tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/weather1 weather news from mongabay.com 2014-09-24T18:37:04Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13828 2014-09-24T18:30:00Z 2014-09-24T18:37:04Z Towards the poles: tropical cyclones on the move <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-cyclone150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you thought your relatively northerly or southerly location sheltered you from Mother Nature’s worst storms, think again. For years we have known that the tropics are expanding towards the poles. However, there is something decidedly destructive accompanying that shifting warm weather: tropical cyclones. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13276 2014-05-23T12:57:00Z 2014-05-23T13:04:59Z Extreme cold and drought in U.S. linked to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0522-drought2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The U.S. Midwest and Northeast experienced one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record this past season. This might seem contrary to warming trends forecast by climate scientists, but a new analysis released today in <i>Science</i> points out that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions may actually have contributed to the well-below average temperatures seen in parts of the U.S. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.966817 163.493459 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12537 2013-12-18T14:11:00Z 2013-12-18T14:31:07Z World suffers warmest November on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.nov201311.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month was the warmest November on record, according to new analysis from the NOAA. Temperatures were 0.78 degrees Celsius (1.40 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average November in the 20th Century. Global temperatures are on the rise due to climate change caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, but also by deforestation and land-use change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12342 2013-11-08T20:34:00Z 2013-11-10T03:17:34Z Amazon deforestation could cause droughts in California <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1108-amazon-rainfall150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Complete deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could reduce rainfall in the Pacific Northwest by up to 20 percent and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by up to 50 percent, suggests new research published in the <i>Journal of Climate</i>. The study is based on high resolution computer modeling that stripped the Amazon of its forest cover and assessed the potential impact on wind and precipitation patterns. While the scenario is implausible, it reveals the global nature of the ecological services afforded by the world's largest rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12314 2013-11-04T22:13:00Z 2013-11-04T22:31:50Z Deforestation may hurt U.S. agriculture, affect monsoon cycle <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104-impacts-of-deforestation-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unchecked deforestation will have far-reaching impacts on temperature, rainfall, and monsoon cycles in regions well outside the tropics, affecting agriculture and water availability, warns a new report published by Greenpeace International. The report is a synthesis of dozens of recent scientific papers that assess the effects of forest cover loss on weather patterns, local climate, and agricultural productivity. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12188 2013-10-11T16:28:00Z 2013-10-11T16:36:51Z Sea and storm: coastal habitats offer strongest defense <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1011kimbrough150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surging storms and rising seas threaten millions of U.S. residents and billions of dollars in property along coastlines. The nation's strongest defense, according to a new study by scientists with the Natural Capital Project at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, comes from natural coastal habitats. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12126 2013-09-25T16:27:00Z 2013-09-25T16:34:20Z Climate change to hurt children most Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday. And food prices are likely to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11445 2013-05-16T17:17:00Z 2013-05-16T17:39:50Z Scientists have reached an overwhelming consensus on human-caused climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0516.High_Park_Wildfire_Arapaho_and_Roosevelt_National_Forests_June_10,_2012.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite outsized media and political attention to climate change deniers, climate scientists long ago reached a consensus that not only is climate change occurring, but it's largely due to human actions. A new study in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i> further strengthens this consensus: looking at 4,000 peer-reviewed papers researchers found that 97 percent of them supported anthropogenic (i.e. human caused) global warming. Climate change denialists, many of them linked to fossil fuel industries, have tried for years&#8212;and often successfully&#8212;to undercut action on mitigating climate change through carefully crafted misinformation campaigns. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11391 2013-05-08T15:48:00Z 2013-05-08T19:11:13Z Featured video: How climate change is messing with the jetstream Weather patterns around the globe are getting weirder and weirder: heat waves and record snow storms in Spring, blasts of Arctic air followed by sudden summer, record deluges and then drought. Jeremy Hance 80.118564 -172.324226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11373 2013-05-06T13:58:00Z 2014-07-06T22:13:46Z 'Suffering...without witnesses': over a quarter of a million people perished in Somali famine <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0506.VOA_Heinlein_-_Somali_refugees_September_2011_-_09.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report estimates that 258,000 people died in 2011 during a famine in Somalia, the worst of such events in 25 years and a number at least double the highest estimations during the crisis. Over half of the victims, around 133,000, were children five and under. The report, by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), argues that the international community reacted too late and too little to stem the mass starvation brought on by government instability, conflict, high food prices, and failed rains, the last of which has been linked to climate change by some scientists. Jeremy Hance 2.569939 45.194091 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11331 2013-05-01T17:59:00Z 2013-05-06T13:21:00Z Sugarcane production impacting local climate in Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0501.sugarcanetemps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intensification of Brazil's sugarcane industry in response to rising demand for sugar-based ethanol could have impacts on the regional climate reports a new study by researchers from Arizona State University, Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science. Following the conversion of cerrado grasslands into sugarcane in Brazil, a recent study in Geophysical Research Letters found local cooling that approached 1 degree Celsius during the growing season and maximum local warming near 1 degree Celsius post-harvest. Jeremy Hance -23.574057 -46.522522 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11206 2013-04-10T16:46:00Z 2013-04-10T17:00:11Z Hate flying? climate change will make it even rougher <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0410.800px-Air_Berlin_B737-700_Dreamliner_D-ABBN.