Midnight In The Desert — El Nino

Hawaii and the Ghost of Climate-Change Future

Posted by K R on

Hawaii and the Ghost of Climate-Change Future

The water is everywhere. For the second time in a month, Hawaii’s coastlines have been swamped by epic tides. The phenomenon, known as a king tide, is actually a convergence of a few different factors: high lunar tides, rising sea levels associated with last year’s strong El Niño and climate change, swirling pockets of ocean eddies, and a robust south swell—that is, big waves rolling onto south-facing shores. King tides happen routinely in the Hawaiian Islands—a few times a year, usually—but this year’s batch have been particularly extreme. Data from federal tide stations around Hawaii show that water levels have...

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How Cloud-Seeding Boosted California's Latest El Niño Storms

Posted by K R on

How Cloud-Seeding Boosted California's Latest El Niño Storms

Don’t be too quick to thank El Niño for the last wave of storms that blessed the West Coast with swamped reservoirs, replenished snowpack, and spectacular flaming palm trees. Turns out that El Niño had a little help—precipitation was increased by an estimated 15 percent thanks to cloud-seeding. According to the Los Angeles Times, LA’s Department of Public Works and North American Weather Consultants cranked up to 10 cloud-seeding machines into action Sunday night as the storm rolled through, which ended up dumping plenty of rain and snow in the region. Seeding clouds is a relatively simple process: Devices either...

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El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

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El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

Major climate events have opened up land bridges during prehistory, along which animals and humans traveled to new continents. A new study proposes that major weather events, like El Niño, open up “water bridges” that allow bacteria to do the same. An international team of researchers has been working with the National Institute of Health (INS) in Peru, looking at the genetic history of pathogens that have sprung up in Latin America over the past few decades. They found odd correlations with pathogens that were already established in Asia. This could be attributed to people or livestock carrying the pathogen...

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NOAA, NASA: 2015 Was Earth's Hottest by a Wide Margin

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NOAA, NASA: 2015 Was Earth's Hottest by a Wide Margin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year wasn't just the Earth's hottest year on record — it left a century of high temperature marks in the dust. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced Wednesday that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. For the most part, scientists at the agencies and elsewhere blamed man-made global warming, with a boost from El Nino. NOAA said 2015's temperature was 58.62 degrees Fahrenheit (14.79 degrees Celsius), passing 2014 by a record margin of 0.29 degrees. That's 1.62 degrees above the 20th-century average. NASA, which measures differently, said...

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NOAA: Latest El Nino is now tied for strongest ever

Posted by K R on

NOAA: Latest El Nino is now tied for strongest ever

This El Nino is turning out to be one for the record books. On Thursday, forecasters for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have concluded it’s now tied with the 1997/98 episode as the strongest on record. That event sparked widespread storms and flooding that caused more than $4 billion in damage and killed 189 people nationwide. “For those interested in numbers and how this event currently ranks in the historically record, the initial October-November-December Oceanic Nino Index tied the value recorded for October-November-December 1997 … making this event comparable to the 97-98 episode,” Mike Halpert, deputy director, of NOAA’s...

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