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 •  Weather pictures of the month: March 2015 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Spectacular Eruption From Volcán De Colima 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Volcán de Colima erupted again on the morning of March 27, and the explosion was all caught on film. This eruption was one of the biggest we have yet seen from the volcano, sending ash plumes over 4km into the air. The eruption also unleashed a large pyroclastic flow onto the slopes. Credit: YouTube/webcamsdemexico
 

 •  EPA Chief: Keystone Won’t Be A 'Disaster for the Climate' 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy suggested on Monday that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not spell game over for the planet. "No, I don't think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate," McCarthy said when asked if the controversial oil -ands pipeline would be a climate disaster at an event hosted by Politico's Mike Allen. McCarthy went on to say, "Nor do I think there's any one solution to the climate-change ...
 

 •  VIRAL: Giant Ice Boulders Litter Canadian Shores 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

MARCH 30, 2015; 10:50 AM Giant mounds of ice and snow have washed up on the shores of the St Lawrence River in Quebec amid the first signs of Spring.
 

 •  Stormy Weather Leads to High Temps in St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

08:12AM ET 03.30.15 Meteorologist Jim Cantore goes over the timing of stormy weather that will result in warm weather ahead for some.
 

 •  Colorado city vows to be carbon neutral, defying partisan politics 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Copenhagen and Melbourne have committed to the most aggressive carbon reduction goals on the planet. Now those two cities _ homes to 4.5 million people _ have been joined by a perhaps unlikely companion on the fast track to carbon neutrality: the Colorado college town of Fort Collins, home to 150,000. This month, the city approved new targets to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. Those goals place Fort Collins among a handful...
 

 •  Chile: 17 killed, 20 missing after floods in desert region 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Chile's government said on Monday that 17 people have been killed and 20 are still missing after torrential...
 

 •  The Salton Sea: a time-bomb amid California drought 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

At first sight the Salton Sea looks putrid, with dead fish scattered among patches of fetid water in a vast salty lake in the middle of the Californian desert.
 

 •  Best Spots To Watch Spring Bloom 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Budget Travel's Firpo Cappiello stops by WUWA to talk about some of the best spots to see spring come into bloom.
 

 •  Reduced Air Pollution Promotes Improved Children's Lung Health, Study Finds 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Reduced pollution in the Los Angeles Basin has resulted in significantly better lung function for children today compared to children from the same communities...
 

 •  Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 2012, when the High Park Fire tore through a northern Colorado forest replete with dead trees left in the wake of a mountain pine beetle infestation, blame for the fire’s spread across 87,000 acres was often placed primarily on the beetles. The High Park Fire, which killed one person and destroyed 259 homes, and the attention to the beetles in its wake were part of the impetus for a new University of Colorado study showing that bark beetle infestations and the dead trees they leave behind have almost no effect on the amount of land burned in U.S. wildfires each year. A forest full of dead trees killed by the mountain pine beetle in the West. More than 4 million acres across the region have been affected by bark beetles since 1996. Credit: Tim Wilson/flickr Instead, the biggest factors influencing wildfire spread in the West are drought, possibly influenced by climate change, higher temperatures, and topography. That’s according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and scale of wildfires as temperatures warm in the coming decades. On average, wildfires burn more than twice the acreage they did 40 years ago, while the annual number of wildfires over 1,000 acres has doubled from 50 during an average year in the 1970s to more than 100 each year since 2002, Climate Central research shows. At the same time, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 4 million acres of forests in the West have been hit by bark beetle outbreaks since 1996, themselves by-products of climate change and drought. “There is pretty convincing evidence that in our subalpine forests across the West, drought is driving when we’re having wildfire,” the study’s lead author, University of Colorado-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Sarah Hart, said. By superimposing maps of public lands showing both wildfire activity and forests infested with mountain pine beetles, Hart’s team studied the land area affected by both during years of recent high fire activity in the 11 Western states. The researchers found that drought was the most significant factor driving the area of land that burned in wildfires during those years. Though bark beetle infestation and fire activity in Western forests both independently increased as temperates rose, Hart's team said its research shows that the annual land area burned has not increased in direct response to the bark beetle infestation. Previous research has shown that stands of dead trees killed by bark beetles can have an effect on wildfire behavior, but that effect depends on the severity of “fire weather,” and the level of the bark beetle outbreak, but may have little connection to the actual land area burned in a wildfire. Fire weather is the warm, dry, windy conditions that usually prompt the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning. During extreme fire weather in the West, vegetation is likely dry enough to fuel explosive burning regardless whether pine beetles have killed the trees in the path of the fire, according to the study. The work by Hart’s team builds upon other research published in the past decade showing that bark beetle outbreaks, which may be caused in part by drought, have little effect on wildfire activity in the West. Part of the 2012 High Park Fire burn area in Larimer County, Colo., an area of subalpine forest that had been infested by the mountain pine beetle. Credit: USDA/flicker Jeffrey Hicke, an associate professor of geography at the University of Idaho who co-authored previous research showing little connection between bark beetle infestations and wildfire, said the new study did not directly analyze the role of climate change in wildfire or discuss how beetles affect specific fire behavior. “In my opinion, this study did not address whether a beetle-affected stand has a higher probability of burning compared to a live stand,” Hicke said via email. “What the study did show is that beetle outbreaks are not a big effect on area burned, and that suggest that other factors are more important (vegetation type/quantity, topography, climate weather), which isn’t surprising.” It can be difficult for scientists to tease out recent effects of climate change on wildfire because forest management practices have changed in different ways across the West in recent decades, he said. However, scientists have a good understanding of the impact climate change can have on fuel moistures, length of burning season, and other factors affecting how forests burn, so continued climate change is expected to increase the land area burned in catastrophic wildfire, Hicke said. “There is an incredibly strong consensus amongst many forest ecologists that it’s really drought driven by climate change events that is the key driving factor for these fire events,” Colorado State University wildlife ecologist Barry Noon, who was a co-author of a 2012 study showing higher temperatures are driving both wildfires and the spread of bark beetles, said. The new study is consistent with much of the previous research pointing to drought as the driving force behind catastrophic wildfire. “When we have warm and dry conditions, fuels dry out enough that we have widespread fire regardless that we have mountain pine beetle-kill in the forest,” Hart said.
 

 •  Flood alerts issued in Kashmir as rivers cross danger mark 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Hundreds of Kashmiris in both India and Pakistan moved to higher ground Monday as rain-swollen rivers swamped parts of the disputed Himalayan region placed under an emergency flood alert just six months...
 

 •  Strong quakes strike off South Pacific islands: USGS 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>A series of strong earthquakes struck off the neighboring South Pacific Ocean states of Samoa and Tonga on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, just hours after a major tremor rattled Papua New Guinea to the west.</p>
 

 •  The Day an Ice Jam Reduced the Mighty Niagara Falls to a Trickle 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

On March 29, 1848, a massive ice jam reduced the mighty Niagara Falls to a trickle, a rare phenomenon that lasted for nearly 40 hours. The ice jam developed...
 

