Greylock Almanac

Forecast for Thursday, December 13, 2018

As prognosticated by the National Weather Service
Today — A chance of light snow, mainly between 9am and 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tonight — A slight chance of snow, mixing with freezing drizzle after midnight, then gradually ending. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Southeast wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Friday — Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. South wind around 7 mph.

Recent Weather and Climate News

Stewardship Community Application is Now Open

The NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project (PSEP) provides formal and informal educators working with elementary through college aged students the knowledge and resources to build scientifically-literate individuals and communities who are prepared to respond to environmental challenges monitored by NOAA. Read more below in the Education Community.

Applications are being accepted until midnight, December 2, 2018.

PSEP also supports educators in the development and implementation of projects involving hands-on activities that conserve, restore, and protect human communities and natural resources. Read more below in the Stewardship Community.

From Scientific American
June 6, 2018

A Wyoming Reservation Shows the New Face of Drought

A climate-driven warping of the water cycle is forcing a re-think of water management practices

The traditional measure of drought has been an absence of rainfall. Much later, [Mike] Hobbins stumbled across a way to measure the early stages of droughts by calculating what he calls the “evaporative demand,” or the “growing thirst of the atmosphere.” He found a set of weather data, spanning 38 years, giving him the basic creators of dryness: the wind, air temperature, humidity and incoming solar radiation. That allowed him to identify developing droughts on weather maps without needing to know local soil moisture conditions.
Read the entire story at Scientific American.

From the journal Science

Trump White House quietly cancels NASA research verifying greenhouse gas cuts

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.
Read the entire story at Science.

Freshwater feedback loops accelerating Antarctic glacial melt

In a study released April 18 in the journal, Science Advances, “Freshening by glacial meltwater enhances melting of ice shelves and reduces formation of Antarctic Bottom Water,” climate scientists Alessandro Silvano et al. reveal that the melting of Antarctic glaciers is creating a feedback loop that is driving ice loss faster, much faster, than originally thought possible.

Our results suggest that increased glacial meltwater input in a warming climate will both reduce Antarctic Bottom Water formation and trigger increased mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, with consequences for the global overturning circulation and sea level rise.

A good summation of the issue can be found at Common Dreams. In 2016, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen, on the potential for such feedback loops, noted “These feedbacks raise questions about how soon we will pass points of no return in which we lock in consequences that cannot be reversed on any time scale that people care about. Consequences include sea level rise of several meters, which we estimate could occur this century or at latest next century if fossil fuel emissions continue at a high level. That would mean loss of all coastal cities, most of the world’s large cities and all their history.”

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