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Latest Bill Patzert Stories

El Niño: 2014 Looking Like 1997
2014-05-21 03:21:35

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA [ Watch The Video: ScienceCasts: El Niño – Is 2014 The New 1997? ] Every ten days, the NASA/French Space Agency Jason-2 satellite maps all the world's oceans, monitoring changes in sea surface height, a measure of heat in the upper layers of the water. Because our planet is more than 70% ocean, this information is crucial to global forecasts of weather and climate. Lately, Jason-2 has seen something brewing in the Pacific—and it looks a lot like...

La Nada Event In Pacific
2013-09-10 15:37:20

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Based on data from one of NASA’s orbiting satellites, experts at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center have found near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, indicative of a so called “La Nada” event. The weather experts added that the condition has persisted for 16 months, since spring 2012 and will continue through the spring of 2014. “Without an El Niño or La Niña...

California Safe From Hurricanes, For The Most Part
2012-10-18 13:36:30

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online California has had its fair share of earthquakes, but could the Golden State ever be hit by a hurricane? One  NASA researcher recently looked into the matter. California has felt the effects of a tropical cyclone before, but typically just in the form of rainfall from the remnants of a storm in the eastern Pacific. There has actually never been a documented case of a hurricane making landfall in California, but it has had some...

Climate Is Just One Factor in Wildfires
2012-07-04 15:05:02

It's shaping up to be a fiery summer across the United States. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, as of July 3, 45 large active wildfires are currently burning in 15 states. Combined, these fires have scorched nearly three-quarters of a million acres. Since January 1, wildfires have burned nearly 2.2 million acres across the country, including devastating blazes in Colorado and New Mexico. We asked JPL Climatologist Bill Patzert to discuss the recent wildfire outbreak and...

Europe Hammered By Winter, Is North America Next?
2012-02-18 04:40:38

For the first half of this year's winter, the big news was warm temperatures and lack of snow. Ski resorts were covered in bare dirt, while January temperatures in southern California topped July highs. Then, out of the blue, Europe got clobbered: Over the past two weeks, temperatures in Eastern Europe have nose-dived to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). Blizzards and the bone-chilling cold have resulted in the deaths of over 550 people so far, with rooftop-high snow drifts...

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2011-06-26 07:35:16

By Dauna Coulter - Science@NASA Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, devastating floods: There's no doubt about it. Since Dec. 2010, the weather in the USA has been positively wild. But why? Some recent news reports have attributed the phenomenon to an extreme "La Niña," a band of cold water stretching across the Pacific Ocean with global repercussions for climate and weather. But NASA climatologist Bill Patzert names a different suspect: "La Nada." "La...

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2010-12-16 08:08:03

Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has been honored by the American Geophysical Union with its 2010 Athelstan Spilhaus Award for his contributions to improving public understanding of Earth science. Patzert is receiving the award at a ceremony today at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The Athelstan Spilhaus Award honors American Geophysical Union members who have devoted parts of their lives to...

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2010-02-23 14:42:48

Climatologists have long known that human-produced greenhouse gases have been the dominant drivers of Earth's observed warming since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But other factors also affect our planet's temperature. Of these, the ocean plays a dominant role. Its effects helped nudge global temperatures slightly higher in 2009, and, according to NASA scientists, could well contribute to making 2010 the warmest year on record. Covering 71 percent of our planet's surface, the ocean...

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2009-09-29 09:33:16

Since May 2009, the tropical Pacific Ocean has switched from a cool pattern of ocean circulation known as La Niña to her warmer sibling, El Niño. This cyclical warming of the ocean waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific generally occurs every three to seven years, and is linked with changes in the strength of the trade winds. El Niño can affect weather worldwide, including the Atlantic hurricane season, Asian monsoon...

2008-05-09 16:37:54

The Myanmar cyclone. The earthquake off the coast of Japan. The Chilean volcano. Has Earth gone bonkers? Not at all. This level of natural activity is normal for Earth, scientists say. "Mother Nature is just reminding us that she is in charge," Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told LiveScience. That also means the recent Midwestern quake (centered in Illinois) and temblors near Reno, though unnerving and frightening to...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.