WEEKLY WEATHER AND CLIMATE NEWS
10-14 December 2018
Items of Interest:
- Winter Weather Awareness -- During this week (11 -16 December)
Alabama will observe Winter Weather Awareness Week. Residents of this state should become aware of the hazards associated with winter storms and other cold weather events by reviewing the material prepared by the local National Weather Service Office.
- Listen to the winds on another planet for the first time -- Last week, NASA scientists held a media teleconference in which they released audio sounds of wind detected by instruments upon NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which recently landed on the surface of Mars. The Insight sensors captured a low rumbling sound from vibrations of the instrument made by the wind. These sounds are the first ever made of winds from another planet. [NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
- Student scholarships announced -- The NOAA Office of Education recently announced that scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences, along with several of the other scientific and technical disciplines that support NOAA's mission and programs. [NOAA Office of Education] These scholarships include:
- NOAA's Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program: https://fosterscholars.noaa.gov/ This program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research -- particularly by female and minority students -- in NOAA mission-related sciences of oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology, including all science, engineering and resource management of ocean and coastal areas. The application deadline for the 2019 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program is 17 December 2018.
- The Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholarships: http://www.noaa.gov/opportunities/eppmsi-undergraduate-scholarship-program. This program provides an opportunity for rising junior students to study disciplines relating to the NOAA's mission. Students attending Minority Serving Institutions are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the 2017 EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program is 31 January 2019.
- Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program: http://www.noaa.gov/office-education/hollings-scholarship. This program is designed to: (1). increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities; (2) increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy; (3.) recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and (4.) recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States. The application deadline for the 2017 Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program is 31 January 2019.
- Distinguishing between "global warming" and "climate change" -- The question is often asked: "What's the difference between global warming and climate change?" A blog was written several years ago explaining that "global warming" refers only to the Earth's rising surface temperature, while "climate change" includes warming and the side effects of warming. [NOAA Climate.gov News]
Weather and Climate News Items:
- Eye on the tropics --- Only one tropical cyclone was reported during the last week over the tropical waters of any of the ocean basins in either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. Tropical Cyclone Owen headed to the south-southeast over the Coral Sea in the western South Pacific basin, away from the eastern coast of Australia. Sufficient wind shear caused Owen to weaken to a tropical depression on Tuesday. By Wednesday Owen had become disorganized, forming a remnant low, as it began heading westward approximately 600 miles to the east of Cairns, Australia. Remnants of Owen continued to head westward and approached the coast of Queensland, Australia over this past weekend. The NASA Hurricane Blog has additional information and satellite images for Cyclone Owen.
- Citizen scientists invited to help crowdsource snow depth data -- A new NASA-funded project called Community Snow Observations (CSO) has been started in which winter backcountry recreation community are being encouraged to contribute measurements and observations of snow cover across the Western mountains in order to aid scientists in understanding of snow. These backcountry winter recreationalists often travel across areas that tend to be poorly represented by fixed observations, since they cover long distances, head high elevations and in regions far away from roads and other infrastructure. [EOS Earth & Space Science News]
- National Storm Surge Hazard Maps are updated with new additions -- NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) recently announced that their National Storm Surge Hazard maps series has been updated with version 2 that includes the addition of maps for Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hispaniola. In addition, updated topography data have been included to the Digital Elevation Model. NHC uses the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) hydrodynamic model to simulate storm surge along hurricane-prone portions of the U.S. coastline. Employing climatology, hundreds of thousands of hypothetical hurricanes are simulated and the potential storm surges are calculated for the coastline using local topography. The first version of the NHC storm surge hazard maps was made available in 2014 for the U.S. coast from Maine to Texas. These maps, which are available as interactive maps on the NHC website (www.hurricanes.gov/nationalsurge) enable people living in hurricane-prone coastal areas to evaluate their risk of coastal flooding due to storm surge. [NOAA National Hurricane Center]
- Satellite detects how tropical cyclone effects run deep in the ocean -- Three maps were constructed displaying the sea surface temperature anomalies (differences between observed and long-term average temperatures) obtained from data collected by sensors onboard NASA satellite following passage of a major tropical cyclone (typhoon, hurricane) over the waters in the western and eastern North Pacific and the Arabian Sea in the northern Indian Ocean; these three tropical cyclones had at least category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. All these images show a cooling of the waters in the wake of these tropical cyclones by as much as 3 Celsius degrees. An oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island reports that the surface cooling effect can extend hundreds of kilometers across the ocean surface and extend downward by as much as 200 meters down below the surface due to the mixing. This mixing could affect the thermohaline circulation for months. [NASA Earth Observatory]
- A detailed look at urban heat islands obtained with new algorithm -- Researchers at Yale University have developed a simplified urban-extent (SUE) algorithm that can estimate the intensity of the urban heat island (UHI) effect at the Earth's across a global scale. The dataset created was first validated against the results of previous studies to demonstrate the suitability of the method and then used to investigate the diurnal, seasonal, and temporal trends of the UHI. A "Global Surface UHI Explorer" was developed and made available to the public that is an interactive web app built on the Google Earth Engine platform designed to monitor urban heat island (UHI) intensities in practically all urban clusters on Earth. By running this app, the seasonal and temporal trends of the UHI for almost any urban area on Earth can be explored. [Yale University News]
- Global carbon dioxide emissions rise as coal use wanes and renewable energy sources expand -- The Global Carbon Project (GCP), an international organization that seeks to quantify global carbon emissions and their causes, released its report entitled "Global Energy Growth Is Outpacing Decarbonization." This eight-page report, written by scientists from the U.S., the U.K., Norway, Australia, France and China, estimates global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources will reach a record high of just over 37 billion tons in 2018, an increase of 2.7 percent over emissions output in 2017, at a time when coal consumption in some countries is decreasing and renewable energy sources increase productivity. [Stanford University Earth News]
- Patterns of uneven sea level rise associated with climate change -- A recent study conducted at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) shows how recent patterns of sea level rise over the last quarter century are clearly related to climate change. The researchers analyzed satellite altimetry sea level record, which includes measurements of sea surface heights stretching back to 1993, and they mapped global average sea level rise as well as how particular regions deviated from the average. Some regions of the world, such as off the U.S. Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, have seen seas rise at higher than average rates, because of thermal expansion as heat is stored in the oceans as the climate warms. While a discernible variability in the pattern of sea level rise could be due to other factors in the Earth climate system, climate change appears to definitely be one of the drivers of this behavior. [NCAR/UCAR News]
- Explaining how tree rings tell time and climate history -- A feature article was written by the manager of the National Centers for Environmental Information's (NCEI) Data Management Team for the ClimateWatch Magazine describing how dendrochronologists can use tree rings to not only reveal the age of wood used to make human artifacts, but also tell paleoclimatologists about the climate conditions that prevailed when those trees were alive. Tree ring width patterns from more than 6000 trees around the world are stored in NCEI's International Tree-Ring Data Bank for research purposes. [NOAA Climate.gov News]
- An All-Hazards Monitor -- This Web portal provides the user information from NOAA's National Weather Service, FAA and FEMA on
current environmental events that may pose as hazards such as tropical
weather, fire weather, marine weather, severe weather, drought and
floods. [NOAA/NWS Daily Briefing]
- Earthweek -- Diary of the Planet [earthweek.com]
Return to RealTime Weather Portal
Prepared by Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright, 2018, The American Meteorological Society.