Following the steps of water vapour in climatic events throughout the Third National Climate Assessment (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)


Following the steps of water vapour in climatic events throughout the Third National Climate Assessment (By Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

US Global Change Research Program diegofdezsevilla_wordpressThe U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

In May 2014, USGCRP released the Third National Climate Assessment, the authoritative and comprehensive report on climate change and its impacts in the United States.
The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

The 2014 National Climate Assessment has been published in pdf also with a digital version in the website http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/ in collaboration with the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Here you will find information about the report divided in two main parts. Highlights andnca2014 diegofdezsevilla_wordpress Full Report.

The Highlights provides a concise version of the full report including an Overview, select evidence for the 12 Report Findings, and summaries of the impacts of climate change on every region of the United States.

  •  Overview. Similar to an Executive Summary, the Overview presents important results of the National Climate Assessment. It reviews observed and projected changes in climate, impacts of these changes on U.S. regions and sectors, and options for responding.
  •  Report Findings. The 12 Report Findings distill important results from the National Climate Assessment. Not a full summary of all the chapters’ findings, these findings provide a synthesis of particularly noteworthy conclusions.
  •  Regions. Evidence of climate change appears in every region and impacts are visible in every state. Explore how climate is already affecting and will continue to affect your region.

The Full Report of the National Climate Assessment provides an in-depth look at climate change impacts on the U.S. It details the multitude of ways climate change is already affecting and will increasingly affect the lives of Americans.

  •  Our Changing Climate. Global climate is changing. Most of the warming of the past half-century is due to human activities. Some types of extreme weather are increasing, ice is melting on land and sea, and sea level is rising.
  •  Sectors. Explore how climate change affects important sectors such as health, water, and agriculture. Cross cutting sections explore climate change impacts at the intersection of various sectors (such energy, water, and land use), as well as impacts on urban areas, rural communities, Indigenous Peoples, and more.
  •  Regions. Evidence of climate change appears in every region and impacts are visible in every state. Explore how climate is already affecting and will continue to affect your region.
  •  Response strategies. Explore actions to reduce emissions (“mitigation”) and adapt to a changing climate. Many of these actions can also improve public health, the economy, and quality of life.

Key Message 6: Heavy Downpours Increasing

One of the Key Messages addressed in this report is that Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades.

“Largest increases are in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events are projected for all U.S. regions.

Across most of the United States, the heaviest rainfall events have become heavier and more frequent. The amount of rain falling on the heaviest rain days has also increased over the past few decades. Since 1991, the amount of rain falling in very heavy precipitation events has been significantly above average. This increase has been greatest in the Northeast, Midwest, and upper Great Plains – more than 30% above the 1901-1960 average (see Figure 2.18). There has also been an increase in flooding events in the Midwest and Northeast where the largest increases in heavy rain amounts have occurred.

 

One measure of heavy precipitation events is a two-day precipitation total that is exceeded on average only once in a 5-year period, also known as the once-in-five-year event. As this extreme precipitation index for 1901-2012 shows, the occurrence of such events has become much more common in recent decades. Changes are compared to the period 1901-1960, and do not include Alaska or Hawai‘i. (Figure source: adapted from Kunkel et al. 2013)

Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans. Climate change also alters dynamical characteristics of the atmosphere that in turn affect weather patterns and storms. In the mid-latitudes, where most of the continental U.S. is located, there is an upward trend in extreme precipitation in the vicinity of fronts associated with mid-latitude storms. Locally, natural variations can also be important.

Figure 2.18: The map shows percent increases in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events) from 1958 to 2012 for each region of the continental United States. These trends are larger than natural variations for the Northeast, Midwest, Puerto Rico, Southeast, Great Plains, and Alaska. The trends are not larger than natural variations for the Southwest, Hawai‘i, and the Northwest. The changes shown in this figure are calculated from the beginning and end points of the trends for 1958 to 2012. (Figure source: updated from Karl et al. 2009).

Projections of future climate over the U.S. suggest that the recent trend towards increased heavy precipitation events will continue. This is projected to occur even in regions where total precipitation is projected to decrease, such as the Southwest.

This report has generated a quick echo on the digital media. But much more will come from the debate originated around the understanding of anthropogenic impact in environmental evolution (so called “climate or global change”).

“Here’s How Global Warming Is Already Worsening Extreme Deluges In The U.S.” by Joseph Romm

One of the most robust scientific findings is the direct connection between global warming and more extreme deluges. Scientists have observed a sharp jump in monster one- and two-day rainstorms in USA.

“Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans. Climate change also alters dynamical characteristics of the atmosphere that in turn affect weather patterns and storms.”

That final point from our leading scientists is very important. The worst deluges have jumped not merely because warmer air holds more moisture that in turn gets sucked into major storm systems. Increasingly, scientists have explained that climate change is altering the jet stream and weather patterns in ways that can cause storm systems to slow down or get stuck, thereby giving them more time to dump heavy precipitation.

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About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my previous work as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After couple of years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I find myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my research. In the present competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in opening my own line of research showing what I am capable of. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this blog has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my work and the intellectual rights represented by the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in this line of research. Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome. In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2016. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to Following the steps of water vapour in climatic events throughout the Third National Climate Assessment (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

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