 •  Snow Melting 16 Days Earlier in Wyoming Mountains 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

The spring snowmelt now comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming's Wind River Range, a new study finds. The trend is...
 

 •  A carbonless year for Costa Rica 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a combination of hydropower, solar power, and geothermic energy, Costa Rica has managed to use no fossil fuels for the first 75 days of 2015.
 

 •  Montana wildfire expands, but evacuation lifted for ski area 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Dozens of firefighters battled a wind-fueled wildfire in southern Montana that prompted the shot-term evacuation of a ski lodge.
 

 •  Stunning images from this week in weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  An ancient technology is helping India’s “water man” save thousands of parched villages 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 1985, a 28-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh quit his government job, left his family and arrived in the dead of the night at a small village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Rajendra Singh, along with four companions from the Tarun Bharat Sangh, a non-profit that traces its origins to the University of Rajasthan, wanted to work in the […]
 

 •  Cherry blossoms around the world 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Media Contributing to ‘Hope Gap’ on Climate Change 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

News cycles tend to be dominated by horror and carnage — a recipe for depression that spills into climate change coverage, fueling what some experts call a ‘hope gap’ that can lead people to fret about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. 
 

 •  Allergy sufferers may pay price for spring's slow arrival in East 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Though springlike weather has been slow to arrive for much of the Eastern United States, allergy sufferers may soon pay the price for winter's unhurried retreat.</p>
 

 •  Another reason to love California high-speed rail: It's drought-friendly 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Despite what critics say, the project will encourage higher-density growth—and save precious water over the long term.
 

 •  Boston area expects a flood of claims after record winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

After the Big Dig-out, it's time for the Big Payout. Or will it be the Big Denial?New England's epic winter is on pace to produce a corresponding number of claims as thousands of homeowners seek to repair damage. Successive storms dumped 110 inches of snowfall in Boston alone, a record for an entire season."It's a part-time job just to navigate it all," says Cathy Schwarz, a Plymouth resident who is working with her insurer and repair companies after rooftop ice dams caused leaks in her house. "Everybody says you'll get through this, but all I can see is a house that's just not livable right now."The winter was so unusually severe that...
 

 •  Unrelenting winter has cities paying millions for pothole repairs 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Even though potholes seem to pop up out of nowhere as the weather steps out of winter, the time of year is no coincidence and the warmer weather that most people welcome comes with a steep cost to cities and car owners.</p>
 

 •  Best songs about weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  How Do Pillowcases Help During a Tornado 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

05:34AM ET 03.28.15 A project from the Red Cross is teaching youngsters how to get ready in case of a tornado.
 

 •  Republicans With College Degrees Are Less Likely to Worry About Global Warming 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

More education makes Democrats more concerned about climate, but among Republicans, it's the opposite. That's according to a Gallup poll released Thursday, which found that Republicans with a college degree are more likely to say that concern over climate change has been overblown than are Republicans with a high school degree or less. In contrast, college-educated Democrats are more likely than Democrats who have not graduated from college to worry ...
 

 •  Who Do Tornadoes Target Oklahoma? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

11:33AM ET 03.27.15 The Weather Channel severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes why it seems that central Oklahoma seems to be a tornado target.
 

 •  Japan Proposes Giant Sea Wall To Fight Tsunamis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Inland Boat, Fukushima Japan Steve Herman for VOA via Wikimedia Commons The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wiped out whole neighborhoods along Japan’s north eastern coast. Now, Japan is considering an extraordinary measure to protect against future tsunamis: a 250-mile long sea wall, four stories high. With a price tag of almost $7 billion, it pales in cost compared to the Bank of Japan’s $35 billion dollar estimate of damage from the earthquake alone.
 

 •  This Oakland Sculpture Changes Color to Suit the Weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Its chameleon surface is reportedly similar to currency's anticounterfeiting paint.
 

 •  Our Line Of Defense Against Sea Level Rise Is Melting Fast 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Antarctica David Stanley/Flickr CC by 2.0 Antarctica is a frozen, beautiful continent, that might not be completely frozen for much longer. 
 

 •  Eaglets hatch on webcam after harsh winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Two baby eagles emerged from their shells after their nest was buried in snow during incubation.
 

 •  Square ice: Has science perfected the snowflake? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a fascinating lab accident, researchers made square snowflakes, learning something new about water in the process. The snowflake is the ultimate embodiment of individuality in nature – each has an intricate and...
 

