And taking up that El Niño reference in our previous post, now comes word that this years Pacific-spawned storm generator is now officially on track to be the biggest on record, promising some catastrophic drought relief for a California where the moisture-trapping plant cover in the mudslide-generating hillsides had either been killed off by drought or burned off by wildfires.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A key location of the Pacific Ocean is now hotter than recorded in at least 25 years, surpassing the temperatures during the record 1997 El Niño.
Some scientists say their measurements show that this year’s El Niño could be among the most powerful on record — and even toppling the 1997 event from its pedestal.
“This thing is still growing and it’s definitely warmer than it was in 1997,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. As far as the temperature readings go, “it’s now bypassed the previous champ of the modern satellite era — the 1997 El Niño has just been toppled by 2015.”
Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at Stanford University, called the temperature reading significant. It is the highest such weekly temperature above the average in 25 years of modern record keeping in this key region of the Pacific Ocean west of Peru.
From NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, dramatic evidence that things are heating up, with the month just past the hottest October since record-keeping began [and note that El Niño band featured in yesterday’s Map of the day]::
From NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center [PDF], anomalies in sea surface temperature over the last month confirm it’s an El Niño of near-record proportions, and drought relief is on its way to the West Coast:
From NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, proof that it really is getting hotter in the Golden State:
From NASA’s Image of the Day, a satellite captures the Atlantic coast in the wake of major storms:
Damaging heavy rains fell on South Carolina in the southeastern United States at the beginning of October 2015. Much of that water had, by mid-October, flowed into the Atlantic Ocean bringing with it heavy loads of sediment, nutrients, and dissolved organic material. The above VIIRS image shows the runoff as it interacts with ocean currents.
From Astronomy Picture of the Day [and click on the image to enlarge]:
Earth and Milky Way from Space
Image Credit: NASA, Scott Kelly
Explanation: Since November 2000, people have been living continuously on the International Space Station. To celebrate humanity’s 15th anniversary off planet Earth, consider this snapshot from space of our galaxy and our home world posing together beyond the orbital outpost. The Milky Way stretches below the curve of Earth’s limb in the scene that also records a faint red, extended airglow. The galaxy’s central bulge appears with starfields cut by dark rifts of obscuring interstellar dust. The picture was taken by Astronaut Scott Kelly on August 9, 2015, the 135th day of his one-year mission in space.