change Seasons

A Change of Seasons is in the Air – Spectrum News 1

With Autumn in sight, you may find yourself hankering for pumpkin spice and apple pie. Let’s face it, there is a lot to love about fall, especially after coming off a hot summer.

Before we head out to the pumpkin patch, let’s explore the change in season and what it all means? 

What You Need To Know

  • Astronomical fall arrives Tuesday morning, September 22

  • On the equinox, the sun’s direct rays are over the equator, bringing us close to 12 hours of day and night

  • There is a meteorological fall that differs slightly from the astronomical fall

The equinox occurs twice a year, in the spring and in the fall when the sun is directly above the equator. The equinox marks two times a year when the earth’s poles are not tilted toward or away from the sun.

During the first week of fall, our day and night will be nearly 12 hours each. As days and weeks roll on, we start to notice seasonal changes.

The Earth is tilted on its axis, and as it orbits the sun, the northern hemisphere becomes angled away from the sun making things outside feel and look different.

The sun shines lower in the sky, bringing less light and heat. We reacquaint ourselves with later sunrises and earlier sunsets, ending up with close to 9 hours of daylight come the winter solstice on December 21st.

This time of year, we can experience drastic temperature swings from searing heat to frigid cold.

Do you ever recall wearing shorts during the start of school because the summer heat lingered through September? Or, perhaps you wore a jacket out on a chilly morning only to find yourself carrying it home due to a 30 to 50 degree warm up during the school day.

Other times we had to dig out our warmer clothes and coats due to colder days with rain, ice or snow.   

Jet stream patterns are the directors of weather, and they start to change during the fall season. Due to the sun’s decrease in elevation, the jet stream’s average latitude moves toward the equator.

Basically, the jet streams are drawn to where the seasonal areas of sunlight are strongest, leaving us to adjust to changing conditions. It’s these seasonal shifts that allow for cooler shots of air and sporadic shifts in our weather.


Autumn encompasses a myriad of weather including tropical systems. We are occasionally reminded of hurricane season, a looming threat that lingers through November. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the tropics.

This time of year can bring such changeable weather that we have come to expect what may be anything but typical.

To keep things interesting, there is a meteorological fall, recognized as beginning a few weeks earlier than the equinox. The switch was created so scientists could keep data more streamlined as it related to the changing seasons.

According to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, “Meteorologists and climatologists break the seasons down into groupings of three months based on the annual temperature cycle as well as our calendar.” Spectrum news meteorologist Matthew East explains the differences.

I hope you are able to take in some sights and smells of fall and roll with the changes in the weather. I also wish you and yours a safe and healthy fall season.

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change Plans

DHS plans to change military-style camouflage uniforms seen in Portland – The Washington Post

The United States continues to grapple with the reckoning spurred by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, as the Department of Homeland Security says it is swapping out the military-style camouflage uniforms that U.S. border agents wore on the streets of Portland, Ore., last month.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the city is working to pair new police officers with “the right individuals” for training, while Aurora, Colo., which has faced scrutiny after the death of Elijah McClain last year, has chosen Vanessa Wilson as its new police chief, the first woman to permanently lead the agency.
  • Tulsa officials temporarily suspended an order to remove a Black Lives Matter display after protesters placed symbolic tombstones bearing the names of Black people shot by police or killed in the city’s 1921 race massacre.
  • The House Intelligence Committee is opening an investigation into the activities of the Intelligence and Analysis Office at DHS, which compiled “intelligence reports” on journalists.
  • The second-ranking official at DHS, Ken Cuccinelli, told lawmakers Tuesday that the department will change its uniforms after complaints about their “militarylike appearance” at protests.

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change officials

U.S. officials change virus risk groups, add pregnant women – Alabama’s News Leader

U.S. officials change virus risk groups, add pregnant women – Alabama’s News Leader
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change Climate

Climate Change Could Mean More Of Antarctica Turning Green With Algae – HuffPost

The algal blooms that blanket parts of Antarctica’s snow cover in the summer are likely to expand as the planet warms, researchers say in a new study.

A research team from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey used satellite data and on-the-ground observations to put together the first large-scale map of green algae across the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Green snow algae is found in warmer areas along the coastline where summer temperatures are above freezing, but still cold enough for there to be snow, say scientists in a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. It’s also more abundant in areas in close proximity to nesting sites and gathering places for animals like penguins and seals, whose feces fuel the algae’s growth.