 •  Antarctica’s Icy ‘Doorstops’ Thin; Rising Seas At Risk 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Over the past two decades, the massive platforms of floating ice that dot the coast of Antarctica have been thinning and doing so at an increasing rate, likely at least in part because of global warming. Scientists are worried about its implications for significant sea level rise. Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Michael Studinger/NASA. The ice shelves — some of which are larger than California and tens to hundreds of yards thick — are the linchpins of the Antarctic ice sheet system, holding back the millions of cubic miles of ice contained in the glaciers that flow into them, like doorstops. As the ice sheets thin, the massive rivers of ice behind them can surge forward into the sea. Antarctica holds enough ice, if it all melted, to raise sea levels more than 200 feet. That would take hundreds to thousands of years, but the recent thinning of the ice shelves means that there has already been an increase in the rate of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise, and it’s accelerating. While it was known that many ice shelves were thinning and glaciers were flowing faster to sea, this study is “another in a series of really blockbuster studies” that uses satellite data to show just how much and where Antarctica is changing, Ted Scambos, a glaciologist with the National Snow &amp; Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said. Scambos who was not involved with the study. “There’s some very large changes that have added up,” study author Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, said. Delicate Balance The melting of ice shelves or the breaking off of icebergs aren’t themselves signs of climate change. They’re natural processes that help keep the mass of a glacier in balance: Snow that falls in the continent’s interior adds ice to the glacier, while ice shelf melt and iceberg calving keep the glacier in balance by losing about the same amount of ice that is added. The problem comes when the ice shelves lose more mass than the glaciers are gaining. “The ice shelves shouldn’t be losing volume if they’re in balance,” Fricker said. This balance is what Fricker and her graduate student Fernando Paolo were looking at when they stitched together 18 years of satellite data (from 1994 to 2012) from three overlapping European Space Agency missions that measured the volume of Antarctica’s ice shelves with radar altimetry. What they found was that the massive ice shelves were losing, on the whole, about 30 to 50 cubic miles of ice per year over that span. And in that period, the rate of ice loss accelerated by an average of 7 cubic miles per year. “So there’s a loss, but that loss is increasing,” said Fernando Paolo, the lead author of the study that was detailed in the March 27 issue of the journal Science. The study, all three scientists said, shows how crucial information on this kind of long timescale is for seeing the big picture of Antarctic melt; with a study that only lasts for a few years, “some of the ice shelves are not really responding in the way that they would over the long term,” Fricker said. ‘A Big Loss’ The story varies for specific glaciers and the different regions of Antarctica, with much more ice loss in West Antarctica than East Antarctica and for particular glaciers in the west. West Antarctica has been a major focus of south polar climate research, in part because of the clear signs of melt there as well as some spectacular ice shelf collapses in recent decades. Changes to the thickness and volume of Antarctica's ice shelves between 1994 and 2012. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Paolo, et al./Science As a whole, that half of the continent has seen a 70 percent increase in its average rate of loss from ice shelves, the satellite data showed. The Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea areas had particularly high rates of loss; while the two regions account for less than 20 percent of West Antarctica’s ice shelf area, they contributed more than 85 percent of the volume lost there over the study period. One particular glacier in the Amundsen embayment lost 18 percent of its thickness over the 18 years of the study. For an ice shelf that, like all the others, has been in place for hundreds of thousands of years, “that’s a big loss,” Paolo said. East Antarctica, meanwhile, has until recently been thought to be more stable, as its glaciers rest on land that is above sea level and the waters surrounding it are thought to be cooler. Recent research has showed that there is still much to learn about the susceptibility of the glaciers in East Antarctica, which holds much more ice than the west. Totten Glacier was recently shown to have channels in the seabed beneath it that would make it much more vulnerable to an influx of warm water than previously thought, though such warm water hasn’t yet been detected there. The satellite data in the new study showed that for the first part of the study period, East Antarctic glaciers gained mass overall, then that trend flat lined in the second half of the time period. At the level of individual glaciers, some have still been gaining mass, while others, like Totten, have thinned. The leveling off of the East Antarctic ice shelf rates suggests that more attention needs to be paid to the eastern half of the continent because “if you turn your back on the ice shelves that are not changing” then you might miss something if suddenly start to, Fricker said. ‘Boots on the Ice’ Having this kind of long-term record on Antarctic ice shelf thinning is key to understanding what processes are behind the thinning and how they might continue into the future. In West Antarctica, it is thought that most of the thinning is caused by warm waters that are eating away at the ice shelves from below, a consequence of changes in prevailing winds that is potentially linked to global warming. Paolo and Fricker said the data show the characteristic signature of this kind of melt, which happens at what is called the grounding line, or the point where the glacier last touches land and the ice shelf begins. Other recent studies examining glaciers have also bolstered this idea, and have even suggested that some glaciers in West Antarctica have reached a point where their retreat and melt is now irreversible. The picture is murkier in the east, in part because so much less work has been done there. This study shows, though, that East Antarctic ice shelves “are actually subject to large changes as well,” Paolo said. The biggest rates of ice loss seen in the Amundsen embayment imply that some of those ice shelves, if they continue at the same rates, could be gone within a century. Of course, “what’s going to happen 100 years from now, we cannot know,” Paolo said, which is why it’s so important to understand exactly “what are the causes, the mechanisms, behind the changes we see.” For that, you need what Scambos calls “boots on the ice” — missions that put researchers and equipment onto the ice shelves to get more detailed information about the forces pushing them around. That’s not an easy sell, because “the Antarctic environment is perhaps one of the most difficult environments to work,” Paolo said. But there are hopes that new satellite missions, along with remotely operated submarines and other technology can help build our knowledge of the forces at play in the southernmost continent. As this study makes clear, Scambos said, we need continuous monitoring of this environment because “we’re faced with a planet that is changing in ways we don’t want.
 

 •  'Magic Rabbit' Photographed For The First Time In 20 Years 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Clinging To A Precipice Li Weidong In remote northwest China, the cliffs of the Tian Shan mountains provide the last holdout for the Ili pika, a tiny rabbit relative with a shrinking habitat. The Ili pika was always a rare and elusive creature, and it’s becoming rarer. Last summer it was photographed for the first time in 20 years, and the adorable photos were published this month in National Geographic's China edition. Conservationist Li Weidong, the photographer, discovered the species in 1983. Since then, he’s documented the Ili pika’s decline. Analyzing tracks and droppings, Li and another scientist estimate that the Ili pika’s numbers dropped from 2,900 in the 1990s to 2,000 in 2005. There may be only 1,000 Ili pika left today. "I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered," Li told CNN. "If it becomes extinct in front of me, I'll feel so guilty." Climate change is believed to be the culprit behind the Ili pika’s demise. As mountaintop glaciers melt, the animals have to climb to higher and higher elevations to find a permanently snowy habitat. Soon they may have nowhere else to go. Though the IUCN lists the Ili pika as endangered, CNN notes that the animal is not included on China's List of Wildlife under Special State Protection. Nĭ Hăo, Ili Pika Li Weidong [National Geographic, CNN]
 

Dharamsala / Dharamshala Weather Forecast, Live Weather News


 •  Currently: Intermittent Clouds: 12C 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Currently in Dharamsala, IN: 12 °C and Intermittent Clouds
 

 •  3/31/2015 Forecast 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

High: 19 C Low: 9 C A thundershower in spots
 

 •  4/1/2015 Forecast 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

High: 18 C Low: 11 C Cloudy, a couple of t-storms
 

 •  The AccuWeather.com RSS Center 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

To discover additional weather feeds, visit the AccuWeather.com RSS Center at http://www.accuweather.com/en/downloads
 

Kullu Weather Forecast, Live Weather News


 •  Weather pictures of the month: March 2015 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Spectacular Eruption From Volcán De Colima 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Volcán de Colima erupted again on the morning of March 27, and the explosion was all caught on film. This eruption was one of the biggest we have yet seen from the volcano, sending ash plumes over 4km into the air. The eruption also unleashed a large pyroclastic flow onto the slopes. Credit: YouTube/webcamsdemexico
 

 •  EPA Chief: Keystone Won’t Be A 'Disaster for the Climate' 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy suggested on Monday that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not spell game over for the planet. "No, I don't think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate," McCarthy said when asked if the controversial oil -ands pipeline would be a climate disaster at an event hosted by Politico's Mike Allen. McCarthy went on to say, "Nor do I think there's any one solution to the climate-change ...
 

 •  VIRAL: Giant Ice Boulders Litter Canadian Shores 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

MARCH 30, 2015; 10:50 AM Giant mounds of ice and snow have washed up on the shores of the St Lawrence River in Quebec amid the first signs of Spring.
 

 •  Stormy Weather Leads to High Temps in St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

08:12AM ET 03.30.15 Meteorologist Jim Cantore goes over the timing of stormy weather that will result in warm weather ahead for some.
 

 •  Colorado city vows to be carbon neutral, defying partisan politics 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Copenhagen and Melbourne have committed to the most aggressive carbon reduction goals on the planet. Now those two cities _ homes to 4.5 million people _ have been joined by a perhaps unlikely companion on the fast track to carbon neutrality: the Colorado college town of Fort Collins, home to 150,000. This month, the city approved new targets to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. Those goals place Fort Collins among a handful...
 

 •  Chile: 17 killed, 20 missing after floods in desert region 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Chile's government said on Monday that 17 people have been killed and 20 are still missing after torrential...
 

 •  The Salton Sea: a time-bomb amid California drought 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

At first sight the Salton Sea looks putrid, with dead fish scattered among patches of fetid water in a vast salty lake in the middle of the Californian desert.
 

