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Tag archives for extreme weather

A Wild Life at 40 Below: Working on a Snow-Covered American Serengeti

When you think about modern day adventurers, how many of them live and work in the continental United States? On American Prairie Reserve, our staff spend their lives submersed in the grassland ecosystem in all seasons. As winter rolls in across the plains, extreme weather teaches us a lot about what it means to survive…

Lake Science Goes High-Tech to Understand Impacts of Extreme Weather Events in Argentina

As I walked along the shore of the serene Laguna La Salada at the northern fringe of the Patagonia region of Argentina, I struggled to imagine the severity of the storm that wrecked havoc on this small lake and the rest of Buenos Aires province just six months before. The Southern Hemisphere spring was in…

EPA Issues New Source Rules, Separates Requirements for Coal and Gas-Fired Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a long-awaited revised proposal for Clean Air Act standards to curb carbon pollution from new power plants. The rule sets separate standards for new gas-fired and coal-fired plants. It would require future coal-fired plants to limit emissions of carbon dioxide to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh). The average U.S. coal-fired plant currently emits nearly…

Study Links Arctic Sea Ice Loss With Changes in Atmospheric Circulation

By Emily Shenk National Geographic A skier crosses the Arctic Ocean, where the extent of summer sea ice has declined by about 30 percent during the last three decades. Photo by Dan Westergren A study published in the International Journal of Climatology in May adds to the growing research linking melting sea ice in the Arctic…

The Most Incredible Oklahoma Tornado Videos

See some of the most compelling clips of the Oklahoma tornado, as chosen by National Geographic’s video editors.

Harmful Algae Blooms Plague Lake Erie Again

Seeing the photos from the record-breaking algal bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 was like déjà vu for me. I grew up in the Great Lakes region in the 1960s and 1970s and remember the days when Lake Erie was declared “dead.” I later learned that the green scum that plagued the lake during summer…

Irene and Sandy Show the Effects of Extreme Weather on Lakes

A named tropical storm had dramatic effects on a group of aquatic ecosystems last year, but the affected waters were not what you might expect. They were freshwater lakes and reservoirs spread across the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, some located far inland from the coast. A new study sheds light on the consequences of…

What Happens At the Poles: Lowest Arctic Sea Ice on Record

  This year has seen the Arctic sea ice sheet melt further, and faster, than has ever been seen before in human history – a whopping 760,000 square kilometers less than ever recorded (which is 3.29 million square kilometers below the average minimum). Though images of polar bears and walrus stranded on melting ice-cubes pop…

Presidential Candidates, Studies Dissect Climate Change

As campaigning for the November presidential election moves forward, President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney spelled out their interpretations on one issue in a bit more detail than usual. To Science Debate, Obama identifies climate change as one of the most pressing concerns of the era and lists the steps he has taken during his…

Harnessing Sun, Wave Power for Energy

Oceans, which cover more than two-thirds of the planet, hold a large amount of energy. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates ocean wave and tidal currents have the potential to account for 15 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030. While technologies harnessing energy from tides and currents have been domestically discussed for decades, the…

Record Temperatures May Bring More Than Just Early Spring Flowers

Washington, D.C.’s famed cherry blossoms—now celebrating their centennial—decided to spring one on visitors, peaking well before the arrival of most Cherry Blossom Festival–goers. Spring’s forward leap is also causing coupling confusion among flowers and pollinators. Above-average temperatures are responsible for these early blooms, marking this the fourth warmest winter on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric…

From Texas to India to the Horn of Africa, Concern about Weather, Water, and Crops

  Hardly a week goes by without new reasons to be concerned about the impact of changing precipitation patterns and mounting water stress on food production. This past week, officials in Texas cut off irrigation water to rice farmers downstream of reservoirs depleted by the worst one-year drought in Texas history.   Even with recent rains,…

Halloween Storm Freakiest Ever

If you can’t recall the last time such a bizarre snowstorm hit the northeastern U.S. in October, it’s not because your memory’s failing. The nor’easter that dumped snow from Virginia to Maine over the weekend—as much as 30 inches in some places—was something new.

Now Is the Winter of our Discontent …

By Stuart Pimm “Now is the winter of our discontent,” the soon-to-be Richard III declares in opening Shakespeare’s play. He then quips to his brother, the current House of York king, that the future is surely sunny: the king has two sons and two brothers, so the York succession is certain. Life is full of…