weather

Adapting cities to a hotter world: 3 essential reads

Adapting cities to a hotter world: 3 essential reads

Heat waves can be deadly, especially when they combine high temperatures with elevated humidity levels that make the air feel even hotter. The impacts can be especially strong in cities, which often are several degrees warmer than nearby rural areas due to the urban heat island effect. These three articles from The Conversation’s archives describe steps that communities can take to adapt as climate change makes heat waves more frequent and intense.

AIRS: 15 Years of Seeing What's in the Air

AIRS: 15 Years of Seeing What's in the Air

Accurate weather forecasts save lives. NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, launched on this date 15 years ago on NASA’s Aqua satellite, significantly increased weather forecasting accuracy within a couple of years by providing extraordinary three-dimensional maps of clouds, air temperature and water vapor throughout the atmosphere's weather-making layer. Fifteen years later, AIRS continues to be a valuable asset for forecasters worldwide, sending 7 billion observations streaming into forecasting centers every day.

Study tracks “memory” of soil moisture

Study tracks “memory” of soil moisture

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.

How we caught the first glimpse of weather on a faraway gas giant

How we caught the first glimpse of weather on a faraway gas giant

More than 3,000 exoplanets, which orbit stars other than our sun, are now known to exist. But just knowing that a planet exists is one thing – what we’d really like to know is what the conditions on that planet are like. Does it have an atmosphere, and does that atmosphere have weather?

What are the odds on a white Christmas this year?

What are the odds on a white Christmas this year?

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas you might look to the bookies to check the odds. Despite reports that this will be the coldest winter since 1963, with less than a week to go the odds of a flurry in London on the big day were hovering around 7/2, one of the lowest chances of snow for several years.