Hurricane Harvey links to ocean heat content and climate change adaptation

While hurricanes occur naturally, human‐caused climate change is supercharging them and exacerbating the risk of major damage. Here, using ocean and atmosphere observations, we demonstrate links between increased upper ocean heat content due to global warming with the extreme rainfalls from recent hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey provides an excellent case study as it was isolated in... Continue Reading →

Explaining extreme events from a climate perspective

This special report of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) presents some extreme events in 2016, such as the record global heat, the heat across Asia, the 2015-16 El Niño and a marine heat wave off the coast of Alaska, and discusses how human-caused climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of these extreme events.... Continue Reading →

On the fragile relationship between El Niño and California rainfall

This study newly accepted in Geophysical Research Letters examined why California experienced extremely wet winter and spring conditions during the 1997-98 and 1982-83 El Niños, but near normal rainfall during the extremely strong 2015-16 El Niño. Statistical data analyses and simple model experiments were used to show that sufficiently warm and persistent sea surface temperature anomalies... Continue Reading →

Interannual variability of western North Pacific SST anomalies and its impact on North Pacific and North America

In this study, the interannual variability of sea surface temperature (SST) and its atmospheric teleconnection over the western North Pacific (WNP) toward the North Pacific/North America during boreal winter are investigated. First, we defined the WNP mode as the first empirical orthogonal function (EOF) mode of SST anomalies over the WNP region (100–165°E, 0–35°N), of... Continue Reading →

El Niño-like teleconnection increases California precipitation in response to warming

Future California (CA) precipitation projections, including those from the most recent Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), remain uncertain. This uncertainty is related to several factors, including relatively large internal climate variability, model shortcomings, and because CA lies within a transition zone, where mid-latitude regions are expected to become wetter and subtropical regions drier. Here, we... Continue Reading →

Future loss of Arctic sea-ice cover could drive a substantial decrease in California’s rainfall

From 2012 to 2016, California experienced one of the worst droughts since the start of observational records. As in previous dry periods, precipitation-inducing winter storms were steered away from California by a persistent atmospheric ridging system in the North Pacific. Here we identify a new link between Arctic sea-ice loss and the North Pacific geopotential... Continue Reading →

A pan-tropical cascade of fire driven by El Niño – Southern Oscillation

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has a pronounced influence on year-to-year variations in climate. The response of fires to this forcing is complex and has not been evaluated systematically across different continents. Here we use satellite data to create a climatology of burned-area and fire-emissions responses, drawing on six El Niño and six La Niña... Continue Reading →

Drought conditions will maintain across a significant portion of the contiguous United States during December 2017

According to the US monthly drought outlook issued by NOAA CPC in November 30, the current severe drought conditions will maintain over the southern US. This is likely due to the developing La Nina condition in the Pacific. During La Niña, the winter atmospheric jet stream in the Pacific often takes an unusually wavy path... Continue Reading →

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