Wunderground launches new Local Climate Change section

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2012

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In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, wunderground has launched a new Climate Change Center, which gives people resources to understand how the climate is changing both globally and in their local neighborhoods. I am particularly pleased with our Local Climate Change feature, which allows one to see how temperature and precipitation have changed over the past 100+ years at the nearest station with a long period of measurements. Predictions from climate models on what the next 100 years may bring are overlaid for each station. Data for most U.S. stations goes back to 1895; we have data for a few stations in Europe that extend back to the 1700s. Berlin has the longest period of record in this database, with data back to 1702.


Figure 1. Screenshot of the Local Climate Change page for Washington, DC. Measured temperatures since 1820 are shown in grey. By clicking on the "Show post-1900 trend:" box, we see that the trend since 1900 has been for an increase in temperature of 1.5°C (2.7°F) per century. Moving the thin vertical red line over the image using the mouse shows that the warmest year on record in Washington D.C. was 1991. Predictions for a future with low emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are shown in yellow; the high emissions prediction is shown in red. Separate tabs are available to examine precipitation and snow.

Skeptical?
Also included in the new Climate Change Center is a section addressing the common skeptical arguments made against climate change. We offer three levels of explanation. The "Basic" level is the default, but one can also see more technical in-depth discussions by clicking on the "See All Explanation Levels" link. The material was developed by physicist John Cook for his excellent skepticalscience.com web site, which is widely referenced in the climate science communication community.


Video 1. I'm featured in this video on extreme weather and climate change done by veteran videographer Peter Sinclair for the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media this month. I'm also featured in Part 1 of this series. Our new Climate Change Center has a section for climate change videos, which includes a twice-monthly feature from GreenTV detailing the world's notable wild weather events of the past two weeks.

Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I'd like to thank Wunderground meteorologist, Angela Fritz for spearheading the creating the new Climate Change Center; it's a product I'll be referring to frequently in the future, and one we'll be updating in the coming months with data on local sea level rise, fire risk, and drought.

Jeff Masters

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1270. skook
Storm heading into polk shows some weak rotation according to bay news 9. Not worrisome yet.
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Wow from moving slowly to stationary in spots. Will this decrease severe potential?
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1268. nigel20
Good night fellow bloggers
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1267. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting PedleyCA:
Link

This one: 1211


Upper left there I think global map takes you to this page to pick & choose.
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Nice All, Stay Safe, Keep your Radios Close. Have a wet night.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


I think everything on the southern half is probably going to stay as discrete cells. There's a lot of them forming though.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Quoting charlottefl:
Very strong cell passing just to the north. There is a lot of back building tonight. I think a lot of that has to do with forcing between the LLJ and the ULL.
Could there be a second line?
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Used to spend weeks with the Grandfolks in St. Pete in the early and mid eighties. Remember it always being brown with threats of fire. Whole state needs this, glad your getting it. Love how this site is often ahead of NOAA in accurately predicting the days weather. Any super cells developing south of the line?
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Yeah it looks like the southern half is feeding off the warmer moist flow and is getting deeper while slowing down, prepare for a late night soaker, that's for sure! Just what the drought ordered!


Jed, watch out may be some hail headed your way. Can't be sure but the cell headed you way has a 30% chance of severe hail. Def poss based on the VIL.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
1261. Skyepony (Mod)
Buoy at Clearwater, FL.
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Very strong cell passing just to the north. There is a lot of back building tonight. I think a lot of that has to do with forcing between the LLJ and the ULL.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Quoting reedzone:
Severe Storm Warnings have expired



Yeah its cause the line is slowing down, which is good news, less severe and more rain, the cells are getting heavier and less windy. More like they were earlier out in the gulf.

I'm actually seeing twice as much lightning now as ever since the warnings expired, almost constant flashes, although much of it is cloud to cloud, seeing more and more CG as well.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


yea I was noticing that it didnt appear the line was making much progress in the last say 30 minutes


Yeah it looks like the southern half is feeding off the warmer moist flow and is getting deeper while slowing down, prepare for a late night soaker, that's for sure! Just what the drought ordered!
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Severe Storm Warnings have expired
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Link

This one: 1211
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Quoting FLWaterFront:
Those storms along the W. Coast seem to be backfilling. Weird.

Lots of heavy rain here. Lots of wind, some lightning.. but no hail, as of yet.

Does anyone have hail yet, as heavily advertised by the NWS?


Nope, its not raining yet, I live a bit southwest of Clearwater Int'l the line looks like its slowing down and thickening, good news for us Pinellas County people!
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Quoting Jedkins01:
The line is slowing down in speed a lot but still looking real strong, still seeing bright lightning flashes and the cells are looking strong on radar, its very windy here, and quite cool! We might get a lot of rain from this line because its slowing down.


yea I was noticing that it didnt appear the line was making much progress in the last say 30 minutes
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1253. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:


We're in a bit of a lull for now, but the satellite imagery suggests we're going to get quite a bit more rain before the night is over.

I am not expecting much in the way of severe wx here. However, I think the line of storms is propagating north over Cuba, which means they are tapping into some of the warmest water - with pretty decent TCHP - in the basin. So we should get a good bath from this system after all.

Good stuff. Means I don't have to water tomorrow.... lol

G'nite!


Good night Baha
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Nigel, 1246 should answer ur earlier qtn.