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change will lead to bumpier flights caused by increased mid-air turbulence, according to an analysis by scientists of the impact of global warming on weather systems over the next four decades. The increasing air turbulence results from the impact of climate change on the jet streams, the fast, mile-wide winds that whistle round the planet at the same altitude as airliners. The shifting of the jet stream over Europe has also been blamed for the UK's wash-out summer in 2012 and frozen spring this year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11150 2013-04-02T16:37:00Z 2014-02-28T10:06:52Z Proposed coal plant threatens Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0402.Philippine-Cockatoo-photo-Peter-Widmann,-kfi.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One kilometer off the Philippine island of Palawan lies the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary; here forest grows unimpeded from a coral island surrounded by mangroves and coral reefs. Although tiny, over a hundred bird species have been recorded on the island along with a major population of large flying foxes, while in the waters below swim at least 130 species of coral fish, three types of marine turtles, and that curious-looking marine mammal, dugongs. Most importantly, perhaps, the island is home to the world's largest population of Philippine cockatoos (Cacatua haematuropygia), currently listed as Critically Endangered. But, although uninhabited by people, Rasa Island may soon be altered irrevocably by human impacts. Jeremy Hance 9.22276 118.443933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10789 2013-01-30T17:19:00Z 2013-01-30T18:44:49Z Controversial research outlines physics behind how forests may bring rain <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1962.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took over two-and-a-half-years for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics to finally accept a paper outlining a new meteorological hypothesis in which condensation, not temperature, drives winds. If proven correct, the hypothesis could have massive ramifications on global policy&#8212;not to mention meteorology&#8212;as essentially the hypothesis means that the world's forest play a major role in driving precipitation from the coast into a continent's interior. The theory, known as the biotic pump, was first developed in 2006 by two Russian scientists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva of the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics, but the two have faced major pushback and delays in their attempt to put the theory before the greater scientific community. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10686 2013-01-14T17:35:00Z 2013-01-14T17:52:21Z Climate change already pummeling U.S. according to government report Climate change is on the march across the U.S. according to a new draft report written by U.S. government scientists with input from 240 experts. It documents increasing and worsening extreme weather, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification among other impacts. Released Friday for public review, the report will be officially launched later this year or early in 2014. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10657 2013-01-08T23:44:00Z 2013-01-09T01:51:43Z 2012 was America's warmest year on record 2012 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous U.S. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10604 2012-12-21T17:55:00Z 2012-12-21T19:24:40Z Lessons From Sandy: extreme weather will be the new normal In a recent forum held at the Harvard School of Public Health four expert panelists discussed the most important lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10591 2012-12-18T20:20:00Z 2012-12-19T03:33:57Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2012 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/us/maui/150/maui_130.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Below is a quick review of some of the biggest environmental stories of 2012. The 'top stories' are listed in no particular order. Climate change, overpopulation, consumption, and ecological destruction is pushing planet Earth toward a tipping point according to a major study in Nature released over the summer. This could result in a new 'planetary state' that would be far harsher and bleaker than the current one (beginning around 12,000 years ago), which saw the rise and success of human society. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10405 2012-11-14T21:02:00Z 2012-11-14T21:29:01Z Obama breaks climate silence at press conference At a news conference today, a question by New York Times reporter Mark Landler pushed President Obama to speak at some length about climate change. In his answer, Obama re-iterated his acceptance of climate science and discussed how progress on tackling climate change might proceed in his second term, though he also noted that he wouldn't put action on the climate ahead of the economy. President Obama made a small reference to climate change in his victory speech following his historic re-election last Tuesday, but his answer today was the most the president has talked about the issue at any length since at least Hurricane Sandy. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10351 2012-11-01T15:15:00Z 2012-11-02T16:16:49Z From 'fertilizer to fork': food accounts for a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions Growing, transporting, refrigerating, and wasting food accounts for somewhere between 19-29 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, according to a new analysis by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). In hard numbers that's between 9.8 and 16.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than double the fossil fuel emissions of China in the same year. Over 80 percent of food emissions came from production (i.e. agriculture) which includes deforestation and land use change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10322 2012-10-29T17:59:00Z 2012-10-30T12:31:19Z How climate change may be worsening Hurricane Sandy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/sandy_vir_2012302_lrg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While scientists are still debating some fundamental questions regarding hurricanes and climate change (such as: will climate change cause more or less hurricanes?), there's no debating that a monster hurricane is now imperiling the U.S. East Coast. A few connections between a warmer world and Hurricane Sandy can certainly be made, however: rising sea levels are likely to worsen storm surges; warmer waters bring more rain to increase flooding; and hotter temperatures may allow the hurricane to push both seasonal and geographic boundaries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10253 2012-10-10T15:31:00Z 2012-10-10T15:51:57Z Over 70 percent of Americans: climate change worsening extreme weather According to a new poll, 74 percent of Americans agree that climate change is impacting weather in the U.S., including 73 percent who agreed, strongly or somewhat, that climate change had exacerbated record high temperatures over the summer. The findings mean that a large majority of Americans agree with climatologists who in recent years have found increasingly strong evidence that climate change has both increased and worsened extreme weather events. Jeremy Hance 38.897596 -77.036437 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10179 2012-09-19T23:01:00Z 2012-09-20T13:53:29Z Arctic sea ice is 'toast' as old record shattered Some twenty days after breaking the record for the lowest sea ice extent, the Arctic sea ice has hit a new rock bottom and finally begun its seasonal recovery. In the end, the Arctic sea ice extent fell to just 3.4 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles) when only a few months ago scientists were wondering if it would break the 4 million square kilometers. The speed of the sea ice decline due to climate change has outpaced all the computer models, overrun all expert predictions, and shocked even the gloomiest scientists. