climate change impacts


On Katrina, My Family, And Knowing The Big One Was Coming

, scientist and Kendall Science Fellow

Hurricane Katrina devastated my home city of New Orleans in 2005, taking lives and erasing dreams. And it changed the fabric of the city.

The losses experienced from Katrina were partly due to the strength of the storm and also partly due to engineers’ underestimation of what a storm of this magnitude could do. Inadequate planning also played a role in the impacts faced by New Orleans.

The truth, however, is that Katrina could have been worse. Read more >

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Crazy Hot Days, Crazy Warm Nights: A New Study on Climate Change in California’s Central Valley

, scientist and Kendall Science Fellow

Last week I, along with an international group of scientists, published a study in the journal Climatic Change in which we found that the hottest summer days (24 hour periods) in the Central Valley were twice as likely to occur due to climate change. Heat waves in California’s Central Valley have become progressively more severe in recent decades due to  higher humidity and warmer nighttime temperatures. Observations obtained from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center show that Central Valley nighttime temperatures were nearly 2°F (1°C) warmer in the 2000s compared to the 1901-1960 average and even higher for the whole of California (see plot below). Read more >

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Interstellar: Climate Change and the Evolution of Cli-Fi Movies

, scientist and Kendall Science Fellow

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is as much about outer space as it is about our own planet. The story arc begins with a dying earth that can no longer support humanity and ends with a lesson on what it takes to survive. Read more >

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It’s Cold Out But it’s Not the Polar Vortex

, scientist and Kendall Science Fellow

The “polar vortex” is synonymous with cold air blasts for Americans. But is it correct to equate polar air with the polar vortex? The answer is no. Read more >

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The Bering Sea Bomb and the Polar Vortex in our Warming World

, scientist and Kendall Science Fellow

A historic storm occurred over Alaska this past weekend as typhoon Nuri merged with an extra tropical system and became a perfect storm. With it also came the chance for more extreme weather for the United States in the form of a small polar vortex event that flooded much of eastern North America with frigid temperatures. But how can we have such cold outbreaks in our warming world? Read more >

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