The US Naval Research Laboratory is teaming up with NASA, NOAA and Caribbean organizations to create regional weather forecast alerts for dust storms.
Every year, 14 million metric tons of dust travels across the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert, ending up in the Greater Caribbean, South America, the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern USA.
Arunas Kuciauskas, a US Naval Research Laboratory meteorologist, tracks the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) and works with researchers at NASA, NOAA and Caribbean organizations to model Saharan dust storms and provide prediction tools for weather forecasters and healthcare professionals.
Kuciauskas uses NOAA’s Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) software tool that processes radiance data from satellites collected by NOAA’s Joint Polar-orbiting Satellite System (JPSS) into thermodynamic parameters that describe SAL.
Offshore wind farms could power China’s heavily populated coastal regions as it looks to meet obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement, according to Harvard University researchers.
China is on track to achieve double the agreement’s commitment of relying on renewable resources for 20% of its energy needs by 2030.
Wind power capacity has grown from 0.3GW to 161GW in 20 years, but growth has slowed in recent years, partly due to location.
Coastal provinces including Guangdong and Jiangsu consume about 80% of China’s electricity but the majority of wind capacity comes from remote regions such as Inner Mongolia.
The EU is pushing ahead with plans to create a 24/7 European multi-hazard virtual advice service for natural disasters.
Experts from four European research and forecasting centers met early this month (February) to forge plans for the wildfire hazard component of the service, which is being developed as part of the EU-funded ARISTOTLE-ENHSP, a project aimed at providing multi-hazard advice to the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).
The fire hazard component is being developed by Météo-France, the Portuguese national meteorological service (IPMA), the CIMA Research Foundation (Italy) and the UK-based European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
Regions around the world known for Mediterranean climates will become much drier in the future unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, a new study has revealed.
Scientists from the UK and Italy published their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), which found that the trend toward increased dryness was easily reversible if global warming is kept below 1.5°C.
Regions characterized by Mediterranean climates include California, central Chile and the Mediterranean region itself. These regions rely heavily on winter rainfall to supply them through hot, dry summers.
Previous modeling and observational studies have shown that most Mediterranean climates experience less rainfall with global warming, with California being a notable exception.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) has awarded General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) a US$505m contract to provide supercomputing Resources as a Service.
The service is through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System (WCOSS) contract.
Systems will be designed, deployed and managed by GDIT and used to perform modeling of weather and climate patterns for use in generating forecast products supporting the National Weather Service.
The single-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) is worth US$505m covering a base period of eight years with one two-year option.
Air New Zealand will fit its Bombardier Q300s with next-generation satellite receivers to collect environmental data during domestic flights.
Using GPS signals reflected from the earth’s surface the GPS receiver unit will act as a black box during flights, gathering data to better predict severe storms, and carry out climate change research.
Captain David Morgan, chief operational integrity and standards officer for Air New Zealand, said, “Our Q300s cruise at 16,000ft – much closer to the land and sea than NASA’s satellites. Placing receivers on aircraft will enhance the resolution and quality of information, giving scientists an unprecedented view over our entire network, from Kerikeri to Invercargill.”
Data will feed into NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), with program scientist Dr Gail Skofronick-Jackson saying there is an opportunity to extend the mission and monitor the environmental signs of climate change.
European researchers say they have uncovered an algorithm capable of allowing complex forecasting currently only possible on supercomputers to be done on personal computers.
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano, Switzerland, say their findings could pave the way for much more cost-effective weather forecasting.
Since the development of the first supercomputers in the early 1970s there has been a steady growth in processing power. This has helped improve the accuracy of forecast modeling, which relies on supercomputers to process the many variables associated with weather.
But with the development of artificial intelligence and machine-learning this growth in processing power may be coming to an end, say the researchers.
Jeff Bezos – the richest person in the world – has committed US$10bn to combat climate change.
The Amazon CEO announced his intention recently in an Instagram post where he called climate change “the biggest threat to our planet”.
Bezos said the money will go into a new initiative called the Bezos Earth Fund – a global fund that will make charitable donations toward “scientists, activists, NGOs – any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.”
The fund will begin issuing grants this summer. Bezos has faced criticism in the past because of how little he donates to charity compared with other billionaires – this latest donation represents his largest philanthropic effort to date.