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10121 2012-09-12T14:09:00Z 2012-09-12T19:26:40Z NASA image shows why San Francisco is foggy The short answer to why San Francisco, California is foggy? The Pacific Ocean's marine layer. A new image by NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite shows the marine layer&#8212;cool, heavy air produced by a colder ocean surface meeting warmer air&#8212;encroaching on the metropolis. Western winds push the marine layer over the city, which brings dense cloud cover over the city, and often engulfs buildings, bridges, and people in fog. Jeremy Hance 37.784554 -122.424831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10100 2012-09-06T00:13:00Z 2012-09-06T00:51:33Z Amazon deforestation could trigger drop in rainfall across South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/colombia/150/colombia_0727.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation could cause rainfall across the Amazon rainforest to drop precipitously, warns a new study published in the journal <i>Nature</i>. Using a computer model that accounts for forest cover and rainfall patterns, Dominick Spracklen of the University of Leeds and colleagues estimate that large-scale deforestation in the Amazon could reduce basin-wide rainfall 12 percent during the wet season and 21 percent in the dry season by 2050. Localized swings would be greater. Rhett Butler -3.946461 -53.718567 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10085 2012-09-04T17:31:00Z 2012-09-04T17:32:20Z Rainforest fungi, plants fuel rainfall Salt compounds released by fungi and plants in the Amazon rainforest have an important role in the formation of rain clouds, reports research published in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10069 2012-08-28T16:45:00Z 2012-12-02T22:25:08Z Private reserve safeguards newly discovered frogs in Ecuadorian cloud forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/N.-lasgralariasmb.lasgralarias.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although it covers only 430 hectares (1,063 acres) of the little-known Chocó forest in Ecuador, the private reserve las Gralarias in Ecuador is home to an incredible explosion of life. Long known as a birder's paradise, the Reserva las Gralarias is now making a name for itself as a hotspot for new and endangered amphibians, as well as hundreds of stunning species of butterfly and moth. This is because the reserve is set in the perfect place for evolution to run wild: cloud forest spanning vast elevational shifts. "The pacific slope cloud forests [...] are among the most endangered habitats in the world," explains Reserva las Gralarias' founder, Jane Lyons, in a recent interview with mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 0.00412 -78.788681 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10065 2012-08-27T18:33:00Z 2012-10-31T15:54:56Z Sea ice falls to record low with over two weeks of melting left One of the most visible impacts of climate change&#8212;melting summer sea ice in the Arctic&#8212;just hit a new milestone. Scientists with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) have declared that this year's Arctic sea ice extent dipped below the previous record set in 2007 as of yesterday. The record is even more notable, however, as it occurred more than a fortnight before the Arctic's usual ice melt season ends, meaning the old record will likely not just be supplanted, but shattered. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10050 2012-08-22T14:50:00Z 2012-08-22T15:45:50Z Arctic sea ice approaches another record melt Sea ice extent in the Arctic is very near to beating the previous record low set in 2007, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. Researchers told Reuters that they expect the record to be beaten by the end of month, well over a week before the melt season ends in the frozen north. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9978 2012-08-08T18:35:00Z 2012-08-08T19:02:17Z July 2012: hottest month in U.S. history <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/YTD_allyears_Jul2012.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month was not only the hottest July in U.S. weather history, but the hottest month ever recorded in the contiguous U.S, besting a record struck in July 1936 during the Dust Bowl, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The average temperature last month over the contiguous U.S. was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average. Making matters worse, crippling drought continued to spread over 63 percent of the lower 48 states. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9962 2012-08-05T17:53:00Z 2012-12-02T22:37:55Z Extreme heatwaves 50 to 100 times more likely due to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/708px-Canicule_Europe_2003.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent rise in deadly, debilitating, and expensive heatwaves was caused by climate change, argues a new statistical analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Climatologists found that extreme heatwaves have increased by at least 50 times during the last 30 years. The researchers, including James Hansen of NASA, conclude that climate change is the only explanation for such a statistical jump. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9896 2012-07-24T16:06:00Z 2012-07-24T16:06:14Z Featured video: climate change bringing on the extremes Focusing on extreme weather events in the U.S. this summer, a new compilation video highlights the connection between climate change and increasing and worsening extremes, such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9832 2012-07-12T20:55:00Z 2012-07-12T21:28:04Z Deja vu: U.S. undergoes hottest 12 months on record...again and again According to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Climatic Data Center, the last twelve months have been the warmest on record for the contiguous United States. This record, set between July 2011 through June 2012, beat the last consecutive twelve month record set only a month earlier between June 2011 and May 2012, which in turn beat the previous record holder, you guessed it: May 2011 through April 2012. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9813 2012-07-11T18:58:00Z 2012-07-11T19:20:24Z Climate change increased the probability of Texas drought, African famine, and other extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/drought.map.us.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is here and its increasing the chances for crazy weather, according to scientists. A prestigious group of climatologists have released a landmark report that makes the dramatic point that climate change is impacting our weather systems&#8212;and in turn our food crops, our economies, and even our lives&#8212;here-and-now. The new report in the American Meteorological Society is first of what is intended to be an annual offering that will attempt to tease out the connections between climate change and individual extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9806 2012-07-10T17:38:00Z 2012-07-10T17:56:56Z As U.S. sees record heat, extreme weather pummels 4 continents <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/666359main_20120709-russia-label_946-710.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not only the U.S. that has experienced record-breaking extreme weather events recently, in the last couple months extreme weather has struck around the world with startling ferocity. In addition to the much-covered heatwaves, wildfires, and droughts in the U.S., killer floods struck India, the worst drought yet recorded plagued South Korea, and massive forest fires swept through Siberia to name just a few. