on May 2 shows the damage near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that shook the country on April 2