Green algae isn’t new for Antarctica ― it’s known to have been there to some degree for decades, New Scientist notes. But what researchers found suggests that climate change could have a major impact on algae in Antarctica, which, in turn, could have its own impact on a warming planet.

The scientists don’t predict that green algae will spread on all parts of the peninsula. In fact, some small low-lying islands are likely to lose algae, because those islands may lose their summer snow cover altogether ― and the snow algae can’t grow without snow. But they predict the amount of green algae is likely to grow on larger pieces of land, where it can spread upward to higher ground that still has snow.

“As Antarctica warms, we predict the overall mass of snow algae will increase, as the spread to higher ground will significantly outweigh the loss of small island patches of algae,” University of Cambridge researcher Andrew Gray said in a press release.

So what does more algae mean, besides turning the landscape green? It’s not totally clear. The green algae works as a carbon sink ― the current amount of algae in Antartica pulls about 500 tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year. On the other hand, algae also makes the surface of the snow darker, which leads to less sunlight being reflected from the snow’s surface, Scientific American notes. That means that more of the sun’s heat gets absorbed, speeding up warming.

Additionally, Antarctica has other algae as well ― large red and orange algal blooms, which the scientists plan to research and map in future studies.

University of Cambridge researcher Matt Davey said in a video about the study that the overall goal of their work is a greater understanding of the “complex connections” between different life forms in Antarctica.

“The more we understand, the more we can protect our planet and its fragile ecosystems that could be lost or changed forever,” he said.

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change Climate

Climate change is causing Antarctica’s snow to turn green, study says – CBS News

Penguins at risk in Antarctica

In coastal Antarctica, some snow isn’t white — it’s green. And while small amounts of the green snow have been visible for years, it’s starting to spread across the continent because of climate change.

According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, the vibrant color is caused by microscopic algae blooming across the surface of the snow. Using satellite data and fieldwork observations, a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey have created the first large-scale map of the green algae and predicted the future spread of the bizarre snow. 

Green snow appears along the Antarctic coast, growing in “warmer” areas, where the average temperatures reach just above freezing in the summer. Although the individual algae are microscopic, when they grow at scale, the green snow can even be seen from space. 

For the study, the team combined on-the-ground research from two summers in the Antarctic Peninsula with images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 2 satellite taken between 2017 and 2019. In total, the team identified over 1,600 separate algal blooms on the snow surface. 

Lead author Matt Davey samples snow algae on Lagoon Island, Antarctica. 

Sarah Vincent

The team found that the distribution of green snow algae is strongly influenced by marine birds and mammals, because their excrement works extremely well as fertilizer. Over 60% of blooms were found near penguin colonies, and others were found near birds’ nesting sites. 

“This is a significant advance in our understanding of land-based life on Antarctica, and how it might change in the coming years as the climate warms,” lead author Dr. Matt Davey of the University of Cambridge said in a press release.

If bird populations are strongly affected by climate change, as they likely will be, the algae could lose key sources of nutrients. But the results of the study indicate that green snow will massively spread as global temperatures rise.

That’s because in order to flourish, the organisms need an available supply of water. Temperatures on the peninsula where the green snow is found have risen dramatically in recent decades, increasing the amount of water available.

As the planet warms and more of Antarctica’s snow melts, the algae will spread, the scientists said. And while some algae will be lost to areas that lose snow altogether, much more will be gained.

A photograph showing Anchorage Island dominated by green algae starting to melt out from beneath surface snow on January 26, 2018. 

Nature Communications

“As Antarctica warms, we predict the overall mass of snow algae will increase, as the spread to higher ground will significantly outweigh the loss of small island patches of algae,” said co-lead author Dr. Andrew Gray, of the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh.

It’s unclear how the spreading algae will affect the planet. It plays a key role in cycling nutrients and pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, Davey said, but also darkens snow, and absorbs more heat from the sun.

The amount of algae found by the team creates a carbon sink that absorbs about 500 tons of carbon each year, the equivalent of about 875,000 average car journeys in the U.K., researchers said.

The amount of algae found is actually a conservative estimate, because the satellite was only capable of picking up green algae, missing its red and orange counterparts. “The snow is multi-colored in places, with a palette of reds, oranges and greens — it’s quite an amazing sight,” Davey said. 

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