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9763 2012-07-02T14:09:00Z 2012-07-07T10:29:31Z Scientist: 'no doubt' that climate change is playing a role in U.S. fires <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/uswest_omp_2012178.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A noted climate scientist says there is 'no doubt' that climate change is 'playing a role' in this year's series of record fires in the western U.S. A massive wildfire in Colorado has forced the evacuation of 36,000 people, destroyed over 300 homes, and killed two people. The devastation wrought by the Waldo Canyon Fire even prompted a visit form U.S. President Barack Obama. But this is not the only epic fire in the U.S. this year: less than a month before the Colorado disaster, New Mexico experienced its largest fire on record in Gila Nation Forest; the conflagration burned up 247,000 acres (100,000 hectares). Other major wildfires have occurred in Utah and Wyoming, as well as other parts of New Mexico and Colorado. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9662 2012-06-12T20:33:00Z 2012-06-12T21:00:37Z U.S. undergoes warmest spring on record Spring in the U.S. was the warmest on record, beating the past record-year (1910), by a stunning two degrees Fahrenheit, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The data also shows that the past 12 months--from June 2011 through May 2012--was the warmest on record in the contiguous U.S. as well. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9492 2012-05-10T14:21:00Z 2012-05-10T14:42:22Z U.S. undergoes warmest 12 months yet Americans would not be remiss in asking, "is it getting hot in here?" According to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Climatic Data Center, the last twelve months (from May 2011 through April 2012) were the warmest on record for the lower 48 U.S. states since record keeping began in the late 19th Century. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9484 2012-05-07T13:08:00Z 2012-05-07T13:33:10Z Pictures of the day: activists highlight personal impacts of climate change worldwide On Saturday, people around the world gathered to highlight the varied impacts of climate change on their lives. Organized by 350.org, the global day of action was a call to "connect the dots" between a warming Earth and extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and fires among other impacts. Nearly 1,000 events were held worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9474 2012-05-03T14:44:00Z 2012-05-03T15:18:04Z Thousands worldwide to "connect the dots" between climate change and extreme weather this weekend <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/521905_10150775362082708_12185972707_9547128_1684330308_n.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Saturday, May 5th vulnerable populations from the United States to Bangladesh will "connect the dots" between devastating extreme weather and climate change in a global day of action organized by 350.org. The nearly 1,000 events occurring in over half of the world's nations are meant to highlight to governments, media, and the public that climate change is impacting lives through an increase in number and intensity of devastating weather events, such as droughts, heatwaves, and floods. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9386 2012-04-11T14:11:00Z 2012-04-11T14:22:12Z U.S. suffers warmest March, breaking over 15,000 record temperatures March was the warmest ever recorded in the U.S. with record-keeping going back to 1895, according to new data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But the month wasn't just a record-breaker, it was shockingly aberrant: an extreme heatwave throughout much of the eastern and central U.S. shattered 15,272 day and nighttime records across the U.S. In all March 2012 was 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous warmest March in 1910, and an astounding 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average for March in the U.S. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9296 2012-03-22T13:57:00Z 2012-03-22T14:09:29Z NASA image: records shattered across U.S. as summer arrives before spring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/namericalsta_tmo_2012068.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Central U.S. and parts of Canada have seen over a thousand record temperatures shattered over the past week and a half, as an abnormally-long and bizarrely-hot warm spell moves across portions of North America. The direct cause of the weird weather is a blocked high pressure system, but as the U.S. experiences what may be the warmest March on record, meteorologists say climate change may be playing a role in the severity of the heatwave. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9207 2012-03-06T16:31:00Z 2012-03-06T16:41:58Z Tornado season likely to expand due to climate change Last Friday, around a hundred tornadoes left a wake of destruction in the U.S., killing 39 people to date and destroying entire towns. The tragedy hit hardest in Kentucky and Indiana and experts predict the weather-disaster will cost over $1 billion. But isn't this early for tornado season? Yes, say experts, and climatologists add that while research on tornadoes and climate change is currently in its infancy, it's possible, probably even likely, that climate change is expanding tornado season in the U.S. due to the earlier arrival of spring. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9088 2012-02-13T15:49:00Z 2012-02-13T16:09:17Z Arctic warms to highest level yet as researchers fear tipping points <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-Polar_bears_near_north_pole.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change, experienced its warmest twelve months yet. According to recent data by NASA, average Arctic temperatures in 2011 were 2.28 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded from 1951-1980. As the Arctic warms, imperiling its biodiversity and indigenous people, researchers are increasingly concerned that the region will hit climatic tipping points that could severely impact the rest of the world. A recent commentary in Nature Climate Change highlighted a number of tipping points that keep scientists awake at night. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9038 2012-02-01T17:36:00Z 2012-12-02T22:31:08Z New meteorological theory argues that the world's forests are rainmakers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/costa_rica/150/costa-rica_0737.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New, radical theories in science often take time to be accepted, especially those that directly challenge longstanding ideas, contemporary policy or cultural norms. The fact that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not vice-versa, took centuries to gain widespread scientific and public acceptance. While Darwin's theory of evolution was quickly grasped by biologists, portions of the public today, especially in places like the U.S., still disbelieve. Currently, the near total consensus by climatologists that human activities are warming the Earth continues to be challenged by outsiders. Whether or not the biotic pump theory will one day fall into this grouping remains to be seen. First published in 2007 by two Russian physicists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva, the still little-known biotic pump theory postulates that forests are the driving force behind precipitation over land masses. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8990 2012-01-23T12:30:00Z 2012-01-23T20:52:43Z NASA: 2011 ninth warmest year yet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/nasa.2011map.