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Is Weird Winter Weather Related to Climate Change?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The polar jet stream may be driving a "hemispheric pattern of severe weather."

submitted by Paul Pritchard - by Fred Pearce - February 24, 2014

Scientists are trying to understand if the unusual weather in the Northern Hemisphere this winter — from record heat in Alaska to unprecedented flooding in Britain — is linked to climate change. One thing seems clear: Shifts in the jet stream play a key role and could become even more disruptive as the world warms.

This winter’s weather has been weird across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Record storms in Europe; record drought in California; record heat in parts of the Arctic, including Alaska and parts of Scandinavia; but record freezes too, as polar air blew south over Canada and the U.S., causing near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes, sending the mercury as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius in Minnesota, and bringing sharp chills to Texas.



It Still Isn’t Over: The Polar Vortex is About to Hit for the Third Time


The first polar vortex (Credit: NASA/Facebook)

Next week is going to be brutal - by Lindsay Abrams - February 20, 2014

Remember that time when a giant pattern of Arctic air descended over the U.S. and Canada, freezing everything in its path? Remember when it came back? Yeah, that’s all happening again.

Here’s Wunderground’s Jeff Masters, who completely buried the lede with something about a “major February thaw” across the Midwest U.S. before delving into this forecast of horrors:


Keystone: The Pipeline to Disaster - by Jeffrey Sachs - February 3, 2014

CLICK HERE - Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project - Executive Summary January 2014 (44 page .PDF report)

The new State Department Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone Pipeline does three things. First, it signals a greater likelihood that the pipeline project will be approved later this year by the administration. Second, it vividly illustrates the depth of confusion of US climate change policy. Third, it self-portrays the US Government as a helpless bystander to climate calamity.


Researchers Harness Sun's Energy During Day for Use at Night

Tom Meyer's new system generates hydrogen fuel by using the sun's energy to split water into its component parts. After the split, hydrogen is sequestered and stored, while the byproduct, oxygen, is released into the air. Credit: Tom Meyer - January 14, 2014

Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun's rays were strongest. Now researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun's energy not into electricity but hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down.


Climate Change Could Put One-Fifth Of World’s Population In Severe Water Shortage


CREDIT: shutterstock

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change

CLICK HERE - SUPPORTING INFORMATION - Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change - by Ari Phillips - January 3, 2014

A new study by a diverse group of researchers from twelve countries found that of the human impacts stemming from climate change, the threat it poses to global water supplies may be the most severe.

13 Major Clean Energy Breakthroughs of 2013 - By Kiley Kroh and Jeff Spross - December 18, 2013

While the news about climate change seems to get worse every day, the rapidly improving technology, declining costs, and increasing accessibility of clean energy is the true bright spot in the march toward a zero-carbon future. 2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are thirteen of the key breakthroughs that happened this year.


How My Mobile Devices are Ready for the Next Storm: Fenix ReadySet - by Kevin C. Tofel - November 7, 2012

After 4 days without power thanks to Hurricane Sandy, something arrived today that will help keep my mobile devices fully charged and connected to the web. I backed a Fenix ReadySet on Kickstarter, which is a large battery that charges with an included solar panel.


Federal Study Warns of Sudden Climate Change Woes


National Academy of Sciences - by Seth Borenstein - December 3, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hard-to-predict sudden changes to Earth's environment are more worrisome than climate change's bigger but more gradual impacts, a panel of scientists advising the federal government concluded Tuesday.

The 200-page report by the National Academy of Sciences looked at warming problems that can occur in years instead of centuries. The report repeatedly warns of potential "tipping points" where the climate passes thresholds, beyond which "major and rapid changes occur." And some of these quick changes are happening now, said study chairman James White of the University of Colorado.


33 Resilient Cities Announced by Rockefeller Foundation

                              - by Judith Rodin - December 2, 2013

Today, we are excited to name the first group of cities selected through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge – cities who have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.

Since we announced the challenge on our 100th birthday, May 14, 2013, the response has been enormous, with more than 1,000 registrations and nearly 400 formal applications from cities around the world. Each city was asked to present a clear and compelling description of how they are approaching and planning for resilience to decrease vulnerabilities, and after careful review of the applications, a panel of esteemed judges, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Olosegun Obasanjo, recommended the first set of 33 cities for the 100 Resilient Cities Network.

Voltaic Systems - Solar Chargers

Voltaic Systems makes products that produce and store their own power to run your electronics anywhere. We are based in New York City and ship directly to customers and our partners worldwide from warehouses in New Jersey and the Netherlands.

About - Voltaic Systems


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