Weather

Explosive Origins of ‘Secondary’ Ice—and Snow

Where does snow come from? This may seem like a simple question to ponder as half the planet emerges from a season of watching whimsical flakes fall from the sky–and shoveling them from driveways. But a new study on how water becomes ice in slightly supercooled Arctic clouds may make you rethink the simplicity of the fluffy stuff. It describes definitive, real-world evidence for “freezing fragmentation” of drizzle as a major source of ice in slightly supercooled clouds. The findings have important implications for forecasting weather and climate.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Smarter Traffic Signs Ahead?

Researchers in Poland have created smart road signs that use built-in Doppler radar, video, and acoustic radar and weather stations to monitor road traffic and conditions to warn drivers in real-time of hazards and prevent collisions on highways. During the 179th ASA Meeting, Dec. 7-10, Andrzej Czyzewski will describe his applied research project to develop autonomous road signs with built-in acoustic radar devices.

UCI and international institutions link Southeast Asia megadrought to drying in Africa

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 21, 2020 – Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara – when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape – and a previously unknown megadrought that crippled Southeast Asia 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, scientists at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania, William Paterson University of New Jersey and other international institutions explain how this major climate transformation led to a shift in human settlement patterns in Southeast Asia, which is now inhabited by more than 600 million people.

Vulnerable Populations: How Will They Cope and Adapt This Hurricane Season?

Researchers will study areas that include counties in south and central Florida and the Panhandle, which are still recovering from Hurricanes Michael and Irma, and which saw an influx of displaced individuals from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. They will examine resilience of individuals and households, including their coping and adaptive capacities during a busy hurricane season in the midst of pandemic. The research will advance knowledge on several topics related to housing, health and hazards.

Geoengineering’s Benefits Limited for Apple Crops in India

Geoengineering – spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming – would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if geoengineering were not done, according to the study – believed to be the first of its kind – in the journal Climatic Change.