Atmospheric

Children with autism spectrum disorder, a range of conditions characterized by social deficits and communication difficulties, were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxics during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children without the condition, according to preliminary findings presented today at the American Association for Aerosol Research annual meeting in Orlando.

Other epidemiologists have linked everything from living near farms to organic food to autism, and such studies don't actually measure anything, they just find a map of autism and then correlate it to an environmental factor, in this instance pollution and autism instances in southwestern Pennsylvania.



How much more glacial melting can the planet stand? NASA

By Micheal Mann, Pennsylvania State University and Lawrence Torcello, Rochester Institute of Technology

At 2 AM local time in Hawaii, Tropical Storm Ana was just below hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph.

NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center expects it to weaken before it intensifies again. The center of tropical storm Ana was located near latitude 20.6 north and longitude 162.6 west. That puts the center of Ana about 225 miles (360 km) west-southwest of Lihue Hawaii and about 325 miles (525 km) southeast of French Frigate Shoals.

Ana is moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 kph) and is expected to gradually turn to the northwest.  



Better get our heads out of the sand and run. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

By Erik Bichard, University of Salford

The consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global warming, and it reduces the reliance in foreign imports.

The Miocene climatic optimum, was a period from about 15 to 17 million years ago and it had wild swings in temperature, the amount of continental ice on the planet and CO2 levels.

Historically, CO2 had inconsistent relationships to temperature. When levels were 10X higher than they are now, the temperature was 2 degrees higher. What has been lacking is a solid relationship between them outside the last few decades and a new paper in Paleoceanography finds that during the
Miocene climatic optimum  has found that these changes in temperature and ice volume were matched by equally dramatic shifts in atmospheric CO2. 


During the 1930s, North America endured what came to be called the Dust Bowl, a prolonged era of dryness - the worst drought in America of the last 1,000 years - that withered crops and dramatically altered where the population settled.

80 years ago, in 1934, is when things really got crazy; giant dust storms and drought covered more than 75 percent of the country and affected 27 states severely.


A high amount of methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study.


Tropical Storm Simon, once a hurricane, is expected to bring heavy rain to portions of the central Plains and Midwest on today and tomorrow. Since it is not hitting New York City during presidential election season, it won't be called a SuperStorm and get much national media attention.


Tropical Cyclone Hudhud formed on Oct. 8th and began moving from east to west across the Bay of Bengal in the Northern Indian Ocean. 

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Hudhud today and took a picture of the storm that showed it was still somewhat elongated, but more organized than the previous day. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided the hint of a developing eye.

Warnings for winds, rain and surf are already in effect for the northern Andhra Pradesh coast and south Odisha coastline of eastern India as Hudhud approaches.


The NASA satellites, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Terra, have provided data on clouds, rainfall and the diameter of the eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong as it turned north in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Typhoon Vongfong formed on October 2nd, 2014 in the southeast of Guam. Typhoon Phanfone, that recently pummeled Japan, formed near the same area in the western Pacific Ocean.