Bond, The Blob and Better Understanding Climate Change

For a class in the journalism and communications department at the University of Alaska Anchorage, climatologist Nicholas (Nick) Bond gave a presentation on his work and, more specifically, his studies on a large mass of warm water in the Pacific Ocean, known as “The Blob.” Bond, with the University of Washington, first coined the unusual […]

The Four Letter Word for Ocean Climate Change

Washington State climatologist, Nick Bond, cemented his legacy when he described the new persistent warm ocean water as the blob. The term, coined while Bond was participating in a weekly KUOW radio segment, has appeared in media organizations all over the nation, partly because it sounds cute, but also because of its climate implications. “I […]

Anomaly in Pacific Ocean Related to West Coast Warm Weather

Something unusual happened off the West Coast in the Pacific Ocean, a warm patch of water referred to as “the blob.” Nick Bond, state climatologist for Washington and researcher for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, coined the term in 2014. He describes the blob as a circular area of […]

‘The Blob’ and how it affects Alaska

In the winter of 2014, a patch of ocean in the Gulf Alaska became much warmer than usual. This occurred due to a persistent area of higher than normal pressure. Over the next two years, the patch increased in size and affected the marine life around it. Nick Bond inadvertently coined the term “the blob” […]

Cascading Effect – Arctic Report Card 2016

“We’ve seen a year in 2016 in the Arctic like we’ve never seen before,” reported Jeremy Mathis, Director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. Mathis presented the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic Report Card for 2016, the newest installment of an annual peer-reviewed report summarizing changing conditions in the Arctic. Mathis: “The report card this […]

A green system of carbon-dioxide removal

Last week, I wrote about a thought experiment proposed by Fairbanks scientist Jim Beget. He suggests raining down crystals of a compound that captures carbon dioxide onto a frigid plateau in Antarctica. There, the greenhouse gas might remain locked for a few hundred thousand years. Beget will present his idea at the fall meeting of […]

Call to act on climate at Anchorage GLACIER conference

It’s impressive when President Obama visits your home base— Anchorage. And you know something important is happening when two cabinet members, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, top level white house officials, foreign dignitaries, Alaskan Republican senators, and rural Alaskan officials all converge. It’s CLIMATE CHANGE. The Department of […]

Sockeye Fire Summer Solstice

June 21 2015 was this year’s Summer Solstice. But for much of Alaska the long hours of sunlight were obscured by smoke. The Sockeye Fire near Willow Alaska started Sunday and raged, burning over 7,000 acres, forcing evacuations, ravaging homes and other structures and interrupting traffic on the Parks Highway. An admirable firefighting effort involving […]

September 2014 sea ice extent

Continued Arctic changes, 2014

During high school when the day promised heat I used to spend a minute in the morning to put sunglasses on my car. They were ‘shutter shades’, louvered sunglasses printed in bold lines on folded white cardboard meant to be spread just under the windshield. The car may not have contained power anything, a reliably […]

atmosphere earth interactions

Precautions amidst uncertainty

“The question is not ‘do we know everything?’ it is ‘do we know enough?’ or ‘how can we best make a decision using what we do know?’ ~ Sense About Science publication: ‘Making Sense of Uncertainty’ In cities where heat waves are already becoming more frequent or more intense, the installation of heat watch warning […]