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite being a strong La Niña year, which tends to be cooler than the average year, 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record and the warmest La Niña yet, according to a global temperature analysis by NASA. To date, nine of the world's ten warmest years have occurred since 2000 according to data going back to 1880. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8889 2011-12-22T16:31:00Z 2011-12-22T17:42:42Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.NASA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets. With governments and corporations slow to tackle massive environmental problems, people have begun to assert themselves. Victories were seen on four continents: in Bolivia a draconian response to protestors embarrassed the government, causing them to drop plans to build a road through Tipnis, an indigenous Amazonian reserve; in Myanmar, a nation not known for bowing to public demands, large protests pushed the government to cancel a massive Chinese hydroelectric project; in Borneo a three-year struggle to stop the construction of a coal plant on the coast of the Coral Triangle ended in victory for activists; in Britain plans to privatize forests created such a public outcry that the government not only pulled back but also apologized; and in the U.S. civil disobedience and massive marches pressured the Obama Administration to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands from Canada to a global market. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8884 2011-12-21T19:02:00Z 2011-12-21T20:16:55Z Earth systems disruption: Does 2011 indicate the "new normal" of climate chaos and conflict? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-2011_Horn_of_Africa_famine_Oxfam_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The year 2011 has presented the world with a shocking increase in irregular weather and disasters linked to climate change. Just as the 2007 "big melt" of summer arctic sea ice sent scientists and environmentalists scrambling to re-evaluate the severity of climate change, so have recent events forced major revisions and updates in climate science. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8883 2011-12-21T17:35:00Z 2011-12-21T17:35:18Z Texas loses half a billion trees to epic drought A punishing drought in Texas has not only damaged crops, killed cattle, and led to widespread fires, but has also killed off a significant portion of the state's trees: between 100 and 500 million trees have perished to drought stress according to preliminary analysis. The estimate does not include tree mortality caused by fires. The drought has been linked to La Niña conditions, which causes drying in the Southern U.S., and has likely been exacerbated by global climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8873 2011-12-20T17:43:00Z 2011-12-20T17:46:32Z Philippines disaster may have been worsened by climate change, deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/611398main_20111216_washi3-MODIS-FULL.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the Philippines begins to bury more than a 1,000 disaster victims in mass graves, Philippine President Benigno Aquino has ordered an investigation into last weekend's flash flood and landslide, including looking at the role of illegal logging. Officials have pointed to both climate change and vast deforestation as likely exacerbating the disaster. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8819 2011-12-08T17:32:00Z 2011-12-09T13:38:36Z Evidence mounts that Maya did themselves in through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.com/images/yucatan/thumbnails/print/tulum_print_3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have garnered further evidence for a smoking gun behind the fall of the great Maya civilization: deforestation. At the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference, climatologist Ben Cook presented recent research showing how the destruction of rainforests by the Mayan ultimately led to declines in precipitation and possibly civilization-rocking droughts. While the idea that the Maya may have committed ecological-suicide through deforestation has been widely discussed, including in Jared Diamond's popular book Collapse, Cook's findings add greater weight to the theory. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8633 2011-11-02T16:41:00Z 2011-11-02T16:42:07Z Climate change already worsening weird, deadly, and expensive weather Unprecedented flooding in Thailand, torrential rains pummeling El Salvador, long-term and beyond-extreme drought in Texas, killer snowstorm in the eastern US&#8212;and that's just the last month or so. Extreme weather worldwide appears to be both increasing in frequency and intensity, and a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) connects the dots between wilder weather patterns and global climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8321 2011-08-24T17:02:00Z 2011-08-26T18:31:21Z Climate change may fuel increase in warfare, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/west-papua_0656a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Civil war is twice as likely in tropical countries during particularly hot and dry years, according to a new study in Nature. The researchers found that El Niño conditions, which generally cuts rainfall and raises temperatures in the tropics, may have played a factor in one-fifth of the world's total conflicts during the past 50 years. El Niño conditions occur every 3-7 years. While the study did not examine global climate change in conjunction with conflict, the study links a warmer world to a more conflict-prone one, as least in the tropics. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8319 2011-08-23T23:32:00Z 2011-09-06T13:21:24Z Reducing Disaster Risks: Progress and Challenges in the Caribbean Region Disaster management is a global policy problem with a critical land-use change component related to settlement patterns, deforestation, and agriculture development. This is further exacerbated by climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8234 2011-08-01T18:37:00Z 2011-08-16T20:12:36Z Chart: US suffers record drought An exceptional drought is still scorching major parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. A new report from the National Drought Mitigation Center finds that over July, nearly 12 percent of the US saw exceptional drought conditions, the highest record since monitoring began a dozen years. Exceptional drought is the worst possible on a 5-scale drought scale. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8213 2011-07-28T14:04:00Z 2011-07-29T17:26:38Z Adaptation, justice and morality in a warming world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/kenya_elf_0143a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If last year was the first in which climate change impacts became apparent worldwide&#8212;unprecedented drought and fires in Russia, megaflood in Pakistan, record drought in the Amazon, deadly floods in South America, plus record highs all over the place&#8212;this may be the year in which the American public sees climate change as no longer distant and abstract, but happening at home. With burning across the southwest, record drought in Texas, majors flooding in the Midwest, heatwaves everywhere, its becoming harder and harder to ignore the obvious. Climate change consultant and blogger, Brian Thomas, says these patterns are pushing 'prominent scientists' to state 'more explicitly that the pattern we're seeing today shows a definite climate change link,' but that it may not yet change the public perception in the US. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8185 2011-07-20T13:29:00Z 2011-07-20T13:31:51Z NASA image shows it snowing in driest place on earth A snowstorm engulfed parts of the driest place on earth this month: the Atacama desert in South America. Images captured by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra Satellite show parts of the landscape covered in white. