Melanie Fitzpatrick

Climate scientist

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Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist with the UCS Climate and Energy Program, is an expert on local and global impacts of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Washington, specializing in the role of sea ice and clouds in Antarctica. See Melanie's full bio.

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Melanie's Latest Posts

2014 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

Today, NOAA announced another startling record-breaking month of elevated global temperatures. We have just experienced the  hottest October since record keeping began 135 years ago. This year, May, June, August, September and now October – half the months so far – all smashed previous records for global land and ocean temperatures.

According to NOAA, “The January–October combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest such period on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and 2010.”

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As Sea Level Rises in Jamaica Bay, New York, Tidal Flooding Moves from Occasional to Chronic

What would it be like to live in a place that floods every full moon? We asked that question and others in our report, Encroaching Tides, which was released last week. Read more >

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Torrential Rain during the World Cup in Brazil, while the U.S. Midwest Floods

In the hours before yesterday’s World Cup football match between the U.S. and Germany, the Brazilian city of Recife was hit by a torrential downpour. A coastal city of 1.5 million people, Recife is used to high humidity and rainfall.  But with streets flooded to waist level in some places, players, officials and fans had a tough time even making it to the stadium for the game. Read more >

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Arctic Sea Ice Thins as Old Thick Ice Rapidly Disappears

Last week brought news of yet another alarming season for sea ice in the Arctic. The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced the Arctic sea ice coverage for winter was the fifth lowest maximum on record. The extent of ice was more than 280,000 square miles below the 30-year average for 1981-2010. That’s an area just bigger than the size of Texas missing. Read more >

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The New 400ppm World: CO2 Measurements at Mauna Loa Continue to Climb

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in May last year. That same level has been reached again in the last few days. This year we’ve hit the target in March, two months earlier, and it will stay above 400ppm for longer. At that rate, it will only be a handful of years until we are living in an atmosphere permanently above 400 ppm. While 400 ppm is a somewhat arbitrary marker, humans did not exist the last time atmospheric CO2 was at that level. Read more >

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