The Economist (May 5, 2023) – Hurricanes are among the most dangerous natural phenomena on earth, causing billions of dollars of damage and destroying lives every year. But what turns a peaceful patch of ocean into the planet’s most destructive force, and how is this process being affected by climate change?
Video timeline:00:00 – What are tropical cyclones? 00:46 – The history of tropical cyclones 02:06 – How do they form? 04:33 – What happens when they reach land? 07:13 – What is the impact of climate change?
DW News (April 2, 2023) – At least 21 people have been killed and many more injured as storms batter the South and Midwest. Authorities in Arkansas have declared an emergency after multiple tornadoes tore through the state.
Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms in warm, moist, unstable air along and ahead of cold fronts. Such thunderstorms also may generate large hail and damaging winds. When intense springtime storm systems produce large, persistent areas that support tornado development, major outbreaks can occur.
The Independent (March 28, 2023) – The tiny Pacific island state of Vanuatu was hit by two category-four cyclones and two earthquakes over three days this month, in a devastating onslaught that destroyed homes, cut power, and impacted 80 per cent of the population.
Scientists say global heating is already making major tropical cyclones like those that hit Vanuatu more frequent. Under moderate and worst-case climate scenarios, the country is expected to lose around 20-25 per cent of its GDP from natural disasters each year, according to a recent UN report. Later this month Vanuatu’s proposal for a top international court to clarify the obligations of states to tackle climate change and the consequences of not doing so under international law will be put to a vote at the United Nations.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Harborside Port Vila, the nation’s capital and economic center, is on the island of Efate. The city is home to the Vanuatu National Museum, which explores the nation’s Melanesian culture.
ABC News In-depth (March 23, 2023) – Somalia is one of the most dangerous places on earth. Almost two decades of conflict with the al-Qaeda backed terrorist group al-Shabaab has taken a huge toll on the country. Now Somalia is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.
“People say that this is the worst drought in 40 years, but that’s wrong,” says Adam Abdelmoula, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia. “This is the worst drought in Somalia’s history, period.”
With the world distracted by the war in Ukraine, the crisis is escalating away from the public gaze. This week on Foreign Correspondent reporter Stephanie March and producer/cinematographer Matt Davis travel to Somalia where makeshift camps have become home to more than a million hungry children and their families.
There, they meet mothers with babies who have walked for days without food and very little water. They hear incredible stories of courage and survival in a landscape that is unforgiving and unsafe. And they also face their own safety problems when their security team worries al-Shabaab has been told of their whereabouts.
As the Somali government fights back against al-Shabaab, another threat, which they have no control over, is driving the extreme weather: climate change. In the midst of this turmoil, the Foreign Correspondent team meets extraordinary people who are determined to make their story one of survival.
The Economist (February 2, 2023) – As carbon emissions change the chemistry of the seas, ocean acidification threatens marine life and human livelihoods. How worried should you be about climate change’s so-called “evil twin”?
Video timeline: 00:00 The other carbon problem 00:50 How does the ocean’s deepest point reveal its past? 02:55 Why are baby oysters dying? 04:08 Is the ocean acidic? 05:21 What is causing ocean acidification? 06:01 Why are corals dissolving? / Will deep sea ecosystems survive? 08:35 A threat to human livelihoods 10:42 What are the ‘potato chips of the sea’? 12:04 What is the solution?
NASA Goddard (December 2022) – NASA is developing the Earth System Observatory, the core of which is five satellite missions providing critical data on climate change, severe weather and other natural hazards, wildfires, and global food production.
These observations will address the most pressing questions about our changing planet. Taken together as a single Observatory, NASA will have a holistic, 3D view of Earth to better understand how our planet’s complex systems work together and improve our capability to predict how our climate may change.
NASA’s Open Source Science strategy is the key to bringing the data from these missions together into a single observatory to help understand the earth as a system and accelerate our ability to use this understanding. These observations will better inform decision-makers on how our planet is changing, with greater precision on previously unimaginable scales – from entire continents down to individual trees, from atmosphere to bedrock.
Princeton University (December 13, 2022) – Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces interact and combine in powerful, yet often unseen, ways as part of a complex planetary system that determines the climate.
Over many decades, researchers at Princeton University have played a leading role in the development of advanced computational models that simulate interactions among these elements to inform an understanding of future climate scenarios under varying conditions.
In this video, climate scientists Gabe Vecchi and Laure Resplandy discuss how computational models are used to project future climate scenarios and inform mitigation strategies.
Níłtsą́: the Navajo word for ‘rain’. Two years in the making. Almost 80 total days of chasing. Tens of thousands of miles driven. All packed into 12 minutes of the best storms and moments from the 2021/22 monsoon in Arizona. These films are my entire heart and passion for what I do.
Sometimes I’m so tired I don’t even want to chase, and I have to MAKE myself get into the truck and start driving. And it’s almost always worth it. One of my supporters on Patreon answered my call for a possible new name for the series. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, and it would take something special to get me to do it. Leonard’s wife suggested Niltsa, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a gorgeous word.
Storm surge is the deadliest part of a hurricane. Discover what causes this effect, and which regions are most at risk.
Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm. The impact on surge of the low pressure associated with intense storms is minimal in comparison to the water being forced toward the shore by the wind. Wind and Pressure Components of Hurricane Storm Surge
The maximum potential storm surge for a particular location depends on a number of different factors. Storm surge is a very complex phenomenon because it is sensitive to the slightest changes in storm intensity, forward speed, size (radius of maximum winds-RMW), angle of approach to the coast, central pressure (minimal contribution in comparison to the wind), and the shape and characteristics of coastal features such as bays and estuaries.