 •  Best Spots To Watch Spring Bloom 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Budget Travel's Firpo Cappiello stops by WUWA to talk about some of the best spots to see spring come into bloom.
 

 •  Reduced Air Pollution Promotes Improved Children's Lung Health, Study Finds 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Reduced pollution in the Los Angeles Basin has resulted in significantly better lung function for children today compared to children from the same communities...
 

 •  Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 2012, when the High Park Fire tore through a northern Colorado forest replete with dead trees left in the wake of a mountain pine beetle infestation, blame for the fire’s spread across 87,000 acres was often placed primarily on the beetles. The High Park Fire, which killed one person and destroyed 259 homes, and the attention to the beetles in its wake were part of the impetus for a new University of Colorado study showing that bark beetle infestations and the dead trees they leave behind have almost no effect on the amount of land burned in U.S. wildfires each year. A forest full of dead trees killed by the mountain pine beetle in the West. More than 4 million acres across the region have been affected by bark beetles since 1996. Credit: Tim Wilson/flickr Instead, the biggest factors influencing wildfire spread in the West are drought, possibly influenced by climate change, higher temperatures, and topography. That’s according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and scale of wildfires as temperatures warm in the coming decades. On average, wildfires burn more than twice the acreage they did 40 years ago, while the annual number of wildfires over 1,000 acres has doubled from 50 during an average year in the 1970s to more than 100 each year since 2002, Climate Central research shows. At the same time, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 4 million acres of forests in the West have been hit by bark beetle outbreaks since 1996, themselves by-products of climate change and drought. “There is pretty convincing evidence that in our subalpine forests across the West, drought is driving when we’re having wildfire,” the study’s lead author, University of Colorado-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Sarah Hart, said. By superimposing maps of public lands showing both wildfire activity and forests infested with mountain pine beetles, Hart’s team studied the land area affected by both during years of recent high fire activity in the 11 Western states. The researchers found that drought was the most significant factor driving the area of land that burned in wildfires during those years. Though bark beetle infestation and fire activity in Western forests both independently increased as temperates rose, Hart's team said its research shows that the annual land area burned has not increased in direct response to the bark beetle infestation. Previous research has shown that stands of dead trees killed by bark beetles can have an effect on wildfire behavior, but that effect depends on the severity of “fire weather,” and the level of the bark beetle outbreak, but may have little connection to the actual land area burned in a wildfire. Fire weather is the warm, dry, windy conditions that usually prompt the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning. During extreme fire weather in the West, vegetation is likely dry enough to fuel explosive burning regardless whether pine beetles have killed the trees in the path of the fire, according to the study. The work by Hart’s team builds upon other research published in the past decade showing that bark beetle outbreaks, which may be caused in part by drought, have little effect on wildfire activity in the West. Part of the 2012 High Park Fire burn area in Larimer County, Colo., an area of subalpine forest that had been infested by the mountain pine beetle. Credit: USDA/flicker Jeffrey Hicke, an associate professor of geography at the University of Idaho who co-authored previous research showing little connection between bark beetle infestations and wildfire, said the new study did not directly analyze the role of climate change in wildfire or discuss how beetles affect specific fire behavior. “In my opinion, this study did not address whether a beetle-affected stand has a higher probability of burning compared to a live stand,” Hicke said via email. “What the study did show is that beetle outbreaks are not a big effect on area burned, and that suggest that other factors are more important (vegetation type/quantity, topography, climate weather), which isn’t surprising.” It can be difficult for scientists to tease out recent effects of climate change on wildfire because forest management practices have changed in different ways across the West in recent decades, he said. However, scientists have a good understanding of the impact climate change can have on fuel moistures, length of burning season, and other factors affecting how forests burn, so continued climate change is expected to increase the land area burned in catastrophic wildfire, Hicke said. “There is an incredibly strong consensus amongst many forest ecologists that it’s really drought driven by climate change events that is the key driving factor for these fire events,” Colorado State University wildlife ecologist Barry Noon, who was a co-author of a 2012 study showing higher temperatures are driving both wildfires and the spread of bark beetles, said. The new study is consistent with much of the previous research pointing to drought as the driving force behind catastrophic wildfire. “When we have warm and dry conditions, fuels dry out enough that we have widespread fire regardless that we have mountain pine beetle-kill in the forest,” Hart said.
 

 •  Flood alerts issued in Kashmir as rivers cross danger mark 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Hundreds of Kashmiris in both India and Pakistan moved to higher ground Monday as rain-swollen rivers swamped parts of the disputed Himalayan region placed under an emergency flood alert just six months...
 

 •  Strong quakes strike off South Pacific islands: USGS 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>A series of strong earthquakes struck off the neighboring South Pacific Ocean states of Samoa and Tonga on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, just hours after a major tremor rattled Papua New Guinea to the west.</p>
 

 •  The Day an Ice Jam Reduced the Mighty Niagara Falls to a Trickle 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

On March 29, 1848, a massive ice jam reduced the mighty Niagara Falls to a trickle, a rare phenomenon that lasted for nearly 40 hours. The ice jam developed...
 

 •  Snow Melting 16 Days Earlier in Wyoming Mountains 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

The spring snowmelt now comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming's Wind River Range, a new study finds. The trend is...
 

 •  A carbonless year for Costa Rica 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a combination of hydropower, solar power, and geothermic energy, Costa Rica has managed to use no fossil fuels for the first 75 days of 2015.
 

 •  Montana wildfire expands, but evacuation lifted for ski area 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Dozens of firefighters battled a wind-fueled wildfire in southern Montana that prompted the shot-term evacuation of a ski lodge.
 

 •  Stunning images from this week in weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  An ancient technology is helping India’s “water man” save thousands of parched villages 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 1985, a 28-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh quit his government job, left his family and arrived in the dead of the night at a small village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Rajendra Singh, along with four companions from the Tarun Bharat Sangh, a non-profit that traces its origins to the University of Rajasthan, wanted to work in the […]
 

 •  Cherry blossoms around the world 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Media Contributing to ‘Hope Gap’ on Climate Change 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

News cycles tend to be dominated by horror and carnage — a recipe for depression that spills into climate change coverage, fueling what some experts call a ‘hope gap’ that can lead people to fret about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. 
 

 •  Allergy sufferers may pay price for spring's slow arrival in East 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Though springlike weather has been slow to arrive for much of the Eastern United States, allergy sufferers may soon pay the price for winter's unhurried retreat.</p>
 

 •  Another reason to love California high-speed rail: It's drought-friendly 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Despite what critics say, the project will encourage higher-density growth—and save precious water over the long term.
 

 •  Boston area expects a flood of claims after record winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

After the Big Dig-out, it's time for the Big Payout. Or will it be the Big Denial?New England's epic winter is on pace to produce a corresponding number of claims as thousands of homeowners seek to repair damage. Successive storms dumped 110 inches of snowfall in Boston alone, a record for an entire season."It's a part-time job just to navigate it all," says Cathy Schwarz, a Plymouth resident who is working with her insurer and repair companies after rooftop ice dams caused leaks in her house. "Everybody says you'll get through this, but all I can see is a house that's just not livable right now."The winter was so unusually severe that...
 

