The big weather story continues to be unseasonable warmth that will last through the weekend into early next week. A cold front will finally arrive Wed. with a cooling trend for especially Thu. & Fri. It still doesn't look like there will any real cold air anytime soon.
FLORIDA CATASTROPHIC STORM RISK MANAGEMENT CENTER LAUNCHES REDESIGNED WEBSITE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Starting today, the website of Florida State University’s Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center — click ** here ** — has a fresh look and new features, making it easier for users to learn about storm risk in Florida, the United States and around the world.
“Since it was created in 2008, the site has been a comprehensive repository for research, government actions and history related to Florida’s vulnerability to catastrophic storms,” said Patrick Maroney, director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center and the Kathryn Magee Kip Professor in Florida State’s Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Legal Studies. “We are pleased to provide access to these resources through a new site that is more accessible and uses a responsive design to be more mobile-friendly.”
New features and resources include:
* Interactive timelines for catastrophic storm impacts in Florida and the United States, and related actions, studies and regulation; and
* Global storm-risk resources including research institutes and reports, links to storm-risk modeling companies, and insurance and reinsurance responses to global natural catastrophe risks.
Updated resources include:
* Easier access to center research by topic;
* Storm-risk resources for Florida, including insurance regulation and information on property losses, land use planning and catastrophe modeling; and
* Storm risk resources for the United States, including risk management and response, disaster mitigation and planning, and private market response.
Earth Gauge: Early Signs of Wildflowers
If a harbinger of spring would boost your spirits this winter, take a look in parks and other native landscapes for wildflower rosettes. Many wildflowers get a head start on their spring growth by overwintering as a cluster of leaves hugging the ground. The side-by-side position of rosette leaves maximizes sun exposure. The leaves’ low profile helps reduce wind damage, while allowing them to capture warmth radiating from the soil. Rosettes of cold-hardy native plants also likely contain proteins that act like antifreeze to reduce their risk of freezing.
Tip: Indian blanket forms rosettes in meadows and prairies from Pennsylvania to California. Rosettes of lanceleaf coreopsis, which produce yellow daisy like flowers, are also common nationally at such sites and along roadsides. In Texas and elsewhere in the South, also keep an eye out for rosettes of Texas bluebonnets, Engelmann’s daisy and winecups. See Mr. Smarty Plants’ list of resources for identifying wildflowers by their rosettes.
This information is provided by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Learn more ** here **.
Climate change means geographic changes in the distribution of certain temperature and moisture conditions. Because most species are optimized to live within specific climate conditions, a mobile species will try to track these conditions as they expand, contract or shift to the north/south or uphill/ downhill. Less mobile species may adjust their life cycles or lifestyles to the new local climate, changing the timing of reproduction, migration, molting or feeding. Some animals are considered more sensitive to climate change than others.
Trivia Question: All other things being equal, what type of animal is likely the most sensitive to climate change?
The correct answer is d. Data from across the world shows that amphibian movements and life cycle shifts track changes in local climate conditions more closely than other types of animals. Unlike many other animals, amphibians are dependent on water for reproduction and changes in water availability can have profound consequences. Also, amphibians can only be active when the air or water temperature exceeds a certain threshold, unlike birds and mammals that regulate their temperature internally.
(Source: Todd, BD et al. “Climate Change correlates with rapid delays and advancements in reproductive timing in an amphibian community.” Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 278 (2011): 2191-2197.)
Climate in the News: Taylor, Rob. “Australia braces for catastrophic wildfire day.” – Reuters, January 7, 2013 – The widest-ranging heat wave in more than a decade has helped spawn fires in five Australian states.