Tag Archives: national aeronautics and space administration

How Will Climate Change Affect the United States in Decades to Come

a satellite image of an atmospheric river over the northeastern pacific
A satellite image of an atmospheric river over the northeastern Pacific on 20 February 2017, which helped California and the American West emerge from a 5-year drought. Atmospheric rivers—relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere—transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. When a large atmospheric river makes landfall, extreme precipitation—sometimes double the amount of rain that fell in the preceding 5 months—and flooding can result. The frequency and intensity of atmospheric rivers and droughts are just two realms explored in a new report that focuses on the effects of climate change across the United States. Credit: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory/VIIRS/Suomi-NPP

A new U.S. government report shows that climate is changing and that human activities will lead to many more changes. These changes will affect sea levels, drought frequency, severe precipitation, and more

November 3, 2017 — Today scientists released a new report that details how climate change is affecting weather and climate across the United States and how future changes in climate could play out across the country. Continue reading How Will Climate Change Affect the United States in Decades to Come

Pollution over Southeast Asia May Threaten Ozone Health

cooling tower and smokestacks of this steel factory in hebei, china
Water vapor and smoke billow from the cooling tower and smokestacks of this steel factory in Hebei, China, a province dominated by industrial factories. These factories, along with other emission sources, produce chlorocarbon pollutants that may end up further damaging the ozone layer. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images Plus

Emissions of short-lived chlorine-based chemicals that deplete ozone are increasing worldwide. But over some regions of Asia, these chemicals may be on a fast track to the ozone layer

October 27, 2017 — A rise in the emission of short-lived chlorine-based chemicals over the past decade has created a possible new threat to the health of Earth’s protective, yet fragile, ozone layer. Continue reading Pollution over Southeast Asia May Threaten Ozone Health

Storms May Have Produced Most Mediterranean “Tsunami” Deposits

mediterranean basin
Researchers recently revisited geological evidence thought to indicate 135 tsunami events in eight nations ringing the Mediterranean basin. Credit: NASA

A new analysis reveals that nearly all of the region’s sedimentary evidence ascribed to tsunamis, which dates back 4,500 years, corresponds to periods of heightened storminess

October 18, 2017 — Records of tsunamis and coastal storms abound along the Mediterranean seaboard, home to large cities such as Istanbul, Tel Aviv, and Naples and roughly 130 million people. But differentiating between these two types of natural disasters, which is critical for accurately estimating their relative risks, is challenging because they both sweep sedimentary material inland. Continue reading Storms May Have Produced Most Mediterranean “Tsunami” Deposits

Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming

southern borneo
Afternoon sunlight casts long shadows from thunderhead anvils down onto southern Borneo Credit: NASA Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Scientists have been making projections of future global warming using climate models of increasing complexity for the past four decades

October 5, 2017 — These models, driven by atmospheric physics and biogeochemistry, play an important role in our understanding of the Earth’s climate and how it will likely change in the future. Continue reading Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming

EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form

typhoon haiyan
DEADLY BEAUTY. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, at peak intensity and approaching the Philippines on November 7, 2013. Image courtesy NASA

A tropical cyclone is one of the Earth’s strongest forces, a combination of strong, howling winds and heavy precipitation. How do these forces of nature form?

MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 28, 2017) — A tropical cyclone – whether called a typhoon, a cyclone, or a hurricane – is one of the most destructive disasters known to man. Continue reading EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form

Satellite eye on Earth: July 2017 – in pictures

pantanal wetland in brazil
At 77,220 sq miles, the Pantanal in western Brazil is the world’s largest wetland. Seasonal lakes and rivers meander through the vast interior marshland, tracing patterns on to the landscape. Photograph: Planet Labs

Wildfires in the US and Africa, tropical storms, and Bolivian salt flats are among the images captured by NASA and the ESA last month

August 24, 2017 — Pakistan’s Makran coast meets the Arabian Sea where the dry terrain contrasts sharply with the water. Sometimes coast and water overlap and sediment pours into the sea. Once river Continue reading Satellite eye on Earth: July 2017 – in pictures

Silver linings: the climate scientist who records cloud behavior

earth shots
‘This is the best planet … it’s part of Nasa’s mission to look at other worlds, but we also want to look down at our world as well,’ says Kate Marvel. Photograph: ISS/Nasa

Clouds cool the planet by reflecting solar energy back to space and also trap heat and radiate it back to Earth. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, physicist Kate Marvel discusses the double-edged effect clouds have on rising temperatures

August 18, 2017 — Clouds perform an important function in cooling the planet as they reflect solar energy back into space. Yet clouds also intensify warming by trapping the planet’s heat and radiating it Continue reading Silver linings: the climate scientist who records cloud behavior

Third-hottest June puts 2017 on track to make hat-trick of hottest years

global warming
The latest figures cement estimations that warming is now at levels not seen for 115,000 years. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

June 2017 was beaten only by June in 2015 and 2016, leaving experts with little hope for limiting warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C

July 19, 2017 — Last month was the third-hottest June on record globally, temperature data suggest, confirming 2017 will almost certainly make a hat-trick of annual climate records, with 2015, 2016 and 2017 being the three hottest years since records began. Continue reading Third-hottest June puts 2017 on track to make hat-trick of hottest years

Study: Why troposphere warming differs between models and satellite data

nasa satellite
NASA Satellite orbiting Earth Credit: Nasa / Unsplash

The most common measure of global temperature rise is here on the Earth’s surface, but scientists also gather data on how temperatures in the atmosphere high above us are changing

June 21, 2017 — Of particular interest is the troposphere – the lowest layer of the atmosphere where almost all of our weather occurs. To track temperatures, scientists use satellites, which have been providing data since they were first launched in the late 1970s. Continue reading Study: Why troposphere warming differs between models and satellite data

Global climate projections help civil engineers plan

junction near birmingham, england
Spaghetti Junction near Birmingham, England. Photograph: Jason Hawkes/Getty Images

A new study helps civil engineers account for ongoing climate change in infrastructure design

May 25, 2017 — People who work on building infrastructure understand the risks of climate change. As the Earth warms, new stresses are applied to our buildings, bridges, roads, houses, and Continue reading Global climate projections help civil engineers plan