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8090 2011-06-30T16:47:00Z 2011-06-30T16:48:47Z Worst drought in 60 years brings starvation fears to East Africa A prolonged drought in East Africa is bringing many of the region's impoverished to their knees: the World Food Program (WFP) is warning that 10 million people in the region are facing severe shortages. While not dubbed a famine yet, experts say it could become one. Meanwhile, a recent study by FEWS NET/USGS has revealed that the current drought is the worst in 11 of 15 East African regions since 1950-51. Worsening droughts are one of the predictions for the region as the world grows warmer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7894 2011-05-20T04:23:00Z 2011-05-20T16:23:33Z Climate change and deforestation pose risk to Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1047.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation and climate change will likely decimate much of the Amazon rainforest, says a new study by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre. Climate change and widespread deforestation is expected to cause warmer and drier conditions overall, reducing the resistance of the rainforest ecosystem to natural and human-caused stressors while increasing the frequency of extreme rainfall events and droughts by the end of this century. While climate models show that higher temperatures resulting from global climate change will threaten the resilience of the Amazon, current deforestation is an immediate concern to the rainforest ecosystem and is likely driving regional changes in climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7855 2011-05-12T15:32:00Z 2011-06-13T16:39:09Z Burning up: warmer world means the rise of megafires Megafires are likely both worsened by and contributing to global climate change, according to a new United Nations report. In the tropics, deforestation is playing a major role in creating giant, unprecedented fires. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7800 2011-04-28T19:07:00Z 2011-04-28T19:26:57Z Are US floods, fires linked to climate change? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/namericalsta_tmo_2011097.crop.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The short answer to the question of whether or not on-going floods in the US Midwest and fires in Texas are linked to a warming Earth is: maybe. The long answer, however, is that while it is difficult—some argue impossible—for scientists to link a single extreme weather event to climate change, climate models have long shown that extreme weather events will both intensify and become more frequent as the world continues to heat up. In other words, the probability of such extreme events increases along with global average temperature. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7666 2011-03-30T20:22:00Z 2011-03-30T20:25:33Z 'Huge reduction' of water from plants due to higher carbon levels As if ocean acidification and a warming world weren't enough, researchers have outlined another way in which carbon emissions are impacting the planet. A new study shows that higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have taken a toll on how much water vapor plants release, potentially impacting the rainfall and groundwater sources. A study in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS) has found that carbon dioxide levels over the past 150 years has reduced plants' spores, called stomata, by over one third (34%). This is important because stomata take in oxygen and carbon dioxide and release water vapor in a process dubbed 'transpiration'. Less stomata means less water driven into the atmosphere. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7652 2011-03-28T20:44:00Z 2011-03-28T20:46:55Z What's behind the 85% decline of mammals in West Africa's parks? A recent, well-covered study found that African mammals populations are in steep decline in the continent's protected areas. Large mammal populations over forty years have dropped by 59% on average in Africa [read an interview on the study here] and by 85% in west and central Africa, according to the study headed by Ian Craigie, which links the decline to continuing habitat degradation as well as hunting and human-wildlife conflict. However, a new opinion piece in mongabay.com's open access journal <i>Tropical Conservation Science</i> argues that this study missed an important factor in central and west Africa where the decline in mammals was the worst: rainfall. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7613 2011-03-21T00:41:00Z 2011-03-21T00:44:27Z Want water? save forests The UN-backed Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is urging nations to conserve their forests in a bid to mitigate rising water scarcity problem. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7139 2010-12-02T20:16:00Z 2010-12-02T20:19:06Z 'These are the facts': 2010 to be among top three hottest years Despite La Nina arriving at the end of the year—which bring cooler than average conditions—and bitter cold showing up recently in the Northern Hemisphere due to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), 2010 was smoldering enough worldwide that it will very likely be among the top three hottest years since record-keeping began 160 years ago, reports the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7125 2010-11-30T20:52:00Z 2010-11-30T20:54:05Z Climate change linked to 21,000 deaths in nine months Extreme weather events linked to climate change has caused the deaths of 21,000 people worldwide in the first nine months of 2010, according to Oxfam. This is already twice the casualties of 2009. In a new report <i>More than ever: climate talks that work for those that need them most</i>, the organization outlines the casualties of such weather-related disasters, for example devastating floods in Pakistan which killed 2,000 people and affected more than 20 million. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6860 2010-10-04T15:50:00Z 2010-10-07T20:30:49Z Obama science adviser wields evidence to undercut climate change denier US President Barack Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, took on climate change deniers in a comprehensive, data-heavy speech last month at the Kavli Science Forum in Oslo, Norway. Proclaiming that "the earth is getting hotter", Holden went on to enumerate on the causes of climate change (human impacts) and its overall effect (not good), discussing at length the science that underpins the theory of climate change. For environmentalists and international officials frustrated with the US's slow pace on combating climate change—which is decades behind Europe's and many other nations'—Holdren touted that the Obama Administration had made progress on the issue and stated that the administration plans to pursue legislation again after a new congress is elected. However, given current predictions that Republicans will pick up seats in November, comprehensive climate and energy legislation seems unlikely since historically the majority of the GOP has been against tackling climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6787 2010-09-21T17:29:00Z 2010-09-21T19:41:26Z An undamaged Amazon produces its own clouds and rain Researchers recently traveled to the remote Brazilian Amazon to investigate how clouds are formed and rain falls in an atmosphere unburdened by human-caused pollution. Studying the atmospheric aerosol particles, which impact cloud formation and particles, above a pristine forests, researchers discovered that when left alone the Amazon acts as its own 'bioreactor': clouds and precipitation are produced by the abundance of plant materials. