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Clumps of thunderstorms are driving increases in rain over tropical oceans. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

The tropics are getting wetter: the reason could be clumpy storms

For a long time climate models have forecast increasing rainfall in tropics. Now we know part of the reason: clumpy thunderstorms.
Surging tides from Cyclone Marcia hit Main Beach in Yeppoon, Queensland, with the storm packing wind gusts close to 300 kilometres an hour. AAP Image/Karin Calvert

The role of social media as cyclones batter Australia

Emergency services are using social media to help spread warnings as two tropical cyclones batter Australia. It can also help them with relief efforts once the worst of the severe weather has passed.
Sometimes you don’t need a measuring stick to come up with an assessment: really, really deep. katorisi

Where do those snowfall totals on the nightly news come from?

The Blue Hill Observatory, a few miles south of Boston, recently recorded the deepest snow cover in their 130-year history, an incredible 46 inches. Earlier this month, Bangor, Maine tied their own record…
Despite adjustments to temperature data in the Arctic, the overall global warming trend remains the same. Flickr/P J Hansen

Global warming trend unaffected by ‘fiddling’ with temperature data

Attacks on institutions that keep records of global temperatures, such as NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UK Met Office, and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, continue…
Adjusted data from Australian weather stations has been peer-reviewed before. But the government’s new technical panel could still offer useful advice. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Bureau’s weather records to be reviewed again – sure, why not?

The federal government’s new “Technical Advisory Forum” on weather data, announced by parliamentary environment secretary Bob Baldwin last week, will “review and provide advice on Australia’s official…
What does Paraguay have to do with the global temperature record? dany13/Flickr

Why scientists adjust temperature records, and how you can too

An article in The Australian today has once again raised the question of why scientists, in trying to estimate how the global and regional surface temperatures of Earth may have changed over the past century…
El Niño means drought in Australia – and floods in America. Len Matthews

El Niño could mean 2015 is even hotter than last year’s scorcher

It’s confirmed: 2014 produced the highest global temperatures since records began in the 1880s. As if that’s not cause enough for concern, this year threatens to see the return of El Niño, which like some…
Could climate change be making flying more unsafe? KamrenB Photography

Could climate change have played a role in the AirAsia crash?

On December 28, AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the sea between Indonesia and Singapore. Shortly before the crash, the pilots requested an alteration to the flight route due to severe weather. While…
‘Plates of the Outback’ - A supercell thunderstorm near Urana, NSW drifts over the landscape. John Allen

Australia faces a stormier future thanks to climate change

The supercell that hit Brisbane on November 27 this year caused more than A$500 million worth of damage, produced hail up to 7.5 cm in diameter, and lashed the city with winds of more than 140 km an hour…
Braving the eye of the bomb. Danny Lawson/PA

Weather bomb: scary new name for common winter storm

A dramatically-named “weather bomb” exploded across the UK in the past week, bringing winds gusting up to 144mph on outlying islands. But despite the cool name these “bombs” are more common than you might…
RV Investigator at sea – It will be formally commissioned in Hobart today. CSIRO

Explainer: the RV Investigator’s role in marine science

We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our deepest oceans, and only 12% of the ocean floor within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone has so far been mapped. The reason for this is…
Antarctica has actually been protected from sea ice melt by the ozone hole. Vassil Tzvetanov

The ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate

Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem. The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern…
It’s all in the atmosphere. David Gray/Reuters

What caused the ‘pause’ in global warming?

Many people around the world, in certain locations, have asked, “where is global warming?” This is because they have experienced very cold wintry conditions and weird weather that they do not associate…
In 2012 and 2013 parts of New Zealand suffered the worst drought in 70 years. Dave Young/Flickr

New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why

Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is the costliest climate extreme in New Zealand; the 2012-2013 event depressed the country’s GDP by…
The AAL Fremantle, borne along by a meteotsunami, hits the rail bridge next to Fremantle Harbour. ‏@Mattiegeesu via Twitter

Explainer: how weather can trigger dangerous tsunamis

At around 10pm on Sunday 17 August 2014, the container ship AAL Fremantle was being unloaded after arriving in Western Australia’s Fremantle Harbour, when it broke away from its mooring and collided with…
An El Niño - even a weak one - can cause reduced rainfall in eastern Australia. Tim J Keegan/Flickr

Don’t dismiss a 2014 ‘super’ El Niño just yet

It looks like it’s all over bar the shouting for the chance of this year bringing on a “super” El Niño. Or is it? The Bureau of Meteorology has brought the odds of an El Niño event down to 50%, from 70…

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