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Understanding the Jetstream
Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University
One intriguing idea about how and why a warming Arctic might be changing the
Northern Hemisphere jetstream, explained in a technical but very clear video.
Not everyone agrees, though: see Stephanie Paige Ogburn's
good overview of the debate on ClimateWire;
this 8-minute interview
from the Yale Climate Media Forum with Francis and one of the dissenting
scientists, Kevin Trenberth; and, another good overview,
January 2014 article from the Toledo Blade.
(5 minutes, September 2013)
Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?
Ann Curry, NBC News
An excellent feature story about recent extremes (cold in the East, drought
in the Southwest, wildfires, flash floods, Arctic ice melt, Superstorm Sandy)
and their connections with climate change‒considered on the ground,
through interviews with climate scientists and with people who have
experienced these events first-hand.
(42 minutes; also divided into shorter sections, 2014)
||articles & essays
Rising Heat: Can We Cool the Risks of an Invisible Disaster
Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation, September 2017
This is a terrific and very handsome interactive, multimedia overview of the
risks of rising heat around the globe. If you want just one source on this
subject, this would be a good choice.
Climate Central, 2016
This accomplished group of scientists and journalists has created a useful and
engaging set of interactive graphs and charts covering a wide range of
elements of rising heat, especially days that are dangerously hot for humans.
You can check your own US state and city for local data (no, it's not just
your imagination, and your memory isn't failing), or scan for a bigger
Here is an update
of the graphic on the number of hot summer days in cities in all 50 states,
plus DC and Puerto Rico. And here is one that covers
cities around the globe.
Summers are Getting Hotter
No surprise, of course: higher temperatures are central to global WARMING. For
some good specifics see these sources: one (on the
of high temperatures, 2017) from the New York Times and two from Climate
Central (one on
2016, one on
2015). It's not just summer days, for nights are warming faster than the days,
and this is dangerous, for human health, agriculture, wildlife, and fires: see
from the New York Times (July 2018) and
from Inside Climate News (both from July 2018) for the story, with vivid
charts. Indeed, it's
not just summers:
across the year, record high temperatures are outpacing low temperature
records, with more imbalance to come (2016).
Katrina. Sandy. Harvey. The Debate over Climate and Hurricanes Is Getting Louder and Louder.
Chris Mooney, Washington Post, August 2017
An excellent overview discussion of what the debates are among climate
scientists about what might be linking hurricane behavior with a warmer globe.
Houston: A Global Warning
Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, August 2017
As one might expect from this writer, this is a very good and direct story
about the stakes visible in the Houston floods caused by Hurricane Harvey
(what happened, why did it happen, and what will likely happen next‒as
opposed to what should happen). For an excellent back-story to these
floods‒all the floods in previous recent years in the same place‒
see this piece from the
Texas Tribune and ProPublica.
Attributing Extreme Weather to Climate Change
CarbonBrief, June 2017
The science of figuring out the links between climate change (aka increased
CO2 in the atmosphere) and extreme weather events has progressed considerably
in recent years. This interactive global map offers lots of examples. Here is
a good piece
about this map.
The Subtle‒But Very Real Link between Global Warming and Extreme Weather Events
Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, June 2015
Floods, heat waves, hurricanes, droughts: what do such events have to do with
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Here is a quick primer, touching on current
events and referring to a 2012
report from the IPCC, "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters
to Advance Climate Change Adaptation."
Burning Questions about Winter Cold
Bob Henson, NCAR/UCAR AtmosNews, November 2014
A clear and informative discussion of the leading scientific hypotheses about
"what's causing the midlatitude chill"‒despite a steadily warming planet. Good
scientific supporting materials, as one would expect from this writer and
FEMA Report: Climate Change Could Increase Areas at Risk of Flood by 45 Percent
Kate Sheppard and James West, Mother Jones, June 2013
That's up to 45% more US land (along coasts and inland rivers) at risk of
flooding by 2100, doubling the number of properties covered by the (already
stressed) National Flood Insurance Program; just 30% of this increase will be
from population growth, according to the study cited in this story, with 70%
from climate change.
Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided
World Bank, November 2012
This long but readable report (with a good Executive Summary) argues that the
poor (including those in developing countries) will likely suffer
disproportionately from such effects as heat waves, drought, and
floods‒and especially so if we don't limit warming to a lower level.
A Climate of Suffering: The Real Costs of Living with Inaction on Climate Change
The Climate Institute, August 2011
Focused on Australia, this careful and thought-provoking report (26 pages)
considers the mental health consequences of extreme weather events and climate
change, both for individuals and for communities‒including anxiety,
post-traumatic stress, the pain of forced migration, and a loss of sense of
Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Scientific American, John Carey, June 2011
An excellent three-part series about the increasing evidence that the recent
extreme weather really is linked to climate change, and on some key questions:
Why would this be so? How do we know? What difference does it make to us? What
should we be doing to prepare?
Part 1 is
Storm Warnings: Extreme Weather Is a Product of Climate Change."
Part 2 is
Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather."
Part 3 is
Our Extreme Future: Predicting and Coping with the Effects of a Changing
Various good resources on this topic: short videos looking at links between
climate change and various types of extreme weather, including drought,
precipitation, heat, and snowstorms (also tornadoes, where links are unclear
and the jury is still out); and pages (from 2011) on extreme weather in the
US Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest, with references.
This is a complex but easy-to-navigate source of information and articles
about many signals for a changing climate, including a wide variety of extreme
weather events as well as such things as bark beetles, thawing permafrost,
atmospheric rivers, and much more.
Our Changing Climate
National Climate Assessment, 2014
This chapter of the authoritative NCA report (downloadable as text and quickly
accessible on the internet) includes readable sections on extreme weather,
hurricanes, heavy downpours, and more.