Atmospheric

By Karin Heineman, (Inside Science TV)

Every day around the world, lightning strikes the ground about 10 times per second. That's nearly one million strikes a day!

In the U.S. there are 20 million strikes on average every year, and now David Romps, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California Berkeley, says we can expect to see that number grow in the coming years.

“What we find by looking in the climate models is that on average they’re predicting a 50 percent increase in the amount of lightning that you get in the United States, during this century, the 21st century," said Romps.

And the cause?

 University of Southern Denmark
We may idealize the last century but natural forces have always caused climate on Earth to fluctuate - sometimes quite a bit. But science is about controlling nature and not letting random behavior control our destinies and since we know that some periods were good and some awful, we'd like to avoid the awful.

We can't control everything - the earth is still going to orbit the sun and such orbital forcing of climate change happens over thousands of years and brings ice ages and warming periods. 
The activity of the Sun is an important factor in the complex interactions that control our climate. We don't really even understand the impacr of the sun - it is not constant over time, but has greater significance when the Earth is cooler, according to a new paper in Geology.

There has been discussion as to whether variations in the strength of the Sun have played a role in triggering climate change in the past, but more and more research results clearly indicate that solar activity - i.e. the amount of radiation coming from the Sun - has an impact on how the climate varies over time.
The recent slowdown in climate warming is due to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming. 

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) describes how North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures tend to oscillate with a periodicity of about 50 to 70 years. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) varies over a broader range of timescales. The researchers looked only at the portion of the PDO that was multidecadal -- what they term the Pacific multidecadal oscillation (PMO).

Everyone loves to talk about the weather, and this winter Mother Nature has served up a feast to chew on. Few parts of the US have been spared her wrath.

Severe drought and abnormally warm conditions continue in the west, with the first-ever rain-free January in San Francisco; bitter cold hangs tough over the upper Midwest and Northeast; and New England is being buried by a seemingly endless string of snowy nor’easters.

Yes, droughts, cold and snowstorms have happened before, but the persistence of this pattern over North America is starting to raise eyebrows. Is climate change at work here?

Attacks on institutions that keep records of global temperatures, such as NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UK Met Office, and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, continue to appear in the press.

Some of the coldest air of the 2014-2015 winter season is settling over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., an Arctic air mass that brought wind chills from below zero to the single numbers from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.

It is certainly cold on the surface, but infrared NASA satellite imagery revealed even colder temperatures in cloud tops associated with the air mass.
The folks in Boston might feel like they are having a run of bad weather now, but it's nothing like the intense hurricanes, fueled by warmer oceans, that frequently pounded the region during the first millennium, from the peak of the Roman Empire into the height of the Middle Ages, according to a new study.
The rate of global warming that had been predicted in the 1990s did not come to pass. In the 21st century, warming has been significantly slower than all the models had predicted, leading to claims that the models contained systematic errors.

Not so, according to a new analysis, it is just random variation. Jochem Marotzke, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, and Piers M. Forster, a professor at the University of Leeds in the UK, did a statistical analysis and found that the models do not generally overestimate man-made climate change and so global warming is still highly likely to reach critical proportions by the end of the century if CO2 emissions are not reduced. 
A new study finds that most climate models may have wiggles that undermine accuracy - but they are likely underestimating the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms.

The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place and such discrepancies undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study's authors warn.

As such, we shouldn't over-interpret recent temperature trends, no matter what blizzard his New York City and leads to exploitation of climate science to generate media pageviews.