Atmospheric

A new index to measure the magnitude of heat waves finds that under the worst climate scenario of temperature rise, estimated to be as much as 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit, extreme heat waves might become the norm by the end of the century.

They project that heat waves like the one that hit Russia in summer 2010, the strongest in recent decades, could occur as often as every two years.



Air pollution is harming India's wheat farmers. EPA

By Zongbo Shi, University of Birmingham

Researchers have long known that man-made climate change will harm yields of important crops, possibly causing problems for the world’s food security. But new research shows air pollution doesn’t just harm crops indirectly through climate change; it seems to harm them directly.

Tropical Cyclone Nilofar is closing in on the border between Pakistan and northwestern India and NASA's Terra satellite caught it while it passed overhead from space.

Wind shear continued to affect the storm and from their image it looks more like a comet than a tropical cyclone.



A recent study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. Jason Samfield/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By Pep Canadell, CSIRO

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures.

NOAA's GOES-East Satellite captured the birth of Tropical Depression Nine formed over the western Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to make a quick landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The clouds associated with the depression stretched over the Yucatan Peninsula and into the western Caribbean Sea were captured on Oct. 22nd at 1600 UTC (12 p.m. EDT).


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.