Visible satellite image of Hurricane Patricia at 10:00 AM EDT on October 23.

Historic Hurricane Nears Landfall on Southwest Coast of Mexico

Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever observed in either the Atlantic or eastern Pacific, is expected to make landfall on the Southwest coast of Mexico this afternoon and evening as an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane.

by |October 23, 2015
Wind speed probability map from NOAA for Hurricane Joaquin.

Joaquin? There’s No Perfect Forecast, So Stay Tuned

What will Hurricane Joaquin do? The science of predicting that is getting better, but still uncertain. The debate today is over whether there will be a U.S. landfall now in five or more days’ time or not; 30 years ago there would have been no point in even having that discussion.

by |September 30, 2015

New York, New Orleans, Charlottetown and Everywhere Else

The disaster in New Orleans was almost uniquely awful in modern American history. But even if Katrina isn’t likely to happen everywhere, something can happen almost anywhere—including, we now know, New York. And further to the north and east.

Dr. Irwin Redlener

The Hidden Stresses of Drought

“Drought affects the economy, water supply, lifestyle, and agricultural productivity. The downstream consequences on humans that are facing these threats, including loss of jobs and daily lifestyle challenges, become overwhelming.”

by |July 22, 2015
jun_15_sst_anom CROP

The Extreme Pacific Climate Now

The climate over the tropical Pacific is in an extreme state at the moment. That explains some of the extreme anomalies affecting the United States right now. It also gives us a window through which we can glimpse how even more dramatic and long-term climates of the distant past might have worked.

by |July 14, 2015
Students coring in the Bahamas. Photo: Maayan Yehudai

Sediment Cores from Exuma’s Shores

Because we know little about hurricane behavior during periods when Earth was warmer or colder than at present, it’s challenging to construct models to predict future trends in hurricane activity as Earth’s climate changes. To remedy this problem, researchers have been working to reconstruct records of hurricane strikes in the past.

by |June 16, 2015
Bahamas, hurricanes

Hurricane Histories and Carbon Mysteries

The Bahamas might be a vacation destination for most people. But for us, they represent an excellent site to study several different questions about past, present and future climates.

by |June 5, 2015
hurricanes, hurricane prediction

Behind the Expected Quiet 2015 Hurricane Season

On May 27, 2015, NOAA officially announced a likely below-normal Atlantic Hurricane season is coming up. The range for the possible numbers of major hurricanes is 0-2. What are the reasons behind it? How precise are these numbers?

by |June 2, 2015
adam sobel ocean breeze

Eye on the Storm

Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel is author of the new book “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.” Sobel was one of the first researchers to explain to media and the public what might be brewing, before the storm hit. In the aftermath, he looked closely at the factors driving the storm’s unusual ferocity, and how these played against human weaknesses. The book offers a primer on what drives storm systems, and what we know (and don’t) about their relation to warming climate. Sobel also looks into future weather, urban infrastructure and the politics of global climate change. He recently discussed some of his insights.

by |October 14, 2014

Rising Seas Pose a Growing Threat to Coastlines

The jury is still out on how tropical storms will change as climate warms, but rising sea levels will almost certainly place more coastal property at risk of flooding, says a team of scientists writing in the journal Nature.

by |December 5, 2013