Gonzalo Could be First Atlantic Hurricane of the 2020 Season
Tropical Storm Gonzalo strengthened into a named storm on Wednesday, breaking the record for the earliest "G" storm of the season, CNN reported. NHC said it could strengthen into a hurricane later Thursday.
"Given the increased organization of the system and its small size, Gonzalo's likelihood of becoming a hurricane is rising. Small storms are prone to more significant fluctuations in intensity, both up and down," CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
Here are the 5 AM AST 7/23 Key Messages for Tropical Storm Gonzalo, currently over the central Atlantic heading tow… https://t.co/HJ6qG78813— National Hurricane Center (@National Hurricane Center)1595495851.0
The storm is currently about 910 miles east of the Southern Windward Islands with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour, according to an 8 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time update from NHC. It is currently tracking west at around 12 miles per hour, but is expected to pick up speed and then turn west-northwest on Saturday.
Its center could approach the Windward Islands late Friday or Saturday, and a hurricane watch has been issued for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In addition to wind, Gonzalo is expected to dump two to five inches of rain in Barbados and the Windward Islands.
"Rainfall in Barbados and the Windward Islands could lead to life-threatening flash floods," NHC warned.
Gonzalo seems to confirm predictions that 2020 will be an active hurricane season.
"The tropical Atlantic looks extremely conducive for an active season," Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach told CNN.
The average seventh storm of the season occurs Sept. 16. The second earliest seventh storm was Gert on July 24, 2005, which holds the title for the busiest hurricane season on record.
Tropical Depression 7 has formed in the central tropical Atlantic and is forecast to become a named storm in next 1… https://t.co/ZlmrnSSdXZ— Philip Klotzbach (@Philip Klotzbach)1595364655.0
Gonzalo isn't the only early storm for its place in the alphabet this season: Cristobal, Danielle, Edouard and Fay were all the earliest of their letters on record, the Associated Press pointed out.
Gonzalo is slightly different from this season's other early storms since it is the first to emerge from the "main development region" between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, Space Coast Daily reported. It is a region known for developing dangerous storms.
However, the storm activity in the Atlantic this season is partly driven by warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures, CBS News explained. This is also the case for the main development region, which typically does not start spawning storms until early- to mid-August.
"Not to beat a dead horse but, the Atlantic Main Development Region is exceptionally warm atm," tweeted Eric Webb, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Not to beat a dead horse but, the Atlantic Main Development Region is exceptionally warm atm. Here's a plot of the… https://t.co/4pt3kcDbOO— Eric Webb (@Eric Webb)1595427546.0
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
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Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.