Maybe this'll dip far enough south to give u guys a bit of a shower...
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The line is slowing down in speed a lot but still looking real strong, still seeing bright lightning flashes and the cells are looking strong on radar, its very windy here, and quite cool! We might get a lot of rain from this line because its slowing down.
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Those storms along the W. Coast seem to be backfilling. Weird.

Lots of heavy rain here. Lots of wind, some lightning.. but no hail, as of yet.

Does anyone have hail yet, as heavily advertised by the NWS?
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1249. nigel20
Quoting reedzone:
Jedkins, I know it's exciting.. but stay safe man..

I second that...be carefull out there
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1248. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting PedleyCA:


Where and how did you find this image. I have seen you post a few of these and can't find where they came from. A little help please....


Which comment number was the image? I've posted a few tonight. Usually I link images back to their source in such a way if you click on the pic it opens another window & takes you there. That last one I may not have linked since it's source is Wunderground.
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Jedkins, how strong would you estimate the gust front to be? Just curious thanks :)
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We're in a bit of a lull for now, but the satellite imagery suggests we're going to get quite a bit more rain before the night is over.

I am not expecting much in the way of severe wx here. However, I think the line of storms is propagating north over Cuba, which means they are tapping into some of the warmest water - with pretty decent TCHP - in the basin. So we should get a good bath from this system after all.

Good stuff. Means I don't have to water tomorrow.... lol

G'nite!

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1245. skook



might be interesting to see how the cells around Sarasota act, since they are riding solo.
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Quoting reedzone:
Jedkins, I know it's exciting.. but stay safe man..



will do! the down drafts are quite cold reminds me of a midwest cell, wouldn't be surprised if it starts hailing, its not actually raining yet, just powerful gust front winds and lighting/thunder, the heavy precip is fast approaching though.
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getting hammered here officially, haha, great thunderstorm :)
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Hey by the way you did very good with forecasting this system.


Anyways, I was only commenting on how the line weakened some from earlier, but its still severe, actually recent frames so new stronger cells popping in the line due to the bowing segment producing lift and thus forcing it into the cold air aloft.
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Jed and Reed did very well with this system FWIW, kudos to them.

Very strong straightline winds moving into Tampa now, down I4.

Brandon, Plant City will get it too.


Thanks guys.. With all the dynamics, it was a tough call to say nothing would happen.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Moisture flow has definitely returned. More storms are building on the southern extent of this system, and current storms are becoming very intense.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Jedkins, I know it's exciting.. but stay safe man..
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
just went outside, winds are calm here in St Pete, kind of eerie as I check the radar, the squall line is approaching here and will be here very soon
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Alright its looking promising for me! The brief whole weakening phase that was headed at me just filled in with intense reflectivity, I'm expecting some wild weather soon, I'm very happy this is coming together after all :) what a see saw today has been weather wise
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Jed and Reed did very well with this system FWIW, kudos to them.

Very strong straightline winds moving into Tampa now, down I4.

Brandon, Plant City will get it too.
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Quoting Skyepony:


It looks like its strengthing as it is making landfall..
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
1235. skook
Quoting nigel20:

nice pics



thanks, they dont show much, the clouds aren't racing ne or anything, and there are some breaks in the clouds atm.
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1234. nigel20
Quoting skook:
Took some pics here east of Tampa, in Brandon, Saw some lightning to our nw.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

nice pics
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It's late and most went to bed thinking wow what a dud of a day. Hopefully this will still be a non-event with good soaking rains some good thunder and lightening and limited damage with no injuries.
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Quoting reedzone:


You do realize your under a Severe Storm Warning?



Hey by the way you did very good with forecasting this system.


Anyways, I was only commenting on how the line weakened some from earlier, but its still severe, actually recent frames so new stronger cells popping in the line due to the bowing segment producing lift and thus forcing it into the cold air aloft.
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1231. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:
Looks like some pretty heavy activity over the Guyana-Colombia border tonight... biggest patch of red in the basin.

Is it still raining in your location
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1230. skook
Took some pics here east of Tampa, in Brandon, Saw some lightning to our nw.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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The line just ramped up right on the coast, good call NWS, lightning action is picking back up as well, I can see a shelf cloud rolling in from my west with lightning flashes/thunder rumbles, ominous indeed.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Looks like some pretty heavy activity over the Guyana-Colombia border tonight... biggest patch of red in the basin.
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Quoting reedzone:
Well folks the mystery is solved, the squall line/severe weather threat did indeed happen. Stay safe out there.



hey reedzone, you did very well with this system. congrats !!! and thanks.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1569
Quoting Skyepony:


Where and how did you find this image. I have seen you post a few of these and can't find where they came from. A little help please....
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1224. nigel20
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Quoting charlottefl:


Normally when you have a line segment bow it's an indication of strong straight line winds within the line.


Thank you!
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They are warning us now about it here on the southeast coast for early morning. Think it will stay together that long?
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Wow Spring Hill Fl just had a massive lightning strike somewhere really close to us and the sky just opened up with showers. That tornado warning is heading straight for us!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


bowing is an indication of potentially damaging straight line winds


I can see the shelf cloud approaching with some lightning flashes, still not nearly as much lightning as earlier, but severe none the less apparently.


Just saw a TVS pop up just off the coast up there. Stay safe.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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