Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Spring Climate Outlook | NOAA

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released it's annual Spring Climate Outlook report.  You see a video highlighting major expectations by clicking the link below.

What will Spring mean this year?  That depends where you happen to live.

2014 Spring Climate Outlook | NOAA

Welcome to Spring!  It's been a long winter, and it's about time we started to warm up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New statement on climate change from the AAAS - 2014

There is a new statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, also known as the AAAS, on what we know about climate change.

The AAAS is the leading scientific body in the United States, represents the best of our scientific community, and is the largest scientific community in the world.

For one thing, multiple lines of evidence support the statement that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are affecting the climate...I encourage you to take time to read the entire statement by clicking the link below.

The link below is a 5 minute video in which the question of scientific consensus among other topics are touched upon.  It is also from the AAAS.

This statement and video do not represent the wild-eyed ramblings of some fringe scientific element, it reflects the mainstream scientific conclusions of the world's leading body of scientists on the topic of climate change, as well as an effort to disseminate information about what we know about it.

The AAAS is working deliberately to help people understand what we know, and calls upon governments to end the debate on a topic for which the science is settled, and move on to identifying  best approaches for dealing with the problem of climate change.

The debate is's time to act.  What will you do?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring in the west, and deep freeze in the east

The Arctic Ocean usually reaches its maximum sea ice extent about this time of year, and we as start observing the annual spring/summer sea ice melt up north the sea ice extent is about 1,000,000 square kilometers below the 1981-2010 average.  Wow!   

This has also been a wild winter ride, and it's not over for people in the midwest.  As I type this entry schools including universities across that region are closed or running on a weather-impacted schedule.  Out here in the mountain west though it looks and feels like spring has already sprung.  We did have a dose of snow over the weekend...I had to shovel twice on Saturday and once on Sunday, but later on Sunday temperatures shot back up to 40+oF and it's headed back there today.

Normally where I live in SE Idaho is only starting the annual spring snow melt by now, but this year the snow is already all gone, except for small patches along the north sides of homes and buildings.  Wild!

Other signs of spring around here include daffodils and crocuses pushing up through the soil, motorcycles appearing in parking lots, and students walking wearing sweatshirts and even short-sleeved shirts.

 Why the early Spring-like conditions?  Well, the radical swing of the jet stream this winter has stayed north of us while it's swung far to the south over the Great Plains and Midwest.

The map below shows the current jet stream track.  Idaho is south of it, and the entire eastern part of the USA, except for the Everglades and Miami are north of it and still freezing.  Yikes!

Will this madness never end?