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6684 2010-08-31T00:57:00Z 2010-09-19T17:41:06Z Cold snap may have killed millions of fish in Bolivia, poisoning rivers Although the last few months have been some of the warmest worldwide on record, including 17 countries reaching or breaking all-time highs, temperatures have not been above average everywhere. Cold air from Antarctica has brought chilling temperatures to parts of South America, including Bolivia where millions of fish and thousands of caimans, turtles, and river dolphins have perished according to <i>Nature Communications</i>. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6646 2010-08-19T21:17:00Z 2010-08-19T21:18:32Z Satellites show mangrove forest loss even worse than estimated <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/sulawesi6383-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New satellite data shows that human actions are wiping out mangrove forests even faster than previous bleak estimates. Conducted by the US Geological Survey and NASA, the researchers found that mangroves comprise 12.3 percent less area than previously estimated. In total, satellites reveal that mangrove forests cover approximately 53,290 square miles (137,760 square kilometers). "Our assessment shows, for the first time, the exact extent and distribution of mangrove forests of the world at 30 meters spatial resolution, the highest resolution ever," said Dr Chandra Giri from USGS. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6645 2010-08-19T20:14:00Z 2010-08-19T20:24:23Z NASA image captures one of the warmest Julys on record The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has found that the global average temperature of July 2010 was nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius) higher than average temperatures from July1951-1980. In fact, this July was tied for the warmest on record with July 2005 and 1998. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6598 2010-08-11T16:14:00Z 2010-08-11T16:45:44Z New NASA images reveal devastating impact of Russian fires <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Moscow.smoke.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new series of images released by NASA show the extent of smoke hovering over Moscow and Central European Russia, while another image measures the amount of carbon monoxide in the area, a gas which can produce a number of health problems. Russia is in the midst of a full-scale disaster as hundreds of forest and peatland fires are covering part of the world's largest nation in a thick cloud of smoke. Temperatures in Moscow and elsewhere have broken past heat records several times in the last month while a long drought combined with fires have led to the loss of 20 percent of Russia's grain crop, causing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ban grain exports. Russian officials say that it;s likely some 15,000 people to date have died from the disaster. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6594 2010-08-09T19:55:00Z 2010-08-09T21:07:21Z Summer from hell: seventeen nations hit all-time heat records The summer isn't over yet, but already seventeen nations have matched or beaten their all-time heat records. According to Jeff Masters' WunderBlog, Belarus, the Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Qatar, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Chad, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Ascension Island, and the Solomon Islands have all equaled or broken their top temperature records this year. In addition, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Asia was taken in Pakistan at 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius); this incredible temperature still has to be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6590 2010-08-08T20:14:00Z 2010-08-08T20:16:57Z Officials point to Russian drought and Asian deluge as consistent with climate change Government officials are pointing to the drought and wildfires in Russia, and the floods across Central and East Asia as consistent with climate change predictions. While climatologists say that a single weather event cannot be linked directly to a warming planet, patterns of worsening storms, severer droughts, and disasters brought on by extreme weather are expected as the planet warms. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6548 2010-07-27T17:43:00Z 2010-07-27T17:50:39Z Record highs, forest fires, and ash-fog engulf Moscow Moscow and parts of Russia have been hit by record high temperatures and forest fires. Ashen fog from peat forests burning near Moscow has prompted officials to warn elderly and those with heart or bronchial problems to stay inside. Workers should be allowed a siesta to rest in the afternoon, as well, said the Russia's chief health official. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6322 2010-06-23T15:18:00Z 2010-06-23T15:22:25Z 2010 the second hottest year on record through May The first five months of 2010 have been the second warmest on record, according to data released by the University of Alabama Huntsville. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6168 2010-06-02T00:38:00Z 2010-06-02T10:14:27Z NASA satellite image reveals record low snow for the United States According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, snow cover retreated to its lowest extent ever recorded in North America by the end of this April. Snow cover was 2.2 million square kilometers below average. With records of snow extent beginning in 1967, this is the lowest in 43 years and the largest negative anomaly in the past 521 months. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5859 2010-03-22T21:42:00Z 2010-03-22T22:24:32Z El Niño in Venezuela: Hugo Chávez’s "Katrina" Moment? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/venezuela/150/v_angel_falls_02-600.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has been in power for more than ten years, during which time he has deflected numerous electoral challenges, a recall effort, a coup d’etat and even an oil lock out. A politically adroit statesman, he has demonstrated enormous staying power throughout all these political crises. Yet, Chávez’s luck may have finally run out: a devastating El Niño-linked drought has recently ravaged Venezuela and the government has been forced to undertake conservation measures for water and electricity. Hardly amused, some are holding Chávez responsible for the energy crunch and the drought could exact a heavy toll on the Venezuelan president in September’s legislative elections. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5779 2010-03-03T19:26:00Z 2010-03-03T19:57:44Z Healthy coral reefs produce clouds and precipitation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0303mexico_reef_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Twenty years of research has led Dr. Graham Jones of Australia's Southern Cross University to discover a startling connection between coral reefs and coastal precipitation. According to Jones, a substance produced by thriving coral reefs seed clouds leading to precipitation in a long-standing natural process that is coming under threat due to climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5771 2010-03-02T23:58:00Z 2010-03-03T01:37:14Z W Australia has hottest and driest summer on record Western Australia endured its hottest summer on record, according to the state weather bureau. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5415 2010-01-05T17:30:00Z 2013-07-07T23:24:37Z Chinese official links extreme snowstorm to global warming Bitter cold and snow have shut down Beijing after it received 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) of snow on Sunday, the largest snowfall since 1951, according to the <i>Sydney Morning Herald</i>. Guo Hu, the head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau linked the storm to global climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5365 2009-12-26T17:48:00Z 2009-12-26T18:03:26Z Record-breaking snow across the US and climate change Over the past few weeks the United States has been pounded by a number of big snow storms. A week ago Washington DC received 18 inches of snow, setting a number of records. Over Christmas, the middle of the country, from Texas to Minnesota was also hit by record amounts of snow. While snow fall over the East Coast and middle of the country in the United States in December is hardly unusual, a number of record amounts of precipitation may point to a larger shift in the climate. Scientists say that higher temperatures causes more water evaporation, which increases the chances of heavy precipitation events, such as floods and snowstorms. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5248 2009-12-09T00:05:00Z 2009-12-09T00:41:28Z Bangladesh tops list of most vulnerable countries to climate change According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable nation to extreme weather events, which many scientists say are being exacerbated by climate change. From 1990 to 2008, Bangladesh has lost 8,241 lives on average every year due to natural disasters. In addition, rising sea levels also threaten millions of Bangladeshis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4923 2009-09-01T23:59:00Z 2009-09-04T13:19:55Z Photos of 10 strongest storms of the 2000s NASA has released a collection of satellite images showing the strongest storms of each year over the past decade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4771 2009-07-28T23:45:00Z 2009-07-29T14:41:57Z Is El Niño back? Ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific have shifted into El Niño conditions, increasing the likelihood of anomalously dry conditions in Southeast Asia and other unusual weather patterns, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4471 2009-04-15T16:00:00Z 2009-04-15T16:36:22Z Mangroves save lives by softening cyclone’s blow <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/sulawesi6383-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1999 a super cyclone struck the eastern coast of India, leaving 10,000 people dead. At the time the Orissa cyclone, named after the Indian state which it battered, was the deadliest storm in India in over a quarter century. However, according to a new study published in <i>The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> the death toll would have been significantly higher if the mangrove forests buffeting the Indian villagers from the sea had not softened the cyclone’s blow. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4377 2009-03-16T23:36:00Z 2009-03-16T23:42:46Z Experts forecast probability of global warming tipping points The probability of Earth's climate passing a "tipping point" that could result in large impacts within the next two centuries is greater than 50 percent, according to research published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3560 2008-12-17T21:09:00Z 2008-12-18T00:58:11Z Arctic sea ice fell to the lowest volume on record in 2008 Arctic sea ice fell to the lowest volume &#8212; and second lowest extent &#8212; on record, according to the annual World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the Status of the Global Climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3352 2008-09-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Powerful hurricanes may be getting stronger due to warmer seas Warming climate is causing the strongest hurricanes to strengthen and more moderate storms to stay the same, claims a new study published in <i>Nature</i>. However the data on which research is based is already facing fierce criticism. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3354 2008-09-02T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Scientist forecast 4 Atlantic hurricanes in September Prominent hurricane researchers are forecasting five tropical storms in the Atlantic for September, including four hurricanes. Two of these are expected to be "major" &#8212; category 3 or greater. Retired Colorado State University climatologist William Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach, who has taken over Gray's role as lead hurricane forecaster, estimate that Atlantic storms in September will be twice as active as normal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3251 2008-08-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:02Z Global warming increases "extreme" rain storms Global warming is increasing the incidence of heavy rainfall at a rate greater than predicted by current climate models have predicted, reports a new study published in the journal <i>Science</i>. The findings suggest that storm damage from precipitation could worsen as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3041 2008-06-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:20Z Geology, climate links make Guiana Shield region particularly sensitive to change Soil and climate patterns in the Guiana Shield make the region particularly sensitive to environmental change, said a scientist speaking at a biology conference in Paramaribo, Suriname. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2803 2008-03-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:22Z U.S. flooding to continue well into spring Flooding in the American Midwest is likely to continue, said the U.S. National Weather Service. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2696 2008-02-25T14:30:00Z 2009-11-14T15:41:34Z Amazon rainfall linked to Atlantic Ocean temperature Climate models increasingly forecast a dire future for the Amazon rainforest. These projections are partly based on recent research that has linked drought in the Amazon to sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. As the tropical Atlantic warms, the southern Amazon -- the agricultural heartland of Brazil -- may see higher temperatures and less rainfall. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2760 2008-02-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:29Z 10% of China's forests destroyed in recent storms Winter snow storms in China have destroyed 10 percent of the country's forest resources according to Chinese state media. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2780 2008-02-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:31Z NASA: Rain falls more often during the week than weekends Storms in the southeastern United States generate more rainfall during the work week than on weekends, report NASA scientists. The pattern can be attributed to lower atmospheric pollution from humans on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Atmospheric particulates have been linked to rainfall. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2327 2007-09-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:42Z Flooding in India Leaves 3.5 million Homeless The Indian military has been evacuating thousands of people from Assam, a state in northeastern India, after Monsoon rains flooded rivers. So far, 3.5 million people have been directly affected by the floods, in a state of 27 million. A total of 2,000 villages have been completely submerged by the floods, in some of the worst flooding in years. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2338 2007-09-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:45Z Felix Death Toll Washes Up on Coastline Nicaraguan and Honduran officials have announced that upwards of 100 people are confirmed dead, and another 120 still unaccounted for after Hurricane Felix made landfall earlier this week. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2342 2007-09-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:46Z La Nina may be coming Scientists with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are predicting that another La Nina event is on its way, according to the latest monthly El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion. Rhett Butler