It's Science Week
in Australia and the crowdsourcing call has gone out for Weather Detectives
to look through old ships' log books and track weather observations from the 1890s and 1900s. It's a good project for older kids, and aims to improve weather forecasting and track climate change. Do try this at home, kids.
posted by superfish
on Aug 20, 2014 -
Since January there have been signs of a possible El Niño brewing in the pacific, the first major one since 1998. While the US-funded ocean-monitoring system is in a state of partial collapse
, the data has continued to grow stronger, and this may now be the largest ocean temperature anomoly ever seen
. A major El Niño could significantly boost global temperatures, cause severe weather and storms, melt Arctic sea ice and help push the world into a warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, accelerating global warming. (more discussion
posted by crayz
on Apr 2, 2014 -
On June 11th, 2013, in the wee hours of an early summer night in Nebraska, the temperature shot from 73°F to 99°F in the space of minutes
, accompanied by 50MPH winds. The cause of this weather oddity was the poorly understood Heat Burst
, a phenomenon that sometimes occurs as thunderstorms die out
, usually late at night. The temprature rise can be so extreme that it has been imaged from space
, and there are unconfirmed stories
of heat so extreme that crops were cooked in the fields where they grew, and paint blistered on houses and vehicles. Once believed to be a very rare
event, with the advent of personal weather stations, science may find they are more frequent than was previously believed.
posted by smoothvirus
on Jun 12, 2013 -
On January 4th, 2013, in the midst of a national heat wave
, Tasmania experienced some of the most extreme weather on record, with Hobart recording a record temperature of 41.8°C in the afternoon. Fires blazed around the state, covering almost 50,000 acres, claiming hundreds of properties, and destroying the town of Dunalley. The Tasman peninsula was cut off by the fires, necessitating a sea rescue of over 2,000 people. An image of a family clinging to a jetty in the water
to escape from the fire captured the attention of the world. With the launch of their Australian edition, The Guardian have produced a frightening and fascinating multimedia article
exploring the human side of the inferno.
posted by Jimbob
on May 26, 2013 -
What won the war? The weather helped. For while the Allies had access to all the Atlantic meteorology, the Axis couldn't easily predict what systems were rolling in from the West - and with the Battle of the Atlantic the one thing
that Churchill said kept him awake at night, knowing which way the wind blew certainly needed a weatherman. Or Britain would never be starved into submission.
The Weather War was complex and engaging, [more inside]
posted by Devonian
on May 17, 2013 -
is a new global weather data service announced yesterday
. It boasts smoothly animating radar maps that predict up to a week in advance, a "time machine" to let you explore past and future weather, and intelligent text summaries. [more inside]
posted by duien
on Mar 26, 2013 -
Spring Rain, Then Foul Algae in Ailing Lake Erie: [New York Times]
"A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually."
posted by Fizz
on Mar 24, 2013 -
With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science
works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts
, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy
, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Feb 28, 2013 -
...and the news ain't good: "Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. This evidence has been compiled by scientists and engineers from around the world, using satellites, weather balloons, thermometers, buoys, and other observing systems. The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming."
Overview letter is here
, Executive Summary is here
, and the full download is here
. [WARNING: Full download runs to 147MB).
posted by BillW
on Jan 13, 2013 -
Meteorologist and climatologist Barbara Mayes Boustead has loved the Little House books since she was a little girl
. At her blog Wilder Weather, Barbara makes "connections between weather and climate concepts, events during Laura’s time and in her books, and present or future weather and climate concerns
." For example, in October of 1880, a storm is brewing.
"The initial shot of cold air brought near-freezing temperatures and a little bit of precipitation up north on the 14th. The low pressure system deepened on the 15th as it got spinning in eastern Nebraska, pulling cold air around behind it while it brought moisture up from the south. Then, the low pressure just sat there for a while and deepened. As it got deeper, the winds behind it – in eastern South Dakota – got stronger. The storm stayed in the area of northwest Iowa to southern Minnesota
through the 16th, then pulled away into northern Michigan on the 17th, leaving cold air and breezy conditions behind it." And in De Smet, South Dakota, Laura Ingalls and her family settle in for the beginning of the Long Winter
. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura
on Dec 13, 2012 -
In a report released [Tuesday], the World Bank analyzed the consequences of allowing temperatures to reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. ... the report's authors admit that predications are a challenge. Still, they do their best to try to paint a picture, and boy, is it grim.
posted by Egg Shen
on Nov 20, 2012 -
October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012
(NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought
still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl"
, on PBS. (via
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 16, 2012 -
David Leonard Weather Service:
"These real-weather descriptions are, of course, tweets, and part of the David Leonard Weather Service, which its eponymous proprietor explains—and he finds himself explaining often—as “a network of correspondents posting the weather they see right now. Real-time, crowd-sourced [Toronto, Ontario Canada] weather." #DLWS @davidpleonard
posted by Fizz
on Aug 29, 2012 -