 •  Unrelenting winter has cities paying millions for pothole repairs 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Even though potholes seem to pop up out of nowhere as the weather steps out of winter, the time of year is no coincidence and the warmer weather that most people welcome comes with a steep cost to cities and car owners.</p>
 

 •  Best songs about weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  How Do Pillowcases Help During a Tornado 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

05:34AM ET 03.28.15 A project from the Red Cross is teaching youngsters how to get ready in case of a tornado.
 

 •  Republicans With College Degrees Are Less Likely to Worry About Global Warming 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

More education makes Democrats more concerned about climate, but among Republicans, it's the opposite. That's according to a Gallup poll released Thursday, which found that Republicans with a college degree are more likely to say that concern over climate change has been overblown than are Republicans with a high school degree or less. In contrast, college-educated Democrats are more likely than Democrats who have not graduated from college to worry ...
 

 •  Who Do Tornadoes Target Oklahoma? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

11:33AM ET 03.27.15 The Weather Channel severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes why it seems that central Oklahoma seems to be a tornado target.
 

 •  Japan Proposes Giant Sea Wall To Fight Tsunamis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Inland Boat, Fukushima Japan Steve Herman for VOA via Wikimedia Commons The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wiped out whole neighborhoods along Japan’s north eastern coast. Now, Japan is considering an extraordinary measure to protect against future tsunamis: a 250-mile long sea wall, four stories high. With a price tag of almost $7 billion, it pales in cost compared to the Bank of Japan’s $35 billion dollar estimate of damage from the earthquake alone.
 

 •  This Oakland Sculpture Changes Color to Suit the Weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Its chameleon surface is reportedly similar to currency's anticounterfeiting paint.
 

 •  Our Line Of Defense Against Sea Level Rise Is Melting Fast 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Antarctica David Stanley/Flickr CC by 2.0 Antarctica is a frozen, beautiful continent, that might not be completely frozen for much longer. 
 

 •  Eaglets hatch on webcam after harsh winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Two baby eagles emerged from their shells after their nest was buried in snow during incubation.
 

 •  Square ice: Has science perfected the snowflake? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a fascinating lab accident, researchers made square snowflakes, learning something new about water in the process. The snowflake is the ultimate embodiment of individuality in nature – each has an intricate and...
 

 •  Antarctica’s Icy ‘Doorstops’ Thin; Rising Seas At Risk 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Over the past two decades, the massive platforms of floating ice that dot the coast of Antarctica have been thinning and doing so at an increasing rate, likely at least in part because of global warming. Scientists are worried about its implications for significant sea level rise. Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Michael Studinger/NASA. The ice shelves — some of which are larger than California and tens to hundreds of yards thick — are the linchpins of the Antarctic ice sheet system, holding back the millions of cubic miles of ice contained in the glaciers that flow into them, like doorstops. As the ice sheets thin, the massive rivers of ice behind them can surge forward into the sea. Antarctica holds enough ice, if it all melted, to raise sea levels more than 200 feet. That would take hundreds to thousands of years, but the recent thinning of the ice shelves means that there has already been an increase in the rate of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise, and it’s accelerating. While it was known that many ice shelves were thinning and glaciers were flowing faster to sea, this study is “another in a series of really blockbuster studies” that uses satellite data to show just how much and where Antarctica is changing, Ted Scambos, a glaciologist with the National Snow &amp; Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said. Scambos who was not involved with the study. “There’s some very large changes that have added up,” study author Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, said. Delicate Balance The melting of ice shelves or the breaking off of icebergs aren’t themselves signs of climate change. They’re natural processes that help keep the mass of a glacier in balance: Snow that falls in the continent’s interior adds ice to the glacier, while ice shelf melt and iceberg calving keep the glacier in balance by losing about the same amount of ice that is added. The problem comes when the ice shelves lose more mass than the glaciers are gaining. “The ice shelves shouldn’t be losing volume if they’re in balance,” Fricker said. This balance is what Fricker and her graduate student Fernando Paolo were looking at when they stitched together 18 years of satellite data (from 1994 to 2012) from three overlapping European Space Agency missions that measured the volume of Antarctica’s ice shelves with radar altimetry. What they found was that the massive ice shelves were losing, on the whole, about 30 to 50 cubic miles of ice per year over that span. And in that period, the rate of ice loss accelerated by an average of 7 cubic miles per year. “So there’s a loss, but that loss is increasing,” said Fernando Paolo, the lead author of the study that was detailed in the March 27 issue of the journal Science. The study, all three scientists said, shows how crucial information on this kind of long timescale is for seeing the big picture of Antarctic melt; with a study that only lasts for a few years, “some of the ice shelves are not really responding in the way that they would over the long term,” Fricker said. ‘A Big Loss’ The story varies for specific glaciers and the different regions of Antarctica, with much more ice loss in West Antarctica than East Antarctica and for particular glaciers in the west. West Antarctica has been a major focus of south polar climate research, in part because of the clear signs of melt there as well as some spectacular ice shelf collapses in recent decades. Changes to the thickness and volume of Antarctica's ice shelves between 1994 and 2012. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Paolo, et al./Science As a whole, that half of the continent has seen a 70 percent increase in its average rate of loss from ice shelves, the satellite data showed. The Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea areas had particularly high rates of loss; while the two regions account for less than 20 percent of West Antarctica’s ice shelf area, they contributed more than 85 percent of the volume lost there over the study period. One particular glacier in the Amundsen embayment lost 18 percent of its thickness over the 18 years of the study. For an ice shelf that, like all the others, has been in place for hundreds of thousands of years, “that’s a big loss,” Paolo said. East Antarctica, meanwhile, has until recently been thought to be more stable, as its glaciers rest on land that is above sea level and the waters surrounding it are thought to be cooler. Recent research has showed that there is still much to learn about the susceptibility of the glaciers in East Antarctica, which holds much more ice than the west. Totten Glacier was recently shown to have channels in the seabed beneath it that would make it much more vulnerable to an influx of warm water than previously thought, though such warm water hasn’t yet been detected there. The satellite data in the new study showed that for the first part of the study period, East Antarctic glaciers gained mass overall, then that trend flat lined in the second half of the time period. At the level of individual glaciers, some have still been gaining mass, while others, like Totten, have thinned. The leveling off of the East Antarctic ice shelf rates suggests that more attention needs to be paid to the eastern half of the continent because “if you turn your back on the ice shelves that are not changing” then you might miss something if suddenly start to, Fricker said. ‘Boots on the Ice’ Having this kind of long-term record on Antarctic ice shelf thinning is key to understanding what processes are behind the thinning and how they might continue into the future. In West Antarctica, it is thought that most of the thinning is caused by warm waters that are eating away at the ice shelves from below, a consequence of changes in prevailing winds that is potentially linked to global warming. Paolo and Fricker said the data show the characteristic signature of this kind of melt, which happens at what is called the grounding line, or the point where the glacier last touches land and the ice shelf begins. Other recent studies examining glaciers have also bolstered this idea, and have even suggested that some glaciers in West Antarctica have reached a point where their retreat and melt is now irreversible. The picture is murkier in the east, in part because so much less work has been done there. This study shows, though, that East Antarctic ice shelves “are actually subject to large changes as well,” Paolo said. The biggest rates of ice loss seen in the Amundsen embayment imply that some of those ice shelves, if they continue at the same rates, could be gone within a century. Of course, “what’s going to happen 100 years from now, we cannot know,” Paolo said, which is why it’s so important to understand exactly “what are the causes, the mechanisms, behind the changes we see.” For that, you need what Scambos calls “boots on the ice” — missions that put researchers and equipment onto the ice shelves to get more detailed information about the forces pushing them around. That’s not an easy sell, because “the Antarctic environment is perhaps one of the most difficult environments to work,” Paolo said. But there are hopes that new satellite missions, along with remotely operated submarines and other technology can help build our knowledge of the forces at play in the southernmost continent. As this study makes clear, Scambos said, we need continuous monitoring of this environment because “we’re faced with a planet that is changing in ways we don’t want.
 

