Category Archives: Geoscience

Report: U.S. Fire Seasons are Only Getting Worse

Red Canyon wildfire at night. Photo courtesy of inciweb.nwcg.gov.

Bigger, hotter wildfires — and more of them — are becoming the new normal, and a combination of climate change, sub-par fire management and budget limitations are to blame, says an October 2017 National Wildlife Federation report.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Why U.S. Wildfires Are Bigger, Hotter And More Frequent

El Nino CO2 Levels Suggest Grim Carbon Future

Image: OCO-2 /JPL-Caltech/NASA.

The years 2015 and 2016 saw record levels of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, even though human carbon emissions have stabilized in recent years. Now, scientists think they know why.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
NASA: Spike In Atmospheric CO2 Related To El Nino

Mantle Mystery Yields to Diamond Vise

Cross section of a diamond anvil cell. Illustration by Tobias1984.

Improved imaging of the Earth’s interior has unlocked new subsurface mysteries, including an area 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) down where the mantle’s usual flow pattern changes.

Now, at a lab bench on the planet’s surface, a team of researchers might have found the reason why.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Researchers Use Diamond Vise To Crack Mantle Mystery

Study: Expect Southwest U.S. Monsoon Storms to Intensify

Arizona monsoon storm near Carefree Highway. Photo by Shredex.

The most extreme monsoon storms are growing more intense in central and southwestern Arizona, according to a study by the University of Arizona and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The findings conform to patterns expected under climate change conditions. Indeed, experts have already observed this effect.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Study Shows More Intense Monsoon Storms on the Horizon

Taking the Mystery Out of Microbursts

Microburst near Amarillo, Texas. Image from the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Credit: Jason Boggs.

Phoenix, Arizona, is not known for strong winds, but that all changes when monsoons annually deliver destructive downdrafts like the one that damaged its five-story Burton Barr Central Library. In this piece, and in the interview that follows it, I clear up some of the confusion that still  whirls around these blasts.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Understanding How Microbursts Are Formed

Or listen to my interview on KJZZ’s The Show.