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Climate News

  • Oct 30 - Cold winters linked to global warming
    Recent cold winters, climate deniers like to note, undermine the case that the world is growing warmer. New research at Tokyo University and Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research – published in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience – has linked the cold winters with the “rapid decline of Arctic sea ice”, caused by warming, over the past decade. As the ice melts it exposes open water which, being darker, absorbs more heat. The warmer water warms the air above it which weakens the jet stream, the high level river of air which does much to determine the weather. As the jet stream slows down it meanders more, causing weather systems to get stuck in place with a “blocking pattern” that pulls cold, Arctic air down over Europe and northern Asia for long periods at a time. Recent cold winters have occurred in years when the amount of Arctic sea ice was especially low.

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    Source: Mori et al. 2014. Robust Arctic sea-ice influence on the frequent Eurasian cold winters in past decades
    Nature Geoscience(2014)doi:10.1038/ngeo2277.
  • Oct 14 - Warmest September globally in 134 years of data
    The average global temperature was 14.77 degrees C (58.6 degrees F),  0.77 degrees C (1.39 degrees F) above the 1951-1980 average for September. It was the 26th warmest September in 120 years of record keeping in the US. Hot spots included California with the warmest January-September period ever; Hilo, Hawaii, hit 33.9 degrees C (93 Fahrenheit) to break a monthly record that had stood since 1951; and Cold Bay, Alaska, had its warmest September ever. But a Sept. 10-11 storm set records for earliest snowfall in some spots in the Rockies and Dakotas.
  • Oct 7 - Beginnings of a megadrought in the SW
  • Oct 7 - Western US lost equivalent of annual mass loss of Greenland Ice Sheet
  • Sep 23 - Rocky Montain Forests at Risk

Climate Change Datasets

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General Circulation Models (GCMs)

General circulation models (GCMs or global climate models) have been designed to simulate the planet's future climate.  In the past 30 years climate modelers have been improving the GCMs' spatial resolution from the first assessment report (FAR-1995) to the fourth report (AR4-2007) for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) to meet the ...

The MAPSS Model

MAPSS (Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil System) is a static biogeography model that projects potential vegetation distribution and hydrological flows on a grid. It simulates type of vegetation and density for all upland vegetation from deserts to wet forests. It uses long term, average ...

MC1 Dynamic Global Vegetation Model
[ MC1 ]( is a widely used dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) that has been used to simulate potential vegetation shifts in California and Alaska, all of North America, and over the entire globe under various climate change scenarios. However, past simulations were run at a scale that is too coarse (e.g., 10km x 10km for the
Seasonal Fire Forecasting

One notable aspect of the MC1 Dynamic General Vegetation Model (DGVM) is the process-based fire module which simulates fire events and their impact on vegetation through time at regional to global scales. The module was built to explore the response of fire and its impacts to century-long ...

Sea Level Rise

The Pacific Northwest coast includes a wide diversity of coastal habitats from including bluffs, sandy beaches, coastal marshes, tidal flats and eelgrass beds, supporting myriad species of fish and wildlife as well as local economies and cultural history. These coastal habitat are threatened by various human activities due to continued population ...