 •  'Magic Rabbit' Photographed For The First Time In 20 Years 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Clinging To A Precipice Li Weidong In remote northwest China, the cliffs of the Tian Shan mountains provide the last holdout for the Ili pika, a tiny rabbit relative with a shrinking habitat. The Ili pika was always a rare and elusive creature, and it’s becoming rarer. Last summer it was photographed for the first time in 20 years, and the adorable photos were published this month in National Geographic's China edition. Conservationist Li Weidong, the photographer, discovered the species in 1983. Since then, he’s documented the Ili pika’s decline. Analyzing tracks and droppings, Li and another scientist estimate that the Ili pika’s numbers dropped from 2,900 in the 1990s to 2,000 in 2005. There may be only 1,000 Ili pika left today. "I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered," Li told CNN. "If it becomes extinct in front of me, I'll feel so guilty." Climate change is believed to be the culprit behind the Ili pika’s demise. As mountaintop glaciers melt, the animals have to climb to higher and higher elevations to find a permanently snowy habitat. Soon they may have nowhere else to go. Though the IUCN lists the Ili pika as endangered, CNN notes that the animal is not included on China's List of Wildlife under Special State Protection. Nĭ Hăo, Ili Pika Li Weidong [National Geographic, CNN]
 

Manali Weather Forecast, Live Weather News


 •  The AccuWeather.com RSS Center 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

To discover additional weather feeds, visit the AccuWeather.com RSS Center at http://www.accuweather.com/en/downloads
 

Shimla Weather Forecast, Live Weather News


 •  Weather pictures of the month: March 2015 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Spectacular Eruption From Volcán De Colima 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Volcán de Colima erupted again on the morning of March 27, and the explosion was all caught on film. This eruption was one of the biggest we have yet seen from the volcano, sending ash plumes over 4km into the air. The eruption also unleashed a large pyroclastic flow onto the slopes. Credit: YouTube/webcamsdemexico
 

 •  EPA Chief: Keystone Won’t Be A 'Disaster for the Climate' 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy suggested on Monday that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not spell game over for the planet. "No, I don't think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate," McCarthy said when asked if the controversial oil -ands pipeline would be a climate disaster at an event hosted by Politico's Mike Allen. McCarthy went on to say, "Nor do I think there's any one solution to the climate-change ...
 

 •  VIRAL: Giant Ice Boulders Litter Canadian Shores 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

MARCH 30, 2015; 10:50 AM Giant mounds of ice and snow have washed up on the shores of the St Lawrence River in Quebec amid the first signs of Spring.
 

 •  Stormy Weather Leads to High Temps in St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

08:12AM ET 03.30.15 Meteorologist Jim Cantore goes over the timing of stormy weather that will result in warm weather ahead for some.
 

 •  Colorado city vows to be carbon neutral, defying partisan politics 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Copenhagen and Melbourne have committed to the most aggressive carbon reduction goals on the planet. Now those two cities _ homes to 4.5 million people _ have been joined by a perhaps unlikely companion on the fast track to carbon neutrality: the Colorado college town of Fort Collins, home to 150,000. This month, the city approved new targets to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. Those goals place Fort Collins among a handful...
 

 •  Chile: 17 killed, 20 missing after floods in desert region 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Chile's government said on Monday that 17 people have been killed and 20 are still missing after torrential...
 

 •  The Salton Sea: a time-bomb amid California drought 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

At first sight the Salton Sea looks putrid, with dead fish scattered among patches of fetid water in a vast salty lake in the middle of the Californian desert.
 

 •  Best Spots To Watch Spring Bloom 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Budget Travel's Firpo Cappiello stops by WUWA to talk about some of the best spots to see spring come into bloom.
 

 •  Reduced Air Pollution Promotes Improved Children's Lung Health, Study Finds 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Reduced pollution in the Los Angeles Basin has resulted in significantly better lung function for children today compared to children from the same communities...
 

 •  Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 2012, when the High Park Fire tore through a northern Colorado forest replete with dead trees left in the wake of a mountain pine beetle infestation, blame for the fire’s spread across 87,000 acres was often placed primarily on the beetles. The High Park Fire, which killed one person and destroyed 259 homes, and the attention to the beetles in its wake were part of the impetus for a new University of Colorado study showing that bark beetle infestations and the dead trees they leave behind have almost no effect on the amount of land burned in U.S. wildfires each year. A forest full of dead trees killed by the mountain pine beetle in the West. More than 4 million acres across the region have been affected by bark beetles since 1996. Credit: Tim Wilson/flickr Instead, the biggest factors influencing wildfire spread in the West are drought, possibly influenced by climate change, higher temperatures, and topography. That’s according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and scale of wildfires as temperatures warm in the coming decades. On average, wildfires burn more than twice the acreage they did 40 years ago, while the annual number of wildfires over 1,000 acres has doubled from 50 during an average year in the 1970s to more than 100 each year since 2002, Climate Central research shows. At the same time, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 4 million acres of forests in the West have been hit by bark beetle outbreaks since 1996, themselves by-products of climate change and drought. “There is pretty convincing evidence that in our subalpine forests across the West, drought is driving when we’re having wildfire,” the study’s lead author, University of Colorado-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Sarah Hart, said. By superimposing maps of public lands showing both wildfire activity and forests infested with mountain pine beetles, Hart’s team studied the land area affected by both during years of recent high fire activity in the 11 Western states. The researchers found that drought was the most significant factor driving the area of land that burned in wildfires during those years. Though bark beetle infestation and fire activity in Western forests both independently increased as temperates rose, Hart's team said its research shows that the annual land area burned has not increased in direct response to the bark beetle infestation. Previous research has shown that stands of dead trees killed by bark beetles can have an effect on wildfire behavior, but that effect depends on the severity of “fire weather,” and the level of the bark beetle outbreak, but may have little connection to the actual land area burned in a wildfire. Fire weather is the warm, dry, windy conditions that usually prompt the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning. During extreme fire weather in the West, vegetation is likely dry enough to fuel explosive burning regardless whether pine beetles have killed the trees in the path of the fire, according to the study. The work by Hart’s team builds upon other research published in the past decade showing that bark beetle outbreaks, which may be caused in part by drought, have little effect on wildfire activity in the West. Part of the 2012 High Park Fire burn area in Larimer County, Colo., an area of subalpine forest that had been infested by the mountain pine beetle. Credit: USDA/flicker Jeffrey Hicke, an associate professor of geography at the University of Idaho who co-authored previous research showing little connection between bark beetle infestations and wildfire, said the new study did not directly analyze the role of climate change in wildfire or discuss how beetles affect specific fire behavior. “In my opinion, this study did not address whether a beetle-affected stand has a higher probability of burning compared to a live stand,” Hicke said via email. “What the study did show is that beetle outbreaks are not a big effect on area burned, and that suggest that other factors are more important (vegetation type/quantity, topography, climate weather), which isn’t surprising.” It can be difficult for scientists to tease out recent effects of climate change on wildfire because forest management practices have changed in different ways across the West in recent decades, he said. However, scientists have a good understanding of the impact climate change can have on fuel moistures, length of burning season, and other factors affecting how forests burn, so continued climate change is expected to increase the land area burned in catastrophic wildfire, Hicke said. “There is an incredibly strong consensus amongst many forest ecologists that it’s really drought driven by climate change events that is the key driving factor for these fire events,” Colorado State University wildlife ecologist Barry Noon, who was a co-author of a 2012 study showing higher temperatures are driving both wildfires and the spread of bark beetles, said. The new study is consistent with much of the previous research pointing to drought as the driving force behind catastrophic wildfire. “When we have warm and dry conditions, fuels dry out enough that we have widespread fire regardless that we have mountain pine beetle-kill in the forest,” Hart said.
 

