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Climate and Famine: Two Examples

By Jason Klein, IEDRO’s Environmental Writer and Editor We have all witnessed the effects of famine – malnourished children, dead herds of cattle, the plaintive appeals of Sally Struthers. But what if a famine could be predicted, and then we could work to prevent it? The good news is that by delving into past instances […]

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Tree Rings: A Type of Weather Data

By Penny Paugh Trees grow on every continent except Antarctica, and the rings they contain embody a record of climate change going back thousands of years.  Each ring represents a single year’s growth, so not only can a ring count tell us how old a tree is, but they can also help reconstruct climatic history […]

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The Economic Impact of Extreme Weather in the US

A team of social scientists and economists from Colorado and California recently completed a study on the United States economy’s sensitivity to weather variability: extreme heat, extreme cold, droughts, and floods. This study marked the first time that US economic susceptibility to extreme weather had been explicitly quantified. Seventy years of atmospheric data were used […]

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Rwandan Drought; Ongoing Climate Concerns

by Aura Lawson La Niña has persisted longer than expected this year, and with it comes agricultural uncertainty for many countries across the globe. Rwanda is no exception. Anthony Twahirwa, head of Rwanda’s Meteorological Center, explains that their forecasting agency expected decreased rainfall as a result of La Niña, or abnormally cool waters in the […]

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Could Climate Change Have Contributed to the Fall of Rome?

By Penny Paugh One form of environmental data, tree rings, has provided evidence of a climate shift that, perhaps not coincidentally, occurred from 250 to 550 A.D., a period that coincides with the fall of the Roman Empire. From ancient wood found in medieval castles and Roman ruins, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, […]

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African Drought and Data Rescue

Drought in Africa has been a destructive force to life and property since the beginning of recorded time. Most recently, East Africa suffered a severe drought in 2010 that persisted nearly the entire year. However, one good thing that came out of this catastrophic drought was that it revealed several important hints for predicting future […]

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Part 4: The Land

Luisa Cristini, PhD, University of Hawaii at Manoa. [Note from the editor: This is the fourth in a series of blog entries that will focus on introductory topics in climate dynamics and modeling, and will be a great insight into the current understanding of the science.] Many characteristics of the climate are influenced by the […]

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Map of Australia

Climate change and drought in Australia

By Allyson Gorsuch Have you ever spent any amount of time on an island? If you have, then you know that the local population is acutely aware of winds, tides, precipitation, humidity, and all other weather conditions in general. With little protection from a sizable land mass, the ocean and its resulting atmosphere become much […]

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