 •  Flood alerts issued in Kashmir as rivers cross danger mark 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Hundreds of Kashmiris in both India and Pakistan moved to higher ground Monday as rain-swollen rivers swamped parts of the disputed Himalayan region placed under an emergency flood alert just six months...
 

 •  Strong quakes strike off South Pacific islands: USGS 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>A series of strong earthquakes struck off the neighboring South Pacific Ocean states of Samoa and Tonga on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, just hours after a major tremor rattled Papua New Guinea to the west.</p>
 

 •  The Day an Ice Jam Reduced the Mighty Niagara Falls to a Trickle 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

On March 29, 1848, a massive ice jam reduced the mighty Niagara Falls to a trickle, a rare phenomenon that lasted for nearly 40 hours. The ice jam developed...
 

 •  Snow Melting 16 Days Earlier in Wyoming Mountains 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

The spring snowmelt now comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming's Wind River Range, a new study finds. The trend is...
 

 •  A carbonless year for Costa Rica 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a combination of hydropower, solar power, and geothermic energy, Costa Rica has managed to use no fossil fuels for the first 75 days of 2015.
 

 •  Montana wildfire expands, but evacuation lifted for ski area 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Dozens of firefighters battled a wind-fueled wildfire in southern Montana that prompted the shot-term evacuation of a ski lodge.
 

 •  Stunning images from this week in weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  An ancient technology is helping India’s “water man” save thousands of parched villages 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

In 1985, a 28-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh quit his government job, left his family and arrived in the dead of the night at a small village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Rajendra Singh, along with four companions from the Tarun Bharat Sangh, a non-profit that traces its origins to the University of Rajasthan, wanted to work in the […]
 

 •  Cherry blossoms around the world 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  Media Contributing to ‘Hope Gap’ on Climate Change 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

News cycles tend to be dominated by horror and carnage — a recipe for depression that spills into climate change coverage, fueling what some experts call a ‘hope gap’ that can lead people to fret about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. 
 

 •  Allergy sufferers may pay price for spring's slow arrival in East 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Though springlike weather has been slow to arrive for much of the Eastern United States, allergy sufferers may soon pay the price for winter's unhurried retreat.</p>
 

 •  Another reason to love California high-speed rail: It's drought-friendly 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Despite what critics say, the project will encourage higher-density growth—and save precious water over the long term.
 

 •  Boston area expects a flood of claims after record winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

After the Big Dig-out, it's time for the Big Payout. Or will it be the Big Denial?New England's epic winter is on pace to produce a corresponding number of claims as thousands of homeowners seek to repair damage. Successive storms dumped 110 inches of snowfall in Boston alone, a record for an entire season."It's a part-time job just to navigate it all," says Cathy Schwarz, a Plymouth resident who is working with her insurer and repair companies after rooftop ice dams caused leaks in her house. "Everybody says you'll get through this, but all I can see is a house that's just not livable right now."The winter was so unusually severe that...
 

 •  Unrelenting winter has cities paying millions for pothole repairs 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

<p>Even though potholes seem to pop up out of nowhere as the weather steps out of winter, the time of year is no coincidence and the warmer weather that most people welcome comes with a steep cost to cities and car owners.</p>
 

 •  Best songs about weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

 

 •  How Do Pillowcases Help During a Tornado 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

05:34AM ET 03.28.15 A project from the Red Cross is teaching youngsters how to get ready in case of a tornado.
 

 •  Republicans With College Degrees Are Less Likely to Worry About Global Warming 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

More education makes Democrats more concerned about climate, but among Republicans, it's the opposite. That's according to a Gallup poll released Thursday, which found that Republicans with a college degree are more likely to say that concern over climate change has been overblown than are Republicans with a high school degree or less. In contrast, college-educated Democrats are more likely than Democrats who have not graduated from college to worry ...
 

 •  Who Do Tornadoes Target Oklahoma? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

11:33AM ET 03.27.15 The Weather Channel severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes why it seems that central Oklahoma seems to be a tornado target.
 

 •  Japan Proposes Giant Sea Wall To Fight Tsunamis 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Inland Boat, Fukushima Japan Steve Herman for VOA via Wikimedia Commons The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wiped out whole neighborhoods along Japan’s north eastern coast. Now, Japan is considering an extraordinary measure to protect against future tsunamis: a 250-mile long sea wall, four stories high. With a price tag of almost $7 billion, it pales in cost compared to the Bank of Japan’s $35 billion dollar estimate of damage from the earthquake alone.
 

 •  This Oakland Sculpture Changes Color to Suit the Weather 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Its chameleon surface is reportedly similar to currency's anticounterfeiting paint.
 

 •  Our Line Of Defense Against Sea Level Rise Is Melting Fast 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Antarctica David Stanley/Flickr CC by 2.0 Antarctica is a frozen, beautiful continent, that might not be completely frozen for much longer. 
 

 •  Eaglets hatch on webcam after harsh winter 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Two baby eagles emerged from their shells after their nest was buried in snow during incubation.
 

 •  Square ice: Has science perfected the snowflake? 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Through a fascinating lab accident, researchers made square snowflakes, learning something new about water in the process. The snowflake is the ultimate embodiment of individuality in nature – each has an intricate and...
 

 •  Antarctica’s Icy ‘Doorstops’ Thin; Rising Seas At Risk 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Over the past two decades, the massive platforms of floating ice that dot the coast of Antarctica have been thinning and doing so at an increasing rate, likely at least in part because of global warming. Scientists are worried about its implications for significant sea level rise. Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Michael Studinger/NASA. The ice shelves — some of which are larger than California and tens to hundreds of yards thick — are the linchpins of the Antarctic ice sheet system, holding back the millions of cubic miles of ice contained in the glaciers that flow into them, like doorstops. As the ice sheets thin, the massive rivers of ice behind them can surge forward into the sea. Antarctica holds enough ice, if it all melted, to raise sea levels more than 200 feet. That would take hundreds to thousands of years, but the recent thinning of the ice shelves means that there has already been an increase in the rate of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise, and it’s accelerating. While it was known that many ice shelves were thinning and glaciers were flowing faster to sea, this study is “another in a series of really blockbuster studies” that uses satellite data to show just how much and where Antarctica is changing, Ted Scambos, a glaciologist with the National Snow &amp; Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said. Scambos who was not involved with the study. “There’s some very large changes that have added up,” study author Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, said. Delicate Balance The melting of ice shelves or the breaking off of icebergs aren’t themselves signs of climate change. They’re natural processes that help keep the mass of a glacier in balance: Snow that falls in the continent’s interior adds ice to the glacier, while ice shelf melt and iceberg calving keep the glacier in balance by losing about the same amount of ice that is added. The problem comes when the ice shelves lose more mass than the glaciers are gaining. “The ice shelves shouldn’t be losing volume if they’re in balance,” Fricker said. This balance is what Fricker and her graduate student Fernando Paolo were looking at when they stitched together 18 years of satellite data (from 1994 to 2012) from three overlapping European Space Agency missions that measured the volume of Antarctica’s ice shelves with radar altimetry. What they found was that the massive ice shelves were losing, on the whole, about 30 to 50 cubic miles of ice per year over that span. And in that period, the rate of ice loss accelerated by an average of 7 cubic miles per year. “So there’s a loss, but that loss is increasing,” said Fernando Paolo, the lead author of the study that was detailed in the March 27 issue of the journal Science. The study, all three scientists said, shows how crucial information on this kind of long timescale is for seeing the big picture of Antarctic melt; with a study that only lasts for a few years, “some of the ice shelves are not really responding in the way that they would over the long term,” Fricker said. ‘A Big Loss’ The story varies for specific glaciers and the different regions of Antarctica, with much more ice loss in West Antarctica than East Antarctica and for particular glaciers in the west. West Antarctica has been a major focus of south polar climate research, in part because of the clear signs of melt there as well as some spectacular ice shelf collapses in recent decades. Changes to the thickness and volume of Antarctica's ice shelves between 1994 and 2012. Click image to enlarge. Credit: Paolo, et al./Science As a whole, that half of the continent has seen a 70 percent increase in its average rate of loss from ice shelves, the satellite data showed. The Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea areas had particularly high rates of loss; while the two regions account for less than 20 percent of West Antarctica’s ice shelf area, they contributed more than 85 percent of the volume lost there over the study period. One particular glacier in the Amundsen embayment lost 18 percent of its thickness over the 18 years of the study. For an ice shelf that, like all the others, has been in place for hundreds of thousands of years, “that’s a big loss,” Paolo said. East Antarctica, meanwhile, has until recently been thought to be more stable, as its glaciers rest on land that is above sea level and the waters surrounding it are thought to be cooler. Recent research has showed that there is still much to learn about the susceptibility of the glaciers in East Antarctica, which holds much more ice than the west. Totten Glacier was recently shown to have channels in the seabed beneath it that would make it much more vulnerable to an influx of warm water than previously thought, though such warm water hasn’t yet been detected there. The satellite data in the new study showed that for the first part of the study period, East Antarctic glaciers gained mass overall, then that trend flat lined in the second half of the time period. At the level of individual glaciers, some have still been gaining mass, while others, like Totten, have thinned. The leveling off of the East Antarctic ice shelf rates suggests that more attention needs to be paid to the eastern half of the continent because “if you turn your back on the ice shelves that are not changing” then you might miss something if suddenly start to, Fricker said. ‘Boots on the Ice’ Having this kind of long-term record on Antarctic ice shelf thinning is key to understanding what processes are behind the thinning and how they might continue into the future. In West Antarctica, it is thought that most of the thinning is caused by warm waters that are eating away at the ice shelves from below, a consequence of changes in prevailing winds that is potentially linked to global warming. Paolo and Fricker said the data show the characteristic signature of this kind of melt, which happens at what is called the grounding line, or the point where the glacier last touches land and the ice shelf begins. Other recent studies examining glaciers have also bolstered this idea, and have even suggested that some glaciers in West Antarctica have reached a point where their retreat and melt is now irreversible. The picture is murkier in the east, in part because so much less work has been done there. This study shows, though, that East Antarctic ice shelves “are actually subject to large changes as well,” Paolo said. The biggest rates of ice loss seen in the Amundsen embayment imply that some of those ice shelves, if they continue at the same rates, could be gone within a century. Of course, “what’s going to happen 100 years from now, we cannot know,” Paolo said, which is why it’s so important to understand exactly “what are the causes, the mechanisms, behind the changes we see.” For that, you need what Scambos calls “boots on the ice” — missions that put researchers and equipment onto the ice shelves to get more detailed information about the forces pushing them around. That’s not an easy sell, because “the Antarctic environment is perhaps one of the most difficult environments to work,” Paolo said. But there are hopes that new satellite missions, along with remotely operated submarines and other technology can help build our knowledge of the forces at play in the southernmost continent. As this study makes clear, Scambos said, we need continuous monitoring of this environment because “we’re faced with a planet that is changing in ways we don’t want.
 

 •  'Magic Rabbit' Photographed For The First Time In 20 Years 03/30/2015 12:58 PM

Clinging To A Precipice Li Weidong In remote northwest China, the cliffs of the Tian Shan mountains provide the last holdout for the Ili pika, a tiny rabbit relative with a shrinking habitat. The Ili pika was always a rare and elusive creature, and it’s becoming rarer. Last summer it was photographed for the first time in 20 years, and the adorable photos were published this month in National Geographic's China edition. Conservationist Li Weidong, the photographer, discovered the species in 1983. Since then, he’s documented the Ili pika’s decline. Analyzing tracks and droppings, Li and another scientist estimate that the Ili pika’s numbers dropped from 2,900 in the 1990s to 2,000 in 2005. There may be only 1,000 Ili pika left today. "I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered," Li told CNN. "If it becomes extinct in front of me, I'll feel so guilty." Climate change is believed to be the culprit behind the Ili pika’s demise. As mountaintop glaciers melt, the animals have to climb to higher and higher elevations to find a permanently snowy habitat. Soon they may have nowhere else to go. Though the IUCN lists the Ili pika as endangered, CNN notes that the animal is not included on China's List of Wildlife under Special State Protection. Nĭ Hăo, Ili Pika Li Weidong [National Geographic, CNN]